Grades of Essential Oils

There are two general categories of essential oils – those that heal and those that do not (i.e. those that are therapeutic and those that are not.)

A therapeutic grade essential oil is defined here as one that is specially distilled from plants that are cultivated organically or growing wild in a clean environment. Plants should be from the proper botanical genus, species, and cultivar. No chemical fertilizers are added to the soil, and crop cultivation is free of herbicides and pesticides. Essential oils should be extracted by steam distillation at minimum temperatures and pressures, as was done in ancient times. No chemical solvents are to be used in the extraction process.

Complete, natural oils are mixtures of hundreds of compounds, but the AFNOR-ISO standard focuses only on a few ingredients, usually less than six. As an example, for an oil to be called peppermint oil by AFNOR standards, it must contain 35-45% menthol, 10-20% menthone, 49% methyl acetate, and 3-7% 1,8 cineole. But these are only four compounds of hundreds present in a complete, natural oil. And unethical company could synthesize these four compounds, mix them in these proportions with a suitable filler oil and it would pass the AFNOR test. Such an oil would have a fragrance and taste like peppermint, but not it's healing capabilities.

The vast majority of essential oils (over 95%) are produced for flavor and fragrance and do not fulfill therapeutic standards. Such oils are not considered suitable for use in healing applications. Out of the hundreds of constituents comprising a natural, therapeutic grade oil, the fragrance industry is interested only in the few components that contribute to aroma. The same goes for the flavor industry. All they care about are the components that contribute to taste.

When choosing a brand of essential oil, you must find one whose oils are gently and carefully distilled from plants that have been patiently harvested at the perfect moment by experienced growers from around the world for ideal extract composition and efficacy. The essential oils we prefer have been carefully and thoroughly tested and have been classified as therapeutic grade quality.