Ugh. This is a tough one. I think they’re extremely overpriced. For example, 1/2 oz of bergamot YLEO is $32.50 and 1/2 oz of certified organic bergamot EO at Mountain Rose Herbs is $14.50. I see that YLEOs are “kosher certified,” which really doesn’t mean much of anything (as all plants and vegetables are automatically kosher and nothing special happens or is avoided that “makes” them kosher).
Not all essential oils are created equally, though, and certain oils are thought to better target anxiety while others may have different benefits. "Just make sure any oil you use is completely natural, organic plant essence," says Gillerman. Essential oils are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, but you should look for options that are certified organic, says Gillerman. "It's your surefire way of making sure that you are getting an essential oil that is not diluted or polluted with a toxin or petrochemical."
I bought a jar of mag chloride at WF and tried it as a for soak for him. It worked the very first night! However, that jar ( a little over a cup) was $15. am very frugal, (hence interested in this article) and after doing much shopping around I ordered a large bag of Ancient Minerals Magnesium Flakes from Amazon, and it works out so much less expensive that way. Now I use 1/2c in a gallon of the hottest water possible and he soaks for 30 minutes each night. No more cramps. BONUS: when he’s done, I reheat half of that water in the micro and soak my own feet in it. I have osteoarthritis and general soreness all over, and there is a significant difference in my pain level now, as well. Mag is a great anti inflammatory nutrient.
There are many companies out there, even popular, big name essential oil companies, whose oils have been independently tested by consumers with GC/MS and other processes, and have been found to include synthetic and other ingredients within their apparently “pure” essential oils. That is why it is so important to have batch-specific tests for every oil, and to buy from a company you really know and trust.
As is pointed out in the article EOs are not really “Oils” in the sense that they lack the lipid content necessary to make them a true oil. That is why we need carrier oils – that is what allows the EOs to be absorbed into the skin and thus into the cellular level. The carrier picks up the EO and transports it through the lipid barrier of the cells where they work. At a guess the carrier acts as a buffer in the bloodstream limiting the potential irritation of the EO to the bloodstream.
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.
The wonderfully fragrant Clary Sage is also a fantastic essential oil for calming anxiety and stress. Like Lavender, it is rich in linalool and linalyl acetate, two compounds which have been demonstrated in multiple scientific studies to calm and relax the central nervous system. Furthermore in one study on rats  Clary Sage was shown to positively affect dopamine levels in the brain and body, which is in lock step with traditional uses of the plant as an antidepressant. All in all, Clary Sage is a wonderful, pleasant-smelling essential oil for anxiety, stress and uplifting mood that makes a nice natural, non-toxic perfume as well.
A. No, they are not. That’s why it’s so important to buy your essential oils from well-established, reputable companies that provide extensive documentation of their sourcing, distillation, and bottling practices. Watch out for companies that make excessive claims or say their products can cure serious conditions. While aromatherapy can help relieve symptoms of many conditions, there is no proof that it can cure them.
Like Jatamansi (Valerian is in the same family of plants), Valerian is a powerful anxiety-fighting essential oil and herb. It too increases levels of GABA and other relaxing/sedating neurotransmitters in the brain and body, however, it does so in interesting ways. One study suggests that Valerian extract may cause GABA to be released from brain nerve endings and then blocks GABA from being taken back into nerve cells, which increases its concentration in the nervous system.  In addition, Valerian’s medicinal compound valerenic acid inhibits an enzyme that destroys GABA, which is another way that valerian helps reduce anxiety, again by causing elevated levels of GABA in the brain and body. 
I am adding cinnamon leaf and clover EOs to my mouthwash with peppermint and tea tree EOs. Before I felt safe using the undiluted EOs but with these new additions I feel like I need carrier. The other ingredients are water, aloe water, baking soda, xylitol and witch hazel. Should I add a carrier oil and which one do you recommend? I was thinking avocado, sesame, grapeseed or olive oil. If the witch hazel has alcohol could this act as a carrier? How much alcohol per how many drops? I’ve heard its about 3-5 drops per teaspoon carrier oil (3-5%). Great post!
In short: DO NOT TAKE ESSENTIAL OILS INTERNALLY unless they have been prescribed to you individually by a qualified and clinically-trained medical professional or Clinical Registered Aromatherapist. When working with essential oils you are ultimately playing with chemistry; if you do not know the specific chemistry of the specific oils, and what that specific collection of chemical constituents in that oil can do to your body, then avoid internal administration and stick with the aromatic processes.
The practice of taking essential oils internally, by mouth, has been a heated debate within the essential oil community. Since the recent rise of the multi-level-marketing essential oil companies, and other brands claiming that their oils are pure enough to eat, the idea of freely ingesting essential oils has plagued the minds of the average consumer.
Hi i have just recently seen doTerra but have been using Amazing Scents for a while. I would like to know how they compare. They both claim they source their products from around the world where they are best produced. They say doTerra is safe to consume internally whereas Amazing Scents are only for external use. Can someone give me some insight about Amazing Scents and whether EO are safe to ingest.
A few lines of inquiry have helped to elucidate potential mechanism(s) of action of LEO in anxiety-related conditions, which appears to be related to inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels (VGCCs), reduction of 5HT1A receptor activity, and increased parasympathetic tone. A purely psychologic mechanism has been refuted in the case of LEO's anxiolytic effects because anosmic mice display inhibition of marble burying after lavender oil inhalation.29 Pharmacokinetic data after topical application in healthy human volunteers also demonstrated the ability of LEO's constituents linalool and linalyl acetate to rapidly penetrate cell membranes and reach serum concentrations in excess of 100 ng/mL, corroborating pharmacodynamic action.30
It is important that people research the oils they are using – as not all EO’s are created equally and MANY on the market can be harmful when used improperly. Industry standards are very lax and an EO is only required to have a minimum of 2% essential oil in the bottle to be classified as pure – the rest can be synthetics or fillers. I chose Young Living Essential Oils because I know – without a doubt that from the minute the seed is planted to the minute it goes into the bottle – proper care and precision has been taken to ensure only the highest quality oil on the market. Young Living is the ONLY company in the world who has taken it one step further by having our own farms, doing our own harvesting, cultivating, distilling, testing and bottling of our products as well.
Wow, there’s quite the controversy regarding the ingesting of oils and quality of oils. You know what would be amazing… a post that helps newbies in the EO world to know about the various EO distributors aside from YL and doTerra. I feel like the market is saturated with their jargon and I’d like to know about other suppliers so that I can make my own informed decision. Would love it if you could share any other links to companies, or resources, you might now of so I can further educate myself. TIA.
Thanks for the info. What does it mean exactly when they say an essential oil should be avoided during pregnancy? Does that mean that if my wife is pregnant I also can’t use those oils because she might smell it and be negatively effected? What can and can’t you do with the ‘avoid during pregnancy’ oils while your spouse is pregnant? Thanks a lot, Jim
The effects of anxiety are detrimental to our health. Anxiety and excessive stress-strain the immune system, cause inflammation and can lead to chronic disease and oxidative stress (an imbalance that can cause multiple health issues). Pervasive anxiety can affect your total wellness, including your emotional, personal, social, and professional relationships and health.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I am the President and Founder of American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Another important factor to know about the oil is the geographical location each plant was grown. Plants grow naturally and thrive in climates and conditions suitable for their health. Plants farmed in locations outside of their natural habitats will be less effective when distilled. The climate, the soil, the time of year (and sometimes even the time of day) have great effects on the quality of the essential oils and good companies know this.
I’m a distributor with Young Living Essential Oils – have been for 4 years. I’ve always used the oils NEAT and my children and I ingest them daily without problem. You’re being very narrow minded with your comment, as you should know (as an aromoatherapist student) that there are a number of different aromatherapy methods out there to which aromatherapist follow…these methods include:
Some of the recipes I’ve especially loved in this book have been the essential oil blends for anxiety. There’s several of them in the book, but these three have been my favorite. You can use them by inhaling them directly out of the bottle when needed, combining them with a carrier oil, like almond or fractionated coconut oil, and applying them directly to the skin, or diffusing them with an essential oil diffuser.
Actually John, that isn’t entirely true. Unlike many products EOs are not required to list everything that is in them. Some grocery and drug store brands of EOs come already diluted only this isn’t mentioned on the bottle. You can unknowingly over dilute your EOs by adding additional carrier because you think the product you have gotten from the drugstore is pure.
When you breathe in, those particles go in two directions. "They instantly go into your sinuses, where there are nerve receptors from the olfactory part of the brain," she says. "The vapor is then absorbed directly into the brain tissue, where it impacts memory, emotion and the lymphatic brain, which is connected to your heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing," says Gillerman. "But the particles are also inhaled into your lungs, where they enter your bloodstream and get involved in your [hormonal] endocrine system, where they change your body's reaction to stress." (Learn More About the Potential Health Benefits of Essential Oils.)
Happy customers are of ultimate importance to Lisse essential oils. You can easily reach their customer service team Mon – Fri, 9 AM – 4 PM PST at 1-800-280-1973 or using the email contact form through their website. I’ve personally had great success talking with Lisse essential oils so I can say for sure there are real people with real passion behind this company.
Most flowers contain too little volatile oil to undergo expression, but their chemical components are too delicate and easily denatured by the high heat used in steam distillation. Instead, a solvent such as hexane or supercritical carbon dioxide is used to extract the oils. Extracts from hexane and other hydrophobic solvents are called concretes, which are a mixture of essential oil, waxes, resins, and other lipophilic (oil-soluble) plant material.
Frankincense has been called "the holy grail of essential oils" because it has some pretty astounding health benefits, both mentally and physically. Studies have found that it's capable of inducing timely apoptosis, meaning that it can prevent and potentially kill cancerous cells. It also has anti-inflammatory and skin-healing effects, so it's a staple in skin-care. When it comes to mood benefits, one study even reported that it was able to reduce pain and prompt relaxation in women during labor.
Thank you for sharing your knowledge! I am 36 weeks pregnant and came down with a nasty cough. I couldn’t take any medicine, but yet couldn’t sleep. I used eucalyptus oil on my neck and chest to clear up my cough. I read that eucalyptus oil is not advised for pregnant women to use, however, I could not find any reasons why. Do you happen to know the risks that eucalyptus oil might have on the unborn baby? I have since stopped using the oil, but definitely used it a few times. (I will be calling my doctor, but was curious about your input.) Thank you so much!
The only types of essential oils that should EVER be used are THERAPEUTIC GRADE essential oils. Otherwise, all the benefits of the essential oils are lost to the SYNTHETIC PETROCHEMICALS that are in MOST essential oils (even the ones you get at the health food store… I wont name brands)There are only two name brands that I know of that sell therapeutic grade essential oils.(there could be more) Those brands are Young Living ( Which I highly recommend) and Doterra. More expensive does mean better. Young Living does not sell any of its oils to any other company. There are only a handful of distilleries in the world that’s why most E.O’s are poor imitators. They are not all getting the oils from the same place. They are made in a lab instead.
The Essential Oil Company is your Aromatherapy essential oils source. We work directly with farmers and distillers of organic and conventional essential oils world wide. Suppliers of quality massage oils, perfume oils and fragrance oils. Purveyors of soapmaking supplies and incense supplies. Offering high-quality distillation equipment and distilling supplies for making your own essential oils and hydrosols.
VANILLA. The sweet scent of vanilla is appealing to many people, and it has a long history of use for relaxation and stress relief. Vanilla can have sedative effects on the body. It can reduce hyperactivity and restlessness, quiet the nervous system, and lower blood pressure. It also appears to help relieve anxiety and depression, with a combining both relaxation and an uplift in mood. If the smell of cookies baking relaxes and soothes you, vanilla might be a scent to try for sleep—without the calories!
To test if you’re sensitive to an essential oil (which is probably best to do before using it in a skincare preparation): Combine one drop of essential oil with 1/2 tsp carrier oil (like olive, jojoba, or sweet almond). Rub this on the inside, upper portion of your arm and wait a few hours. If no redness or itching develops, you’re most likely not sensitive to that essential oil.
Studies of aromatherapy pose significant challenges to highly rigorous research because of the inability to blind investigators and participants from the scent of the EO or control topical massage, confounding any observed benefit. Many small, randomized trials of aromatherapy have been performed in medical settings that may provoke anxiety, although the participants who were included had not received a diagnosis of an anxiety disorder at baseline. Reduction of state anxiety in such situations as preoperative anxiety, chest tube removal, cosmetic procedures, and intensive care unit stays, were reported.14-18 However, other similarly designed studies19-22 in similar settings have failed to show benefit or have not demonstrated clear benefit. A single observational pilot study23 in postpartum women with anxiety demonstrated reduced anxiety levels using a rose/lavender oil blend for 15 minutes twice weekly during the course of 4 weeks. One study24 concluded that participant expectation of relaxation was a greater factor than LEO itself, highlighting the expectation bias to which aromatherapy studies may be subject to despite blinding.
When shopping for quality essential oils, however, purity becomes even more of an issue. That's because essential oils are concentrated essences of the plant, so when harmful chemicals or pesticides are used in their making, those become concentrated, too — and given that you're breathing them in, applying them to your skin, or ingesting them, this totally defeats the purpose of your alternative health practices.
Natural oils can also be used to treat headaches too – and this is because they work to tackle one of the main sources of these types of issues (often muscle tightness as a result of stress or exertion). In fact, these liquids have often proven to be better than painkillers for many individuals suffering with a range of headaches – in both those who suffer sporadically, and chronically.
This flower is sought for its healing properties. Because it has the ability to act directly through the olfactory system of one’s brain, you can immediately feel positive improvement on your mood once you inhale it. It’s said to expand one’s heart and release anger, jealousy, and other negative emotions. Thus, it’s an effective anti-depressant and is often used to treat natural depression and mild anxiety. Its mild sedative effects can lower stress response like high blood pressure and fast heartbeat.
In the United States, herbal products are considered dietary supplements, and unlike drugs they do not need approval by the Food and Drug Administration before they come to market. However, the FDA can take action to recall a product if it is found to be unsafe after it hits the market. (in other words, THAT is how companies can put other things in herbal supplements without telling you)
The benefits of Jasmine oil are vast, but its antidepressant, antibacterial, and aphrodisiac qualities top the list. One study, published in the Journal of Health Research, found that vaporized jasmine has the potential to affect the autonomic nervous system, increasing blood oxygen saturation and alertness. It’s great for skin too. “Jasmine oil helps to hydrate the skin and has been known to be gentle enough to help with eczema, although anyone can use it,” Dr. Milosavljevic says. “If you’re in need of a few extra z’s, this oil can be calming to those having trouble falling asleep thanks to its soothing quality and ability to relieve anxiety.
doTERRA wanted to create a purity level that goes above and beyond organic. So they created an internal standard called Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade that is verified by 3rd party testing laboratories. They test their oils 7 different ways to make sure that they are pure and safe for therapeutic use. Even though doTERRA essential oils are not “certified organic“(read why in next paragraph), you can be assured that they are a step above organic.
Plant Therapy has teamed up with industry leader and aromatherapy safety guru, Robert Tisserand. With his collaboration, they derived an entire line of kid-safe synergies that are suitable for your entire family. They have transparent third-party testing practices and some of the best customer service in the business—for example, on their website, if you need to contact them, you can choose to speak with customer service or a certified aromatherapist. With a large selection of oils, they sell in many different sizes and have economical 10-ml bottles perfect for those looking to test.
I put this section here so that you can see the different brands of essential oils that I have used. This is not my list of essential oils to go buy. I make it clear who MY personal favorite essential oil company is, but as I stated before, using your own judgment and doing your research is very important in finding the company that you personally want to stand behind.
Additionally, essential oil dilution is key for effective therapeutic benefit. In fact, nearly all essential oils, with the exception of lavender and tea tree, must be mixed with a carrier oil before using it on skin. Using a few drops of an oil straight from the bottle can cause skin sensitization, which may be in the form of an allergic reaction or rash. Properly diluting oils will make them last longer.
Do they promote the unsafe use of essential oils? Some companies, many of the MLM companies included, promote some very unsafe practices, using essential oils. If you want to be a Registered Aromatherapist you have to follow certain safety rules to remain registered, including the use of internal ingestion (unless you are a health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level.), undiluted use, and Raindrop Techniques (Aroma Touch or other similar techniques.). These practices are prohibited by the AIA (Alliance of International Aromatherapists) if you want to remain a registered member. You can read more about essential oil safety and ingestion.
EO’s also can have pharmaceutical drug interactions, such as essential oils which are high in eugenol or methyl salicylate should not be used by persons on anticoagulant drugs. Methyl salicylate can also cause problems for asthmatics or those with aspirin allergies. Another for instance, inhalation of EO’s high in menthol, such as peppermint, will cause increased lung permeability of nicotine. Menthol also slows the ability to clear nicotine from the body. If you are a smoker, allow several hours to elapse between cigarette use and inhalation of high menthol EO’s. Those with renal or liver disease, compromised immune systems, or those taking multiple medications should consult with a qualified professional aromatherapist before attempting to self-medicate with essential oils. I also know Blue Tansy and Grapefruit have pharmaceutical drug interactions as well, I just can’t remember exactly off the top of my head. I am sure there are others, but these are more common EO interactions and can be serious. Your example of selling Mary Kay really is like comparing Apples to Oranges given Cosmetics are having to follow FDA restrictions and guidelines. There is not a governmental agency that oversees the safety of Essential Oils. Essential Oils if not used properly and safely can poison you, CAN kill you. Sally, it frightens me you feel just because YL or doTerra (their largest competitor) operate in 9 countries, they are a “good and / or safe” company. Yes, in September 2014 the FDA cited YL & doTerra & Natural Solutions for advertising EO’s as being “the cure-all” for certain illnesses? If you do your due diligence, you’ll see why YL is NOT acting in a safe manner. Another example I can give you, putting EO’s in your water to drink, such as Lemon EO. Firstly, Oil and Water do not mix, secondly ingesting Lemon EO can burn your digestive tract horribly. Have you seen what Lemon EO can do to plastic? If not, I suggest again you do your due diligence and see what it does, I wouldn’t want that going down my throat, in anyway. Also Sally, I hope you don’t have any Cats in your home. Did you know EO’s can significantly cause serious health risks not limited to death in felines? Dogs you ask? Yes, they are not exempt, not as severe as cats but can harm them as well. Again Sally, due diligence is why Ellen was suggesting their practice is about the mighty dollar, not people and their health and sharing what the beauty of EO’s can truly be, IF USED SAFELY AND PROPERLY.
Depending on the plant and oil in question, it takes fairly large—sometimes huge—amounts of raw plant material to make tiny quantities of essential oils. For example, to make just one half ounce of lavender essential oil it takes 27 square feet of lavender plants. To make the same amount of lemon essential oil it takes 75 lemons and to make the same amount of rose essential oil takes 22 pounds of rose petals. On average essential oils are approximately 75-100 times more concentrated than dried herbs.
Low temperature and low pressure play an important part of collecting the highest quality essential oil. When plant matter is placed into a chamber and steam is injected, the plant’s essential oil is released into the air. The steam and essential oil are carried out of the chamber and cooled. The oil and water are then allowed to separate for collection.
I just wanted to let everyone know I get my Now brand EO’s at iHerb.com. You can read the reviews of the different essential oils before you buy. They even have a rewards program at their site. They have low shipping costs of $4.99 and shipping is always free with a $20 plus order (on everything not just oils). If you are a first time customer you can use my code at checkout –>HIW400 <– and you will get $5 off your first order http://www.iHerb.com
Have you looked into bergamot? I believe it is actually rather well documented. I don’t have any research articles I can link off the top of my head but we did use it with success for one of my sisters, after my mother did extensive research online and found good evidence to support it. Of course, it does seem there is never a “one pill” solution—a lot of these issues seem to require other lifestyle changes in addition to this kind of support from oils.
Here’s the good news: all the patients who received the aromatherapy hand massage reported less pain and depression.  However, no tests were done on the separate essential oils. This study shows that aromatherapy massage with this specific essential oil blend is more effective for pain and depression management than massage alone. The next step would be to test the individual oils in a similar study.
Tomato Leaves are toxic, never ingest them or use for skincare products. Strictly aromatic purposes are okay, like candles, however, Tomato Leaf EO or Absolute is very expensive for such a venture. The fresh leaves loose their wonderful aroma once dried, I tried it already 🙂 Best choice will be a fragrance oil if you want to really capture that smell, I know…not natural, but these are the facts. Good luck!
Essential oils, including LEO, are complex compositions of compounds that may contain up to several hundred distinct chemical entities. They vary in constituents in a manner similar to that of herbal products, because the aromatic compounds produced are a function of the botanical products' genetics, growth conditions, and oil extraction process. Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry has aided in untangling which constituents occur most frequently, allowed insight into variability among LEOs, and given clues about which constituents may be primarily active. For example, one analytic study found varying concentrations of linalool (26.73%-57.48%) and linalyl acetate (4.01%-35.39%) among 9 different LEO samples.25 This concentration variability leads to significant heterogeneity in products used in different studies and adds to the difficulty in delineating results.
For each profiled oil, you will find information on its botanical name, common method of extraction, oil color, oil consistency, perfumery note, strength of the initial aroma, aromatic description, uses, constituents, and safety information. For most information provided, the data is based on the review of particular samples and could differ from your personal experience. As the uses, constituents and safety information data are subjects requiring research, specific references are provided.
I would highly recommend that anyone who is interested in essential oil toxicity to read this article regarding safety, including ingestion or neat application. I found it to be very helpful. It is a comprehensive article that was also published in an aromatherapy journal. Ron Guba, the author, is a well known Australian aromatherapist. http://www.agoraindex.org/Frag_Dem/toxicitymyths.html
This is where DoTerra RADICALLY differs: A vast majority of their oils are safe for ingesting. The reason is because they are Certified Pure Theraputic Grade Essential Oils (CPTG). The oil industry has been very unregulated for a long time – in fact, the FDA only requires oil companies to put 10% oil in a bottle and then they can put anything else in that they want (kind of like how perfume companies can get away with putting phthalates in their chemical cocktails). DoTerra has a very strict standard, and as many people state, they can tell this almost immediately with how powerful they smell.
Hi! I suffer from connective tissue disease (similar to lupus or RA in pain), and I use lemongrass DILUTED in coconut oil. It is amazing how well this works for pain. Peppermint is awesome for headaches as well as nausea, and marjoram is another pain med. Some oils don’t do much for me except smell really good, but those three have been invaluable. I get mine from doTerra, but I’m going to check out the other site mentioned by Crunchy Betty. Thanks!