Explore Physical, Mental, Emotional and Spiritual Uses of Essential Oils with Gritman Essential Oils
The essential oils series continues with a company profile of Gritman Essential Oils. Gritman may be one of the less-known essential oil companies, yet has been in business for a solid 19 years (since December 1995). In addition to selling essential oils, they also teach classes on aromatherapy, and are worth checking out.
I received products free of charge from Gritman Essential Oils 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.
Gritman Essential Oils
Owned by: Meg Shehad
Person Interviewed: Meg Shehad
Interview Method: Telephone (follow up questions via email)
Number of Employees: 7 (3 full-time and 4 part-time)
Location: Friendswood TX (greater Houston area)
- Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)
- Laurel Berry (Cinamonum glauceshens)
- Vanilla Oleoresin (Vanilla planifolia)
What’s on the bottle:
- Oil name
- Botanical name
- Country of origin
- Volume (number of ml)
- Mailing address
- Phone number
- UPC code
- GCC (Gritman Classification Code)
- “Keep out of reach of children. External use only. Pregnant women and persons with health problems must consult doctor.”
Number of Single Oils Sold: 232 (including 41 macerations)
Other Products Sold: Fixed oils (carrier oils), Fragrances, Essential Oil Blends, Soap, Shampoo & Conditioner, Lip Balm, Misc. Body Care, Wellness Packages, Essential Oil Kits, Essential Oil Bottles, Candles, Jewelry, Gritman Garden Originals, Gritman Books, Aromatherapy Certification Correspondence Course, and Spiritual Aromatherapy Readings.
What’s in the bottle:
I like each of the oils that were sent to me by Gritman. The Vanilla Oleoresin did seem to seep out of the bottle (the top and bottom of the label is a bit brown and it was sticky until I cleaned it off). Perhaps it would be good to tape that particular oil’s lid for shipment. I love that every bottle has a child-safety cap. This should be true for all essential oils considering how toxic they can be when handled by a young one. I’ve recently learned about infusing a carrier oil such as jojoba with Vanilla Oleoresin, and I’m looking forward to trying this with my Gritman Vanilla.
Is Gritman Essential Oils dedicated to supplying essential oils to the aromatherapy practitioner market and educated public?
“It’s amazing how many people think they are educated, and it’s all marketing bullshit. To sell to an educated public would be heaven, but the general public isn’t educated.”
Note: Meg has started creating videos and sharing them on Vimeo. She has a friendly teaching style and shares lots of information.
Is Gritman Essential Oils on the small size and not a large corporation?
“We do a lot of the growing of plants ourselves, about 10 acres. Companies that are bought out by a larger company, the quality goes down. We have 3 full time and 4 part time employees. If you care about your oils, you are going to tend to stay small. We want people to be able to talk to us. If you get too big, there’s no way you can do that. Although, we need to make money. I built a large home with a retail establishment on the first floor, an educational center on the second floor, and an apartment at one end. Gritman lives in my house. The oils live with us and carry a certain level of this family at Gritman. Nature is on the board of directors and we consult nature about things. We used to put oils in metal, but oils didn’t like that. So, now we have wall to wall glass jugs of oils because the oils are happier.”
Is Gritman Essential Oils owned by an aromatherapy practitioner or essential oil specialist?
“Very few companies are also educational institutions, we are both. We certify in the medical model and spiritual model of aromatherapy which is very different. For instance, Ajowan is wonderful for people who have been raised in very shaming and critical households, they may use Ajowan to heal. To understand that they are not a failure, they are a product of their environment. Essential oils move emotions. Most of us are sick because of some spiritual reason. We are way way stressed out in America because we are doing things that we think we have to do. The essential oils allow us to get clean energetically, spiritually, and emotionally. They are anti-aging. They take years off of you. We teach people how to work with them that way (spiritually) as well as with a sore throat. If you train with us, you have to have a basic understanding of organic chemistry. I like to refer to people that use oils without understanding them “Barbie does oils”, someone that just thinks oils are pretty and smell good.”
Do you have relations with your distillers?
“Yeah, we have a wonderful connection in many foreign countries. We have a wonderful distiller that’s been doing it for five generations, and we’ve been with them for three of those. Most distillers are very happy to show you what they do. Some years Roman Chamomile is blue color, other years it’s not, no one knows why. I’ve been to Egypt (the Nile). There’s a place in South Africa. We know the growers in Albania. We love these people. They are like family. The Albanian family came and stayed with us for a few days. They are a father and son, and we are a mother and daughter family. We brought their Albanian oils into the US for the first time. We don’t work with China directly, but work with distributors that work with China. We work with an Australian family, and we get Christmas cards from them. It takes awhile to develop these connections, but you do.”
Can Gritman Essential Oils readily supply a batch-specific GC/MS spec report on each essential oil it sells?
“Personally, I feel like that’s just paperwork bullshit. Most people cannot understand those reports. Organizing all that paperwork is a full-time job. Does it really verify? On the oils I do have paperwork for, I do my own testing, and it’s crap. There are certain companies that will fudge the results. We know which companies they are, and when we see them, we don’t believe it. I would much rather someone say it’s the right color, scent, viscosity, etc. I’d much prefer that to all the paperwork. I can provide it, but I don’t see the value in it.
The people who can talk it, can intimidate people who can’t, but I don’t know if that makes their blends any better. I know that oregano is the best anti-fungal, I don’t need to see a GC/MS report to know that.
Usually GC/MS reports are requested when something is not as expected and if it’s not right we will not accept it.”
Is Gritman Essential Oils readily able to provide material safety data sheets (MSDS) as needed?
“The information on there is hard to read. I’ve had oils delivered here and they had the MSDS, but the oil was junk.
You would never clean up eos with water and soap. You would clean with alcohol. The sheets are most important for shippers in case there is a spill. They are (available) upon request.”
Does Gritman Essential Oils and do you (Meg Shehad) have a strong unquestioned noncontroversial reputation in the field?
“We started the process of maceration where you don’t use as much plant materials, but you get just as much benefit. In the herbal community, they do not like us because we don’t use enough of the plant material. They don’t see essential oils as earth friendly.
We are very nature-oriented. We talk to nature and we talk to plants, and what people think is crazy is that the plants talk back. We are seen as a little weird or strange, and we take controversial stands on things. I am a plant intuitive. We want to empower people to be their own health providers, and listen to their bodies. There are so many ways we can heal spiritually, emotionally, mentally. If people were truly only educated. Like St. John’s Wart helps with depression, but it’s only the flower. The plant can produce four different kinds of medicine, how do you extract it? Is it soluble? I’m intensely passionate about this field, people, and living in a healthy life.”
Have you been in the field for a number of years and are you well known to other aromatherapy practitioners and/or educators?
“We’ve been here over 20 years, I’ve been using oils longer than that. We’ve fired customers before when it wasn’t a good fit. We don’t do business with everyone.”
What makes Gritman Essential Oils different?
Before I could even ask this question, Meg told me that “We should do an intuitive reading so I’m not sending you oils willy nilly, but really getting you what you need.” Gritman is the only company I interviewed that made such an offer. Many companies asked me which oils I would like for them to send me, but Meg was the only one that was interested in finding out what I “need.”
My Impressions of Gritman Essential Oils
I really enjoyed talking with Meg Shehad of Gritman Oils. She’s passionate and knowledgeable about essential oils and has a big heart. My intuitive reading was insightful and the oils I received do seem to be just what I needed. In a nutshell, she said that with the combination of oils that chose me (Cilantro, Laurel Berry, and Vanilla Oleoresin) it seems that I am not fully following my heart, but that I am beginning on the correct path. The Vanilla is a gift from nature to say that I should keep along the path set out for me. I took this to be an affirmation for my recent studies in Reiki, homeopathy, botanical medicine and aromatherapy. Meg is a plant-intuitive, meaning that she listens to plants and essential oils and will hear them singing to her to convey a message. During my reading she was confused at first by the conflicting messages of the different oils, but in the end the message was clear. I love this method of selecting oils. It’s similar to me standing in front of my many sprays and waiting until I”m inspired to use one or more and set an intention for the day.
As we were speaking during my intuitive reading, Meg seemed to be quoting from a book as she described the meaning of each oil that had chosen me. When I asked her what book she was referring to she said, “The book is the Gritman Guide and I wrote it.” This book is definitely on my list to add to my aromatherapy book collection. Each essential oil on Gritman’s website lists detailed information about that specific oil, including GCC (Gritman Classification Code), Common Name, Scientific Name, Family Name, Indigenous Country, Country Of Production, History, Plant Description, Parts Processed, Processing Methods, Color Range, Chemical Constituents, Yin/Yang, Physical Uses, Mental Uses (affirmations), Emotional Uses, Applications, and Warnings/Contraindications.
As with many companies, Gritman rewards customers placing larger orders with Free shipping (I LOVE free shipping!). I put items in my cart to see what prices would be without a larger order. Even with one small item, the shipping cost was $10.26. I added a book (something heavy) and a few other items to get the weight and price up and the highest I could get shipping was $11.71. If you live in the Houston area, you can place your order and avoid shipping costs altogether by picking it up at Gritman.
As I was putting the finishing touches on this article, I went back to look at the Gritman website one more time. I noticed their blog that I had somehow never seen before. My attention was immediately caught by an article entitled “The Baby is Here. What Oils Can I Use NOW?” Really? Essential oils on babies? I’ve seen people say NO essential oils on children under two years of age (especially no oils high in menthol, like Peppermint, or high in 1,8-cineole, like Eucalyptus or Rosemary). Throughout the article, she referenced several blends that Gritman makes specifically for babies.
So, you know I had to get some clarification. I started by referencing Robert Tisserand’s book, Essential Oil Safety Second Edition. This is a fairly new book for me, so I’ve only been referencing as needed. I used the index to look up “Children” and see what I could find. What I found was a chart giving recommended dilution rates for kids, including babies. Here’s my adaptation of that chart.
I then went and asked Meg Shehad from Gritman Essential Oils questions specifically about the blends she sells for babies. Below is the transcript from that email exchange:
Emily: “I noticed that you have a line of essential oils for babies such as New Born Baby Massage, Soothing Baby Massage, and Baby Sniffles. There are some people that say no essential oils on kids under two. Robert Tisserand has a chart in his Essential Oils Safety book that recommends no essential oils for preemies and extremely low dilutions based on age (1% or less for kids up to 6 years old). There are a few of your blends that I have specific questions/concerns about.”
Meg: “Robert Tisserand is considered the Father of Aromatherapy and much of his information is too cautious. You can understand why he was so cautious because he was opening aromatherapy to the masses. Up until his book, Aromatherapy was limited to use by Medical Doctors and other health professionals like massage therapists. Most professional aromatherapists now believe that many of his warnings were too strict. Of course we all want to be safe and especially with children. Amy, who works here, conceived her child and raised this child with the blends that we created here. Ava, who is now 6 years old, comes to work with her mother and she has had no bad effects from any of the oils. I think Tisserand’s books put too many people in fear mode, but respecting the oils is also needed. There is a balance.”
Emily: “Baby Tummy Tamer contains Peppermint and Ginger in a Peppermint Maceration: You mention in your article about babies that “Peppermint which can be helpful with colic rubbed on the stomach does not work well right under the baby’s nose. The epiglottis can spasm and the baby will go into a breathing crisis.” Robert Tisserand cautions that “Essential oils high in 1,8-cineole or menthol can cause CNS and breathing problems in young children, and should not be applied to or near their face.” My experience as a mom tells me that everything on a baby’s body is “near the face.” My little guy was so squirmy that I could have put it on the bottoms of his feet, and it would have reached his face. I’ve noticed in general that people avoid these oils altogether until at least the age of 5 and even as high as 10 years old.”
Meg: “When we went to our first birth fair here in Houston, we did not bring any peppermint for the reasons that you mentioned. Did you know that everyone wanted it and swore by its effectiveness! The next year we brought peppermint. Again I think that most people are finding Tisserand’s too strict. I would agree with you that babies are very squirmy and the bottle of the feet is an ideal place to put oils. Our blends are highly diluted with macerations which have high therapeutic value without high scent which is ideal for babies.”
Emily: “Baby Sniffles contains Eucalyptus, Ravensara, Nerolina, and Lavender: The same cautions as I mention above would apply to this blend as well since it contains Eucalyptus. In addition, it also contains Ravensara with no indication if this is from the bark or leaf. Robert Tisserand recommends a dermal maximum of 0.1% for Ravensara bark and 1% for Ravensara leaf. He doesn’t indicate safe levels for a baby or child, but I’m guessing ti would be even less.”
Meg: “Again you have to be careful citing Tisserand. Let me tell you a story about Baby Sniffles. A mother attempted to get help from her doctor as baby was so congested that breathing was at issue and she was so very scared. The doctor told her that the baby was too young for medication. She came to us under recommendation from a friend. I applied Baby Sniffles to the infant myself. He was about 8 weeks old. He had improved remarkably before she left and was much relieved. I love being able to help young mothers this way. She called a few days later saying that both Mother and infant were sleeping and happy again.”
Emily: “New Born Baby Massage: Robert Tisserand recommends using no essential oils on premature babies and a range of 0.1% to 0.2% for babies up to three months old. Your description of this blend refers to the benefits of premature baby massage. I am certain that massage is beneficial, but wonder if the essential oils should be left out.”
Meg: “Again I think Tisserand is too strict. Contacting a massage therapist trained in child and pregnant message would probably be a better reference. We make sure that the essential oil levels are less than one percent and really rely on the macerations for safer medicinal value. You may want to read more information on the macerations. I think you will feel much safer about using the blends especially for young children and pregnant mothers.”
Before I knew that oils high in menthol (found in Peppermint) or 1,8-cineole (found in Eucalyptus and Rosemary) could cause breathing to slow to dangerous levels in young children, I used Vick’s VapoRub on my young child (he was maybe two years old at the time). I had heard that rubbing Vick’s (which contains both Menthol, the potentially dangerous component in Peppermint, and Eucalyptus oil) on a child’s feet and covering with socks would stop them from coughing. I tried it on myself and my son and it worked! I do remember someone saying to use the kid’s version because the adult version could be dangerous, but I dismissed it and continued using the generic adult version of Vick’s (medicated chest rub). My recent (re)introduction to essential oils included a friend giving me a roller bottle of peppermint to use neat as well as another Young Living blend containing three different types of Eucalyptus. Knowing nothing about dilutions, I made up my first blend and added drops of each into coconut oil. I rubbed some on my feet that night (not my son’s since I figured I should experiment on myself first), but decided to go back to Vick’s. Now I know that menthol and 1,8-cineole can be dangerous for young kids. As I mentioned above, Robert Tisserand’s actual recommendation is that these oils “should not be applied to or near their face.” That’s a pretty vague recommendation. I actually emailed Robert Tisserand for further clarification about Eucalyptus and he said he plans to write a blog post addressing this question very soon, as he gets this question on a daily basis.
I also read a few places (on Facebook, I think) that not all children will have these breathing issues and if your child has already been exposed to peppermint and eucalyptus and didn’t have an issue, then they probably won’t have any future reaction.
We are all sick at my house right now and when my son has a cough I stay in his full-size bed with him. I don’t sleep otherwise, and propping him up on my chest seems to be the best way to help him through a coughing fit. Rather than get up and down all night, I just stay with him. Anyway, I’ve been sleeping in his room the past four or five nights and last night his coughing was really bad. I remembered the Vick’s and got out of bed to fetch it. I removed his socks, applied the Vick’s, replaced his socks, and tucked him back in. I then left the room to slather my own feet and thoroughly wash my hands. By the time I got back into his room he was no longer coughing and didn’t cough again at all for the rest of the night.
Now, if I had known about the potential danger of these oils before the first time I’d used Vick’s, I never would have used it. If I were to ever have a second child, I would not experiment on them either. And, even though my son has had no adverse reaction to the menthol or 1,8-cineole in Vick’s does not mean that I will try my luck with Peppermint, Eucalyptus, or Rosemary essential oils. I continue to use Vick’s because I know that it works, hasn’t caused issues with my child, and I stay in his room with him on night’s that I apply it to his feet and cover with socks. I will not be conducting further experiments and potentially put him at risk. I have seen reports in Facebook groups recently of babies having breathing issues due to the improper use of essential oils, and wouldn’t knowingly take that risk with my child.
My point to all this is that there is no black and white in the world of aromatherapy. You are going to hear varying opinions from different people, even amongst the experts. So, research what is right for you and your family. Consult with an aromatherapist. Keep asking questions until you are 110% secure in the safety of how you choose to use essential oils. Whether or not you would or wouldn’t use essential oils on babies or whether you would or wouldn’t use the specific Gritman blends created for babies, I still think they are a company worth checking out. If not, you may be missing out on some great oils. If you have questions about a specific blend, call them up and speak to Meg or Amy directly. They will happily answer your questions to help you make the best choice.
I’m especially interested in the macerations that Gritman sells. They seem to be somewhere between hydrosols and essential oils in terms of potency, and are something you can try making at home. I’ll definitely be experimenting with my own macerations at some point. I’ll be sure to share my adventures when I do!
Sign up to have Marvy Moms updates sent to your inbox to be sure you see all the essential oil company profiles as I post them!
What essential oil company are you hoping will be profiled next?
See more Essential Oils Company Profiles!