I have read up on this before, but after a conversation recently with someone on essential oils that were “Organic” I had to read up on it yet again to make sure I had it straight. What does pure and organic really mean? As we try and move towards a healthier lifestyle, for many of us that includes consuming organic foods. It may also include using other products on ourselves or around our homes that are also organic. Knowing what those words actually mean when it comes to labeling is really important……and I will tell you right now, let the buyer beware.
I have heard on many occasions, “Oh, I use a great brand of essential oils. They are pure organic, and they are tested too.” They walk away feeling happy and content.
Do you remember the day when we thought “natural” actually meant something was good for you? Or how often do we hear these days of manufacturers using buzz words like “zero trans fats” or “sugar free” to make us think products really have zero trans fats or no sugar. Then we learn that they really weren’t quite what we thought because they still have some trans fats or they do have some sugar, but it is only what had been deemed a little bit. But how naive of us to think Zero actually equals 0 or that Sugar Free would mean it has NO SUGAR.
Sadly that is also the case with the words “pure” & “organic”. Then when you put the words “pure” and “organic” together, as in “PURE ORGANIC” people get really excited and are ready to make their purchase. So let’s go over this information again together.
The things is that there is still very little regulating of foods. That is why companies have gotten away with misleading food labels for so long. Even as the noose is being tightened, manufacturers will look for every loophole they possibly can, and use every word they are legally allowed to use to make us, the consumers “think” we are getting a truly healthy organic product.
Let’s start with the word “Pure”. That word in the world of foods, means NADA, zip, nothing. But manufacturers sling that word all over the place, because they know there are enough of us out there that will gulp it down, hook, line and sinker. Let me show you an example of how the word pure is legally used. Here is a bottle of “Pure” Vanilla Extract. It even shows a little drop that says 100% pure. The shocker comes when you turn the box around and look at the ingredients.
* Alcohol (35%) yikes!
* Corn Syrup what?
I guess they are actually being quite honest with the labeling, they do point out that there is “a drop” of pure vanilla in the bottle, didn’t they?
So let’s move on to the word “organic”. More of us seem to be caught up by this buzz word. Here is the definition of the word “organic” when used on a food label. For a product to have “organic” on it, it must be at least 95% organic, not 100% organic. So what about the other 5%? Believe it or not that 5% can be whatever. It can be fillers, residue from pesticides or other chemicals, anything. Just as long as it it mostly organic. I shudder when I think of the potential for the other 5%.
Anything that says “organic ingredients”, that is only required to have 70% organic ingredients in it.
The only FDA qualifier out there that ensures us as consumers that a product is 100% Organic is the USDA Organic label. Absolutely everything in a product that carries this label must be 100% Certified Organic. It is that simple.
With all of this information, I went looking for essential oils that were #1 Certified Organic and #2 considered Therapeutic quality. I looked at these websites and the products they offered more closely. I started with a Goggle search. A bunch of websites popped up. The very first one had this title on Google, “100% Pure Uncut Therapeutic Certified Organic Essential Oils”. I am thinking I am going to find many individual oils fitting that description. I thought, hmmmm, that looks good, let’s take a looksey.
They really did have a lot of USDA Certified oils. But after I did a little closer look around I noticed that the words Therapeutic quality were was not so obvious on the individual oils. I searched that website using their search feature and did in fact find the words Therapeutic quality. Interesting, they did have what they called Therapeutic quality but these were oil “blends” that were “Infused with 100% Pure Therapeutic Certified Organic”.
There was also this wording “Select Farmed Therapeutic Quality Oils”. The superior quality oils actually had recommendations for how they could be used. The lessor oils they were combined with did not have any therapeutic recommendations listed. The list of these premium blends was quite small and I had to dig around to find that there actually was 2 classes. Even the blends did not have the USDA Organic label because they had mixed, organic with non organic.
Take from that what you want, but what I see is that they have “USDA Certified Essential Oils” but if you want them to have superior Therapeutic qualities then you must purchase a blend which now contains at least some Therapeutic quality oils infused into them or a small handful of the superior oils could be purchased, but were often NOT organic.
The next website on my search also has Certified Organic Essential Oils, and you will see a USDA Organic label here and there. But what I noticed more often was a label called OTCO which stands for Oregon Tilth – Certified Organic. This is another certification that could be be misunderstood to represent the USDA organic certification. But an OTCO certification means that the product must be at least 95% organic, not 100%. What about the other 5%? Again, it can be whatever. Is that the kind of organic you were actually looking for? I’m thinking maybe not.
Honestly there is no government regulatory commission that oversees any of this other then the USDA Organic Certification which is very strict. As an example the words Therapeutic is not a standardized word. There are no regulations on essential oils, at all. So all of these companies can pretty much say it however they want as long as they don’t use the USDA Organic Certification when their oils do not qualify.
This applies to our company as well. Our company was not particularly satisfied with that. It leaves the consumer up to so much guess work. They were compelled to create a standard for essential oils, something that had not been done before. No one makes them do this, but they want us, the consumer to feel assured that the essential oils they produce are going to be extremely pure, authentic, potent and will provide you with the highest therapeutic properties available anywhere.
They created a label that ensures that their oils are therapeutic quality, having been certified for purity and potency. Now critics will argue, there is no such thing, and there isn’t according to any government regulation. But it does exist as the standard of quality that our company enforces upon themselves and the production of their essential oils.
One last little gem. There are various countries that have worked with the US to meet the standard of USDA Organic, and you will see essential oils from other countries with the Certified Organic label. But that USDA label is not important to our company, because they already know that internally they are going to meet and usually exceed that standard anyways.
What we are looking for when sourcing our oils is that they have the very specific compounds numbering into the 100s. We are guided by decades of experience in essential oils. Compounds have been researched in advance looking for the qualities that are want in a particular essential oil. Then we seek to find the species, the soil, the climate and the precise growing conditions that will yield these specific oils which will give you the therapeutic benefits that you are looking for in every single drop.
More often then not these oils come from lands that do not have that USDA Organic certification, but they do have the species, the soil, the climate and the growing conditions which will yield the most precious and most powerful essential oil on the planet. Our company handles the rest, assuring us that we are getting the safest and most effective oils for ourselves, our families and our pets.
That is why I chose to use my brand of essential oils.
FDA Disclaimer: These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. The recommendations above are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
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