Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy

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Birch Hill Happenings Aromatherapy, LLC


Essential Oil - Explaining Quality & Grade

by Penny Keay

We are asked very often about the “Quality” or “Grade” of our oils.

Once you have read this article you will have a better understanding of the purpose of the quality of essential oils we seek for you, our customer, for use in Therapeutic Aromatherapy.

And to understand there is no ‘grading’ system established for essential oils in the USA or throughout the world.

There are many essential oil suppliers throughout the world but not all essential oils are used in Therapeutic Aromatherapy.

In fact, the majority of essential oils are used in the food and flavoring industry.

The next industry is the perfume industry.

And although essential oils used in both of those industries may produce a therapeutic response their quality is not dependant on providing the results for massage or medical applications.

In the food, flavoring and perfumery industry the flavor and especially the smell are of utmost importance.

And if the essential oil(s) used in a particular formulation don’t meet the expectation or requirement for the manufacturer they will have their chemists ‘manipulate’ the oil with man-made chemicals to ‘standardize’ the end product.

They want their finished product to always smell and taste the same.

They may start with the basic essential oil but most often they will have been altered or what we call ‘adulterated’ to meet certain criteria needed by the food processor, manufacturer or perfumer.

Fragrance oils are usually made from a majority of man-made laboratory created scents. They may have a few essential oils but the main components of fragrance oils are man-made in a laboratory and have no therapeutic value.

Fragrance oils are often times detrimental to your health. They do not have a plant name nor do they have a botanical name. They have names like Fresh linens, Berries and Cream etc.

Finding essential oils that have not been manipulated by either the original farmer; during distillation; or someone along the distribution chain can be a challenge for anyone in the aromatherapy business.

Fortunately for you, our customer, we have suppliers that ARE in the therapeutic aromatherapy business. They are aware that we need and demand the highest quality essential oils for use in the medical or therapeutic aspects of the ‘aroma’ business.

We want essential oils that have not been manipulated, and not standardized by a laboratory or been adulterated or diluted by anyone along the way.

The essential oils we provide are analyzed by laboratories that specialize in therapeutic aromatherapy.

They know and understand the plants chemical makeup and what constituents are necessary and the percentages of those needed to provide the ‘therapeutic’ aromatherapy industry the essential oils that will produce medical and therapeutic result.

Please know that we, ourselves, do not understand all the chemical makeup of essential oils. We have to rely on the expertise of those that test and analyze essential oils on a daily basis. We do know that we have seen ‘bad’ oils in our nearly 20 years in this industry (and those suppliers were dropped long, long ago).

The essential oils we provide are of the ‘Highest Quality’ for use in Therapeutic Aromatherapy.

We know that the oils we provide are from the true plant species, have the percentages of certain constituents needed to bring about therapeutic results and do not have any chemical additives – whether it is a herbicide or pesticide or anything else that should not be in the oils we sell. We provide 100% pure essential oils of the highest quality for use in “Therapeutic Aromatherapy”.


Grades of oils – there is no such thing.

The next item we must address is the ‘grading’ of essential oils.

Well, to put it simply, there is no industry standard for ‘Grading’ essential oils. The USA, nor any country around the world, has a grading system.

Any company making claims their oils are ‘graded therapeutic’ are stretching the truth. You must understand that the ‘grading’ system ‘they’ use is strictly an ‘in house’ or that particular companies set of standards for adopting a ‘grading’ system for the essential oils they sell.

We have seen several companies including several MLM’s state their oils are “Therapeutic Grade” or Grade A or #1.

But again there is no industry grading system for essential oils. When you see this you need to realize it is only ‘their’ system of grading essential oils. It really doesn’t tell you if they are pure, unadulterated essential oils. Namely, because we don’t know what they are ‘grading’ their essential oils against for comparison. There are no set standards.

Remember the following points:

Essential oils used in therapeutic aromatherapy and that we sell:

Come from one plant species.

• They are not adulterated or ‘standardized’ (beware of someone claiming AFNOR – French standards only or ISO certifications – they have no standards see the above link for CropWatch).

• They are processed and analyzed by Gas Spectrometry and Mass Chromatography to determine the chemical constituents and to identify any chemicals that should not be there. Several other tests are also performed.

• Will be listed with their Common name and Botanical (Latin) name on their labels. Good labels should show the Country of origin and method of extraction.

• Are typically sold (but not always) by people that take aromatherapy very seriously.

People that take it seriously enough to get further education, belong to professional organizations and know and follow safety guidelines for proper usage. (Yes, we have further education and are members of several professional aromatherapy organizations).

We hope this helps to clear up some misconceptions you may have about the terms of quality and grading within the professional aromatherapist community.

For further information please visit our Quality page - to help answer other questions you may have.

All the products listed in the article are available at our Shopping Site - see link below.

CLICK HERE to Order supplies

© 2012, 2015, 2017 Penny Keay All rights reserved Worldwide.
Please do not use my information without my permission.

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