Part 14: Finding Pure Essential Oils
3. If an oil is labeled pure therapeutic grade, can I be sure that it is? No!
Anyone can put anything on the label and then market it. Presently there are no therapeutic regulations on essential oils. The perfume and flavor industry, the largest purchaser of essential oils, uses guidelines called AFNOR. Developed in Europe, AFNOR sets minimum percent concentrations for 3 to 10 compounds of different essential oils. But essential oils have hundreds of compounds, so the most therapeutic compounds could be completely missing, and the oils would still meet AFNOR standards. This is why I have developed Young Living’s very high standards for therapeutic-grade essential oils.
4. If an oil is labeled organic, can I be guaranteed that it is? No!
Not even an oil produced from plants grown on an organic farm can be guaranteed to be organic. Neighboring farms could be spraying different chemicals that easily spread through the air contaminating the organic crop. It’s much like secondhand smoke. In addition, the water used for irrigation could be polluted with chemicals, sick fish, dead animals, or even human waste.
Some distilleries use chemicals in their water systems to protect the water tubes in the boilers from mineral buildup, and those chemicals mix with the water that turns into the steam that travels up through the plant material, which then usually contaminates the oil. Oils extracted from plants grown on an organic farm could also be contaminated with “organic synthetic compounds” that are put directly into the oil that goes into the barrels that go to the buyer. The labels could say “organic” because they come from an organic farm, and rare is the buyer who would ever know the difference.
5. If an oil matches the AFNOR standard, will it be therapeutic grade? Not always.
The parameters of the AFNOR standard from the low to the high range in some cases are far apart, and in other cases, the low range is below what I feel is a therapeutic grade.
6. Can geographic location make a difference in the quality of essential oils? Yes!
The climate, microclimate, temperature range, altitude, rainfall, and soil nutrient levels of a farm all impact the quality of essential oils.
To be continued . . .