Angela loves non-toxic living and markets for an online store where she educates people about healthier living choices.
Essential oils are used in everything from shampoo, laundry soap, to skincare regimens. Some use them for the pleasant fragrance; others use it for their healing properties, while still others use them for their ability to sanitize your house naturally after the flu. They are a great alternative to using synthetic fragrances as far fewer people seem reactive to them. They also do not contain the toxins that many non-natural fragrances contain. Unfortunately, there is a lot of people who do not know about essential oils like what exactly is it, what are all these tests about, and can we ingest them. These are basic facts one must know when choosing an essential oil company to use.
What is an Essential Oil?
Essential oils are a very concentrated version of a dried herb. In its purest form, they are extracted directly from a botanical plant. They use the seeds, leaves, bark, stems, fruit rinds, flowers, among other parts of these plants. When choosing an oil, you want to choose one that is free of synthetics, fillers, and impurities, which many companies prove by providing the tests that they do on each of their oils to assure the utmost quality.
Essential oils are diffused, applied topically, used in massage therapy, inhaled, and bathed in. Due to the potency of essential oil, it is crucial to use with a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil or sweet almond oil.
When choosing a company, you want to make sure it is one that cares about quality, such as how pure the oil is, where it was grown, how it was grown, and how it was distilled.
What Tests Are Done on Essential Oils?
There are several different tests that companies do to assure that their product is the utmost quality. It is essential to look into the tests each company uses to ensure that your oils are of the utmost quality. There are several tests to provide the products have proper coloring, appearance, fragrance, and purity. Companies will often boast these tests with pride to prove they have done their research, and their oil is one of the best. But what do these tests name mean, and what are they testing. Here is a brief overview of the most common.
Chirality Testing - This assures that there are no synthetic elements in the product.
Flash Point Testing - This measures the combustibility of the oil.
GC-MS Testing - GC-MS is short for Gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. This method analyzes different substances in a test sample. This tests how pure and potent the sample is and identifies what is in each oil.
Heavy Metal/Pesticide/Herbal Testing - This tests to assure that there are no heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides within the oil.
Isotopic Analysis - Measures the potency and quality of the oil by breaking it down to the atomic level and analyzing it.
Microbial Testing - This assures that there are no biohazardous microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, mold, and pathogens. This is done by taking a sample and putting it in a sterile dish and monitored to see if any microbial growth occurs.
Optical Rotation - This analyzes the molecular structure of the item, which will allow the tester to assure that there are no synthetic compounds in the item.
Organoleptic Testing - Tests the smell, color, and consistency of the sample. This test is often the first test of the oil before any other tests begin because it shows the first sign that something is not right with that batch of oils.
Refractive Index Testing - This measures the density and potency of the oil, by refracting light into it.
Specific Gravity Testing - This compares the density of the oil against water.
What Does "Therapeutic Grade" Mean?
Many companies will classify their oils as therapeutic grade. Unfortunately, this classification does not prove that an item has any quality because it is not an actual industry standard. The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy states, "There is no such thing as therapeutic grade." Unfortunately, there is not a grading system for essential oils, and this term is used solely for marketing purposes.
What Essential Oils Can Be Ingested?
Essential oils are extreme concentrates of a dried herb, which means that it could be as much as 100 times more concentrated than the plant where it is derived. Therefore, unless overseen by a healthcare professional, an essential oil should not be consumed, as a very small amount can be harmful due to its potency. Even natural products can be detrimental in large amounts. It is advisable to be aware of how much an item should be diluted if applying to the skin or consumed.
The FDA uses the term GRAS to identify certain oils as "generally recognized as safe" for consumption and use in flavoring. Keep in mind one drop goes a long way. Be wary of companies that promote the ingestion of their products, as this can be dangerous without being overseen by a medical professional.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Angela Michelle Schultz
Angela Michelle Schultz (author) from United States on March 04, 2020:
I am lucky enough that I found a store that only uses plant-based fragrances or essential oils, so even though I am allergic to some fragrances, I am not allergic to any of theirs. I know you said you are allergic to some natural fragrances, so I don't know if it would work for you though, because they do have some non-essential oil fragrances.
Doris James MizBejabbers from Beautiful South on March 01, 2020:
Very good information about essential oils here. I must be very careful not go get any perfumed oil, natural or synthetic on my skin because I'm very allergic to some of them and haven't determined the ones that I can tolerate. I've had some nasty breakouts from touching the bottle on which some careless person had left a residue. That goes for scented candles, too. I hate that because I really love the oils. A friend gave me a lava bead bracelet with a set of essential oils to dab on it. I love the bracelet, which has pretty chakra stones, too, but I wear it sans oils.