One day I was walking through my bedroom when I noticed a box that I had not unpacked from nearly three years ago when we moved into our home. I opened the box and saw that it was filled with vibrational mysts made by my friend, Rachel Ginther, at Garden of One. Rachel has a retreat center in the Catskill mountains, and I have visited many times. I would watch her carefully dispense drops of essential oils and mix the mysts, and even helped her to print the labels for the cobalt blue glass bottles. I bought several of her mysts at wholesale cost and sold them in a local store. Of those that I sold, I kept about 30 of the bottles for myself. I put them on a spice rack on a shelf in my closet and began using them again. I love to stand and look at all the different mysts and set an intention for the day. At the end of the day I enjoy spraying myself with Dreaming Myst.
To my delight, my four-year-old began asking if he could be sprayed too! He now asks for the dreaming myst at bedtime, and we select mysts to try in the morning. The thing is, that these mysts were originally for my needs from eight years ago. Not for the needs of my son today. I was inspired to create blends that would be just for him (and a few for me too). Not knowing much about essential oils (I had dabbled awhile back, but stopped when someone told me to be careful of how I use them), I thought it would be a great idea to meet with my friend that sells essential oils. I went to her house and saw her enormous collection, and started to get excited. I wanted to have a large collection of oils too! Without understanding how I would use them yet, I decided to purchase the Young Living Premium Starter Kit for a grand total of $172.79 (including tax and shipping). The starter kit seemed like the quickest way to start building my collection with a base of oils that could be used in numerous ways.
The minute I got home I started to have buyer’s remorse. I realized how much money I had just spent, and didn’t really even know what I had just bought. I’m normally a researcher, and spend lots of time finding just the right thing to buy at just the right price. This time I jumped right in without hardly any thought at all. I tried to convince myself that it was a good thing that I didn’t overthink it, but then I started to overthink it and decided maybe I should have done a little more research first. First off, $172.79 is A LOT of money! And I was going to have to wait for it to be shipped to me (which took I think nearly two weeks). The other thing I couldn’t resolve in my mind was that I had heard so many people say that Young Living oils are superior to all other essential oils on the market. Was this even true? Are they really worth the higher price?
I sat down at my computer and did a Google search on “Young Living alternatives.” One of the first articles I came upon was on a blog called Granola Living by Giselle Baturay, entitled, “Why I don’t use doTerra, Young Living or other Multi-Marketing Brands of Essential Oils.” She came to many of the same conclusions that I eventually came to in my Safety First with Essential Oils article. She refers to another article by Jade Shutes entitled, “The Quality of Essential Oils.” Giselle quotes Jade’s list of eight things that you should consider when choosing which brand of essential oils to buy:
“I personally would want a supplier:
- who is dedicated to supplying essential oils to the aromatherapy practitioner market and educated public.
- owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist
- who has relations with his/her distillers, if possible
- who can readily supply a batch-specific GC/MS spec report on each essential oil it sells
- readily able to provide material safety data sheets (MSDS) as needed
- who has a strong ethical reputation in the field
- who has preferably been in the field for a number of years and is well known to other aromatherapy practitioners and/or educators”
I began to read through the 700+ comments on the Granola Living article to try to find out what my alternatives might be. I thought the list by Jade Shutes was a great place to start, but I couldn’t find anyone that had actually done any sort of wide-scale comparison based on these criteria. What I did find was one of two things:
- People make recommendations based on their experience, so they recommend one or two brands that they’ve tried and liked (with little or no exposure to other brands beyond that); or
- They were selling the brand that they were recommending.
As is my nature, when something I need doesn’t exist, I create it. It’s why I started Marvy Moms, a local networking group, my businesses, and many other things. So, I started calling essential oil companies to ask them for answers based on the list above. I realize that I’m not an essential oil expert, and I’m not an aromatherapist (yet). I’m just a mom that wants to help my family to use essential oils safely for the many uses that are available.
So far I have interviewed 17 U.S. essential oil companies, and I’m in various stages of contacting more. In most cases I’m speaking directly with the owner of each company. I’m so excited to be putting this essential oils series together in order to share what I’ve learned with each of you. Each company is also sending me customer-size bottles of their essential oils. I will be reporting on my interviews as well as things like labeling, packaging, and of course, my experience with the oils themselves. I’ve had mostly positive experiences with every company I’ve interviewed. The response from them has been wonderful. They are excited to see someone doing this research and sharing it with the general population (you!).
So the short answer is, YES, you can get high-quality essential oils from more than one source. There are many alternatives available.
Over the next several weeks I will be posting articles about each of the companies that I’ve interviewed. In the end I will pull it all together into a side-by-side comparison that you can use as a reference when selecting where to purchase essential oils.
Here are the company profiles that I’ve published so far.
- Plant Therapy
- Mountain Rose Herbs
- The Ananda Apothecary
- Native American Nutritionals and Rocky Mountain Oils (Plus follow up article – What’s in a Name: Native American Nutritionals Revisited)
- Nature’s Gift
- Gritman Essential Oils
- Eden Botanicals
- Arlys Naturals
- Amrita Aromatherapy
More to come! Comment below if you have a company that you’d like me to review. Chances are I’ve already done it, but if not I’ll add them to my list to call!
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