Quality of Oils
Essential oils expressed by cold pressure are of a very high quality. Steam distillation yields the next best quality. Oils expressed by means of using solvents should not be used internally. Unfortunately there are many poor quality oil on the market today. This is mainly due to the recent advances in chemistry in producing synthetic oils and essences. Other factors to consider when assessing the quality of oils is the plant, their time of growth, the soil and methods of cultivation. The action of essential oils depends upon the process taking place in them and their chemical interaction, thus synthetics will never replace natural oils. Many people assume that most of the aromatic oils and cosmetics found in our Health Food Stores today are natural botanical products. Actually this is far from the truth. So many of these products, on closer examination, turn out to be synthetic chemicals oil masquerading as natural botanicals.
Guidelines for distinguishing synthetic and natural essential oils:
1. True botanicals essential oils are “light sensitive”. They should always be kept in colored glassed bottles, or they will deteriorate rapidly. Any company selling essential oils in clear bottles is either dealing synthetics, or does not know about or care about properly packaging and preserving their products.
2. Natural oils have definite therapeutic effects. Any company dealing in essential oils who makes no mention of the therapeutic properties of their oils is failing to disclose vital information about effects that will most likely be experienced through the use of the product. In the case of the more toxic and powerful oils, this could prove to be dangerous to the consumer.
3. Natural oils vary greatly in price depending on many factors: agricultural conditions, essential oils yield of the plant, and even world politics. There is much price variation within a line of essential oils. The synthetic products are often sold at one or two price levels.