We believe that the first principle of safety and essential oil use is quality. As a Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional, I spend a great deal of time and energy ensuring that the essential oils I use in my Lifestyle blends are of the highest quality.
In order to do this, to date, I have tested over thirteen brands of essential oils. I have found that indeed there is a great variety of qualities. Here are the factors I take into consideration when choosing an essential oil.
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN plays a key role in an oil’s quality. While it is possible to grow plants in several different countries, the country of origin plays a significant role in the oil grade. This principle applies to other crops such as coffee, fruit and wine. The reason why different countries produce different quality plant products is that the soil and climate conditions are more suitable to some plants than others in different parts of the world. Plants tend to flourish in their natural country of origin, and even the altitude at which a plant is grown can have a substantial impact on the properties of its oil.
USE OF PESTICIDES AND HERBICIDES varies among countries. As well, currently there is no reliable certification for international organic quality. It is best to use oils made from plants grown on farms in a country where the plant flourishes because they will have a certain degree of natural resistance to the native pests and will not require pesticides to survive.
TIME OF HARVEST affects the percentage and proportions of various chemical constituents in the plant and therefore the quality of the oil will differ depending on when the plant is harvested. Distillation should occur immediately after harvest and if possible right in the field to ensure the highest quality oils.
AGE OF OIL can affect the quality. Most oils are not affected by the passage of time; however, citrus oils suffer from a decrease in quality over time and should always be as fresh as possible.
TYPE OF DISTILLATION also influences the oil’s quality. Good quality oils should be steam distilled, expressed (i.e. citrus oils) or CO2 extracted. A true “essential oil” by definition should be steam distilled. Where oils are chemically extracted, solvent residues will be present in the oil.
TEMPERATURE AT WHICH STEAM DISTILLATION IS CARRIED OUT plays an important role in determining the quality. If the steam distillation is done at too high of a temperature, some of the valuable chemical constituents will literally be “burned out” of the oil (thus the therapeutic qualities will be missing and you will not feel their healing properties). High heat distillation is done to yield more oil in a shorter time span. This process produces a lower quality oil that can be sold at a lower price. Beware of below market value aromatherapy products or when all essential oils are the same price (e.g. rose versus orange oil), which are clear indicators of commercial grade quality.
METHOD OF STORAGE MATTERS. All quality oils should be bottled in dark glass bottles and stored in a cool dry place with minimal contact with oxygen.
At LJ Turtle, our essential oils come from a Canadian wholesaler company in Britich Columbia, whose essential oils are wild crafted and/or organic and are gathered from the best producers around the globe; our Canadian essential oils are wild crafted and procured from a distiller out of Quebec, including Canadian Black Spruce, White Pine, Balsam Fir, and Spruce Hemlock; and we currently carry an Ontario, organically grown, harvested and distilled Lavender from Moffat, Ontario.
Using your undiluted blends and single essential oils
Our aromatherapy diffuser blends are undiluted and should never be used directly on your skin. Our diffuser blends were created specifically to be paired with our diffuser jewelry, but are also suitable to be used with a room diffuser and a car diffuser.
You can apply our aromatherapy diffuser blends to your skin only after it has been properly diluted in a carrier oil. To do this, add 1 drop to 1 tsp of a suitable carrier oil (e.g. grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil) and mix well. Patch test before applying to your skin. If you have any other questions please reach out.
Our aromatherapy roll-on blends have been pre-blended in a carrier oil which makes them safe for use on your skin; but again, please always perform a small patch test using on skin, to check for compatibility.
This is one of the most controversial topics within the field of aromatherapy. Using essential oils internally is the forte of medical aromatherapy, originating in France and prescribed by a properly trained medical physician and filled by a pharmacist whom are both trained in the pharmacological properties of essential oils.
Currently, there is no certification program qualifying someone in Canada to prescribe essential oils for internal use.
Diffuse with care. What does this mean?
- Choose your essential oils with care and consider who is sharing the air space. Including pets, children of different ages, anyone with a preexisting health condition (e.g. high or low blood pressure, prone to seizures as with epilepsy etc.), and/or if you are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or lactating
- Always use a timer and set-it to diffuse in 30-minute intervals; diffusing all day everyday can lead to health problems and sensitization
- Clean your diffuser unit regularly. If you use your diffuser daily you need to clean it weekly.
We strongly advise caution when using essential oils around your pets. Animals have particularly sensitive noses and nervous systems - especially cats and birds. Please refer to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association for important safety information in regards to pets and essential oils.
Children & Pregnancy
We strongly advise caution when using essential oils around children and if you or anyone in your living space is pregnant.
Where to learn more?
I offer aroma-education workshops via Zoom. Please email me if you are interested in learning more and would like to be added to the email list: firstname.lastname@example.org
I am available for one-on-one consultations. This is an opportunity to discuss your personal needs. You can also find a local to you Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional by going to: Find an Aromatherapist.
And please read my aroma-education blog, The Nose Knows.