Oh man, this is a hot topic and one I am quite passionate about! As a consumer I do NOT appreciate having the wool pulled over my eyes, at ALL! The problem with the essential oil industry is that it is not governed. It falls under the beauty industry which is also, as you may know, not governed.
I had no idea about any of this until I dove deep into the world of essential oils, so don’t feel bad if this is new information for you, you are not alone! It is a well known issue in the industry, and as people seek to make healthier choices I can only imagine it will become more of a problem.
So what does this mean for you & why should you care? Well the problem is that you may get a cute little glass bottle and it may even say things like “100% pure” “organic” “all natural” etc. but the fact is that no one is checking to ensure these claims are true. So, what is in the bottle? That is a great question; it could be what it says on the bottle, or it could be a synthetic fragrance oil, or it could be a real essential oil – but maybe not the one on the label because the company can save some money this way… There are so many issues that come with that!
Essential Oils are very safe and with some basic guidelines it is really difficult to go wrong, however, if you don’t know what you are working with the safe part goes out the window.
When most people seek to start using essential oils, it is because they want to get away from or find a replacement for a less healthy, often toxic option. When you can’t trust what the label of an “essential oil” says, you will find yourself with oils that “don’t work” and beyond that, could be doing much more harm than good. I personally would not want to be breathing in (or have my kids breathe in), a fragrance oil – they wreak havoc on your systems and can even cause sickness which is exactly opposite to the reason I started using essential oils!
Why else should you care? Well because companies are making a ton of money selling garbage to you. One source of good Fake EO busting is a facebook group called “Essential Oil University”, just search “amazon” within the group and you will find seemingly endless test results showing that many of Amazon’s top selling Essential Oils don’t contain any actual essential oil, or trace amounts, but either way – adulterated oils. Another book I really love that gets into this topic along with many others is “The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils: The Science of Advanced Aromatherapy” by Kurt Schnaubelt, Ph. D.
I cannot recommend highly enough that you find a company that is TRANSPARENT with their testing, and they do a lot of different tests, these tests should ensure purity, and efficacy. Every single batch should be tested both in-house and via a third party! Those test results should also be made available to the consumer, by batch!
Another thing that I am super passionate about is ethical sourcing, fair trade & sustainable practices and I definitely recommend you look into a company’s policy on that … But, that’s a whole other article for another time 😉
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