Essential Oils | It’s Time To Get The Inside Scoop!
If you are just delving into the world of essential oils, or if you have years of experience, you may come across conflicting information and competing companies. For one that just wants to enjoy quality oil, the industry conflictions can be frustrating.
Any essential oil company may have their own unique marketing strategy, but nearly all of them claim to be the highest quality. In this article, we will cut through all the marketing claims and explore how the industry actually operates.
First, and Foremost, The Field:
Every essential oil originates from a plant, typically grown in a field.
From the lavender fields of England to clove in Madagascar, essential oils are extracted from fields all around the world.
At Number One Essential Oils, our plants are sourced only from healthy crops, in the regions they grow best.
Secondly, The Distillation:
In order to obtain any essential oil, it’s parent plant must be distilled or pressed.
Most essential oils are processed via steam distillation. This process extracts the fluid compounds from the plant by method of pressurized steam.
Essential oil distilleries are located in nearly every country. These distilleries utilize methods ranging from the most rudimentary processes to highly controlled computerized systems.
Anyone can submerge plants into a tub of water then build a fire, and be able to extract efficient quantities of essential oils. And that is literally how much of the essential oil supply is created.
However, these crude methods results in overheating and contamination that will destroy the therapeutic compounds found within the oils.
Our distilleries use state of the art control features to extract the purest essential oils, without damage or contamination.
Lastly: The Retailer
There are many honest men and women in the retail business, but there are also unscrupulous hustlers willing to tell you and sell you anything if it puts a dollar in their pocket. These people are a major stain on the industry, causing a distraction from the science and history of essential oils.
Some of the claims made by these retailers:
– “Our products are better” – Yet failing to provide clear evidence supporting their claim. (such as MS/GC data)
– “Our products can be ingested, but others cannot” – It’s true that you shouldn’t ingest anything unless you know what it is, and what it is in it. However, these same companies that promote ingestion of their products do not provide the information necessary to determine it’s constituents.
Additionally, some plants and the oils extracted from them, are simply not meant to be eaten. Do you ever snack on pine needles? What about the wood of a cedar tree? – Of course not. And the oils from them should not be ingested either.
– “Our products are certified as…” The truth to these claims is that these companies have trademarked these terms. Imagine if a shoe manufacturer trademarked the phrase “Certified Pure Organic Potatoes” and use it in their marketing. The shoes contain no potatoes at all, and they certainly aren’t “certified pure organic” but legally they can blast that phrase all over! Meanwhile, Potato Pete who really does grow potatoes organically, cannot use that phrase. It sounds silly, but that is the exact type of marketing that is used by essential oil companies.
Besides the trademarking, these essential oil companies also conduct their own certification. This “certification” holds as much value as one saying “We are the best, because we say so”
There is no authority over, or government regulation of essential oils.
Let’s look at dictionary.com’s definition of “certify”
verb (used with object), certified, certifying.
1. to attest as certain; give reliable information of; confirm:
“He certified the truth of his claim.”
The companies making the claims of certification do not give reliable information of, nor do they confirm the quality they claim to be certified of. (But we do!)
– “Our products are Therapeutic Grade” – In the US, there is no official “Therapeutic Grade.” Anyone is able to use the term, no matter what quality of oil they are offering. The only official grading of essential oils is the FDA’s requirements for essential oils sold as food flavorings, and cosmetic fragrances. The requirements to meet “food grade” are actually very low. Our ingestible products far exceeds the FDA’s standards, as well as the mock “Therapeutic Grade.”
Shown below is a map depicting the path an oil takes, from the field to you.
At first glance, it may be overwhelming. That alone is evidence of the core problems integral in the majority of Essential Oil businesses.
Please review this map for a moment, then continue reading below.
Now that you’ve looked over this map, surely you have located the shortest distance between the Fields and You, as it is displayed in a direct path shown in bold black arrows.
Unfortunately, this is the least common route an oil travels before reaching it’s end user.
What is the most common life-cycle of an essential oil?
After harvest, the plants may pass through several marketplaces and storage facilities before reaching the distillery. During this process, crops intermingle, decompose, and become contaminated with other plants and material.
If Harvester Hank can mix in a crop of inferior Lavandin Hybrid with his stock of True English Lavender, and still sell it at full price, he just might be tempted! If he does so, he will profit over 8 times the amount he would have, had he sold his lavandin as what it truly is – A lavandin hybrid.
Sadly, this a very common practice.
After being distilled at John Doe’s finest anonymous distillery, the oil must be stored. The most common storage facilities leave much to be desired.
Age, light, and heat are all enemies of essential oils. Contamination from damaged and plastic storage containers is also a common trend.
After the essential oil has left the distillery or storage facility, it begins another adventure, usually with a wholesaler.
When Wesley’s Wholesome Wholesale receives a new batch of oil, they must now sell it to resellers and importers around the world.
To increase the volume of his supply, Wesley may decide to add an adulterant. These adulterants can be synthetic fragrance oils that camouflage unpleasant aromas, thinning alcohols, to inexpensive fatty oils, such as olive.
Due to the great volumes of essential oil they possess, even a light dilution will net them several thousand dollars in additional profit.
Finally, the oil reaches a retail distributor. The retailer is the final logistical link in the supply chain to the end customer (you). However, a financial chain may still exist.
Multi-Level-Marketing companies are the extreme example of an existing financial chain at the retail level. By the time the product reaches the end customer (You), the essential oil has been marked up by as much as 30,000%
If you view the map shown above, you’ll better be able to visualize the MLM supply chain. Although each MLM company’s structure and titles may vary, the same distribution format applies.
Remember, each red box displays a person or entity that takes a portion of the sales profit. Paying so many people to distribute a product requires extremely high mark-ups.
Of course, MLM Representatives will tell you that the outrageous prices on their products is due to their untouchable quality.
Well, that argument raises a few questions, and could provoke another article altogether.
A. The supply of essential oil to most MLM Companies differs little (if at all) from the supply chain of any essential oil retailer. The problems and risks associated with the supply chain apply to them as well.
B. Independent chemical analysis of MLM Companies’ oil has proven instances of inferior quality. Test data of their oil has also found synthetic additives and/or contaminants.
C. MLM Companies do not disclose their own private Mass Spectrometry and Gas Chromatography testing data. If this data shows their product to be so much better than the competition, wouldn’t it be reasonable to publish it?