What is the difference between pure essential oils, natural essential oils, organic essential oils?
There are thousands of essential oils brands out in the market and you are lost in all the advertisements! I know right?! Essential oils brands are important and so are their ingredients and contents used.
Natural essential oils, organic essential oils, pure essential oils, and many more. I am sure you heard of these terms since you are looking to purchase essential oils. So, what are the difference and do they really make a difference? Let’s take a look!
Pure Essential Oils
This term is commonly used in many essential oil companies indicating that their oils are “pure” and some even claimed that the essential oils are free from chemicals.
Up till today, this is an unregulated industry and “pure essential oils” does not mean that the essential oils are undiluted and free from chemicals as what many companies claimed.
Let’s understand a little bit more about how essential oils are obtained before we go into a debate on whether the essential oils are “pure” or “unpure”.
Essential oils are compounds extracted from plants. They are achieved by steam and/or water distillation or other techniques such as cold-pressing. Upon extraction of the aromatic compounds, they are usually combined with a carrier oil to create a product that is ready for use. Why? It is simply because the extracted compounds are extremely concentrated and potent that may cause adverse side-effects when used.
Many people have the misconception that “pure” or “natural” implies it is safe or good, however plants contain many bioactive compounds which may be harmful to your health in some cases. However, most essential oils are regarded safe when inhaled or combined with a base oil for skin use. Nevertheless, they may still cause some side effects such as; rashes, headaches, allergic reactions, nauseous.
Ingesting essential oils is not recommended, as it could potentially be harmful and in some doses fatal.
Organic Essential Oils/Natural Essential Oils
Simply put, these terms usually mean that they are free from chemicals and pesticides. However, as mentioned above, this is an unregulated industry and companies can include this on their labels even if it is untrue. A quick and simple way to find out is by looking at the price. You do see essential oils selling at merely few dollars (some even $1) and claimed they are organic. Simple math and you know it is not possible. Let’s put it this way for you to understand better; it takes almost 75 lemons to extract 15ml worth of lemon essential oil.
Essential oils are generally considered safe to inhale or apply to the skin (do mix with carrier oils), however they should be not be ingested.
I would say, for minor health problems such as flu, sinus, cough, to use essential oils as a complementary therapy is probably fine. However, if you have a serious health condition and taking medication, it is best to consult your doctor.
Nowadays, essential oils are not only used as therapy but also air scenting and setting the right ambience. People are incorporating the use of essential oils to their daily lives such as scenting up their bathrooms, or giving their living rooms a fresh scent to liven up the atmosphere at home. Dive in the world of aromatherapy and discover many interesting scents and different aroma diffusers available!
Stay tuned for the next article where I will be sharing about the differences between water-based essential oils and oil-based essential oils.