Revered for 5000 years, therapeutic essential oils are life-enhancing gifts from the plant kingdom, lending restorative properties to body, mind, and spirit. Antiseptic, calming, stimulating, and soothing, steam distilled essential oils [EOs] are nature’s offering of well-being ~ both for the plants that create them & for those who eat or use the plants & essential oils. (Learn more about essential oils’ ancient history in this article.)
In the last two decades, 100% pure organic essential oils have re-emerged as holistic remedies for the stressful effects of our modern lifestyles. Superior to many conventional medications & supplements, therapeutic-grade essential oils deliver positive – often profound – benefits to the body, whether through inhalation, direct skin application, or by internal consumption.They also purify our environment & bodies with oxygen-rich compounds, effectively neutralizing harmful microbes.
When considering therapeutic essential oils for health or well being, buy organic or top quality essential oils. Although more expensive than perfume-grade [fragrance] or synthetic oils, ‘certified organic’ assures the purity of essential oils.
Be aware that many ‘fragrance grade’ essential oils are mass produced in large chemical plants for food flavorings, perfumery, and for mis-leadingly labeled ‘aromatherapy’ products such as scented candles, air fresheners, soaps & cleaning products, etc. For example, pine-scented floor cleaner – as you might imagine there’s an enormous difference between the quality, chemical composition, and cost of a scented oil used in the manufacture of floor cleaners vs. pine essential oil with therapeutic qualities for relieving a headache.
Young Living Essential Oils is a world leader in fresh cultivation (careful seed selection of specific plant cultivars), proprietary steam distillation (using low pressure – low temperature – no chemical solvents) therapeutic essential oils. YLEO uses 100% strict organic farming practices in the production of the herbs they cultivate. Young Living was very careful to purchase land that had never had chemicals on it, because all their growing and production operations, including their farms in Utah, Idaho, and France, are strictly organic.
As a result, Young Living produces pure, organic oils, many of which exceed international standards for therapeutic-grade essential oils. Young Living labels its essential oils with the AFNOR* seal, guaranteeing their purity and quality.
Young Living Essential Oils – and founder, Gary Young – established a protocol of on-going intensive R&D [research and development] of innovative essential oils and health-related products. YLO’s state-of-the-art laboratory / production facility ensure that YLO products lead the industry in purity, quality, and effectiveness….making YLO global leaders in the alternative healthcare field.
*There are three internationally recognized standards of excellence for therapeutic-quality essential oils. The two most frequently referred to are:
~ AFNOR / Association French Normalization Organization Regulation.
Their regulations state the percentages of specific chemical constiuents that must be present in stringent laboratory analysis for an essential oil to be considered therapeutic grade. To gain the AFNOR seal, essential oils must be sent to France for testing.
~ ISO / International Standards Organization.
~ EC / The European ‘Gold Standard’. Only Young Living essential oils meet this standard of excellence (per Linda Smith, creator of the Certification in Clinical Aromatherapy workshops.)
~ About therapeutic essential oils’ properties by reading our oils articles.
If you’re NEW to the world of therapeutic essential oils, with no idea where to begin, what EOs to buy & use first, check out our list of my family’s favorite ‘all-purpose’ oils originally compiled for an alternative health friend, who asked me for some ideas. Jot me an email and I’ll send you a handy reference list for 101 Uses of the Essential 7 Kit. It’s full of ideas for using Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon (click for a FREE sample), and the following four blends: Joy, PanAway, Peace & Calming, Purification.
Alternative Sources for Therapeutic Essential Oils (Cynthe’s suggestions)
Occasionally, I purchase EOs from other manufacturers. This may be because YLO doesn’t carry a particular essential oil in its inventory, or discontinues offering an essential oil – like Petitgrain (an excellent EO for the nervous system), or YLO’s pricing exceeds one’s budgetary constraints – such as pricing for YLO’s Rosa damacena EO.
Nature’s Gift is an excellent online resource for affordable, top quality, therapeutic essential oils. From their ‘About Us’ page: “At Nature’s Gift, we carefully select pure essential oils from the four corners of the world. Our goal is to provide the finest quality pure and natural essential oils available today. We do not shop by price, nor do we buy from “mass market” suppliers, but rather from small distillers who either grow their crop themselves, or personally know and observe the farmers whose oils they sell. Most of our oils are either organically grown, or ethically wildcrafted with concern for the worldwide environment and ecosystem.”
Original Swiss Aromatics based in San Rafael, CA USA is the wholesale EO supplier, associated with Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt’s Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy. The quality of their EOs meets demanding European standards. Some of their source plant material is certified organically farmed, while other plants are wild-crafted and labeled ‘vintage.’ They also list the country of origin for each of their essential oils, which is important as you become more familiar with the chemical differences of EOs grown in hot vs cold climates and at different elevations.
from OSA’s site: “Essential Oils are products of the plant organism. The way we [OSA] offer essential oils is inspired by accepting oils as precious products of biological processes, cherished for their own beauty and brilliance rather than as industrial raw materials for the food or fragrance industry, standardized and diluted to be made econommically acceptable. We will offer essential oils which, to the best of our abilities to ascertain, are truly genuine and authentic. This means nothing has been added nor taken out. It also means that no other natural substances have been added, that an oil is truly and exclusively from the plant that it claims to be.”
Simpler’s Botanical Company, founded in 1981, is an ethical and environmentally concerned business based in Sebastopol, California USA. Their herbal & essential oil products may be purchased on-line or found in health food stores & body care shops.
Simpler’s bottles many of their EOs in small quantities, 1-2ml & 5ml bottles, so even very pricey EOs [Rose Otto – Rosa damacena, Melissa officinalis, sustainably harvested Australian Sandalwood – Santalum spicatum, etc.] are within reach.