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Are Your Essential Oils In The Bottle What They Say On The Bottle?

When I first started learning about essential oils I realised it was a minefield out there with so many different choices it seemed impossible trying to figure out what the best one was to pick.  I also realised there was a lack of regulation so it was hard to sort the wheat from the chaff but I was realistic enough to realise that 10ml of lavender oil at £7.50 would not be worth buying.  

I was prompted to write this after browsing an online shop for other items when I came across the fact they sold essential oils - £7 lavender was too cheap so I looked at the description and it was labelled 100% pure lavender oil - great you may think but no, read on and I will tell you more.

 It is estimated that 80% of essential oils are adulterated in some way either with pesticides or contaminants at distillation or being diluted so much so that the buyer at source may not even be aware and even if this is known lack of regulation means you the consumer don’t get what you think you are getting.  

There are several different methods of oil extraction some ensure purity and some methods mean solvent such as alcohol is left in the product.  For example real Rose Oil is extremely expensive.  It takes 242,000 rose petals to distill approximately 5 mL of rose oil making this an extremely costly oil to produce.  Rose Absolute that you may see labelled is a cheaper option but this is not a pure oil - it includes the solvent usually alcohol left at the end of the distillation process.  In fact some cheaper “rose oils” are in fact absolutes but poorly labelled.  This is the same for many of the expensive to produce flower oils.

And  in some distilleries or bottling plants  they will dilute the oil with some cheaper oil in order to maximise production but again you the consumer will often have little to no knowledge of this.

Going back to the lavender bottle - further giveaways that the aforementioned product might be less than pure were the words “for external use only”.  Lavender is a hugely beneficial plant internally yet this producer limits this as an option.  Why?  Further testing to achieve food grade is costly and that could be the reason they may argue but if the oil is pure why not embrace that.  So that definitely flags up concerns that it is not the purity that is suggested.
 The next thing I noticed on this other oil was the advice to avoid in pregnant women and babies - lavender oil is safe in both these groups and especially beneficial and the only reason to advise avoidance would be if the oil was not pure.  

I searched a long time to find oils that were good quality, ethical and fitted with my evidence based approach and doTerra oils do all that and so much more.  All doTerra oils are batch tested and these are the tests carried out to ensure essential oil purity:
  1. Organoleptic testing
  2. Microbial testing
  3. Gas chromatography
  4. Mass spectrometry
  5. Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR)
  6. Chirality testing
  7. Isotopic analysis
  8. Heavy metal testing
Plus doTerra employ a third party to carry out further tests and what is even more credible about this latter round of testing is that doTerra are the only company to allow this third party to publish their results to the public.  Therefore you can be guaranteed that what you are getting in the bottle is exactly what is on the outside of the bottle.


This is why doTerra can seem more expensive than other brands because what you are getting is the proper stuff, another point to touch on is the fact that doTerra not only pay farmers fair wages, they pay promptly and help them grow their businesses and communities by provide a whole lot of support - but that is for another time.

Next time you look to buy a bottle of essential oil think about what is in it please get in touch to learn more and join one of my free essential oils made easy classes. 

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