oils-standardization-qualityThis week was my interview for the Healthy Gut Thinner You Summit. Below is link to access it and some additional resources for you on essential oils quality.

Last Friday, I had my interview for the Healthy Gut Thinner You Summit with my friend and colleague, Margaret LeDane.  As I mentioned in my previous blog and E-blast, Margaret was great at keeping me on track in order to make our chat about essential oils applicable and user-friendly. All the interviews are approximately 30 minutes and available for 3 days, for free.  (My interview can be viewed for free through October 18, 2016.)

During the interview, Margaret asked me what company I used. Due to it being an online summit and discussing research, FDA guidelines caution against association between specific products and peer-reviewed literature. However, many of you are aware of my answer. I chose a company that I believe in due to the success I’ve had personally and professionally. I have visited some of its farms and have experienced first-hand their passion, science, and integrity in quality of their product from seed to seal.

How can you know you are getting quality essential oils? The goal of this two-part blog is to give you what I’ve learned in the past fifteen years on essential oils in a digestible format. When I first started out using the oils, it was a lot easier to sift through the hype, marketing, defaming, and biases, for no other reason in that it was just not popular a product!

 

First, here is a list of some of my previous blogs on this topic:

Can I eat this oil?

Quality vs. Standardization

Safety (Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)

 

Certificates of Analysis

A certificate of analysis (CA) is a document that details a product’s specifications and quality testing results. This is to ensure the consumer that it meets its claims and reported standards. In regards to an essential oil, CAs will often include Gas Chromatography (GC/MS) results of various molecules present and deemed important for that specific oil.

Unfortunately, it’s becoming harder these days to get an essential oil’s CA from some companies due to propriety claims and popularity. If you are able to obtain them, you will notice they can vary greatly from vendor to vendor and from product to product. I have discovered that CAs have several caveats to consider. I’ve listed them below:

  • Not all essential oil manufactures deem the same active constituents as important in the standardization of their products. This can cause confusion of “standardization vs. quality.”
  • Just because a constituent is present, doesn’t mean the oil is of high quality.
  • Some essential oils are 100% sourced from a company’s own farms, trusted suppliers, or esteemed producers of them. These can be verified in house and/or third party tested. Other manufactures’ oils may not be as carefully sourced and could be adulterated. Furthermore, there may not be honesty regarding results, sources, or production.
  • Acceptable values for the composition of these components that are found on CAs of essential oils usually contain a range to account for natural variation within the oil. This is helpful for several reasons:
    • Temperature, time of year, and environmental variations will affect which secondary metabolites are more prominent. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
    • Essential oils that reside in the plant are constantly changing their chemical composition. This helps the plant to adapt to the ever-changing internal and external environment. Variations ensure the company is not trying to “spike the oil” with synthetics in order to have consistency. Rather, they are honoring how secondary metabolites vary through the seasons, according to the plants’ needs.

We will determine our discussion on what determines quality essential oils next week, including an example of a company I trust.