At the request of a Marvy Moms reader, next up in the essential oils series is The Ananda Apothecary, aka: Ananda. I’ve been having an ongoing email conversation with Ananda’s owner, Eric Čech, since June 30th. We’ve talked about his company, the hot topic of ingestion of essential oils, and the healing power of frankincense essential oil. First let’s start off with the company profile and Q&A:
I received products free of charge from The Ananda Apothecary in order to write a comprehensive company profile that includes my personal experience with the oils/products. This post contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the affiliate links, Marvy Moms will receive a percentage of any sale. This does not affect the amount you will pay for an item or service and in no way changes opinions expressed by Marvy Moms or Marvy Moms writers. For more info, see Marvy Moms Disclosure Policy.
The Ananda Apothecary
Owned by: Eric Čech
Person Interviewed: Eric Čech (also some info from Clay via telephone)
Interview Method: Email
Number of Employees: 10
Location: Boulder, CO
Number of Single Oils Sold: 118
Other Products Sold: Essential Oil Blends, Diffusers, Nebulizers, Carrier Oils (25 varieties), Massage Oils, Mixing Bottles, Storage Bottles, Measuring Pipettes, “Tween” Emulsifier, Aromatherapy Books, Carrying Cases, Bach Flower Essences, and Attars (free with orders over $89)
- Bergamot (Citrus aurant bergamia)
- Frankincense, Wild (Boswellia sacra)
- Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum)
- Highland Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
- PuriFy (Blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon Bark, Australian Eucalyptus and Rosemary)
- Rose Otto (Rosa damascena)
- Super Immune (Blend of Melissa (Lemon Balm), Rosemary c.t. cineol, Thyme, Benchmark, and Bay Laurel)
What’s on the bottle:
- Oil name
- Botanical name
- Country of origin
- Plant part
- Volume (number of ml)
- Boulder Colorado (Where Ananda is located)
- Website address
- “Pure essential oil”
- “Therapeutic Grade 100% Pure Essential Oil”
- “Keep Out of Reach of Children. If Pregnant or under a Doctor’s Care Consult Your Physician.”
What’s in the bottle:
These are some truly beautiful oils. PuriFy is essentially a Thieves blend and should not be used on young children since it contains Eucalyptus and Rosemary (high in 1,8 cineole known to slow breathing in young children) as well as clove and cinnamon which are two of the hottest oils. Super Immune is another one that has Rosemary, so should be avoided in small children for the same reason. Still, great blends for older kids and adults.
The Rose Otto is gorgeous and such a wonderful addition to my collection. Priced at $97.46 (at the time it was sent to me) for a 5 ml bottle, this is definitely one of the most expensive oils (from any company), and one that I would have not bought for awhile due to its cost. Helichrysum italicum is another one that is quite pricey, and worth EVERY penny. I’m planning to use this in some rosehip oil to treat scars. I’ve used helichrysum hydrosol in a blend to help with bruising, so I’m guessing the oil would be good for this too.
Is Ananda dedicated to supplying essential oils to the aromatherapy practitioner market and educated public?
“We ARE definitely dedicated to supplying essential oils to the practitioner market. We see SO many companies selling oils that are either just ‘cheap’ (too cheap to be of the best quality), or SO cheap, there is no way they can not be synthetic (Pipingrock’s Lavender at 2.99 a bottle? It’s really impossible, as we import directly from distillers in France, selling the real thing, and this price point is simply ridiculous.)”
Is Ananda on the small size and not a large corporation?
“We are small in size, not a corporation, which allows close watch on the quality of our oils, and dedicated, knowledgeable customer service, from staff who knows about the products and how they are used.”
Is Ananda owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist?
“Owned by ME, an aromatherapy practitioner myself. I write all the blog posts, and actually wrote every word on the website. If you scour it, you’ll see there’s a lot of knowledge put into each page. I research the science behind many oils, and post whenever I can (there is SO much data on Frankincense destroying cancer cells…in every cell line ever tested, leaving healthy cells unaffected…for example).”
Do you have relations with your distillers?
“Yes, relations with our distillers. This is extremely important to us, and finding the very best oil of every single variety we sell has been my objective for our 10 years in business.”
(Clay’s answer: “Yes, we definitely have relationships with our distillers. We want responsibly resourced or organic oils for sure. We work with the distillers. The world market for essential oils is a little bit funny because they make the whole supply in the beginning of the season. We have distillers that we’ve been working with for a long time, but if one of the distillers has a batch that isn’t up to par we will find a different source.”
Can Ananda readily supply a batch-specific GC/MS spec report on each essential oil it sells?
“GC/MS and MSDS’s are available for all our oils. CofA’s are often sent to customers upon request.”
Is Ananda readily able to provide material safety data sheets (MSDS) as needed?
“GC/MS and MSDS’s are available for all our oils CofA’s are often sent to customers upon request.”
Does Ananda and do you (Eric Čech) have a strong unquestioned noncontroversial reputation in the field?
“Our customers are repeat customers, and many order very large amounts from us for their practice, be it naturopathy, massage or other healing with essential oils.”
Have you been in the field for a number of years and are you well known to other aromatherapy practitioners and/or educators?
“And again, we’ve been in the field for 10 years, and again have many customers who use our oils in their practice, because they know they can consistently get the very best essential oil of every variety from us. For example, Helichrysum is an especially therapeutic oil – we get ours direct from the distiller in Corsica, the island which produces what is thought to be the world’s finest. It’s very impressive in its actions (put a little directly on a sore spot, tight muscle or tendon injury, and you can feel the pain relief almost immediately. I use more of this oil myself than any other, as a sports fanatic who is getting up there in age…relatively since I used to race professionally.”
What is different about Ananda?
We’re NOT an MLM, so we don’t charge mlm prices. The oils come from the distillers, are bottled by us, then sent to our customers (both doTerra and YL customers have noted our oils at least as good, if not better than what they’ve received from these companies). So essentially one is getting wholesale from us.
(Clay’s answer: “Ananda stands out because we are completely focused on the medicinal value of the oils, looking at the CofAs and we are extremely affordable. We tend to have a lot more medicinal blends than other companies do.”)
My Impressions of The Ananda Apothecary
As I mentioned before, Eric Čech and I have had a long email conversation about several topics. I asked him specifically about ingestion of essential oils since at the time he had recently published a blog post on this topic. I was concerned that while his article did recommend consulting a qualified aromatherapist/health professional before ingesting, he also indicated that certain oils were safe for ingestion on a regular basis. After much discussion he retracted his article since he realized it didn’t get across his real message of: “Don’t ingest without the guidance of a qualified health professional – should you think a protocol of ingestion of essential oils can help you, particularly with a dire health condition – we highly encourage you to seek out such a health professional.”
The fact that he willingly retracted his article and “plan(s) on a follow up article for clarification at some point” speaks volumes to me of Ananda’s commitment to education and safe use of essential oils. I think his point was that there are times when ingestion is warranted, however, don’t try to do it without guidance from someone who is qualified and has experience in ingestion. To this point I agree. There are people that say “Never ingest!” and others that say “Ingest everything!” Neither are right. The problem is that there are not a lot of people qualified in safely ingesting essential oils. Thankfully, there are enough benefits to inhaling or applying diluted essential oils topically, that ingestion is rarely necessary.
In the aromatherapy world, there is a general dislike of the term “therapeutic grade” essential oils. It implies that there is a grading system with an oversight organization designating guidelines. The fact is: there is no such organization, and no such guidelines. “Therapeutic grade” is a made-up term to indicate that oils are intended for aromatherapy purposes. Ananda uses this term, as do many, many other essential oil companies. I would not dismiss any company based on the use of this term. Its use was made popular by a few of the larger companies, and other companies followed suit to show that their oils are just as good.
To quote the Ananda website:
“Simply put, ‘therapeutic grade’ means that an essential oil has been carefully distilled to retain the maximum amount of constituents that have therapeutic effects. There is no ‘official’ meaning of ‘therapeutic grade’, as there is no agency that oversees the quality of essential oils in the United States. However, ‘therapeutic grade’ is recognized as a standard that should be upheld by the essential oil industry to ensure you get the maximum benefits possible from the oils you purchase. We believe this is of the utmost importance in selecting which oils to offer at Ananda.”
So, they are aware that there is no governing agency, and make no claim that there is. They are simply showing that they take great care in selecting their oils.
Ananda has a fun Specials and New Products page with some attractive deals like the current ones of a free bottle of organic Rose Hydrosol with orders over $49, your choice of rose or jasmine attar with orders over $89, and Free Shipping on orders over $99. They also offer free shipping for all first-time customers. There are more specials, but you get the idea. I love a good deal, and the add-ons make ordering fun.
I also like that Eric posts lots of informative articles on the Ananda blog like “Ylang Ylang and Blood Pressure: A Customer Experience and the Science” and “Best Practices for Storing Your Essential Oils.” He also keeps customers up to date with information about new products and sales.
Overall, I get a good feeling from Ananda Apothecary. They have a nice selection of single oils, blends, and other aromatherapy products. Owner, Eric Čech, is open to feedback and committed to educating customers. Not to metion, he sent me such an amazing selection of oils! As with many of the companies I’ve interviewed, Ananda was glad to send me oils to be a part of my mission of helping people to discover choices when selecting where to buy their essential oils.
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