Pure essential oils have become very popular over the last few years as more people become aware of the benefits that using oils can bring. It is easy to assume that all oils are the same, however, this is not the case. Not only do prices vary considerably but quality varies too.
Suppose you need one of the most versatile aromatherapy oils in existence, tea tree oil.
Did you know that there are over two hundred plants in the tea tree family, and they all produce similar-smelling oil? However, there are only a few specific kinds of tea tree plants that can make you feel better. The others make you feel no change at all, if you’re lucky. Some companies use additives or solvents or other kinds of oils to cut production costs.
Some even use any part of the plant, while the real beneficial scent cells that help you are only in certain parts of a plant, or need to be harvested fresh instead of dried. So how can you tell that you’re getting the best quality for your money? You look for therapeutic grade essential oils, sometimes called “medicinal grade essential oils”.
How Can You Tell?
There are certain things on the bottle that will let you know if an essential oil is one of the therapeutic grade essential oils and not an evil twin:
The bottle will be dark. This keeps the oil safer longer.
The Latin names of all the organic material will be on the label. For example, the tea tree Latin name you want to see is Melaleuca alternifolia.
Some labels will say boldly that they are NOT for anything else other than burning in an oil lamp. Put those back.
The labels will often proudly proclaim that there no pesticides were used on the plants or herbs before harvest.
They might be certified therapeutic grade essential oils by one or both of these groups – ISO or AFNOR.
What Is ISO Or AFNOR?
These are the watchdog groups of the aromatherapy business that set the standards for what grade an essential oil can be sold at. It’s not quite the same as Grade A, as they use tests American agencies don’t.
The ISO is short for the International Organization of Standardization, which in other languages other than English makes more sense than IOS. It started in 1947 and tests not only therapeutic grade essential oils but many other products as well. It has branches all over the world.
AFNOR is short for The Association Francaise de Normalisation . Yes, it’s French. It’s the French government’s equivalent of the ISO. The tests for pure essentail oils or therapeutic grade essential oils are especially strict.