Essential oils refer to compounds extracted from plants, capturing the plant’s scent and flavour, or essence. They are also concentrated hydrophobic liquids containing volatile chemical compounds.
Essential oils have unique aromatic compounds with characteristic essence. They are obtained through distillation (via steam and/or water) or mechanical methods, such as cold pressing.
You can also refer to essential oils as volatile oils, ethereal oils, aetheroleum, or simply as the plant’s oil from which they were extracted, such as oil of clove.
Research has shown suggested several health benefits of essential oils. Some are used to help relieve headaches, find balance during meditation practice, or diffuse a room with an invigorating aroma that can help you kickstart your day.
It is, however, important to talk with your healthcare provider before you begin using essential oils. Such a person is an authority that has probably researched the quality of some brand products. You can also do a patch test before trying a new essential oil.
As a regular user of the product or a newbie, you will need to know what’s really in those bottles to be sure if you’re buying a knockoff or the real deal. This is because not all essential oils are created with utmost purity and authenticity. Unfortunately, they don’t face strict regulations from the governments.
For several decades, many have used essential oils. But recently, wellness has turned into a booming industry. This has made EOs more readily available to consumers than ever before.
So, here are some of what to look out for when buying essential oils.
Everyone wants a product of high quality. So, how do you detect if an essential oil is of high quality and authentic? It would help if you strengthened your sense of smell. In this way, you need to spend some time comparing and contrasting various essential oils with the guidance of a professional. This will help you to become more alert in an olfactory way.
2. Check the bottle
A quality essential oil is in a tightly sealed dark (usually amber) glass bottle. It is mostly less than 4 ounces, while the most common size is a half-ounce (15 milliliters).
Wondering why in a dark bottle? This is because light and heat can damage essential oils, and the highly volatile chemical compounds in EOs don’t mix well with plastic. So they must be kept in a glass. This means if you ever see an essential oil in a plastic bottle, avoid buying it.
3. Clear labeling
Any manufacturer who has nothing to hide must provide a clear label about his brand. The label should clearly state the common and the Latin name of the plant used in producing the oil. It should also display the plant parts used, how it was extracted (distillation or expression), and how it was grown (aka organic, wild-crafted, traditional).
The label must also specify that the product is 100 percent pure essential oil, listing the net contents (including metric measurement).
Some products write “essence oil” on their label – that’s not a pure essential oil but typically a product with a blend of essential oil(s) in a base of carrier oil, which is great for certain applications but is not pure essential oil.
On the label, there should also be a list of all ingredients in the formula. A pure essential oil should have only one ingredient.
4. Verify the source
Recheck the label to find out where it was sourced from. A label should state the country of origin. For instance, if you’re buying from a website, the product page should state where the oil is from, even if the individual bottles fail to do so.
To know that essential oil is not authentic, here are the common signs.
Once you see a label outright that says “fragrance oil” and there’s no Latin name present, it’s not an essential oil. These are products with a mixture of some plants that aren’t capable of yielding an essential oil.
Another thing you can take look out for when buying essential oils is the smell. You can take a sniff just be sure. This is because essential oils are so concentrated, and usually smell quite potent and natural.
6. No Latin name
Once you see no Latin and common name on the label, avoid it. The product is likely to be a mix of synthetic perfumed “fragrance oil.” Most, if not all, high quality essential oils must include the common name and latin name of the essential oil on their label. This is a basic information, and a vital clue that indicates if you’re buying a good quality brand of essential oil. For example, Tea Tree essential oil is Melaleuca alternifolia.
Essential oils can be a very expensive products. That is because it takes a huge amount of plants to make one little bottle. So, be wary of excessively low priced essential oils.
However, the highest-priced bottle might not be the best choice either because the sale of essential oils has become retail-driven than practitioner-driven in recent times.
In conclusion, no manufacturer or supplier will claim to sell low-quality or adulterated essential oils. So, learn to see through clever marketing by adopting the tips stated above.
More importantly, talk to your healthcare provider before using essential oils if you haven’t before.