Everyone who has used essential oils for many years knows the true value and benefits of using a high-quality essential oil. Those who have just recently looked into using them may feel quite overwhelmed by the many brands and product offerings on the market. Every newcomer needs to understand at least a few basic things before buying. It is true that essential oil quality matters. Let’s have a look at the characteristics of cheap versus high-quality essential oil.
Why does essential oil quality matter?
Essential oil quality matters for several reasons. Firstly, essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. Many people wrongly assume that essential oils are safe just because they are naturally derived. This is not true. Essential oils have many benefits if used in the correct manner. However, indiscriminate use may cause adverse reactions, such as skin sensitivity, nausea, headaches, photo-sensitivity, hormonal imbalance, or vomiting to name a few. While the effects of long-term use, as well as daily continuous use, remain a hot subject even amongst the experts, caution is always advised when using any kind of essential oil. This is especially true when it comes to low-quality oils. Often only the plant’s natural aroma is trapped and added to synthetic components.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to the quality of essential oil. High-quality oils are usually pricier, because of the laborious processes involved in producing such oils. It takes two tons of rose petals to ounce 1 kg of rose oil alone which involves an intricate and laborious process. For a high-end beauty oil such as Rose Otto, purity, crop cost (usually organic), and scarcity of the source also help drive the price up. Experienced users know that essential oil quality matters. They know how to use and enjoy them for their many therapeutic benefits. Consumers should be aware that the essential oil industry is largely unregulated and populated with unadulterated oils. Using a quality high-grade product instead reduces the risk of adverse reactions. These premium essential oils are characterized by their purity, scent, and grade.
Premium-quality vs low quality
The cost of producing a quality essential oil requires much more time and energy than it does to produce low-grade versions. Rose Otto Oil (Rosa Damascena) for example is considered to be the rarest and exquisite oil produced in the world today. Its fresh rose petals are picked and steam distilled from crops in only a few countries, such as Bulgaria, and is therefore considered a precious oil.
Cheaper alternatives, unfortunately, cannot offer the same quality and benefits that premium essential oils do. Crops grown for the mass production of essential oils must adhere to far less stringent requirements. It is also easier to harvest botanical crops in this way, bringing the cost of lesser versions right down.
3 Grades of essential oils
This grade is the best grade oil and is used therapeutically. It is harvested from organic plants and flowers only. Distilled at the right temperatures they deliver pure essential oils that can be used for their health benefits, diffusing and inhaling. Mixing them with carrier oils allows them to be used on the skin.
These usually contain synthetic constituents, such as harmful chemicals and carrier oils. They are also considered food-grade essential oils.
This grade of essential oils is predominantly used in personal care products such as shampoos, soaps, and body washes are stronger scented and synthetic.
Natural scent vs artificial fragrance
Using sophisticated methods to a quality premium essential oil allows for the natural scent of the plant to be captured and preserved as much as possible. This allows the therapeutic benefits of natural scent to do what it is meant to do, namely, uplift, restore and heal. By contrast, many of the fast essential oils are propped up with artificial fragrances not giving the user much benefit at all.
Pure vs diluted
A pure Rose Otto oil contains nearly 50 active compounds that work in synergy for maximum benefit. These nutrients cannot be recreated synthetically. Only the high-quality premium pure rose oils can therefore do for the skin which artificial Rose oil (artisan oil) or cheaper versions like Rose Hip or Rose Absolute oils cannot.
Cheaper low-grade oils are often imitation oils. These oils are usually blended or diluted with a carrier oil already. You might think “great, it saves me time, but and money”, but you actually lose out on all the benefits that essential oils can truly offer if used correctly. Undiluted, quality essential oils last so much longer because one drop alone offers a far higher concentration.
Alteya Organics Rose Essential Oil
Pure Certified Organic Bulgarian Rose Otto
2.3 ml Sample Size
The Complete Book of Essentials Oils and Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood
Over 800 Natural, Nontoxic, and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health, Beauty,
Safe Home and Work Environments | 2016
Last thoughts on whether essential oil quality matter
Yes! Do some research. Read up on a brand to find out how essential oils you are interested in are produced. Many brands that sell quality essential oils, also sell small pocket-friendly sample sizes for much less. Lastly, remember to always choose natural, non-toxic essential oils and not to drink them. It’s a science on its own. Follow the advice of an essential oil practitioner with a medical background, especially if the goal is to treat a specific health condition, in which case essential oil quality matters.
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