December 07, 2017

Finding Quality Essential Oils

Have you ever been outside and been delighted by the aroma of a patch of peppermint or some lavender plants? Do you notice how soothing it is to deeply inhale the scent of a live rose in nature or the scent of pine on a forest walk? Then you have experienced the power of aromatherapy. Essential oils have been used for centuries in healing, food flavoring, skincare, natural home care and more.

As the popularity of essential oils grows, there are many choices in the market for consumers to consider. Essential oils can be a wonderful addition to supporting your emotional and physical wellness but there are some important things to know when buying and using these oils.

Depending on your need and desired benefit, oils are available as a single essential oil or in a carefully designed blend to work together in a beneficial way. At Back to Earth, we offer both single-blend oils, such as rosemary, peppermint, or lavender, as well as, our synergy oil blends, such as headache, immune boost, balance, plus many more. We have a rigid selection criteria for the oils we work with, here are a few of the key points we suggest looking at when selecting your essential oils:

Growing Methods: Though some companies boast having farms locally in North America, that isn’t exactly ideal. The highest quality oils tend to come from plants that are grown in their indigenous locations. You’ll also want to note if they use organic ethical farming practices, and if the plants are wild-crafted.

Purity: Your essential oils should not be adulterated. Apparently in the U.S. it only takes a very small percentage of actual pure oil to call the whole bottle “100% pure”. Look for a company that does strict testing, preferably independent, 3rd party testing, and is willing to provide purity testing reports (Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry - GC/MS reports) for each individual oil that they sell. There is no independent standard for the term “therapeutic grade” but there is with “certified organic”.

Pricing: The price shouldn’t be too low but oils should still be affordable. Essential oils are highly concentrated. For example, it takes 150+ lbs of plants to make a few ounces of some oils. The growing, extraction and distillation processes are expensive. But be wary of paying extremely high prices for fancy bottles, its what's inside that counts. See purity criteria above.

Back to Earth essential oils are blended by Certified Aromatherapists and Clinical Aromatherapists, and we are members of the Canadian Essential Oil Safety Board and Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA). We use certified Organic essential oils and we have the Certificate of Analysis and Gas Chromatography Analysis available for quality assurance. Information on each oil is available online or you can pop into a store to discuss and smell available blends to see how you respond to scents.

Now that you have more information on what to look for when selecting high quality essential oils, we hope this gets you motivated to incorporate the beauty of essential oils into your life. In an upcoming post we will share the wellness benefits of some of our most popular blends and give you ideas on when to use them to help you heal, feel grounded, soothed in a relaxing way.

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