Back in June of 2017, my blog post touched on today’s topic: Essential Oil Quality Matters. Not all essential oils (EO) or suppliers are the same. Many of them are out to make a quick buck off of the ignorance of the general populace by using words like “Therapeutic,” “All Natural,” “100% pure,” and more. All of those words sound great, but you need to understand something about essential oils.
The EO industry is not regulated.
“Oh my word! That’s terrible! Why not?” Well, it all comes down to intended use. According to the FDA:
Under the law, how “aromatherapy” products are regulated depends mainly on how they are intended to be used. The FDA determines a product’s intended use based on factors such as claims made in the labeling, on websites, and in advertising, as well as what consumers expect it to do. We also look at how a product is marketed, not just a word or phrase taken out of context. Finally, we make decisions on a case-by-case basis.
We Have to Tread Lightly…
Registered Aromatherapists (RA) are trained to be very careful about the claims that we make. We are very clear with our clients that EOs do not ‘treat’ or ‘cure’ any diseases. Which, by golly, is totally true! EOs can help to maintain balance in our body’s systems the same way that food does. If you’re eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly, EOs can help keep your body functioning at optimal levels. If your body is out of balance for whatever reason, you can use EOs to remind your body to get to work on that particular area so it can heal itself. Remember? Our bodies were designed to heal themselves.
I, for one, am thankful that the EO industry is not regulated by the FDA. As a liberty minded individual, I really don’t want the government involved in my health choices! Seriously!
Quality Claims and Scams are Everywhere
On Facebook, I follow a page titled Essential Oil University. Every Wednesday, the owner of the page Dr. Robert S. Pappas, publishes a post titled “Watchdog Wednesday” where he focuses on quality matters. Each week he highlights an essential oil company that is scamming the general public. The past two weeks have been companies that have the Amazon’s Choice badge (like a seal of approval). For the unsuspecting consumer, this would seem to be a good thing. Dr. Pappas, however, goes into detail about why these companies are selling substandard products and how they can’t possibly live up to their claims (remember that FDA claim thing?).
My Own Lack of Understanding…
Before I went to school, I bought some essential oils off the shelf not understanding that quality matters. Once I started learning, though, those were quickly disposed of. I conducted my own organoleptic testing of the oils and found them to definitely be adulterated and substandard.
It does sadden me to know that people are being duped by the wording that some of these companies are using in their marketing materials. But, help is out there! You can follow Dr. Pappas on FB, you can read the article I mentioned above, and you can contact a Registered Aromatherapist before purchasing any Essential Oils.
Just yesterday a friend of mine contacted me with an EO question and I was able to, in just a few short texts, educate her and point her in the right direction.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.
P.S. Since I originally hit the publish button for this Blog post, I’ve been contacted by Dr. Pappas, who is a much better researcher than I am, to inform me that an article I had originally linked was bogus. I did some digging and found that he was correct. I am not above admitting my own mistakes. Thank you Dr. Pappas for everything you do!
I have removed the link, and all of that information, from the blog.