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Essential Oil Quality and Purity Conclusion: Final Questions/Answers
Essential Oil Quality and Purity Conclusion: Final Questions & Answers
Are the Tests Foolproof?
GC/MS and the other tests are not
foolproof because most retailers and end consumers do not have the
equipment or the scientific knowledge to be able read/scrutinize
the testing. Testing does risk falsification and also depends on
the qualifications, moral standards and knowledge of those performing
the tests. Most mid-level suppliers and retailers cannot afford
the equipment or training to perform their own testing. Retailers
often must trust on the GC/MS and other testing figures provided
by their suppliers. Some retailers do go to the expense of having
a third party testing facility test the oils that they sell to insure
that their supplier is not falsifying GC/MS documents and are providing
pure oils, but this added testing is costly and will be integrated
into the final cost of the oils they sell.
Some aromatherapists and manufacturers,
have oils that they purchase tested by a third party to ensure that
the retailers/suppliers that they purchase from are truly supplying
unadulterated oils. It goes without saying that when aromatherapists
and end users discover deceipt on the end of a retailer/supplier,
that supplier's reputation will most likely suffer.
Why Don't All Suppliers Perform Their Own In-House Testing?
As mentioned in the "Are the
Tests Foolproof?" section, the cost for the testing equipment
is expensive, and the ability to utilize the equipment and understand
the readings requires specialized training. Some suppliers/retailers
do outsource testing on all of their oils. This outsourced testing,
however, can become quite costly if a retailer has each lot that
they purchase tested (i.e. when they repurchase another lot of the
oil when their inventory depletes). To reduce testing costs, some
suppliers/retailers perform initial outsourced testing when they
find a new supplier and then randomly at periods thereafter to insure
that the supplier/distiller's quality/ethics hasn't changed. Some
retailers/suppliers rely strictly on the testing performed by the
Can I Depend on Companies that State That Their Essential Oils are
"Therapeutic Grade" or "Aromatherapy Grade?"
There is no governmental regulating
body that grades or certifies essential oils as "therapeutic
grade" or "aromatherapy grade." Not all companies
use these terms with deception in mind, but consumers do need to
be precautious. For more information, read the "Therapeutic
Grade" and "Aromatherapy Grade" Essential Oils Do
Not Exist article.
How Can Consumers Ensure Purity?
Without the ability and knowledge
to directly perform or oversee testing ourselves, we as consumers
are in a buyer's beware situation and must hold a great deal of
trust in those that we purchase our oils from. In addition to issues
of purity, the quality of an essential oil can also be impacted
by how a retailer/supplier repackages and stores their oils, and
the freshness (how long has that oil been sitting on the shelf?)
of the oil. Although a level of "buyer beware" does exist
for the average consumer, the risk can be greatly diminished by
purchasing your oils from sources that you know have been selling
essential oils for at least several years, that cater to the aromatherapy
industry, have a good, solid reputation in the industry, and that
you know or suspect sell directly to aromatherapists and other aromatherapy
professionals. As touched on above, those suppliers that sell adulterated
oils will, in time, be "found out" and their reputation
will certainly be exposed.
As you begin shopping for essential oils, make it your priority
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For more information, visit
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It provides important tips regarding other factors that you should
consider when choosing essential oils from particular suppliers.
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