If you’ve been anywhere near (or far) from the ‘natural health’ world, you’ve probably come across someone excitedly touting the benefits of essential oils! They are a potent healing modality that many have utilized to find relief from various health struggles. Yet essential oil companies first have to earn my trust. My standards for any quality essential oil company include: organic certification, balanced priorities, sustainability, small companies and farms, caution in ingestion and straightforward promotion plans.
Why Essential Oils are Good for You
- They are the best natural substitute for toxic, fragrance-laced home cleaning or personal care products. I personally use essential oils for numerous personal care and cleaning products in my home.
- Essential oils assist with fighting infections, balancing hormones, relaxation and more! Jody Cohen, nutritional and aromatherapy practitioner shares, “Research has shown that essential oils help us fight infection (with anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties), balance hormones and emotions […] Essential oils also help the brain, reviving a tired mind and stimulating memory.” ©
- Essential oils, used properly, don’t have negative, toxic side effects like medication does. I would MUCH rather someone choose essential oils over medication whenever possible.
How do I Choose the Best Essential Oils?
Figuring out what to look for in an essential oils brand can be confusing and overwhelming! I choose to have high standards which regretably eliminates some of the more popular essential oils on the market.
Eight Things I Look for in Quality Essential Oil Companies
Commitment to Organic/Pesticide Free
- ‘Organic/Pesticide free’ is an important qualification. This is because ‘organic’ means, at a minimum, the plants are grown without hazardous chemicals and pesticides. In urine and blood samples, eating organic for one week shows a dramatic drop in pesticide exposure. Pesticide exposure leads to diseases and toxicity – which is exactly what I’m trying to avoid! If I’m going to put something that’s uber concentrated onto my body or breathing something into my lungs, I want to know for certain that it’s organic/pesticide-free.
Steam Distillation and Pesticides
- However, the Tisserand Institute explains that pesticides do not end up in the final essential oil product due to the steam distillation process. To confirm this, a large analysis of data confirms that while cold-pressed oils – specifically citrus essential oils – do end up with pesticide residues, steam distilled oils have virtually no pesticide residues. Knowing that only minuscule amounts of pesticides survive steam distillation should provide me some assurance. Why do I still prioritize an ‘organic certification’?
- ‘Organic certification’ is important because of the health of the soil and the farmworkers. Pesticides in soil destroy the microbiome of the soil, creating a less than healthy soil environment. They wash off into nearby streams and rivers polluting our water supply. They ultimately end up in the environment and in our bodies!
- Does the company acknowledge the role that essential oils play in the context of healthy lifestyle choices? Companies sometimes make the mistake of promoting the overuse of essential oils claiming complete ‘cure-alls’. I’d much rather see folks take a more holistic approach by focusing on the health of their gut and their home environment/lifestyle first. If those factors are all in good order and there are still health concerns, then essential oils can be used more judiciously as a ‘supplement’.
Sustainability and Overuse
- Does the essential oil company encourage sparing use of their oils? Overharvesting and pesticide use creates problems of sustainability, extinction and flooding in areas where families depend on their farms for a living. “Did you know that 220 pounds of lavender flowers produce just one pound of essential oil?”© To give you an idea, a one-ounce bottle of rose oil requires 625 pounds of rose petals!! Many large essential oil companies encourage the overuse of essential oils mainly through ingesting but also in everyday use. Imagine how much farmland is needed to provide all the raw plant material for all these oils. EO’s should be used sensibly as the concentrated substances that they are.
Small Companies, Small Farms and Quality Control
- An essential oil company that offers transparency in its farming practices should be a priority. Smaller farms reduce the potential for ‘middle man’ problems by being able to give more individualized attention to their crops and eventually on their final product. On the other hand, larger companies utilize larger farms where brokers are often involved. Brokers create room for quality control issues. They tend to introduce price gouging through the exploitation of native workers. It can also led to synthetic adulteration in essential oils.
Ingesting Essential Oils
- I look for essential oil companies that do not encourage the ingestion of essential oils without professional advice. In specific cases, with the assistance of a naturopath or certified health advisor, this may be warranted. However, many health professionals do not recommend ingesting essential oils and have found certain essential oils to be toxic when ingested. Are these companies simply trying to encourage more product sales through this practice?
- MLM-type marketing methods are often impersonal and too ‘salesy’. I’ve had over five people approach me to sell certain oil brands and most of them I haven’t spoken to in years! It certainly doesn’t feel like they really care about me personally. These companies pressure associates to obtain large volumes of customers who use excessive amounts of essential oils, contributing even further to the sustainability problem. Conversely, a company that offers a straightforward affiliate commission offers clarity both for the seller and their customers.
Two Essential Oil Companies I Trust
Are there any essential oil companies that meet my standards? YES! So far, I’ve found two companies that I prefer to purchase from and promote and several other worthy mentions.
The Nourishing Our Children/Weston A Price Foundation recommends a small Seattle based company called ‘Vibrant Blue Oils’. The founder, Jodi, is a nutritional therapist with neurology, herbology and aromatherapy certifications who sources only certified organic and wild-harvested plants from small farms. She makes synergistic blends that target specific health ailments. I trust this company because of the high recommendation, the organic promise, the small farms and the focus on targeted health issues.
S.O.I.L Essential Oils
In South Africa, I discovered S.O.I.L essential oils. They are grown locally in South Africa for the most part and are certified with the French ‘Eco-Cert’ certification, which is a promise to not use pesticides. Their oils are really lovely and smell very pure to me. I recently found out that S.O.I.L. essential oils are available in the USA! I can definitely vouch for their potency, quality of aromatics and effectiveness.
Essentially, Be Choosy about Your Essential Oils!
To sum it up, my preference is to use less essential oils since producing essential oils is farming intensive. I think essential oils are great when they’re grown organically, used in small quantities, and used to target specific challenging health issues.
While I’d prefer everyone be as choosy as me about the quality of their essential oils, I have a number of dear friends who do sell oils from larger essential oil companies and I salute them in our shared desire to bring as many people as we can into a more nature-friendly, healthy way of living. We are in this together as fellow natural health advocates!
Cheers to being ‘essentially’ healthy!!
Vibrant Blue Oils Gut Repair Kit™ contains three powerful oils – Parasympathetic®, Intestinal Mucosal Repair™ and Anti-Inflammatory™ – that when used in combination with a healing diet and nutritional supplements, helps support regeneration and repair of the small intestine.
The top eight qualifications I look for in essential oil companies are: organic certification, balanced priorities, sustainability, small companies and farms, caution in ingestion and straightforward promotion plans.