This is part of an ongoing educational series on essential oils. Today’s topic is all about grades of essential oils. In later parts of this series I will be talking about essential oils you can ingest, lavender oil and much more. I recently talked all about how to use essential oils for skincare. Stay tuned for more!
There are different ways to distill essential oils and many by products of the distilling process. While there is no governing body of essential oils, creating grades, or reviewing the different oils on the market, there are a few general grades that you should know about.
Grades of Essential Oils
- Grade A or theraputic grade essential oil. These oils are farmed using beyond organic practices. The oils are distilled for the chemical constituents, not the smells. This means that the proper parts of the plant are used to make the essential oils. Everything in the entire process is done to preserve the working action of the oil, so you can use it for wellness. For example have you ever wondered what makes clove essential oil therapeutic grade? Clove essential oil is distilled from the flower of the plant—unlike imitation clove oil that is distilled from the stem or leaf. While the clove stem and leaf are certainly less expensive to distill and have the same aroma as oil distilled from the flower, you will not find the highest amount of the naturally-occurring eugenol in essential oils that are distilled from these parts of the plant. Eugenol is the compound that gives clove oil the important antiseptic and anesthetic properties. SOURCE
- Food Grade or grade B essential oils- At best these oils may be diluted with carrier oils. At worst they may have toxic chemicals added to enhance flavor or smell and extend the oil. Many oils on the market are diluted to increase profits.
- Perfume grade, is also know as grade C essential oils. These oils have the same issue as food grade. They may be diluted or have synthetic chemicals added. Not to be ingested!!
- Floral water is a by product of the steam distillation of an essential oil. The quality of the floral water is determined by the raw materials it is a by product of. Floral waters can smell amazing and you often find that is what is used in shampoo’s and other scented items. Floral water has no action, meaning the use of a floral water does not have a benefit to our bodies. Synthetic or altered floral waters can have a negative impact on our bodies.
What does ACTION mean?
When action is referred to in essential oils, it means that the oil has an affect on your body. Oils that are therapeutic grade have an action. Lavender helps with calming and relaxing. Real lavender oil will actually help you relax. Lower grades of oils may smell nice, but they have no positive affect on your mood like a true lavender oil would.
I only use and trust one brand of essential oils. Of course they are therapeutic grade and have strong action. I only trust the company where I can walk onto the farm and see the process from seed planting, to harvest, to distillation myself. That company is Young Living -Click here to learn more!
I hope today’s post sheds some light on the complex subject of grades of essential oils.
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