Four Primary Types of Essential Oils
There are numerous options for purchasing essential oils, but by far they are not equal. There are some truly premium oils created by very small businesses or individuals. These are great, but these companies or individuals are not prepared to produce a mass-quantity of consistently high-quality and pure, premium oils. There are also EOs widely distributed on the market, but my issue with them is their capability to produce results as impressive as those in real, clinical trials. When tested for consistency and quality, these products are true-to-label that they are for recreational or therapeutic value. The frustration I have with their marketing is the implication seems to include reference to the medical-laboratory studies which were conducted with clinical – grade oils. Their products can produce some value of therapeutic relief, to borrow their term. However, the products cannot produce the complete value that clinical – grade products will. For me, I wanted results as great as those touted in the scientific clinical studies of the value of essential oils. This meant that I needed the same quality oils.
With all of the EO options available, how does one sort through them and choose? I do not have a short answer, but I can provide some insight.
Essential oils have four primary types:
- Recreational use, such as for scented candles, perfumes, household products, and personal care–lotions, potions, and even potpourri. They smell decent enough, but do not have the capability to impact health for a desired positive effect.
- Food-grade oils, as used for food, candy, soda, toothpaste, and coffee flavoring, to name a few. You may notice differences in the cinnamon or lemon flavors of one particular brand of cooking product to another, if you bake much, or in vanilla or hazelnut flavors, for example, for coffee.
- Next is the group that is forefront to the issue of benefit and value of essential oils, and the confusion of quality in them:
so-called and self-certified oils are actually created to a company’s own standard of quality and then labeled with a certification process which is also self-created, but does not hold up scientifically. These companies know at the ownership level that their own products are not consistent in quality, or prepared for scientific scrutiny, but they truly aren’t committing themselves to be used in serious scientific laboratory studies. This standard is not their goal. This is fine. However, their sales force do read and share the true clinical value of an essential oil, then recommend a therapeutic grade oil to achieve that result. The therapeutic oil will, to a degree, even provide that–just not to the extent that it is possible to have. I am not bashing them–there is truth in their label, if you know the limits of “therapeutic value.” I have 7 brands labeled “therapeutic.” You know band-aid or butterfly dressing, or pressure dressing will be “therapeutic” to a deep knife wound. Sutures will clinically resolve the issue! A throat lozenge will ease streptococcus throat infection. Penicillin will clinically eliminate it.
- Finally….clinical graded essential oils. These are used for professional, medicinal, and clinical uses. When a scientist uses lavender oil to study it with the goal of producing a medicinal benefit, the lavender oil must meet standards of purity and potency to a botanical library standard, to a standard accepted worldwide by the medical/scientific research community. These tests are complicated, though I will explain it in another post. Clinical grading assures the use of the most potent varieties of lavender to produce a desired result. A scientist will not just use any lavender–he will test it and determine that what he is going to use in his laboratory will meet the scrutiny of his peers.
When I apply lavender for stress reduction, I don’t want a band-aid result, I want assurance that I can “close the wound.” Make sense? By applying the scientific standard for medicinal/clinical value, essential oils can now be created and relied upon for personal use in and be trusted for consistency and purity in every bottle.
By learning to use essential oils simply and effectively, one can take ownership of wellness, in a moment–one drop at a time.
Explaining distillation and cold-press processes will come, soon. There is a standard and also ways essential oils could be manipulated in this process, also.