Essential oils are made by extracting different parts of different plants. Therefore, they come in incredible large range of types. And with its amazing benefits for people, there are so many essential oils manufacturers who sell essential oils in the market. They all guarantee their essential oils are the best and 100% ‘pure’, which make us confused. Actually, it is quite difficult to identify the quality of essential oils unless we already use it for a while. However, there are some things you should notice when purchasing essential oils in order to choose the best ones for you.
The term “purity” is one of the most important factors for evaluating the quality of essential oils, especially the oils used for therapeutic functions. However, there haven’t been any official definitions or standards of “purity” for essential oils. The 100% pure essential oil can be generally understood as the oils that distilled from 100% natural materials without adding any additives or synthentic chemicals. Of course, this understanding is just relative because even if the essential oils are affirmed of produced by only natural material, it is not sure to be the 100% pure one in case that natural material is not ‘pure’ enough.
There are many reasons to reduce or effect on the purity of essential oils. The first and most popular reason is some manufacturers incidentally adulterate others components such as additive, chemicals to make essential oils in order to save the production cost. The other reason is the plants to distill essential oils is not qualified enough for extracting (the farm where to grow the plants doesn’t provide enough good factors to create the best components for making essential oils, for example the soils is poor, the weather is inappropriate, problem in harvesting,…). The last reason is that the distilling process sometimes can impact on some components of essential oils (eliminate some components or change the chemical balance of the oil).
The fact is we have no way to check whether or not the essential oils are totally pure or not because we cannot define the components just by looking or smelling. That’s why we have no choice but trusting the prestige brands, checking through quality tests (such as GC or MS tests).
Checking the label attached on each bottle of essential oil is really important. Usually, the good quality essential oils are contained all the details of information about the product. You should buy the essential oils which are cleared about country of origin, method of distillation, distillation date and expiration date, and especially the botanic name (Latin name). These information are all affected on the quality of the essential oils. The botanic name of essential oil is a real matter because different chemotypes can provide different composition. For example, there are multiple varieties of rosemary or bay or cedarwood and each type has different components which can change the therapeutic functions. The country of origin can provide the information of weather conditions, soil condition that have impact on the quality of the plants.
Essential oils are very sensitive to the container and the environment, therefore, it is important to use specific container. Most of the essential oils are held in the dark colored glass bottle because dark color (especially amber) make essential oils not be damaged by the light, and glass is the material which is not dissolved by essential oils. Aluminum is another acceptable material used for bottling essential oils. You should avoid the essential oils bottles with rubber eyedropper bulb in the top because essential oil also can dissolve rubber.
4. Organic, unsprayed, wildcrafted
Organic essential oils are always the prior choice when purchasing essential oils. Anything related to ‘organic’ means no synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers used to grow the plants. And the essential oils labeled organic are the indicators of high quality and free-chemicals. ‘Unsprayed’ means the plant growers don’t spray their herb farm. And some essential oils are certified as ‘wildcrafted’ which means their plants is cultivated in completely natural environment or harvested from wilderness areas.
Choosing the prestige and ensured essential oil brands is the easiest way to have the high quality essential oils. You should choose the suppliers who make you feel trusted and comfortable with clear and explicit processes of making essential oils, from origin of materials, distillation processing to packaging and storing. These brands need to have diverse experiences about essential oils (you can check on their websites or online stores) as well as a long-term excellent reputation which is valued by many customers. Some popular brands are Young Living, Rose Mountain Herb, doTERRA, Aura Carcia, etc.
Moreover, you should choose the brands which is the member of NAHA (the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) because if they are its member, they will meet the quality standard of NAHA – the non-profit American educational organization devoted to aromatherapy.
In short, there are 5 things you should consider when choosing the best essential oils for using, especially for diffuser. They are purity (GC/ MS testing), label, organic/unsprayed/wildcrafted, brands and bottling.