How to Determine the Quality of Essential Oils, Part 1


| 9/15/2015 3:16:00 PM


Copper Cup Sage 

The quality of essential oils is often a contentious subject, bringing up feelings of protectiveness and challenging beliefs. I have written this post, not so much as a definitive answer to discerning quality, but rather to raise some valuable points of reference.

The Rise of Essential Oils for Aromatherapy

When I first began my aromatherapy education in England (1988) there were only a handful of companies selling essential oils specifically to the aromatherapy market. What is interesting to note about the British essential oil market is that the first few aromatherapy companies were designed to meet the needs of aromatherapy practitioners. This is in stark contrast to the later developing American market which was primarily retail-driven.

Because the British market was practitioner-driven, the essential oil quality was initially quite high.  It was only years later as interest in aromatherapy spread to the retail market that a plethora of essential oil companies arose both in Britain and even more so in the United States. 

Naturally (no pun intended), with this rise in the number of essential oil suppliers, extremes in quality variation also arose. With such an increase in companies offering essential oils, differentiating between companies selling high-quality and low-quality essential oils became incredibly challenging particularly for the newcomer.



As an aromatherapy practitioner I feel blessed to have grown up, so to speak, with the aromatherapy essential oil trade. I feel even more blessed to have first experienced the high quality of European essential oils and then to have come into the United States to experience essential oils from different companies here.



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