How can you know your essential oil quality level is high or low?
It's all well and good if the products you are buying are going to be used for things like candles but what if you intend to flavor your food with them, or apply them to your skin?
I am sure you will agree that any product that you are going to put in your mouth or absorb through your skin should at least be considered safe for consumption.
Dr. Josh Axe says if you choose one of the certified organic essential oil brands on the market today, you can expect positive results. However, he warns against lower quality synthetic and altered oils, saying they may actually do more harm than good. That's because artificial fragrances are linked to a multitude of serious health concerns including infertility, obesity lung disease, cancer, autoimmune diseases, and Alzheimer's Disease.
I agree with his position but for your safety I will take this a bit further. Many refer to these quality oils as "therapeutic grade" and extol their virtue as being safe. This may or may not be entirely true.
The fact is therapeutic grade is a term that is thrown around a lot these days and on the surface sounds pretty good but my recommendation to you is to ...
There are lots of less expensive oils on the market which were designed to be used for recreational use and in the flavoring industry but for clinical, medical and health care processionals they need to be held to much more exacting standards - Clinical Grade standards!
The fact is there are four basic types of oils and each one has different requirements for essential oil quality.
The first 2 categories follow very loose requirements and in many cases can and do include synthetic oils.
Synthetic oils are often good enough for the 1st category but when it comes to consumption such as the oils in category 2, I think we need to be more careful about what we put in our mouths, don't you?
At the very least, any oil that we are going to consume internally needs to be "food grade" which includes a government established requirement known as the "Generally Recognized as Safe" or GRAS standard.
Therapeutic grade oils would appear to be the best option but unfortunately we have a problem. There is no mutually-agreed upon standard to point to when we say an oil is therapeutic grade, nor is there any regulatory body governing this grade so what are we actually saying? It all boils down to just a marketing term like many others.
When it comes to therapeutic grade oils, quality is implied rather than assured.
To ensure you are getting good essential oil quality that is consistent batch to batch, look for clinical grade oils.
A quick Google search revealed the following companies that claim therapeutic grade oils:
For the simple reason that there is no regulatory body that certifies an oil as therapeutic grade, there are probably a lot more companies that also make this claim.
note: I will not name names but adulterated oils have been discovered in some of the above marketers.
Clinical grade simply means that the oil meets the standards required for clinical trials. It means it is pure and natural (from the dictionary meaning of these words) and contains only the oil advertised on the label.
Like the term pharmaceutical grade there is no authoritative body yet, which certifies an oil as clinical grade, but unlike pharmaceutical grade there are criteria that need to be met in order to use the term.
Any company that claims to market clinical grade oils should be able to provide testing results on each and every batch. If the company has proof of their claim, they will logically want to show it to their customers and will likely have a link on their website to do so. If no such link is provided I would suspect that, at the very least, the company is unable to prove their claim of clinical grade.
So where does that leave you?
How can you possibly know if a company markets clinical grade oils?
Well, if you are unable to confirm that it IS clinical grade because the company does not provide this information, we could ask the question ....
The truth of the matter is, it is probably easier to identify oils that are not clinical grade than it is to identify the ones that are.
The best way to reduce your choices is to look at the actions of the supplier. Here are a few of the things they do or don't do that should raise some flags concerning the essential oil quality of their products.
Finding the best quality essential oils on the market may not be easy but ...
Please understand, just because a supplier's oils are not clinical grade doesn't mean they are not perfectly good for your purpose.
If an oil is true to the idea behind the term "pharmaceutical grade" it should be perfectly fine to use. It just means that you may have to be a little more careful about the uses you put them to.
I myself prefer to place my trust in oils that I know for sure are clinical grade because then the essential oil quality is the "top-of-the line"
Any questions? Contact Me.
For more information see my page on Clinical Grade Essential Oils.
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