Essential Oil Testing and Why I look for it
There is a lot of talk about essential oils and their purity right now and for good reason. Essential Oils can be sold and are frequently sold adulterated, most commonly they've had synthetic ingredients added to cut cost, or they can even be labeled as one oil but actually be something else. This actually happens frequently with oils such as Lavender but when the oil is tested it is actually Lavendin. Now Lavendin has its own wonderful qualities but they are not the same as Lavender and should be labeled and marketed correctly. Not only are you then buying an oil that is not what you were trying to purchase you may be getting an oil that is actually not safe for you or may cause an interaction with your medication, etc. I prefer to buy oils that have been GC/MS tested and I can see the report for myself via their website or have the report sent to me.
What is GC/MS testing? Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry (GC/MS) is an analytical method that combines the features of gas-chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample. Why is this cool? Well for those who have learned what components should be in a particular oil they can tell if it has been adulterated. Not all of us can read or want to read these reports and hey that is ok but it offers us a level of transparency from the seller that says yes I have a quality oil that has not been adulterated or altered. With these reports you can choose to use it for your oil blending by looking at an oils components.
The reports will show you what components are present in that batch and you can then design your blend creations based on an individual oil batches chemical make up! Isn't that cool?! You may also find that the Lavender you have that was harvested and distilled in spring has a different amount of certain components than the batch you bought that was harvested in Fall. That means if I want my blend to do something specific I can see which batch might be best for that. Now many of us are not that in depth when we do our blending and we just want good old quality oils and purchasing from sellers that offer this report can help us get the quality oils we are looking for as I mentioned earlier.
Why avoid adulteration? I do not want oils that are adulterated with petroleum products or pesticides. I choose not to use certain products because of those sorts of ingredients so buying essential oils that are supposed to be 100% pure that aren't is just not something I want to do. Not only are consumers being duped into paying for something they are not getting but those ingredients are then being absorbed into our bodies and I try to avoid additional potentially harmful products if I can.
Not sure where to start with an essential oil seller? Ask them, check their website to see if the reports are listed, email them. Most of the companies want to help and they want happy consumers and the more we ask they will rise up and offer what we are looking for. If you need some ideas for suppliers visit a few of my favorites. Aromatics International , Plant Therapy and Stillpoint Aromatics are extremely knowledgeable about oils and are committed to buying from ethical farmers and paying fair prices to the farmers they buy from. They offer a wide array of oils and recipes. We also offer many blend options for pain, inflammation, stress reducing and uplifting oils that use ingredients that meet these guidelines. What are your favorite oil distributors?