Essential oils are one of nature’s most versatile and sophisticated gifts. With a history spanning back to ancient Egyptian times, these precious oils provide therapeutic benefits and emotional support, enhancing health and wellbeing and offering a natural alternative direct from mother nature.
However, with so many different oils available on the market, knowing which oil is right for you can be a difficult choice!
For effective therapeutic use, it is important that pure essential oils are used so that you are receiving the full benefits of the products; whether you’re using Lavender or Peppermint for a headache, soothing muscular aches with Rosemary and Lemongrass or clearing up that cold with a Eucalyptus-based chest rub.
Australian Natural Brands portfolio of industry leading brands In Essence Aromatherapy and Oil Garden Aromatherapy has developed a 6 step check list for choosing the best quality essential oils to make your aromatherapy experience as effective as possible: this is a chemical and counterfeit-free-zone!
1) Packaging – clear does not always mean clean…
Buy oils that are stored in amber or other dark coloured glass bottles. Oils sold in clear bottles can be affected by light and heat, which damage the quality of the oil and lower its therapeutic value. Plastic bottles are also a no-no as some oils dissolve the plastic, compromising the integrity and therapeutic value of the oil.
2) Label – big words and exotic origins!
To ensure your money is well spent buy essential oils that list the botanical name on the label. The botanical species from which the pure essential oil is derived is a simple way of knowing if you have purchased a pure essential oil or a synthetic fragrance oil. The country of origin and extraction method can also affect the quality of the oil. ANB sources the highest grade oils globally for their therapeutic properties. For example Bulgaria is well known for producing high quality Rose essential oil.
3) Price – if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
Beware of vendors who sell all their oils for the same price. Pure essential oils are expensive to produce; prices vary according to the country of origin, supply and quality and size of the yield. They may be cheaper, but reconstituted products or chemical replicas of natural essences won’t have the same therapeutic benefits and may cause harmful side-effects such as skin irritation, allergies, nausea and headaches.
4) Trust your senses
Fragrance oils have a stronger and much sweeter smell than pure essential oils, however they have no therapeutic value, and therefore aroma is one of the best indicators for distinguishing one from the other. If you are buying oils for their aromatic virtues and not for therapeutic use then always trust your sense of smell. It is the quality of the essential oil which makes the difference between being therapeutic and just smelling nice.
5) The TGA tick
A good way to ensure that a pure essential oil is of high quality is to check if it is listed with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). For a product to be listed by the TGA it must pass rigorous testing on the safety and quality of ingredients to ensure it honours its therapeutic claim.
6) Dilution – pure vs. precious
Pure Essential oils: Pure essential oils often have 1ml/1ml printed on their label which indicates that the oil is a 100% pure unadulterated essential oil.
Precious Oils: Precious oils like Jasmine and Rose are difficult to produce with comparatively little yield. Did you know that it takes up to 30 Rose Heads to produce a single drop of Rosa damascene. As a result, these precious oils are quite expensive and often diluted (not adulterated by petrochemicals) in a cold pressed base oil like Jojoba. Labels should show the percentage of the essential oil and its dilution e.g. Rose 3% in Jojoba.