In a word no, and for good reason due to the variability of the end product. Starting with seed stock, process variabilities introduced by climate, harvesting and extraction processes and perhaps most critically, additives to dilute the final products make comparisons an important topic. So, what is the fundamental question – “Why is quality such a big deal?” In short, essential oils are unique in how they are absorbed into the body reaching into every cell with some therapeutic effect. EO’s can also carry unintended contaminates with them, so this must be considered. I will include some independent resources to get you started but do your own research and ask questions of each company you consider.
These are some of the questions I ask:
1. Is the soil being used to grow the plants chemical-free?
2. What type of seed was used? Are they heirloom or non-gmo?
3. How are the plants distilled? Cold-pressed, slow heat, or chemical?
4. What tests are used to ensure quality?
5. Do you know the procedures of the outsourced farms and are they following best practices?
6. Are the oils tested several times before being bottled and shipped to ensure quality?
When I began asking these questions, I was astonished at the number of essential oil companies. One assumption proved wrong. You would think that if an EO is sold in a health food store it should be of premium quality. Unfortunately, this is not the case. There is an abundance of beautiful marketing of less than beautiful products. Beautiful provider websites, cute packaging, quality visuals do not translate to product quality. The proliferation of startup companies is profit-driven, hoping to benefit from the growth in this market. Lacking any FDA requirement for ingestible EOs, we must do our own due diligence for quality and value.
You may think that getting your oils at a discount is a real bargain, but the last time I checked, almond, or olive oil placed in a small bottle with a few drops of the run of the mill essential oils for under $15 is no bargain whatsoever. So please consider looking at a company that has longevity, consistently high-quality protocols and invests in development and production best practices. Finally, we should use a provider focused exclusively on products for human applications. The vast majority of EOs are slated for industrial use and do not need to adhere to the same specifications. Many of these are used in the pesticide industry.
The chart provides some clarity on some of the differences in provider quality. My conclusion after investing in the question, “are all essential oils the same?” is no and to only recommend FDA approved products in order to avoid the guesswork and potential for misuse of low-quality EOs for use with ourselves and families.
I consider my role in this field to be one who is asking the right questions and researching the best answers based on the treatment application. I would love to have a conversation on this topic, please contact me. I look forward to helping you with your journey of discovering essential oils.