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Essential oils are amazing! They have many benefits for our health and home, and are just another reminder that the Lord knew what He was doing when He created this earth–He gave us so many natural ways to nurture our health and wellness. I was a skeptic at first and I have been amazed time and again at how effective and useful essential oils can be.
However, all of that comes with a pretty big qualifier…you need to be using a pure, high quality essential oil.
There is so much marketing and propaganda surrounding the essential oils industry. It really is a bit frustrating to me because there are some big multi-level marketing companies that seem to dominate the industry and their voices are the loudest. However, as history has shown time and again, the loudest voices aren’t always the right ones. In fact, I shared last week why I don’t recommend either of these MLM companies. Judging by the responses to that post, I am not the only one with a bad experience or concerns about these companies.
In light of all that, I wanted to take a few minutes today to help equip you to do your own research. A few of the responses I received last week were from people who felt lost and weren’t sure where to start in choosing a reliable and reputable company.
My research led me to use Rocky Mountain Oils. I reached out to them and they sent me some oils to try out. After evaluating the effectiveness of the oils, and learning more about them as a company, I discovered this is a company that I can really get behind and endorse, which is something I don’t take lightly.
The company you choose might be different, and that’s okay. I don’t believe there is only one brand of essential oils that is high quality. The important thing is that you research the companies–even several of them, and learn about their practices and standards of quality.
Some things to consider when evaluating an EO company
Though there are other concerns, the quality of the oil is the first and most important thing to consider. If the company can’t pass this test, you need to move on, regardless of how great they seem in other ways. Your oils need to work and be effective for you.
Some things to consider in regards to quality:
- Distillation Methods. The oils should be extracted under low temperature and pressure. The 1st distillation is recognized as being the highest quality.
- Growing Methods. Though some companies boast having most of their farms in the U.S., 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 farming practices, and if the plants are wild-crafted
- Purity. Your essential oils should be pure and not 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 GC/MS reports for each individual oil that they sell.
A note about the “herby” smell of some oils. When I first received my peppermint oil from my current company, it had an herbier smell than I was used to. I found out that many of the bigger companies (including the most well known MLM companies) use a sub-par distillation of peppermint because it has a more pleasing small. I don’t know about you, but for the cost of essential oils, I would much prefer get a higher quality of product.
2. Knowledge & Education
I wanted my essential oil company to be knowledgeable about essential oils–the process that goes into making them, uses for them, etc. I want their employees to be knowledgeable about the oils. Basically, if I have any reasonable question about essential oils, I believe that they should be able to answer it. Maybe that is a high expectation, but I don’t want to buy my essential oils from someone who doesn’t know anything about them.
- Knowledgeable. This is somewhat difficult to quantify as there are so many different certifications, and many are meaningless and can be purchased on the internet in mere minutes. But I would expect that the owners and some other employees should have some sort of training, knowledge, and tangible experience in essential oils.
- Education. Education should be very important to a good essential oil company, both for employees and for customers. I want to know that they care about their customers enough to offer education to them, and help them learn about essential oils and usage.
Price isn’t everything, but it’s a good indicator in some ways.
- The price shouldn’t be too low. Essential oils are highly, highly concentrated. For example, it takes 150+ lbs of plants to make ounces of some oils. The growing, extraction and distillation processes are expensive. The point here is that if you’re buying a 1 oz bottle of any kind of oil for $5.95 at your local drugstore, it probably isn’t a high-quality, pure essential oil. You get what you pay for, and if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
- It should be affordable. On the other hand, as in the cases of the MLM companies, sometimes with a higher price, you aren’t paying for quality, but instead for marketing, Hawaiian vacations, fancy cars for directors, and other bonuses and commissions through the MLM companies.
A good essential oil can be affordable, but not too good to be true. No matter how cheap it is, if it doesn’t work, then you have wasted money.
3. Customer Service
Customer service is huge to me, and I want a company that is dedicated to it’s customers and improving their lives and health. Some things to consider here:
- Satisfaction Guarantee. When I see a company willing to “put their money where their mouth is,” and back up quality claims with a money-back guarantee, that goes a long way to showing me that they really do believe in their product, and that they put customers first. I want to know if the company stands behind its product and if they will make it right if there is a problem.
- Education. Yes, I’m mentioning education again, because I feel this is a worthwhile service to customers–to offer quality, accurate information regarding essential oils and their usage. If I have a reasonable question, I would want the company to be able to answer it. Though on the flip side of that, I do feel it’s my job as a consumer, and yours, to be as educated as possible and not rely solely on the information you receive from a company.
- Safe usage recommendations. Again, this goes back to valuing the customer. I wanted a company that will offer safe, yet beneficial usage suggestions. Many companies offer recommendations that are haphazard and even dangerous. If a company or its representatives are saying you should ingest any and all essential oils in a casual manner with no cautions, this should raise a red flag. I see a lot of companies saying that you can ingest their oils because they are such high quality. This is a bit misleading. There are some oils that should not be ingested regardless of quality and purity.
- Easy to find contact information. I want a company that is accessible. If there is a problem with my oils, or a question about the oils, I want to be able to contact them with that. Responsive customer service is a must.
The reputation of a company says a lot.
- No scandal. Obviously, unfounded accusations can happen to anyone, but they are denied, defended, and everyone moves on. When everything is secretive and hush-hush but not adequately defended, that raises huge red flags for me.
- Reputation among professionals. See what professionals in the field are saying about the company (note–objective, third-party professionals and experts, not simply their own distributors and representatives). A good essential oil company is going to be, overall, respected by the industry.
- Integrity. If possible, I wanted a company with a reputation for integrity–fair trade practices, honesty in business, valuing the customer. These things are important to me.
Another thing to consider when you’re trying to decide on an Essential Oil company is the amount of products they offer. There are two aspects to consider for this:
- The selection of essential oils offered. There are many different essential oils, and a good essential oil company should offer access to many different oils and blends.
- Range of other products offered. There are some times when it’s convenient for a company to be a one-stop shop. However, when it comes to essential oils, less is more. You don’t want a company that is trying to offer too many things and specializing in none of them. I wanted a company that specializes in essential oils. If they have a very broad range of products, this raises a red flag for me.
Lastly, I want to say this. Quality is huge. It’s the very first thing to consider because if the quality isn’t there, then nothing else matters and you might as well just save your money. You need your oils to work first and foremost.
However, despite what some of the big companies (namely those MLM companies) will tell you, there are many essential oil companies that are offering high quality oils. Research and find a company that is a good fit for you. For me, that is Rocky Mountain Oils. For you it might be different. The important thing is to research the company and be informed about their practices.