Where to Buy Essential Oils: Choosing the Best Brand for You!

Where to Buy Essential Oils: Choosing the Best Brand for You!

Knowing where to buy essential oils isn't as simple as it may seem. Like choosing your doctor, you should be careful to not settle for anything but the best. I have done my best to help you navigate these oft muddy waters, and I strongly recommend that you bookmark this page because it will serve to answer most of your questions about how to choose the best essential oils brands for your and your family!

In this article, you will learn about:

  • Choosing the Best Essential Oil Brands
  • What Every Blogger, Distributor & Mom needs to Know
  • 6 Tips to Discovering the Right Brand for You!
  • How to Check for Quality
  • Indigenous Sourcing
  • Contamination Concerns
  • Is Organic Necessary?
  • Essential Oils Regulation
  • Drug Claims
  • Supplement Label and Internal Use
  • The Great Aromatherapy Debate
  • Tips for Internal Use

Choosing the Best Essential Oil Brand

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By far, the #1 most common question I get from the folks who get my weekly newsletter or follow me on Facebook is to which essential oil brand I recommend.

Interestingly, when choosing where to buy essential oils, fewer people ask for the brands that I recommend (emphasis on the pleural), which leads me to believe that most are trying to find the “Holy Grail” when they question me. In fact, snugged right next to this question, many people also ask me what the “best brand” is. Sadly, this train of thought has gotten a lot of people into trouble because nothing could be further from the truth.

Don't get me wrong, I really can't fault anyone for thinking this. We live in such a capitalist-driven society where we have been trained to believe that the competition is never as good as the “real deal.” Not to mention, networking marketing companies have done an exceptionally thorough job reshaping the way that people view oils. The “brand wars” have reached fever pitch at this point, and people will swear on their death bed that their brand sells the only pure oils on the market and all others are contaminated!

Again, I really can't fault people for thinking this. What else are they to logically think when a cancerous tumor disappears after using frankincense oil or their Lyme disease vanishes after using the protocol a distributor friend of theirs recommends?

Literally, there is no lack testimonials out there, and I personally know people who swear essential oils saved their lives. I'm not talking about bloggers out there who use their “story” to sell oils. No, I'm talking about real people with real testimonials about real essential oils! This is why it's so important to know where to buy essential oils.

What Every Blogger, Distributor & Mom needs to Know

First off, as a public health researcher I am committed to staying as unbiased as possible so I don't give product recommendations when asked where to buy essential oils. 

Not to mention, if I start selling and recommending essential oil brands, the Food and Drug Administration can shut down my website like they have several of my colleagues for making so-called “drug claims.” Unlike pharmaceuticals, the manufacturing of EOs and supplements are not monitored by the government. This is why your medical doctor can recommend (and sell) specific drugs.

Things work differently in the natural health world. The only solace I have to continue educating the world about the life-transforming properties of natural therapies like essential oils is the First Amendment at this point. And, to maintain my freedom of speech to discuss what the scientific research has to say about how essential oils affect the body and various disease processes, I need to remain brand neutral. 

There are some good Facebook groups, however, that lay it all out there. The purpose of my site is not to dive into this piece, but to educate about uses. Once we start to name brands and recommend where to buy essential oils, we get into the FDA's scope and we want to preserve our freedom of speech. It's a fine line…

With that said, let me break it to y'all. When considering where to buy essential oils, just realize that there is no #1 essential oils company. It simply does not, nor will it ever, exist.

Now, don't stone me because I refuse to bow down to the essential oil gods out there. If you've been following my work for a while, I hope that you've come to appreciate that my mission in life is not to give people fish, but to give them the fishing pole that they need to regain control of their health. As a Biblical health educator and natural health researcher, I'm very passionate about educating people and equipping them to take the information that I teach to the next level.

The take home message is that it all boils down to trust. As you will see below, the entire supplement and essential oil industries are entirely built upon the “honor code.” If you have found a company that you can put your faith in because they readily provide you with the information that you're looking for, your body responds well to their products, and you have no reason to believe that they are selling junk then you found a “keeper.”

On the other hand, if you cannot get the information that you want from them a company, your body reacts to the oils in an undesirable manner and you develop suspicions because of an increase negative reports on the Internet, you should probably find a new brand that you can put your faith in.

With that said, let's now tackle the most emotionally-charged and controversial topic in the essential oils industry: where to buy essential oils!

6 Tips to Discovering the Right Brand for YOU!

There are several quality, therapeutic grade brands out there and we use several of them. Here's what Mama Z and I do before we start using new essential oils:

  1. Ask the company that you're investigating for a report of their sourcing and quality standards (check out the section “How to Check for Quality” below).
  2. Contact a friend or family member who uses essential oils that you trust to be conscientious and a thorough researcher – be careful to not let hate speech and multi-level marketing propaganda get in the way of truth. EVERYONE's brand is the best, right? Especially, when they're selling something. 😉
  3. Contact the company and see if they sell therapeutic grade oils, and ask them for a definition of what “therapeutic grade” means because this is an unregulated term that can be defined in a variety of ways.
  4. Check to see if the oils are safe for internal use. Look for the SUPPLEMENT label on the bottle, which is an indication that the company you are interested in sells oils that are generally recognized as safe (GRAS. More on this below.
  5. Try a couple, and test for yourself. Lemon, lavender and peppermint are common, relatively inexpensive and you should get a good gauge to see if this brand is for you or not.
  6. Remember, many of the small companies get their oils from the same suppliers. They just private label them.

From what I've been told, the larger companies have unique suppliers, which differentiates their product from their competitor. This doesn't guarantee purity, but it can help put your mind to rest that they (should) be proprietary.

Note: For a product to be labeled as an “essential oil supplement,” a supplemental fact label is required to be placed on the bottle, even though prior FDA approval is not required to use these labels. Essential oils that are being recommended for ingestion should have the supplemental fact labels on the bottle, however, this is not always the case. As well, the supplement label is not a guarantee of safety or purity as these labels are not regulated unless complaints or injury reports cause the FDA to intervene. (More on this below…).

Where to Buy Essential Oils: Quality Assessment 

Before jumping in and buying a bunch of oils from a company, consider asking these questions to help ensure quality:

  • Does the company has relations with their distillers?
  • Can the company readily supply a batch-specific report (MS/GC) on the oil it sells?
  • Can the company readily provide material safety data sheets (MSDS) upon request?
  • What is the common name, latin name (exact genus and species), country of origin, part of plant processed, type of extraction (distillation or expression), and how it was grown (organic, wild-crafted, traditional)?

Also, it is critical to test for your own organo-leptic assessment. “Organo-leptic” meaning the way your body perceives the oil through the six senses: taste, touch, smell, vision, auditory, and intuition.

The non-profit Essential Oil Analysis Foundation tests oils that are donated and they have collected a number of samples of some of the more common (and lessor known) brands. You can check out their reports HERE.

Where to Buy Essential Oils: Indigenous Sourcing

In my opinion, the most important factor is whether or not the oils are indigenously sourced. Meaning, they are harvested where God planted them, which is why they are referred to as “native” plants. One reason why is because “organic” is not a guarantee of purity (more on that below). The other reason, and even more important, is because non-native plants pale in comparison to native plants when it come to nutrition and chemical constituency.

My father-in-law is a retired PhD agriscientist and spent his career evaluating the chemical compounds in plants. He told me that native plants always have a better nutritional profile because the soil is naturally designed to feed indigenous plants with what they need most. For example, we live in Atlanta, GA where the growing season lasts nearly 10 months out of the year. It's warm enough to sustain a fig tree in our backyard, but the taste and vitamin and mineral content of our fig is nothing what it should (and could) be if that same tree were grown in Israel where figs are native. Same for the pineapple, limes and lemons that grow in pots on our deck.

Additionally, there are some other importance differences between indigenous and non-indigenous plants:

Native Plants

  • Evolved over a long period of time, and best suited to thrive in their native region.
  • Adapted to the local weather and geology.
  • Can thrive in drought and inclement weather situations.
  • Environmentally sustainable for pesticide-free farming because they have developed natural resistance to native predators.
  • Has a positive impact on the local environment and ecosystem by forming natural “communities” with other plants.

Non-Native Plants

  • Unnaturally introduced (deliberately or by accident) into an environment in which they did not evolve.
  • Are not well-suited for pesticide-free farming because they are not naturally resistant to native predators.
  • Has a negative impact on the local environment and ecosystem because they have a tendency to take over a habitat, require pesticides to thrive, and are not natural food sources for neighboring wildlife.

Where to Buy Essential Oils: Contamination Concerns

The fact that people are questioning which brands are best is a good thing. When considering where to buy essential oils, underlying concern and motivating factor is that people want to use unadulterated pure oils, with no contaminants or harmful fillers. I validate this concern 100% and hope that more people will demand pure products in the supplement world so that suppliers step up their game. Remember, it's all about supply-and-demand.

Is Organic Necessary?

In 2014, scientists and essential oil producers met at the International Federation of Essential Oil and Aroma Trades (IFEAT) Conference in Rome, Italy to share their concerns about quality and safety of our global essential oil supply. These are some of the key takeaways as shared by the Founder, President, CEO, and Principal of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) Dorene Petersen: (1)

  • “Pesticide residue and concern for pesticide levels in essential oils, even in certified organic oils, was the subject of three sessions at IFEAT 2014.”
  • “It is a regrettable fact that essential oils can contain pesticide residues, even certified organic essential oils.”
  • “Detecting residue is
 even more likely if pesticides are administered during cultivation of the plant material.”
  • “However, passive contamination can also occur even if a farmer does not actively use pesticides.”
  • “Acts of nature such as a puff of wind or water runoff from a neighboring field, even incorrect storage of an essential oil, can all result in cross contamination.”
  • “According to the test results conducted by the German Medicines Manufacturers' Association (BAH) Working Group on Contaminants, cold-pressed essential oils from the pericarp of citrus fruits are more likely to contain pesticide residues than steam-distilled citrus because of the hydrophilic, thermostable, and volatile characteristics of pesticides.”
  • “Most pesticides can easily combine with or dissolve in lipids or fats, facilitating the transition to the oil.”

The reality is that it's increasingly becoming more difficult to find truly pure, clean air, food and water because of modern agricultural methods and pollution on a global, massive scale. This is especially true for supplements and essential oils that are labelled “organic.”

According to Petersen's report of the IFEAT meeting, it's all not doom-and-gloom. (1)

The European Pharmacopoeia expert group database focused on essential oils from 2006 to 2013, have tested nearly 600 samples for 217 substances representing 28 different oils.

  • 314 samples didn't show any residues.
  • 275 samples were contaminated with at least one residue.
  • 1,150 results were discovered to contain at least one pesticide residue.
  • A few of the specific oils they looked at were neroli, rosemary, eucalyptus, caraway, and lavender.
  • Of the 65 samples of neroli, 199 positive pesticide findings were discovered, and 77 showed that the pesticides were above the maximum levels.
  • 49 samples of rosemary were tested, and 15 revealed more than the maximum level of a citrus peel treatment agent known as biphenyl.
  • Interesting, rosemary does not have a peel so the presence of biphenyl can only be explained because it was contaminated by the packaging, the manufacturing equipment or some other manmade intervention.
  • 36 eucalyptus and 25 caraway samples were tested, and three of each were positive for pesticides,.
  • 19 lavender samples tested and one was positive.

Essential Oil Regulation

At this point, the most natural question you should be asking is, “Who regulates essential oils?”

The easiest answer to this question is, “No one.”

Technically-speaking, they are regulated in a roundabout way, but manufacturers and distributors are not required to obtain FDA approval to sell their products beforehand, so what's the purpose? “Because dietary supplements are under the “umbrella” of foods, FDA's Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition (CFSAN) is responsible for the agency's oversight of these products. DSHEA created a new regulatory framework for the safety and labeling of dietary supplements. FDA is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed.” (5)

Hence, the reason why you'll see this disclaimer on essential oil bottles, “*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”

Unlike drugs, supplements and essential oils are not intended to cure, diagnose, prevent, or treat diseases. That means supplements should not make claims, such as “reduces pain” or “treats heart disease.” Statements like these (i.e. “drug claims”) can only be made for drugs, not essential oils or supplements. (6)

Under the FD&C Act, cosmetic products and ingredients, with the exception of color additives, do not require FDA approval before they go on the market. Drugs, however, must generally either receive premarket approval by FDA through the New Drug Application (NDA) process or conform to a “monograph” for a particular drug category, as established by FDA's Over-the-Counter (OTC) Drug Review. These monographs specify conditions whereby OTC drug ingredients are generally recognized as safe and effective, and not misbranded. Certain OTC drugs may remain on the market without an NDA approval until a monograph for its class of drugs is finalized as a regulation. (7)

When choosing where to buy essential oils, it's important to keep in mind that they are only regulated after they go to market. Even then, in the tangled web of “regulation” there are so many loopholes that there is virtually no system set in place to properly regulate the products being sold. To help make sense of this all, here is a quick summary of the current regulatory system and the principal players:

  1. The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994, which amended the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, regulates manufacturers by holding them accountable to what are known as “good manufacturing practices” (i.e., industry quality standards ).
  2. The Food and Drug Adminstration (FDA) regulates the label, but only after the product goes to market. (More on this below…).
  3. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates supplement advertising – manufacturers must report truthfully what their products contain and must have proof backing up any claims they make.
  4. Dietary Supplement and Nonprescription Drug Consumer Protection Act (DSNDCPA) of 2006 requires “adverse event reporting” – the same system the FDA uses to inform the public about injury reports and unsafe incidents.

Under DSHEA, FDA is responsible for uncovering that supplements are “unsafe” before it can remove the products from the marketplace. Essentially, all essential oils and supplements are innocent until proven guilty and the primary way the FDA is aware of a situation necessitating an investigation is at the very hands of the manufacturers and distributors themselves; as they are required to record, investigate and forward all safety concerns and adverse event reports to the FDA.

Drug Claims

In contrast to dietary supplement manufacturers, who are able to utilize structure/function claims, aromatherapy companies who sell essential oils for external use cannot.

Establishing a Product's Intended Use

“A product can be a drug, a cosmetic, or a combination of both… For example, a fragrance marketed for promoting attractiveness is a cosmetic. But a fragrance marketed with certain ‘aromatherapy' claims, such as assertions that the scent will help the consumer sleep or quit smoking, meets the definition of a drug because of its intended use. Similarly, a massage oil that is simply intended to lubricate the skin and impart fragrance is a cosmetic, but if the product is intended for a therapeutic use, such as relieving muscle pain, it's a drug.” (7)

This is where some brands get in trouble because they, or their distributors make “drug claims” that are outside the scope of cosmetics. “The law doesn't require cosmetics to have FDA approval before they go on the market. But FDA can take action against a cosmetic on the market if we have reliable information showing that it is unsafe when consumers use it according to directions on the label, or in the customary or expected way, or if it is not labeled properly.” (8)

The SUPPLEMENT Label and Internal Use

Essentially, if the label says SUPPLEMENT, then yes, it's considered a consumable product. This is critical to keep in minding when considering where to buy essential oils.

As described by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, “A dietary supplement is a product intended for ingestion that contains a ‘dietary ingredient' intended to add further nutritional value to (supplement) the diet. A ‘dietary ingredient' may be one, or any combination, of the following substances:

  • a vitamin
  • a mineral
  • an herb or other botanical
  • an amino acid
  • a dietary substance for use by people to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake
  • a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, or extract

Dietary supplements may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders. Some dietary supplements can help ensure that you get an adequate dietary intake of essential nutrients; others may help you reduce your risk of disease.” (9)

Other sources like Jade Shutes from the School for Aromatic Studies explain this further: “Dietary supplements can be created by using both nutritive and non-nutritive ingredients. Essential oils, of course, would be considered non-nutritive dietary supplements. The use of essential oils continues to actually grow within the dietary supplement world. This is the value of GRAS approved essential oils. They have already gone through incredible safety evaluation for internal use. So we see dietary supplement companies utilizing GRAS approved essential oils/co2 extracts.” (10)

Remember that essential oils are oftentimes a key component of the supplements that we take and this is key: Dietary supplement manufacturers are able to utilize structure/function claims whereas traditional aromatherapy companies who sell essential oils for external application cannot.

So, if a company states on the bottle or package that their essential oil product(s) can alter body function (i.e. reduce pain, inflammation, etc.), the FDA requires that these claims be supported by conclusive evidence to prove the supplement truly has the claimed effect. These types of claims on labels must be approved by the FDA within 30 days after its first use. Additionally, the FDA requires that this information be printed on the product label in a clear manner for it to be regulated. Still then, these claims can only be “general structure function” and cannot state the product “cures” or “treats” a disease or illness.

This seems pretty straightforward, but is not a guarantee that products are being regulated. Only products that make claims on them are regulated. So, the natural course of action for a vast majority of supplement and essential oils manufacturers is to simply not make claims on their labels! Then, these same companies can make claims on their website and try to walk this fine line and stay under the FDA's radar. For instance, let's say that:

  • Company XYZ states that a product reduces pain and inflammation on their website only.
  • Company XYZ does NOT state this on their dietary fact supplement label.
  • Subsequently, the label does NOT require FDA approval before it goes to market.
  • The supplement label will be regulated by the FDA ONLY if it has been found to be adulterated or responsible of causing harm.
  • If dietary supplement claims are made on a supplement label, Company XYZ is then required to have substantiating evidence to back up their claim and get approval within 30 days after its first use.

The bottom line is that according to the law (DSHEA), manufacturers are responsible for ensuring that their products are safe before they are marketed; which is a main factor when considering where to buy essential oils.

The Great Aromatherapy Debate

When choosing where to buy essential oils, it is commonly believed that the bottle should contain a supplement label.

To make a brief statement about internal use in the context of the SUPPLEMENT label discussion, the fact remains that there are no scientific, evidence-based, anatomical, physiological or logical reasons to say that essentials oils are unsafe for human consumption. Paradoxically, aromatherapists are still at odds with each other on this point, which confuses the casual essential oil user all the more. With that said, rest assured that large professional organizations like National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) support safe, internal use.

In the words of NAHA, “Essential oils may be applied on the skin (dermal application), inhaled, diffused or taken internally. Each of these methods have safety issues which need to be considered.” (11) And this makes complete sense to me. Like anything we can easily overdo it, and we must remember a little goes a long way with regard to essential oils – especially internal use!

The thing that really throws me through a loop regarding people who speak out against internal use is that they are in direct opposition of the several human studies in the scientific literature and completely disregard the Food and Drug Administration. Yes, you read that correctly! According to the FDA, essential oils are safe for human consumption. For the exhaustive FDA-approved list of Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) oils see below. (12)

Note: not all oils that are safe for ingestion are included in the FDA-approved GRAS list. I recommend that we use this list as a base point to start the conversation about what is and what is not safe.

Tips for Internal Use

It is important to realize that people consume essential oils all day without even realizing it. Where do you think your processed foods get their flavor from!

Virtually anything that is naturally flavored most likely contains essential oils. This is what the FDA says in the official document Code of Regulations, Title 21, Volume 6, Animal Food Labeling: Specific Animal Food Labeling Requirements.

Foods Containing “Artificial Flavors” and “Spices” do not Contain Oils

“(a)(1) The term artificial flavor or artificial flavoring means any substance, the function of which is to impart flavor, which is not derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof.

(2) The term spice means any aromatic vegetable substance in the whole, broken, or ground form, except for those substances which have been traditionally regarded as foods, such as onions, garlic and celery; whose significant function in food is seasoning rather than nutritional; that is true to name; and from which no portion of any volatile oil or other flavoring principle has been removed.

  • Allspice, Anise, Basil, Bay leaves, Caraway seed, Cardamon, Celery seed, Chervil, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Cumin seed, Dill seed, Fennel seed, Fenugreek, Ginger, Horseradish, Mace, Marjoram, Mustard flour, Nutmeg, Oregano, Paprika, Parsley, Pepper, black; Pepper, white; Pepper, red; Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Savory, Star aniseed, Tarragon, Thyme, Turmeric.
  • Paprika, turmeric, and saffron or other spices which are also colors, shall be declared as spice and coloring unless declared by their common or usual name.”

Foods Containing “Natural Flavors” do Contain Oils

“(3) The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleo-resin, essence or extractive, protein hydro-ly-sate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzy-mol-ysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional. Natural flavors, include the natural essence or extractives obtained from plants.”

By letting common sense be our guide, I propose some tried and true tips on how to take essential oils internally.

  • When starting out, stick with those that are GRAS (see below for the FDA-approved list of oils that are Generally Recognized As Safe for internal use).
  • Be safe.
  • Don't overdo it – limit to 1-2 drops at a time, and be sure to wait at least 4 hours before taking consecutive doses.
  • Discontinue use IMMEDIATELY if adverse reactions occur.

Trust me, people don't break out in hives in a “detox” reaction when using essential oils like I've read out there in cyberspace. Pain, irritation, swelling, inflammation, bloating, burning, reflux, and anything else that isn't pleasant is NOT a good sign. This is your body's way of warning you that something harmful is attacking it.

Some More Practical Tips:

  • Gentle oils like frankincense and lemon can usually be taken directly under the tongue for quick access into the bloodstream.
  • More volatile oils like oregano and clove should ALWAYS be diluted with a carrier oil. 1 drop per teaspoon is usually safe for people.
  • Putting 1-2 drops in a capsule can help you avoid esophageal irritation.
  • Putting 1 drop of a citrus oil in your water is generally safe and quite enjoyable.
  • My family and I regularly enjoy a drop of lemon/lime + some liquid stevia in sparkling water as our soda pop alternative.
  • Include 1 drop of your favorite oils in your food.

Cooking with essential oils is an extremely effective way to enjoy the health benefits as well as the wonderful experience through your taste buds. 1-2 drops of cilantro or coriander with 1-2 drops of lime, for example, goes wonderfully with your homemade guacamole. Dry 1 drop of cumin in your curry next time. Or 1-2 drops of black pepper in virtually anything savory!

Safety & Contraindications

Are you sure you're using essential oils safely and effectively? Are you confused by dilutions and conversions?

 Let me help take out the guesswork and download my FREE roller bottle guide HERE.

Essential Oil Roller Bottle Dilution Guide

When it comes to drug interactions and contraindications, there are literally textbooks devoted to the study of essential oil safety and, as a trained researcher and doctor, I think it’s important to note that there is virtually no research out there discussing how essential oils interact with drugs in human clinical trials. This means that essential oil safety is still a wild frontier in the science community and no one really knows (for certain) how essential oils will interact with drugs or your body.

Nonetheless, properly diluting your essential oils is fundamental to safety and effectiveness because they are highly concentrated plant compounds. To help you along your journey, I have a created an easy-to-use dilution guide that you can download for FREE to make sure that all of your topical applications are safe and effective for the entire family. 

<< CLICK HERE to Download My FREE EO Roller Bottle Dilution Chart! >>

As with as medicine and natural therapies, this is only a guide and be sure to discontinue use if any adverse reactions occur and consult your physician immediately.

FDA Approved GRAS Essential Oils

[Code of Federal Regulations]
[Title 21, Volume 3]
[Revised as of April 1, 2015]
[CITE: 21CFR182.20]


Subpart A–General Provisions

Sec. 182.20 Essential oils, oleoresins (solvent-free), and natural extractives (including distillates).

Essential oils, oleoresins (solvent-free), and natural extractives (including distillates) that are generally recognized as safe for their intended use, within the meaning of section 409 of the Act, are as follows:

Common name Botanical name of plant source
Alfalfa Medicago sativa L.
Allspice Pimenta officinalis Lindl.
Almond, bitter (free from prussic acid) Prunus amygdalus Batsch, Prunus armeniaca L., or Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.
Ambrette (seed) Hibiscus moschatus Moench.
Angelica root Angelica archangelica L.
Angelica seed Do.
Angelica stem Do.
Angostura (cusparia bark) Galipea officinalis Hancock.
Anise Pimpinella anisum L.
Asafetida Ferula assa-foetida L. and related spp. of Ferula.
Balm (lemon balm) Melissa officinalis L.
Balsam of Peru Myroxylon pereirae Klotzsch.
Basil Ocimum basilicum L.
Bay leaves Laurus nobilis L.
Bay (myrcia oil) Pimenta racemosa (Mill.) J. W. Moore.
Bergamot (bergamot orange) Citrus aurantium L. subsp. bergamia Wright et Arn.
Bitter almond (free from prussic acid) Prunus amygdalus Batsch, Prunus armeniaca L., or Prunus persica (L.) Batsch.
Bois de rose Aniba rosaeodora Ducke.
Cacao Theobroma cacao L.
Camomile (chamomile) flowers, Hungarian Matricaria chamomilla L.
Camomile (chamomile) flowers, Roman or English Anthemis nobilis L.
Cananga Cananga odorata Hook. f. and Thoms.
Capsicum Capsicum frutescens L. and Capsicum annuum L.
Caraway Carum carvi L.
Cardamom seed (cardamon) Elettaria cardamomum Maton.
Carob bean Ceratonia siliqua L.
Carrot Daucus carota L.
Cascarilla bark Croton eluteria Benn.
Cassia bark, Chinese Cinnamomum cassia Blume.
Cassia bark, Padang or Batavia Cinnamomum burmanni Blume.
Cassia bark, Saigon Cinnamomum loureirii Nees.
Celery seed Apium graveolens L.
Cherry, wild, bark Prunus serotina Ehrh.
Chervil Anthriscus cerefolium (L.) Hoffm.
Chicory Cichorium intybus L.
Cinnamon bark, Ceylon Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees.
Cinnamon bark, Chinese Cinnamomum cassia Blume.
Cinnamon bark, Saigon Cinnamomum loureirii Nees.
Cinnamon leaf, Ceylon Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees.
Cinnamon leaf, Chinese Cinnamomum cassia Blume.
Cinnamon leaf, Saigon Cinnamomum loureirii Nees.
Citronella Cymbopogon nardus Rendle.
Citrus peels Citrus spp.
Clary (clary sage) Salvia sclarea L.
Clover Trifolium spp.
Coca (decocainized) Erythroxylum coca Lam. and other spp. of Erythroxylum.
Coffee Coffea spp.
Cola nut Cola acuminata Schott and Endl., and other spp. of Cola.
Coriander Coriandrum sativum L.
Cumin (cummin) Cuminum cyminum L.
Curacao orange peel (orange, bitter peel) Citrus aurantium L.
Cusparia bark Galipea officinalis Hancock.
Dandelion Taraxacum officinale Weber and T. laevigatum DC.
Dandelion root Do.
Dog grass (quackgrass, triticum) Agropyron repens (L.) Beauv.
Elder flowers Sambucus canadensis L. and S. nigra I.
Estragole (esdragol, esdragon, tarragon) Artemisia dracunculus L.
Estragon (tarragon) Do.
Fennel, sweet Foeniculum vulgare Mill.
Fenugreek Trigonella foenum-graecum L.
Galanga (galangal) Alpinia officinarum Hance.
Geranium Pelargonium spp.
Geranium, East Indian Cymbopogon martini Stapf.
Geranium, rose Pelargonium graveolens L'Her.
Ginger Zingiber officinale Rosc.
Grapefruit Citrus paradisi Macf.
Guava Psidium spp.
Hickory bark Carya spp.
Horehound (hoarhound) Marrubium vulgare L.
Hops Humulus lupulus L.
Horsemint Monarda punctata L.
Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis L.
Immortelle Helichrysum augustifolium DC.
Jasmine Jasminum officinale L. and other spp. of Jasminum.
Juniper (berries) Juniperus communis L.
Kola nut Cola acuminata Schott and Endl., and other spp. of Cola.
Laurel berries Laurus nobilis L.
Laurel leaves Laurus spp.
Lavender Lavandula officinalis Chaix.
Lavender, spike Lavandula latifolia Vill.
Lavandin Hybrids between Lavandula officinalis Chaix and Lavandula latifolin Vill.
Lemon Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.
Lemon balm (see balm)  
Lemon grass Cymbopogon citratus DC. and Cymbopogon lexuosus Stapf.
Lemon peel Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.
Lime Citrus aurantifolia Swingle.
Linden flowers Tilia spp.
Locust bean Ceratonia siliqua L,
Lupulin Humulus lupulus L.
Mace Myristica fragrans Houtt.
Mandarin Citrus reticulata Blanco.
Marjoram, sweet Majorana hortensis Moench.
Mate Ilex paraguariensis St. Hil.
Melissa (see balm)  
Menthol Mentha spp.
Menthyl acetate Do.
Molasses (extract) Saccarum officinarum L.
Mustard Brassica spp.
Naringin Citrus paradisi Macf.
Neroli, bigarade Citrus aurantium L.
Nutmeg Myristica fragrans Houtt.
Onion Allium cepa L.
Orange, bitter, flowers Citrus aurantium L.
Orange, bitter, peel Do.
Orange leaf Citrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck.
Orange, sweet Do.
Orange, sweet, flowers Do.
Orange, sweet, peel Do.
Origanum Origanum spp.
Palmarosa Cymbopogon martini Stapf.
Paprika Capsicum annuum L.
Parsley Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) Mansf.
Pepper, black Piper nigrum L.
Pepper, white Do.
Peppermint Mentha piperita L.
Peruvian balsam Myroxylon pereirae Klotzsch.
Petitgrain Citrus aurantium L.
Petitgrain lemon Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.
Petitgrain mandarin or tangerine Citrus reticulata Blanco.
Pimenta Pimenta officinalis Lindl.
Pimenta leaf Pimenta officinalis Lindl.
Pipsissewa leaves Chimaphila umbellata Nutt.
Pomegranate Punica granatum L.
Prickly ash bark Xanthoxylum (or Zanthoxylum) Americanum Mill. or Xanthoxylum clava-herculis L.
Rose absolute Rosa alba L., Rosa centifolia L., Rosa damascena Mill., Rosa gallica L., and vars. of these spp.
Rose (otto of roses, attar of roses) Do.
Rose buds Do.
Rose flowers Do.
Rose fruit (hips) Do.
Rose geranium Pelargonium graveolens L'Her.
Rose leaves Rosa spp.
Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis L.
Saffron Crocus sativus L.
Sage Salvia officinalis L.
Sage, Greek Salvia triloba L.
Sage, Spanish Salvia lavandulaefolia Vahl.
St. John's bread Ceratonia siliqua L.
Savory, summer Satureia hortensis L.
Savory, winter Satureia montana L.
Schinus molle Schinus molle L.
Sloe berries (blackthorn berries) Prunus spinosa L.
Spearmint Mentha spicata L.
Spike lavender Lavandula latifolia Vill.
Tamarind Tamarindus indica L.
Tangerine Citrus reticulata Blanco.
Tarragon Artemisia dracunculus L.
Tea Thea sinensis L.
Thyme Thymus vulgaris L. and Thymus zygis var. gracilis Boiss.
Thyme, white Do.
Thyme, wild or creeping Thymus serpyllum L.
Triticum (see dog grass)  
Tuberose Polianthes tuberosa L.
Turmeric Curcuma longa L.
Vanilla Vanilla planifolia Andr. or Vanilla tahitensis J. W. Moore.
Violet flowers Viola odorata L.
Violet leaves Do.
Violet leaves absolute Do.
Wild cherry bark Prunus serotina Ehrh.
Ylang-ylang Cananga odorata Hook. f. and Thoms.
Zedoary bark Curcuma zedoaria Rosc.

[42 FR 14640, Mar. 15, 1977, as amended at 44 FR 3963, Jan. 19, 1979; 47 FR 29953, July 9, 1982; 48 FR 51613, Nov. 10, 1983; 50 FR 21043 and 21044, May 22, 1985]

This post currently has 106 comments.

  1. Lee R
    May 25, 2017

    I do have one question. I know the use of oils is more common in Europe, and a lot of the research comes from there. I am wondering, what if any difference is there from oils that come from European based companies versus US based companies, aside from perhaps cost? Are their labeling requirements different? Do they have stricter laws regarding production, sourcing, health claims, etc.? Would one be better served to look at a European distributor over a US distributor? And I am asking in general, not for a brand recommendation 🙂

    • Dr. Z
      June 19, 2017

      Good questions, but I don’t think it’d matter, because the suppliers are not EU-based.

      It’s more about the harvester/supplier, not the distributor.

  2. Lee R
    May 25, 2017

    I am absolutely dumbfounded by the number of ppl who are asking you for specific brand recommendations after reading this article! I am still fairly new to EO use, got sucked into a MLM at one point (yes, the oils were good) but also have found that there are many good EO companies out there.
    Do your research, ppl! Use the guidelines Dr. Eric has supplied here! I would say, though, to be cautious about buying oils at the local health food store. Again, do your research. You will find that ‘you get what you pay for’ does definitely play a role when purchasing EO’s.
    Thanks for a great article with the supporting research, Doc!

    • Dr. Z
      June 18, 2017

      Thanks, Lee! Good points!

      And you’d be surprised at how many people’s questions I have deleted over the years. 😉

  3. UniS
    March 22, 2017

    Why is frankincense excluded from the GRAS list above? I just bought some for someone that has brain cancer. I saw a webinar where it said to put it on the roof of the mouth and now I am afriad to use it……and it was over $80.

    • Dr. Z
      March 22, 2017

      Just because it’s not on the FDA GRAS list doesn’t mean that it’s unsafe to consume. Many people regularly consume frankincense. 🙂

      The point of sharing the FDA GRAS list is to give us a starting point for our conversation.

      • UniS
        March 23, 2017

        Thanks. One more question. You mentioned below that some people take frankincense more frequently than your comfort level…..they take it several times a day consistently. ( I am recalling this from memory). I am wondering if once a day for 6-12 months would be OK. I am using Rocky Mountain Frankincense Sacra.

        • Dr. Z
          March 23, 2017

          That’s way too much.

          I never consuming EOs daily for anything other than to treat a specific condition & never for more than 3-4 weeks at a time. The body needs time to adapt and it’s a good idea to mix things up.

          • Laurielaurie
            April 4, 2017

            Thank you for saying this! I’ve been told my many in one company that I should take or apply oils daily.

  4. Deb
    January 28, 2017

    I’m wondering why it costs to join your facebook page? We are just starting out with the struggle of my husband having stage 4 lung cancer and I need all the help I can get to try and fight this. But charging to get to your FB page, I just can’t afford another bill along with all the other ones that we are about to get.

  5. odie
    November 21, 2016

    Trouble here too – finding a trustworthy brand. I joined the essential oil summit a while back. I think Dr. Z was speaking there too. I watched one of the first interviews about oils and how about 90% of what they tested where junk. At that point I didn’t even bother to finish watching the rest of the interviews. No use unless I would get the raw material and make my own…but thats not what the summit was about. However, I wish I would have watched the rest because usually the speakers share insight on quality products. Maybe there will be another summit soon we can all watch and find something of value.

    • Customer Support
      November 23, 2016


      You’ll be interested to know Dr. Z is launching a special member’s only club site where you’ll find a lot more educational articles and many of the videos from the summits he’s hosted! http://essentialoilsclub.info/

  6. LuAnne
    November 17, 2016

    Dr. Z this speaker mentioned a Dr.. Amen? In regards to ADHD diet. Could you respond with the Dr and proper spelling of his name and a source for this? Are you familiar with the Dr?

  7. Trisha
    November 16, 2016

    Just wondering if you have a suggestion on how to use Frankincense oil to combat stage 4 colon cancer?

    The colon has been completely removed and the cancer ended up moving to the lung which that tumor was successfully removed. At this point, there is no sign of cancer, but it has to be in her somewhere because it matastisized to the lung.

    I guess I’m wondering…
    1) how best to use Frankincense in this situation (I’ve heard there’s topical, supplemental and diffusing)?

    2) In the specific brand I’m looking at, there seems to be 3 different versions of Frankincense…is there anything specific I should be looking for or should stay away from when choosing a “type” of Frankincense?

    3) Are there other oils that you would suggest that specifically help in fighting colon cancer?

    Thank you!

    • Dr. Z
      November 20, 2016

      Hi Trisha,

      This article should help –> http://drericz.com/diy-essential-oil-protocol-for-cancer-patients/

      Personally, I like to use a blend of frankincense special (Carterii, Frereana, Serrata, etc.).

      Regarding the specifics, I apologize – I am limited by what I can and cannot say, and giving “medical advise” is definitely a no-no.

      But we do have way around the regulations!

      If you haven’t, please consider joining Dr. Z’s Essential Oils Club – we have lots of people that have joined and they share their tips and testimonials!

  8. NIna
    November 5, 2016

    Hi Dr Z. fist of all I want to say thank you so much for your input. I apologize if this was all ready discussed I just want to make sure that I understand completely. I can take 1 drop of Frank and one of Myrrh mixed with 1 tsp coconut oil per day is that correct?

    • Dr. Z
      November 6, 2016

      Hi Nina,

      It all depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.

      A better approach would be to make your special blend of frank and myrrh and then only using 1 drop of this blend in the coconut oil or in a veggie capsule.

      Even better yet is to use in a differ and apply diluted on the skin in a special lotion or ointment. The more I learn about EOs, the less I consume them. Only for specific health conditions…

  9. Lisa
    October 24, 2016

    Dr. Z,
    I appreciate your not recommending any particular brand and your guidance to FB. God convicted me of using social media as it takes away so much time that can be spent with Him or family. So I do not use social media. an you recommend scholarly sites for researching? My dad has tall cell (rare) papillary thyroid cancer with lung mets. I would like to help him at the very least with the side effects of the chemo. I’m thinking clary sage, frankincense, lemongrass, myrrh, and peppermint/spearmint. Can you tell me your thoughts on these specific EOs and my dad’s type of cancer? Thank you so much for being a Godly man and providing folks with spiritual guidance. Your love of Jesus and openness about that love is the reason I chose your website to learn about EOs.
    Thank you and may you be blessed beyond even your imagination.

    • Customer Support
      November 28, 2016

      We completely understand your point of view about social media, and not being branded. Dr. Z has created a special Facebook group that can help as we have hundreds of members that are actively engaged in sharing testimonies of how they have overcome illnesses and just daily use. You can be part of it by joining his essential oil’s club here –> http://essentialoilsclub.info

  10. Lisa
    September 21, 2016

    I have been trying to find out about essential oils for weeks now to no avail. Why is it the most guarded secret in the universe? If only reputable, knowledgeable practitioners would compile a list of all the companies that produce therapeutic, food-grade oils then I could pick one or more from that list. I don’t need them to recommend one company, but sheesh, how about a list of decent ones? Such a run around. I work in the IT industry and yes, what I would recommend for computing would vary based on individual needs but I could never in good conscience tell people to go do a bunch of research when it is my field of expertise and I could help them save hours, weeks or days of research! I would recommend a few trustworthy brands, or models, or SOMETHING! What is the point of reading anything from these knowledgeable people if the only thing they will say is go research and ask questions or for proof of tests and whatnot? I work in IT, I’m not trying to get a side career in Aromatherapy! And if I were severely sick with Cancer then it appears that I would pass away before any kind person would offer any guidance for help.

    Sorry, but if you’ve read testing results then it would be helpful if you republished them or linked to them rather than sending people on a goose egg hunt. I don’t buy that “I try not to push one over the other” crapola. Why bother to read all of your pages at all?

    • Dr. Z
      September 21, 2016


      There are several therapeutic grade essential oil brands. It’s really not that hard to find them. There are good Facebook groups that give brand recommendations. You should find them helpful. https://www.facebook.com/groups/EOConsumerReports/.

      You’re welcome to visit my site as you wish. Most people honor and respect my brand-free stance. 🙂

      • Luiza
        October 22, 2016

        I find this article BIZARRE. – “First off, I try to stay as unbiased as possible and don’t give product recommendations. So please don’t ask”.
        I have spent hundreds of dollars buying what I believed it was the highest quality essential oil until my next research prove me I was wrong. Have collected a bunch of essential oils from different brands and would be to say at least helpful to hear from an expert what the best brands are for each essential oil.
        To mention all these details: what to look for, what to avoid and at the end say that is not that hard is really disappointing.

        I guess majority of us will keep trying bad quality oils, poisoning ourselves while you keep your reputation as an unbiased Doctor.
        For God sake when you visit a doctor it is common to have the medication prescribed such as (brand, dosage, active ingredients, etc..).
        Don’t mean to offend you, but placing yourself at this situation makes no sense. …Something to think about.

        • Dr. Z
          October 22, 2016

          Hi Luiza,

          If I start selling EOs, the F D A can shut me down for making “drug claims.” To give me to freedom of speech to report research and teach about what I do, I cannot recommend brands or sell oils. I’m sorry, but it’s out of my hands.

          On the other hand, your medical doctor recommends drugs that are approved by the F D A and is legally permitted to do so. EOs and supplements are not monitored by the government.

          Also, please be ensured that there are SEVERAL good, quality brands out there, and I use many of them. When you say, “I have spent hundreds of dollars buying what I believed it was the highest quality essential oil until my next research prove me I was wrong…” it sounds like you’ve been reading too many blog articles. You can’t believe everything you read out there – especially when it’s written by someone selling a product. 🙂

        • Cathlene
          October 31, 2016


          I totally understand your frustration, but I totally understand Dr Z’s side of things, too.

          I’ve been using EO’s for 1 1/2 years and am amazed at the difference I’m seeing in the health and well being of myself and my husband.

          I’d be happy to tell you what brand I use if you want to contact me personally.

          • Jackie
            November 8, 2016

            Hi Cathlene,

            I’d love to know which brand(s) you use. Can I email you? What is your email address? Thank you.

          • Dr. Z
            November 20, 2016

            Hey Ladies,

            My suggestion is to take this conversation to Facebook where your email address remain private. 🙂

    • Cathlene
      October 31, 2016


      I’ve been using EO’s for about 1 1/2 years plus other products that have EO’s in them. If you want to contact me, I can tell you about the brand I use. What I use is certainly helping me get to a better level of health and wellness for me and my husband.

    • Mary Ellen Saunders
      January 13, 2017

      Hi Lisa I definitely now how you feel because I have been researching for over a year and there are no definitive answers from no one because everyone has there hands tied.So we read and study and use a lot of common sense,as far as finding a essential oil company that’s also very hard because they all claim to have the best oil,so I went with the top selling essential oil company because you have to trust someone and they do all the research and figure out the best product for there customer. But just be aware no one is going to give away there secrets without you paying big money,it’s a hand in your pocket kind of business,I know everybody has to make money but I have paid out a lot and am no further ahead with any answers.So I guess I will just keep studying.So sorry for your dilemma.just don’t get overwhelmed and just keep researching.I doubt this will even be printed.

  11. Linda
    September 14, 2016

    Can you tell me if the cost for the following oils is reasonable or inflated prices ? I am looking at buying Peppermint for $22, Frankensence for $78.66.


    • Dr. Z
      September 15, 2016

      Sounds like a MLM price – remember: they need to pay multiple distributors for one product so their sales will always be higher. Inflated? No. It’s reasonable if the quality is there. I pay these prices. 🙂

      • Linda Rinne
        September 16, 2016

        Yes it is an MLM. If I knew for sure if the quality was worth the price I would pay it. Im on a tight budjet right now so I have to look at all my options. The Frankensence is for my dog that has white spots appearing inside her mouth and has spots of tumors or moles appearing on her head and she’s only 7 years old. My family and I have had several dogs that got cancer and had those symptoms. So, I am doing the recipe the vet gave at the EO Summitt for Lumps and Bumps. Not taking a chance since I have EO The Peppermint Oil is for me for my sinuses. I found the Frankencense for $30 at a local food and health food store. A lady I know that works there hasn’t used the frankensence but has used others with success using a higher end oil. So I think that is where I will start and see how it works for me and my dog and go from there. Thanks for your quick support ! I look forward to seeing more of what you have to offer. I went through the survey on your website and it reccommended Peppermint and Cajeput based on my answers. Thanks again ! Linda 😀

        • Dr. Z
          September 16, 2016

          Just be careful that the store-bought frankincense is undiluted. It should say on the bottle under “other ingredients.”

          • Linda
            September 17, 2016

            Well, I already bought it before reading your responce. The only ingredient is the oil bosweila sacra – frankinsence oil. The front of the bottle does say Pure Essential Oils. I was offered a cheaper one that the girl said was fractionized. I couldn’t remember what that meant and she told me it was diluted. I looked and it had jojoba oil in it. I did not want that one. I was told the $30 one was not diluted. Is it enough for the label on the front to say it is pure, or does it have to say it in the ingredients section. Its $30 for 1/2 oz.

            Linda 😀

          • Linda
            September 17, 2016

            There is no other ingredients category.

          • Linda
            September 19, 2016

            So, if there is not other ingredients, and it does not say it is undiluted, then it is not a quality oil ? The front of the bottle says Pure Essential Oils.


          • Dr. Z
            September 20, 2016

            Hi Linda,

            By not listing any “other” ingredients just means that the company is saying that they are not diluting the essential oils with a carrier. It doesn’t guarantee purity.

        • Christine
          October 9, 2016

          Hi Linda! I have been in a group on FB that I LOVE!!! You should join! I have chosen doTERRA as my go to oil. I would recommend by the sounds of those symptoms to investigate oregano oil for your lovie.

          These are two I follow almost as much as Dr.Z
          * Essential Oil Vet – Janet Roark, DVM

          * doTERRA Essential Oils for Pets

          So far these are my two favorites! Noone, fur or human gets left out of having oils in our home! lol good luck! Janet Roark is truly amazing at answering questions about oil use on our pets. You should find the group helpful.

  12. Sylvia
    September 11, 2016

    Can Frank be taken on the tongue or does it need to be diluted? it does not say supplement… it sit safe to ingest? thx…

    • Dr. Z
      September 11, 2016

      Once in a while is OK, but not daily. This is where people get in trouble. Overuse…

  13. Cindy
    September 11, 2016

    I can’t believe the questions you are asked. Did people read your article thoroughly? You specifically said you would not recommend oils or brands, but they keep asking. They should be doing their own research about what you said. Indigenous sourcing is important. You stated that steam distilled rids contaminates. You have given them 2 important things to look at for starters, but people are too lazy to look for themselves. If their health is important, they will research the products themselves and find out. They will learn a lot! And maybe become healthier.

    • Dr. Z
      September 11, 2016


    • Wendy
      April 28, 2017

      I agree. People are just lazy. I do research on everything I use alternatively. There are good reputable EO out there you just have to do your own research.

      • Dr. Z
        April 28, 2017

        Good for you!

  14. Alma
    September 10, 2016

    I’m so new to essential oils & have ordered a few from a company. What if some of the bottles say CPPG on them & some don’t? Is this the same as Therapeutic grade? For instance, Lemon has the ‘Supplement’ label on it with CPPG and the Melaleuca & Frank does not along with Lavender, & a few others I purchased. I just read on your site where Frank can be put under tongue. Is this OK to do w/o the label? Could you explain this to me? I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much!

    • Dr. Z
      September 15, 2016

      Hi Alma,

      I’m guessing you mean CPTG. If so, this is an internal standard that one company uses to sell and market their products.

      It stands for certified pure therapeutic grade, which answers your first question. It’s one of several self-monitored therapeutic grade labels on the market.

      For the oils that do NOT have SUPPLEMENT on it, the company is not promoting the oil for internal use.

      However, I wonder if you’re misreading the label, because I know for certain that the brand that sells CPTG oils puts the SUPPLEMENT label on the label. Just do a google search and pull up the brand labels. 🙂

  15. Kathy
    August 31, 2016

    Dr. Z – you sure stick to your guns on not mentioning specific brands (:)) … and I respect that. For those individuals who want a recommended product – I have found it helpful to seek out a family member or friend whom you know to be thorough and conscientious and who is using Essential Oils and start with that Brand … then observe how your body responds and go from there.
    Thank-you Dr.Z for your extensive articles. God bless!

    • Dr. Z
      September 2, 2016

      Yes, I can agree completely! Referrals are usually best!

  16. Roxann Johnson
    August 23, 2016

    Hi Dr. Z, Have you used Jade Bloom EO? and your input please?

    • Dr. Z
      August 23, 2016

      Sorry Roxann, I try to stay as unbiased as possible and don’t give product recommendations.

      There are some good FB groups that lay it all out there –> https://www.facebook.com/groups/EOConsumerReports/

      The purpose of my site is not to dive into this piece, but to educate about uses. Once we start to name brands, we get into the FDA’s scope and we want to preserve our freedom of speech. It’s a fine line… 🙂

  17. Monica Witsch
    August 22, 2016

    Great article. Thanks for compiling all the information from a US Standpoint. As a professional Aromatherapist I do not agree with the ingestion advice on undiluted oils. What about the terpenes in Citrus oils, esp lemon where they can make up to 96%. These terpenes are irritants to mucous membranes and hence should only be used in an emulsified state. Can you please further comment on that> Many thanks

    Monica, Australia

    • Dr. Z
      August 22, 2016

      Monica, there’s no proof that this is true. I am a public health researcher and the information I shared is based off of global studies not just the U.S.

      The ingestion caution we see from some aromatherapist communities is simply not founded on science. Meaning, we do not have random controlled trials or cohort studies proving that ingesting EOs is harmful. It really all comes down to a matter of opinion.

      • Christine
        October 9, 2016

        I find myself staying very far away from brands and recommendations that state that they do not believe in internal use. If you are afraid to ingest a volatile plant/organic compound that comes from the flowers, shrubs, trees, roots, and bushes that God gave us, then how can you trust that same product in your air or on your skin? Although I am aware some are simply better topically or aromatic, and safety should always be considered, But these are gifts from the earth. It speaks so loudly to me that one must not trust the source of their oils. I use wild orange, cinnamon bark, ginger, and grapefruit in a glass of water every single day. We flavor our teas, dress our salads, and cook and bake with oils. I’ve never felt a better sense of wellness since I started doing that.

        Dr. Z! This article seriously is full of GREAT tips on finding “that brand” that you do not have to have this fear of, and can trust. So you spend a little more on them sometimes? Sometimes you have to spend a bit more to get good trusted quality and some peace of mind. ….. Oh there’s an oil for that too! 🙂 I appreciate all your work that you share with us!!!

        • Dr. Z
          October 9, 2016

          Thanks for your comment Christine!

          I truly appreciate it! 🙂

  18. t
    August 7, 2016

    Lots of questions from commenters here about preferred brands.

    Regarding unregulated standards, please know that there IS at least one company out there who practices full-disclosure as to their source/farms, planting, harvesting, distilling practices, testing, and quality control. They even go as far as inviting people to visit their farms and to participate in planting new crops, and to learn their distilling practices. It’s all there.

    Another point– pay attention to whole plant’s, known constituents.

    Does the eo company ensure maximum, constituent yield?

    Can you smell all the constituent, full-body “notes” in the bottle?

    Does it yield on the first distillation, or second or third?

    Did you know that the chemical reaction you experience from an eo can potentially be altered when it is not correctly distilled for all it’s known constituents?

    Did you know that there are eo’s that can be altered if the distillation temperature is off by just one degree, or off by only one minute?

    Did you know that the effectiveness of the eo can be altered if it’s not harvested at exactly the right time?

    Sounds tedious, but it makes all the difference in the world. Yes, such a company DOES exist. Look and see. It’s out there.

    • Dr. Z
      August 8, 2016

      Hi T,

      Thanks for your response.

      Just so you know, not all of the information you wrote is accurate and I don’t want to pick a fight, but to help clarify for the other readers.

      Regarding, distillation temp + harvest time + 1st/2nd/3rd distillation + “maximum” constituent yield — this is all relative. Meaning there is NO #1 perfect, gold standard.

      Each of the variables you described above produce a “different” product, not a “better” product and this is important. 🙂

  19. Janice Brooks
    August 5, 2016

    Great Great article! To all that are not sure get with someone who is or love to do research and together you will use the company that has the GRAS on there oils with a report. I do my own love it love it. Like said before some oils are for cleaning YES and some are for topical or aromatic use. All the info is out there have faith and trust your instinct. Thank you DR.Z and Mama Z. Welcome little Ruth oh so Beautiful. E/O reveloution 2 on its way YEA!!!

    • Dr. Z
      August 5, 2016

      Thanks so much Janice! We really appreciate your kind words and support! 🙂

      • Karina
        August 23, 2016

        So please tell me if I was you and wanted to get the Frankincense oil for you where is a good place to get it. Thank you God bless you ?

        • Dr. Z
          August 23, 2016

          Sorry. I’m not branded. We enjoy frankincense from multiple companies. Trust me, it’s not as hard as it may seem to find good companies…

          There are pretty good Facebook groups out there that can help as well –> https://www.facebook.com/groups/EOConsumerReports/

  20. Kirby Maglione
    August 3, 2016

    Sheesh. People who have the time to write such detailed critical letters of your research and article surely have the time to do all the research for themselves. I have read c328 a lot, researched a little, and there is so much info out there. I appreciated your list and did not take it to be complete . It also does not bother me that it was not alphabetical. Nor did it seem biased. Carry on. I like the Gentle Breezes™ ultrasonic essential oil diffuser and use citrus oils from Healing Solutions mostly. What do you like?

    • Dr. Z
      August 4, 2016

      You’re awesome, Kirby. Thanks for the vote of confidence! 😉

  21. Sharon Sierra
    August 2, 2016

    Would you recommend doTerra and/or Plant Guru?

    • Dr. Z
      August 4, 2016

      Sorry, Sharon. At this time, I don’t make specific recommendations. Mama Z and I use several different brands of essential oils. 🙂

  22. Luz
    August 2, 2016

    Many blessings Dr. Z to you and your family. Thank you for this wonderful article, currently I use essential oils. I’m hoping that I’m choosing correctly, as I’ve been recommending it to friends and family. I’m waiting eagerly for the next EO summit to start.

    Thank you so much, and congratulations on your new baby.

    • Dr. Z
      August 4, 2016

      Thanks Luz! <3

  23. Mariana
    August 2, 2016

    What is your opinion on Jade essential oils? They claim to be safe for investng, but I am not sure.

    • Customer Support
      August 2, 2016

      Sorry Mariana,

      We don’t make specific recommendations to keep this website as unbiased as possible.

      • Ray
        August 22, 2016

        Dr Z is unbiased. I’m an old man. I need a list of 5 good companies, and a list of 10 bad companies. I started buying on Amazon. Ten pages of detailed explanation gets me nowhere.

  24. Sharon
    August 1, 2016

    Would you recommend Plant Guru or doTerra essential oils?

    • Customer Support
      August 2, 2016

      Hi Sharon,

      We don’t make specific recommendations to keep this website as unbiased as possible.

      So sorry…

  25. jennifer
    August 1, 2016

    Hi! Fantastic article. So much great information and I really appreciate that you stick to your guns in terms of brands/revealing them. I have worked in Food Science and you are on point with recommending people research and try it for themselves, every body is different…but it is so so important to do your homework as well. Looking forward to EOR2!

    • Dr. Z
      August 4, 2016

      Thanks Jennifer!

      I get a lot of slack for not putting my stack in the “brand wars,” but I decided to take the Switzerland (neutral) approach to focus on the research.

      EOR2 is going to be a blast!! 🙂

  26. Judy
    July 30, 2016

    Dr. Z, Thank you for this information. I have used oils now for only about 4 years. I listened to to a summit earlier this year on oils and the lady that was talking said that people are becoming resistant to oils as they have been over using them. Lavender was the most used. Especially the ones that used it on their babies to help at that time. Now the children as adults are either sensitive to it or it does not work very well. Why?
    Thank you.

    • Dr. Z
      August 28, 2016

      Hi Judy,

      There’s no “proof” that resistance to oils is an actual phenomena. This is not to say that it’s impossible – just not supported by the scientific literature. When it comes to “sensitization,” I’ll defer to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy to explain: https://www.naha.org/explore-aromatherapy/safety/

      Dermal sensitization

      Dermal sensitization is a type of allergic reaction. It occurs on first exposure to a substance, but on this occasion, the noticeable effect on the skin will be slight or absent. However, subsequent exposure to the same material, or to a similar one with which there is cross-sensitization, produces a severe inflammatory reaction brought about by cells of the immune system (T-lymphocytes).7 The reaction will be represented on the skin as blotchy or redness, which may be painful to some individuals.

      The problem with dermal sensitization is that once it occurs with a specific essential oil the individual is most likely going to be sensitive to it for many years and perhaps for the remainder of his/her life. The best way to prevent sensitization is to avoid known dermal sensitizers and avoid applying the same essential oils every day for lengthy periods of time. Sensitization is, to an extent, unpredictable, as some individuals will be sensitive to a potential allergen and some will not.8

      According to Burfield (2004), the following oils listed in Table 2 are considered to be dermal sensitizers and are not recommended for use in aromatherapy massage.

      Dermal Sensitizers (Table 2)

      Essential Oil Latin Name
      Cassia Cinnamomum cassia
      Cinnamon bark Cinnamomum zeylanicum
      Peru balsam Myroxylon pereirae
      Verbena absolute Lippia citriodora
      Tea absolute Camellia sinensis
      Turpentine oil Pinus spp.
      Backhousia Backhousia citriodora
      Inula Inula graveolens
      Oxidized oils from Pinaceae family (e.g., Pinus and Cupressus species) and Rutaceae family (e.g., citrus oils)

  27. Ann
    July 30, 2016

    I’ve been following your work and your gals on many summits, thanks so much for your dedication, and good work!

    To help me, pls comment if Aura Casia commonly sold at health stores is what you consider ‘a good brand out there’

    God bless, thank you so much for your response to help me


    • Customer Support
      August 2, 2016

      Sorry Ann,

      We don’t make specific recommendations to keep this website as unbiased as possible.

  28. rhonda wall
    July 30, 2016

    Thank you so much for all the great information and all your effort in putting it together.

    • Dr. Z
      July 30, 2016

      Thank you Rhonda!! 🙂

  29. Yvonne Jennings
    July 30, 2016

    Thank you so much for writing this article very informative. I feel everyone pushes their brand of oil so you really have to investigate so article is helpful.
    Congratulations on birth of your daughter. She is beautiful .

    • Dr. Z
      July 30, 2016

      Thanks Yvonne! 🙂

  30. Mariam Waliji
    July 30, 2016

    I am totally new to using essential oils. Thank you for all your caring hard work with information you supply. May God bless you. Amen.I read your articles with greatwith great interest.
    However, it is mind boggling to select a brand which can be used safely. I am not happy about ‘trying out’, brands and make mtself a ‘guinea pig’. If you, or anyone else is unable to ‘recommend’, a safe brand, I shall sadly give up!
    Once again,
    Thank you and God Bless.

    • Dr. Z
      July 30, 2016


      This is what medical doctors do when they “practicing” medicine. There are no guarantees that the antibiotic they prescribe is going to work, and they will invariable try a different one if the first fails. Then, if the 2nd medicine fails, they try something else.

      I would guess that you have not completely given up on doctors, and this is exactly what I am suggesting –> to “practice” essential oils. It’s the safest, most effective way because everyone responds differently to each species and to each brand.

      Sorry that this isn’t the answer that you’re looking for, but it’s for everyone’s best…

    • A.J.
      September 4, 2016

      Hello Miriam,
      When my husband had cancer, I decided to make all oF my own cleaners, deodorant,skin care etc. I did a lot of research before I would use just any oil internally, topically or by inhalation. I have smelled 3 different Lavender oils and can smell the difference from one to another. There is so much info out there. Don’t give up. It will be worth the research…using what Mother Nature gave us,as opposed to chemicals and toxins!

  31. Helen Matejovic
    July 30, 2016

    Dear Dr.Z Thank you for all of your information I greatly appreciate everything you do to help everyone.
    May God Bless you, your family and your new baby.
    Did I miss the information on what oils you use?

    • Dr. Z
      July 30, 2016

      Hi Helen, we use several brands, but we don’t recommend one over the other as not to play favorites. 🙂

  32. M. J.
    July 30, 2016

    Thorough and thoroughly helpful. Thank you for the straight talk, for the detailed education, and for caring enough to spend the time writing this and answering valid questions.

    • Dr. Z
      July 30, 2016

      Thanks M.J. 🙂

  33. Irene
    July 26, 2016

    You truly do a wonderful service to the world. Thank you, Irene

    • Dr. Z
      July 26, 2016

      Thank you, Irene! Many blessings!

  34. JoAnn R Kern
    July 21, 2016

    I am wondering what are your thoughts on Young Living oils?

    • Customer Support
      August 15, 2016

      Due to FDA rules and the policies put in place by essential oil brands, Dr. Z can not discuss or recommend brands and continue to share the research and information he provides on this site.

      Customer Service

  35. Carol L. Edic
    July 16, 2016

    Very good, scientifically based article. Of the “several” therapeutic oils you mention, are they all sold in US? What about oils from around the world? Do you have a number for the several brands you think are therapeutic? 3? 25?

    I have smelled several brands of oils, and can detect “chemical” smell to all but one of them, which is the brand I use. I am overly sensitive to petrochemicals, and others chemicals, so detect them easily.

    Like the questions you say to ask companies who sell essential oils. I sell a specific brand that I have used about 20 years, but I do not put other brands down. Believe the brand I sell meets all the requirements you suggest in article. Even though I believe the quality of the brand I use is great, don’t know that the company would answer the questions in your article.

    How do you get ANY company to answer such questions, such as batch specific reports and material safety data sheets?
    Who do you call or email or write to get such answers? How does an average person get such info? And when they DO get info, can they interpret such reports?

    Would love to find out from you and others.

    Have a lovely day!

    • Dr. Z
      July 18, 2016

      Hi Carol,

      Like the supplement industry, the EO industry is like the Wild-Wild West. No regulation, no checks and balances, no one monitors this stuff.

      I’d use the “contact us” form on the company’s website or call the number to the customer support dept to get their reports.

      Interpreting the info is a different story. You’re really just trying to see how transparent they are and, if they give you the reports, this is a good sign. If they don’t, that’s a red flag. You can find how about the reports that they send you online. 🙂

  36. Zachary Hann
    July 7, 2016

    Hey Dr. Z,

    Are you familiar with NOW essential oils? I have always found hem to work efficiently and they are typically very cost effective. I do favor their organic line up. Just wondering what you would have to say about them.

    • Dr. Z
      July 9, 2016

      Hi Zachary,

      We have only used NOW for cleaning and not for topical, aromatic internal use.

      • A
        July 30, 2016

        I would agree, NOW E.O.s are best for cleaning products, only. If an E.O. is considerably less expensive, it may be for a reason.

  37. Linda
    July 5, 2016

    Thank You again for informing us well! Great Article.

    God Bless You

    • Dr. Z
      July 9, 2016

      Thanks Linda!

      I probably put way too much time into this article, but I know it’s SUPER important. I had it peer-reviewed by my aromatherapist colleagues and rewrote it/edited it at least 3 times! 😉

      • Grace
        July 15, 2016

        Superb article!
        You answered all my questions! Thanks so much!

        • Dr. Z
          July 15, 2016

          Awesome! So glad to hear!

  38. Jennifer Stuart
    July 5, 2016

    Would you recommend Mountain Rose Herbs? I was going to try their products to sell at my location for PhotonLightEnergyCenter.com . They are based out of Oregon. I truly need a pure oil for my clients as many of them have cancer.

    • Dr. Z
      July 9, 2016

      Hey Jennifer, I have never tried MRH, but have many friends who love them. They would be considered a therapeutic grade essential oil, but remember that there are several good brands on the market. 🙂

  39. Theresa Gutierrez
    July 2, 2016

    so what EO brand do you personally use?

    • Dr. Z
      July 3, 2016

      Hi Theresa,

      Like I said in my article, “There are several quality, therapeutic grade brands out there and we use several of them.”

      I try not to push one over the other, which is why I took the time to put this article together. 🙂


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