How to find the best essential oils… a question easier asked than answered. If you are like me you’ve probably spent countless hours researching and studying up on essential oils and various companies, only to go into purchasing with more trepidation than confidence, or given up in frustrated defeat after you can’t make sense of your findings on top of all the opinions out there. It feels something like locating and gathering a set of darts that have been haphazardly strewn all over the house, and once I have them and am ready to enjoy throwing them at a dart board I realize… I don’t know where that is either.
If you have a desire to find the best essential oils in a practical, straightforward, scientific way that will allow you to dodge all the clever marketing tactics being thrown your way, then this 4 Part Blog Series is for you.
How To Find the Best Essential Oils
Chances are if you are reading this you are interested in buying essential oils, but the more research you do to make sure you are buying high-quality, pure essential oils, the more confused and overwhelmed you become. Does that sound familiar? If your answer is yes, then I’ve got great news, my friend (and if we aren’t friends yet we will be before this series is through, because together we are embarking on a journey to uncover the entire crazy kaleidoscope of information relating to essential oils, and slay through all the unimportant or unknowable… and I’m going to make it EASY. So see? We will soon be friends… Ok, end of long tangential bonding analogy 😉 ).
I’ve read many, many articles on how to determine if the essential oils you are buying are in fact pure and natural, and therefore effective, safe, and not a waste of hard-earned money. There is no denying these articles contain good information, but the research shared only touches on a few pieces of a massive pie. And even with those pieces being discussed, there are other parts of the pie completely missing, and I had an insatiable hunger for the whole pie.
I craved to know what factors actually matter in determining the best essential oil. And then once I know that information, how do I verify that the company I’m buying from is providing the best essential oils?
I searched high and low and nothing I read fully satisfied this hungry itch…
There was only one thing for my crazy, nerdy, science-loving-brain to do–esearch and find the answers myself, share my findings with anyone hunting for a comprehensive and scientific approach to finding the best essential oils company, and create a checklist for ANYONE to evaluate ANY essential oil company to MEASURE in an objective way what companies produce the best essential oils.
The checklist I will share later in this series has allowed me the peace of mind to evaluate essential oils companies objectively and ignore all the clever and seductive marketing talk of purity.
My friends, I am happy to say that after over 24 months of research (did I mention I was a crazy-motivated science-loving nerd?) I have compiled my findings in a simplified fashion that I will share in a four-part blog series, as well as a checklist you can print off to evaluate your favorite essential oils companies to see how they measure up.
When this series is through you will understand and be able to use the following information:
- The Life Cycle of an Essential Oil from Seed to Market – Part 1
- Grade, Purity, and Integrity of Essential Oils – Part 2
- Guidelines for Buying the Best Essential Oils Do’s & Don’ts & Proceed With Caution – Part 3
- How to find the BEST Essential Oils Company – Part 4
Let’s dig in!
Life Cycle of an Essential Oil from Seed to Market
We are all familiar with the basic pattern of growing things: plant a seed in the soil, water it, make sure it gets enough sun, and voila! You have a plant! But when we are talking about essential oils, there is so much more to it than that.
For a plant to be capable of producing a high quality essential oil there are many factors with high impact, including plant species, growing conditions, soil pH and quality, cloud cover or sun exposure, moisture, and temperature. Essential oils are formed in very small structures within the leaves, flowers, roots, bark, or other parts of the plant. The amount of essential oil, and the exact mix of chemical elements, known individually as constituents, are constantly changing within the plant. Everything affects this production: time of day, time of year, maturity of plant, weather conditions, etc. Depending on the type of plant, there are even ideal seasons and specific times of day to harvest the crop.
Harvesting is done either by hand, or mechanically with traditional farming equipment. Rose essential oil is one of the most expensive, and when I learned about the harvesting process I understood why. Over SIX-HUNDRED pounds of rose petals, picked BY HAND every morning before the sun’s rays have a chance to release the fragrant oils into the air, just to make 1 pure ounce of rose essential oil. It’s pricey, but it totally makes sense.
Contrast that with peppermint essential oil. Peppermint plants are hardy and grow easily without much care, they can be harvested rapidly with farm equipment, and they can produce a large amount of quality oil without a lot of fuss. As such, they are one of the cheapest essential oils to buy.
After the plant is harvested the essential oils need to be extracted, and when the plant matter is anything other than seed, root, or wood it is typically done the same day to minimize loss due to evaporation. Extraction is usually done by steam or water distillation, cold pressing (citrus fruit oils), CO2 extraction (relatively new to the industry, pricey, but really effective), or by the use of a solvent. The extracted essential oil is placed in proper containers and stored until it is sold on the open market.
And there you have it, a high-level understanding of the life cycle of an essential oil, and the intricacies and complexities that go into producing the highest quality essential oils.
Next up in the series of How To Find The Best Essential Oils Company is Part 2 – Understanding Grade, Purity, and the Integrity of Essential Oils.
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Let me know if you have any questions, I would be happy to answer them. 🙂