Posts tagged ‘Therapeutic effect’

April 12, 2011

Quality vs. Quantity

Is it really worth the money to buy quality oils? Or, are cheaper oils worth the money they cost you?

Although you’ve heard about the different qualities of oils, your mind can not get past the question: Why should I spend $31.00 for a bottle of lavender oil when I can get the same amount at my health food store for $9.95?  Can there really be that much difference between oils?

 

A rose by any other name . . . While Shakespeare may have been right in saying that a rose is a rose, no matter what you call it, calling something rose oil doesn’t make it so.  It takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals to produce one pound of rose oil; and to completely extract the oil, and have it retain its full fragrance, chemistry and frequency, requires a careful, two part distillation process.  This makes a quality rose oil very expensive.  If you can buy a 15 ml bottle for $50.00, you can be sure that it’s not very good.

 

What you smell may not be what you get

Here is the problem: Aromatherapy has become quite a fad, and an ever-growing number of marketers, seeing its money-making potential, have jumped on the essential oils bandwagon, looking for an easy way to make a lot of money.  They’re finding innovative ways to sell anything they can call aromatherapy.

Mostly, what you find are cheap imitations: some sort of oil base to which they’ve added synthetic chemicals to create a fragrance.  Glade® PlugIns® Scented Oil would fall into this category.  I can guarantee you: their Lavender Meadow® has never seen a lavender meadow.

To give you an idea of how ridiculous this is, statistics show that one company — Procter & Gamble — uses two times the amount of essential oils that are actually produced in the entire worldIt makes you wonder: Just what are they calling essential oils?

 

Some companies market essential oils that have been cut with synthetic chemicals or blended with cheaper hybrids.  This is quite common with lavender.  For example, according to the Lavender Growers Association, 100 times more “lavender oil” was exported from France than is actually grown there.  Just where did that lavender come from?

Aromatherapy is far more than just the smell

While some of these so-called aromatherapy products present a pleasing fragrance (at least to a chemically-oriented nose), can cover unpleasant odors, and may have some limited value in relaxation, they have no real value for true aromatherapy.  In some cases, these so-called aromatherapy products can create serious problems, from allergic reactions to irritations to chemical burns.

The quality of the oil makes all the difference

There are at least 200 different companies marketing essential oils in North America.  However, there are many grades of essential oils, and most essential oils available in the United States are of the lowest grade and quality.

Only when using a CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade oil will you see significant benefits.

It’s a very fundamental fact: Effective aromatherapy begins with CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oils.  And only dōTERRA® Essential Oils essential oils can honestly be called CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade, with all the properties needed for effective aromatherapy intact. 

With essential oils, pure is just not enough…

It’s not enough that an essential oil marketer claims that its essential oils are pure, organic, and/or Grade A.

  • To many marketers, purity means only that the oil does not contain a base oil or some other essential oil — that is: that it’s not cut.  The question of whether or not the essential oil is adulterated with chemicals or solvents is not even considered.
  • Likewise, that an essential oil is marketed as organic is little indication of its quality.  Organic oils are certainly better than others, but many oils that are produced from organically-grown plant sources are still contaminated with chemicals during processing, or extracted in a way that produces poor quality oils.
  • Even Grade A oils may lack many of the properties of a truly CPTG®certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oil, even though they may be sold as such.

Why is the quality of so many essential oils so bad?  

Producing a quality oil suitable for aromatherapy requires a lot of skill, patience and expense.  Quite frankly, most producers don’t find it worth their trouble to do it right.

Why? 

Because about 98% of all essential oils are not produced for therapeutic purposes; they are produced for the perfume or cosmetic industries.  Much of the remaining 2% is used for food flavoring (although any of these might be sold for aromatherapy).

These industries are only interested in the oils’ aromatic qualities (that is: that they smell good); and so, techniques are adopted to produce greater quantities of these oils at a faster rate, without any concern for their potential therapeutic benefits.

This has a major impact on the quality of the oils.

Few people appreciate how chemically complex essential oils are.  The average essential oil may contain anywhere from 80 to 200 chemical constituents.  However, these aromatic molecules are very fragile and not easily extracted from the plant material.  Taking shortcuts in the production process will render the oil therapeutically void.  Therefore, it’s possible that, even though an oil is considered pure or Grade A, it may still contain only a fraction of its possible complex chemistry and therapeutic value.

In aromatherapy cosmetic, perfume and CPTG® are not the same.

To most people, these oils smell exquisite; but they lack any true therapeutic properties.  It’s all in how they’re produced.  Many of the important chemical constituents necessary to produce therapeutic results are either flashed off with the high heat of quick production methods, or are never released from the plant material due to shortened distillation times.

Less than two percent of the oils on the market today are produced for therapeutic and medicinal applications.  However, many of the oils produced for the cosmetic or perfume industry are being sold in the United States as therapeutic-grade.  (A rose by any other name may still be a rose; but a marigold is still a marigold, even if you call it a rose.)

Aromatherapy and synthetic fragrances.

Beyond the problem of adulterated oils, there is also the practice of skipping nature altogether, and manufacturing so-called essential oils in the laboratory.

There are huge chemical companies on the east coast of the United States that specialize in the duplication of every essential oil that exists.  For every kilogram of pure essential oil that is produced, it is estimated that there are between 10 and 100 kilograms of synthetic oil created.

And, while chemists have successfully re-created the main constituents and fragrances of some essential oils in the laboratory, the synthetic oils lack any therapeutic benefits, and may even carry serious risks.

Why?

Because real essential oils contain hundreds of different chemical compounds, which, in combination, lend important therapeutic properties to the oil, and balance the therapeutic actions of other essential oil constituents.  (See the article on essential oil chemistry.)  Also, many essential oils contain molecules and isomers that are impossible to manufacture in the laboratory, leaving the synthetic oils incomplete.  And, just as importantly, no one has been able to solve the problem of manufacturing life.  You must never underestimate the importance of kinetic energy in the oils as a therapeutic agent.

A final word: the importance of the real deal!

Adulterated oils present real dangers for consumers.  Anyone venturing into the world of medicinal aromatherapy must use the purest quality oils available.  Inferior quality, adulterated oils most likely will not produce therapeutic results, and they can be very detrimental.  There’s the basic issue of toxicity; but also, petrochemical solvents, such is propylene glycol and diethylphthalate, can all cause allergic reactions.

Adulteration of essential oils will become more and more common as the supply of top-quality essential oils dwindles and demand explodes.  These adulterated essential oils will jeopardize the integrity of aromatherapy in the United States, and may put many people at risk.

And then, there is the issue of mislabeled oils.  The following is an example of the significance of this:

A woman (name withheld to protect her privacy) had heard that lavender oil could heal burns; so when she spilled boiling water on her arm, she used lavender oil she had purchased from a local health food store.  But, instead of healing her burn, the oil only worsened it and intensified her pain.

She concluded that lavender oil was worthless for healing burns, and that aromatherapy was a scam.

When her “lavender” oil was analyzed, however, it was found to be lavandin, a hybrid lavender that is chemically very different from true Lavandula angustifoliaLavandin contains high levels of camphor (12 to 18 percent), and can burn the skin.  In contrast, true lavender contains virtually no camphor, and has burn-healing agents not found in lavandin.

dōTERRA® Essential Oils: Quality oils for safe

and effective aromatherapy.

dōTERRA® Essential Oils promises you that their oils meet — or exceed — the highest standards for therapeutic-grade essential oils and are truely CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade oils.

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