Are Organic Essential Oils Actually Better?
Exploring the differences between commercial grade, therapeutic grade, and organic essential oils and what these terms actually mean.
Essential oils have become a popular natural remedy for a variety of health concerns, ranging from stress and anxiety to inflammation and pain. However, with so many different types of essential oils on the market, it can be challenging to determine which option is best for your needs.
One common question that arises is whether organic essential oils are actually better than non-organic oils. In this article, we will explore the differences between the three most common grades of essential oil, examine the evidence, and provide an answer to this important question. We will discuss the benefits and drawbacks of organic essential oils and provide tips for choosing high-quality oils that are safe and effective for your needs.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are concentrated extracts derived from various plants. They are obtained through a process of distillation or cold-pressing, which results in a highly concentrated liquid that retains the plant's fragrance and flavor. These oils are referred to as "essential" because they contain the essence of the plant from which they are derived.
Essential oils are used for a variety of purposes, including aromatherapy, massage, and as natural remedies for various ailments. Different oils are believed to have different therapeutic properties, and each oil has its own unique scent and flavor.
Some common essential oils include lavender, peppermint, lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, and chamomile. Lavender oil, for example, is often used for its calming properties and is believed to help with anxiety and sleep problems. Peppermint oil is often used for its cooling and refreshing properties and is believed to help with headaches and digestive issues.
It's important to note that while essential oils are natural, they can still be potent and should be used with care. Some oils may cause skin irritation or allergic reactions, and certain oils should not be used during pregnancy or with certain medical conditions. To learn more about how to safely use essential oils, check out our blog A Beginner's Guide to Essential Oils (5 Steps to Help You Get Started)
How Are Essential Oils Graded?
When shopping for essential oils, it's important to understand the different grades of oils that are available. While there is no governing body that grades essential oils, they are commonly categorized into three groups based on the methods used to produce the oil and their resulting purity.
Commercial or Fragrance Grade Essential Oils
Commercial grade essential oils are typically the cheapest option and are often used in industrial applications, such as cleaning products and fragrances. These oils are usually extracted using high-heat and high-pressure methods, which can damage the delicate chemical compounds in the oil and reduce their therapeutic properties. Commercial grade essential oils are also more likely to contain synthetic additives to improve the fragrance of the oil.
Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
Most non-organic essential oils will be labeled or sold as therapeutic grade essential oil. While many companies market their oils as "therapeutic grade," this term is not regulated by any official organization or governing body.
The term "therapeutic grade" is frequently utilized to suggest that an essential oil is superior in quality or purity compared to other oils. However, in reality, there is no universally accepted definition of this term. The purpose of using this label is largely a marketing tactic intended to make the oils appear more attractive to consumers. It's important to note that not all therapeutic grade essential oils are necessarily of low quality, but it's wise to conduct thorough research before buying any oil labeled as such.
Organic Essential Oils
Organic essential oils are extracted from plants that have been grown and harvested without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or other harmful chemicals. These oils are often considered to be of higher quality and purity than non-organic essential oils, as they are produced using sustainable, environmentally friendly methods.
To be certified organic, essential oils must meet certain standards set forth by organizations such as the USDA or the Ecocert. These standards typically include requirements for soil quality, pest and weed management, and the use of approved fertilizers and pesticides.
Benefits of Organic Essential Oils
Organic essential oils are produced using sustainable, environmentally friendly methods that prioritize the health of both the plants and the surrounding ecosystem. These oils are free from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and other harmful chemicals, which means that they are less likely to contain contaminants or other impurities.
When you take into account how concentrated essential oils really are, this becomes increasingly important. For example, it takes roughly 30 pounds of lavender to make a single 15ml bottle of lavender essential oil! If the lavender used to create the oil has even trace amounts of fertilizer or pesticides, these harmful chemicals can be condensed into the final product.
Organic essential oils are typically of higher quality than non-organic oils, as they are produced using high-quality, organic plant material and processed using natural, non-toxic methods. This results in oils that are more potent, effective, and beneficial for a range of health concerns.
Better for the Environment
Organic essential oils are produced using methods that are better for the environment, as they prioritize sustainable farming practices and protect the health of the surrounding ecosystem. By choosing organic essential oils, you are supporting sustainable agriculture and helping to protect the planet for future generations.
Drawbacks of Organic Essential Oil
While organic essential oils offer many benefits, there are a few drawbacks to consider, including:
Organic essential oils are often more expensive than non-organic oils, as they require more intensive farming practices and processing methods. However, the higher cost is often offset by the increased quality and purity of the oils.
Organic essential oils may be less widely available than non-organic oils, as they require more specialized farming and processing methods. However, as the demand for organic essential oils continues to grow, more producers are starting to offer organic options.
So is Organic Essential Oil Better?
In most cases yes, organic essential oils are a superior option for those seeking high-quality, natural products. These oils are produced using sustainable, environmentally friendly methods that prioritize the health of the plants and the surrounding ecosystem. Additionally, organic essential oils are free from harmful chemicals and contaminants, making them safer for your health than non-organic oils. When shopping for organic essential oils, be sure to look for products that are certified organic by reputable organizations such as the USDA or Ecocert.
While organic essential oils may be more expensive and less widely available than non-organic oils, the benefits they offer are well worth the investment. By choosing organic essential oils, you are supporting sustainable agriculture and helping to protect the planet for future generations.
Where to Buy Organic Essential Oil
If you are looking for high quality, organic essential oils, consider checking out our