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How to Tell if Your Essential Oils are of Good Quality (5 Easy Signs)

Essential oils can be quite expensive – and this can be a positive indication of quality, but3 not necessarily always. Why? And are there ways to keep costs down while maintaining high quality?

Because many essential oil suppliers and companies know; some consumers will avoid buying a lower priced oil (as it could be considered by some a negative quality indication) these same oil suppliers may tilt toward higher prices. As a result, you may be paying more for oils than you have to. But with a little extra knowledge below, you can avoid simple mistakes others are making.

According to Jade Shutes, BA, Dipl. AT., Cert. Herbalist; “The quality of essential oils can often be a contentious subject… bringing up feelings of protectiveness and challenging beliefs.” This can make buying essential oils confusing and somewhat stressful. But with this easy guide below, you can know what kind of essential oil quality you’re getting, using solid evidence (rather than guesswork). Here (in reverse order) are five key signs to look for;

Essential Oil Quality Sign #5: How does the essential oil look? 2

Here’s a fun fact, according to Prevention magazine: “essential oils aren’t true oils at all. They simply got stuck with the label because they don’t play well with water. And, as it turns out, this quirk comes in handy for spotting any hidden nut, seed, or vegetable oils covertly added to an essential oil. The test: Place a single drop on white printer paper and let dry. If there’s an oily ring left behind, it’s not a pure essential oil. The exceptions: Essential oils such as sandalwood, vetiver, German chamomile, and patchouli oils, which are naturally heavier in consistency and deeper in color, says Jade Shutes, president of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy.”

Essential Oil Quality Sign #4: How fresh is the oil when you’re buying it?

Your essential oil supplier should be able to tell you when it was produced. And the oil should be stored in tightly closed, darkened glass containers 5in a cool place to ensure lasting quality (Buckle, 2003; Tisserand & Balacs, 1995). The Center for Spirituality & Healing at the University of Minnesota recommends writing the date on the bottle after opening it so you can keep track of your own essential oils. Oxidation rates vary, but most essential oils can be safely used for 1-2 years or more after opening.


Essential Oil Quality Sign #3: How does it smell?

6The human nose is very sensitive and we can often detect when something is ‘off’. Does your oil smell as you expect it to smell? If not, it could be a sign there’s a quality issue.


Essential Oil Quality Sign #2: Does the oil have the ‘proper’ descriptive name?

Your supplier, bottle label, or if you’re shopping online, the webpage should have the plant’s Latin name listed.  According to Prevention; if only the common name is listed (for example, “lavender essential oil”) you might be shelling out for a lower-cost hybrid. And if it doesn’t specify that it’s an essential oil, it isn’t. “Lavender oil” may be nothing more than perfumed oil; it may or may not contain material from the plant, and won’t have the same therapeutic properties as “lavender essential oil.”

And is the name of the country in which the plants were grown provided? If so, this can be an indication the company is marketing to knowledgeable parties as well as general consumers. You may not be expected to differentiate oils from different countries, but this information can be important to aromatherapists and practitioners (because quality can vary by country).

Essential Oil Quality Sign #1: Develop your own opinion by comparing different qualitiesff

Knowledge is power! Become your own judge and discover your personal, best essential oil quality sign. According to Jade Shutes, BA, Dipl. AT., Cert. Herbalist;to  be able to understand and interpret the differences between qualities of essential oils one must spend time with, and be exposed to, different qualities. Remember also, that even within the category of high quality authentic and genuine essential oils, there will be subtle differences and nuances in the essential oils.” Get familiar with the feel, smell, clarity and other facets of essential oils and you’ll start to notice important differences others can’t.

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