(January 2015 edit: along with this series, please make sure to read my follow-up post with more info about essential oil suppliers and practices.)
You don’t have to read much about essential oils to discover that there is a bit of controversy over which brands are better quality. Certain brands (namely Young Living and doTerra) claim that their oils are the only pure essential oils available. While I have no doubt that their oils are good quality, I’m always a little skeptical of companies who claim that they are the only source for a particular product.
Skepticism regarding their exclusivity aside, I never really got into Young Living or doTerra oils mostly because of the price…they’re very expensive! And while Aaron and I feel strongly that buying quality natural products can contribute to lower health costs in the long run, there are obviously budget limits to that and very expensive essential oils don’t fit.
That was the reason that I was so excited a couple years ago when I saw that my favourite natural health company, Beeyoutiful, was going to start carrying essential oils. I had been buying stuff from Beeyoutiful since the company’s beginning and I trusted their products to be quality and affordable.
But I was curious…I knew Beeyoutiful’s essential oils were of good quality, but why did they say “for aromatherapy use only”, when companies like Young Living called their’s “Therapeutic Grade”? And how could they sell the oils at such a cheaper price than the other quality essential oils?
So I asked. In the past, Beeyoutiful had always been very good about answering my product questions and giving me any information that I asked for. I sent an email to their customer service asking the questions above and a couple others and they got back to me right away. What followed was a very eye-opening and informative email conversation that only served to heighten my respect for Beeyoutiful as a company. Since this email conversation, they have put up a great article on their site that details much of what I learned in the emails and more. I strongly encourage you to read it in its entirety, but below is a quote that details something I found very interesting
There is no such system for essential oils. There is no standards committee. There are no independent certifying agencies. You will see some companies have actually trademarked their terms, “therapeutic grade” or “medicinal grade”. This is marketing on their part, a way of differentiating themselves from the competition and making people feel like the oils they are getting are of the highest quality while others meet lower standards. But there are no standards. There are no grades for essential oils. … [W]hile our oils are used by us and many others for therapies, for medicines, and for aromatherapy, we do not call them “therapeutic grade”, or “medicinal grade”, or “aromatherapy grade” because there is no such thing, except in marketing. We are committed to a straightforward, honest approach to selling our products, and stay away from such gimmicks.
I realize that this post could sound like an advertisement for Beeyoutiful, and while I personally trust and use their products, you shouldn’t just take my word for it. We each need to research for ourselves what we feel is best to use with our families and try to see past the marketing hype and patented phrases.
Coming tomorrow: learning how to use essential oils safely.