Saturday, March 11, 2017
How to Choose the Right Essential Oils for You--Part II
Last week, I talked about some of the primary things you need to know about choosing a high-quality effective and safe essential oil company, and this week I'm going to go into a bit more detail of what sets some of the companies I've used apart from the others, which ones I've used or at least gotten to check out in person, and what I have and haven't liked about certain brands.
As I mentioned, there have been some brands who had the purity I sought, and some even have exemplary testing methods, but I was disappointed when I actually tried their oils because I didn't feel they were effective enough since they lacked volatility...meaning that I can hardly smell them, and if you can't smell an oil very well then it feels very weak. Even some that seemed to have enough volatility lacked some effectiveness.
The first brands I tried were the normal Aura Cacia and NOW brands that you can find at health food stores because I really didn't know much. Both are cheap and definitely lack purity. NOW brand is a food-grade essential oil brand and Aura Cacia is one I used for comparison for purity because you can smell the chemicals in it.
The first brand that I used that is actually supposed to be a pure, therapeutic grade essential oil and truly began my education was dōTERRA. Although I left for different reasons, I'm glad that I did leave this company since it's ethics are questionable and so is its purity. First is the CPTG claim, which is untrue. There is no such thing. For more details about that, read this blog post. Then there's the claims about some of their oils, like peppermint--theirs smells like a candy cane, which means that it's what is called a "complete distillation", or a food-grade peppermint being sold as a first distillation therapeutic grade peppermint. Then there's the fact that they're re-bottling essential oils and selling them at prices similar to Young Living who grows, distills and bottles their own because they're an MLM (more on that in a moment).
Next I tried a few brands, one of which was Ananda Apothecary. I had to send them back because although they passed smell tests, when I added one to my water bottle it tasted like gasoline. (Yes, I use mine internally because of my training from the MLMs who follow the French Aromatherapy methods, so purity is even more important--though honestly, all usage of essential oils is internal because what you breathe in and what you apply to your skin go straight into your bloodstream.) Anyway, ugh! I'll give credit to their customer service for taking back all of my opened bottles of oil and crediting me in full for them. Another brand I used for a while was Birch Hill Happenings, a small re-bottling company owned by a very nice couple. Their purity is definitely there, but again their peppermint smells just a little less herbal than a first distillation ought to smell and I found their Blue Muscle Mend not to be as effective as dōTERRA's Deep Blue or Young Living's Cool Azul. I will say that most of their oils had a better, fuller bouquet than dōTERRA's and they were the brand I used for a while after leaving there. They have really good customer service and are both friendly and quick to respond. They also have fast shipping.
Then I joined Young Living. Now, I have to give them credit for both purity and potency, and I love a lot of what they're doing. My biggest qualm is that they are an MLM and it's only worth paying the high price for such oils if you're going to make a business out of selling them. They have become the standard by which I have judged all others when comparing for both smell and effectiveness. I love their sustainability. My other issue is with things like the fact that their lavender is grown on a farm here in the US and many of their other essential oils are grown on farms that might not be in the most ideal locations for harvesting them for their therapeutic benefits, especially since many are here in the US.
So, I started looking for a really good company again. I read many blogs that compared a lot of companies in order to speed up my process and save myself a lot of money (which is why I'm writing this, to add to that and help others do the same if I can). I tried Rocky Mountain Oils because they were highly recommended by several bloggers, but I was truly disappointed by their potency. They test better than most companies and the purity is there, but potency is important too, even more so if you're going to dilute your oils (more on that in a future post). I also wasn't real happy that many of their blends are diluted since I prefer to purchase the synergy blend and dilute my own if I'm going to do so. My skin isn't that sensitive, so I tend to use many singles and blends neat or to use them internally, so I don't like carrier oils already mixed in--at least give me the option (like my #1 choice does).
I also checked out Organic Swiss Aromatics, another company recommended by an aromatherapist's blog and it's owned by an aromatherapist who is a respected author and expert in the industry, and again I was disappointed in the lack of potency. Another very popular company whose oils I got to "meet" because a friend of mine uses them, but was again disappointed in, was Edens Garden. Again, it was the potency that was a let down for me, though they've been lauded by Dr. Robert Pappas for being the best non-MLM essential oil company. All of these have reasonable and fast shipping, and I haven't tried their customer service.
A word on MLMs in general: honestly, I feel all of them sell over-priced products because the "freebies" they "give away" and the fantastic trips they send distributors of certain levels on have to be paid for somehow, as do the commissions they pay everyone, and you're paying for that with every single product you purchase. So, while they're a wonderful way to start a business, and you can write off everything you buy if you do so, you have to be prepared to build your life around using and selling these products. Personally, I'm not a salesperson and this model just doesn't work for me...and I don't care how they try to say it, you're constantly trying to sell the products. Also, in my experience, most have really slow and expensive shipping!
So, what company did I choose? This is already long, so I'll write one final blog post and reveal that answer and my reasons. I'll actually give my top three recommendations and then it's up to you to try some companies and decide for yourself!