Only as far back as 10 years ago, essential oils were only a small market product available only through professional aromatherapists on order basis. Today, essential oils are on a massive production scale and big businesses are growing mono-crops to go mainstream. But in the process, going mainstream may also mean hiking prices. This is because mass manufacturing and mass plantations mean using heavy amounts of pesticides, mass harvesting, and covering the heavy costs of manufacturing, labeling, and mass marketing.
So based on this, you need to know how to choose essential oils that are not only high quality but also safe. Remember that essential oils are a powerful medicine and healing tool, but if you’re buying low quality, you might as well be applying snake oil on your skin. Essential oils are basically used for inhalation in combination with skin absorption, so they generally bypass the body’s natural protective and detoxification mechanisms. Oils inhaled and rubbed on the skin can go directly into the bloodstream.
Take a look at price differences
For this, you need to do your research. Essential oil pricing will depend on the yield of oil from a plant. For instance, it takes around 60 roses or neroli orange blossoms for one drop of essential oil for each type. Therefore, it’s understandable that rose or neroli oil may be priced around $80 while lavender oil of the same volume will only be around $20.
Fancy claims and names
“Nature Identicals” is a fancy word to watch out for because it simply translates to molecules of synthetic chemical odorants rather than using the natural extracted oil from plants. Another fancy term is “Synthetic Identical” because it simply implies that other ingredients were used to duplicate the chemical “identical” of a specific oil.
Proper use of botanical names
When ordering or searching for essential oils, always insist on using the proper botanical name. True oil manufacturers will recognize the true botanical name. They will also use it on their labels together with the genus, plant species, cultivar, chemotype, hybrid, and other pertinent information.
The manufacturing process
A trusted oil company can explain to you how they distilled their oil or if they are using another longer process such as “cold pressing.” Also, inquire which parts of the plant are being processed for production because using the cheaper and more abundant plant parts will give a below average product. For instance, cinnamon oil must be made from cinnamon bark, not cinnamon leaf.
Trust your nose
Smelling cheap synthetic oil next to a pure product will sniff out the difference. You could purchase a few cheap products (they’re so dirt cheap anyway) and practice comparing with authentic essential oils. As your nosed becomes practiced, it becomes easier for your nose to tell you the truth.