Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils: a Natural Miracle
So you have heard the term therapeutic grade essential oils thrown around but are still a little confused. What does this mean and what qualifies an oil as such?
Therapeutic grade essential oils are very different than pure grade, aromatherapy or even certified organic essential oils. However, with the FDA only requiring companies to have 5% of their oil be pure to receive this title, how do we know whether an oil is really therapeutic grade?
Lets look at some important information which will help us better understand what makes up a therapeutic grade essential oil.
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are the volatile liquids of the plant. They are obtained from properly distilling any part of the plant including the seeds, roots, bark, stems, leaves, fruit, flowers or branches! (if you take your fingernail and scratch it across a leaf, the “juices” that are released are part of those vital fluids). These fluids are necessary for the life of the plant and contain life force, intelligence, and vibrational energy that gives them healing properties that we can harness and use through distillation. Essential oils are composed of tiny molecules that can penetrate every cell, have the ability to cross the blood/brain barrier and promote healing therapy at the most fundamental and basic level of our bodies.
What are Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils?
A therapeutic grade essential oil is one that is both complete in its chemical constituents, giving it a rich, deep aroma, and kinetically alive and able to raise the frequency of the human body, restoring balance and normal function to weak body systems. This is important, because the oil’s fragrance, frequency and chemistry all contribute to its unique therapeutic effects. If any of these properties are compromised, as a result of poor production practices, an essential oil cannot rightly be called therapeutic grade. Other factors that make an essential oil therapeutic grade fit into two main categories.
- Environmental Factors – Where the plant is grown, the type of soil, fertilizer and altitude etc
- Physical Factors – The quality of the seed, how and when the plant is harvested, how it is distilled and how it is bottled
Because a quality essential oil is so chemically complex, and all of these constituents must be present in the oil in their proper ratio for the oil to have its expected effect on the body, one key to producing therapeutic grade essential oils is to preserve as many of these aromatic compounds within the oil as possible.
The problem here is that these aromatic compounds are quite fragile, and not easily extracted from the plant material. This means that proper production of essential oils takes a lot of understanding of the oil, and the willingness to invest the necessary time and expense to do the job right. To make a great, therapeutic grade essential oil, you must take great care with the follow aspects of production:
→ Source your plants from only known botanical species
Species selection is very important, since different varieties of plants produce different qualities of essential oils. Only those cultivates that produce the highest quality essential oil should be selected. For example only ONE company has a permit and ability to harvest Sacred Frankincense from Oman. This is the first time sales have been allowed out of the country. Oddly enough the world sells more frankincense, lavender and other oils than it produces. How does that happen if companies are supposedly selling pure essential oils? Buyer beware.
Please contact me HERE to learn more about what oils I trust for my family
→ Sustainably grow and harvest the plants on chemical free land in carefully nourished, organic soil
Plants should be grown on virgin land, uncontaminated by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. The plant materials must be kept free of agrochemicals, since these can react with the essential oil during distillation, and produce toxic compounds. And, because many pesticides are oil-soluble, they can also mix into the essential oil. If these oils are diffused or topically applied, the toxic chemicals in the oils are carried into the body with potentially devastating results.
Plant materials should also be grown away from pollution sources such as nuclear plants, factories, interstates, highways or heavily populated cities, if possible. Also, the soil should be conditioned with an advanced mix of enzymes, trace minerals, and organic bio-solids, since plants lacking in certain minerals and nutrients yield oils low in therapeutic value.
→ Harvest with knowledge and care
The timing of the harvest is one of the most important factors in the production of therapeutic grade essential oils. If the plant is harvested at the wrong time of the season, or even at the incorrect time of day, a substandard essential oil can be produced. In some cases, changing harvest time by even a few hours can make a huge difference.
Other factors that should be taken into consideration during the harvest include:
- the amount of dew on the leaves,
- the percentage of plant in bloom, and
- the weather conditions during the two weeks prior to the harvest.
Also, because of the volatility of the essential oils, to prevent herbs from drying out prior to being distilled (and so, losing many of the precious, aromatic molecules to evaporation), distillers should be located as close to the field as possible. Transporting herbs to distillers hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away also heightens the risk exposure to pollutants, dust, mold and petrochemical residues. This is something that separates ONE company from other companies in the field. They have their own distilleries which are on the farms where the harvests happen.
→ Extract the oils in the proper way.
Essential oils can be extracted from the plant by a variety of methods, including solvent extraction, carbon dioxide extraction and steam distillation. Steam distillation is one of the most common, and has several advantages over the other methods. Only one company uses steam distillations for all their oils except citrus oils which are expressed and Jasmine and Neroli which are solvent extracted.
However, distillation is as much a science as it is an art, and subtle differences in distillation equipment and processing conditions can translate into huge differences in essential oil quality. Factors to consider include:
- The temperature during distillation: The fragile aromatic molecules of an essential oil are easily destroyed or altered by high temperatures; and so, the distillation process must use low-temperature methods. High temperatures seem to cause a harshness in the oil. Even the oil’s pH and the electropositive and electronegative balance are greatly affected.
When distilling, Cypress needs to be distilled at a temperature of 265 degrees Fahrenheit
- The pressure during distillation: The fragile aromatic molecules of an essential oil are also easily destroyed or altered by high pressure during distillation, causing a harshness in the oil, as well as affecting the essential oil’s pH, and electropositive and electronegative balance.
In the distilling process Cypress needs five pounds of pressure.
- The length of time taken for distillation: When distilling oils that are therapeutic grade, the length of time is vitally important. If the distillation process is cut short or even lengthened past the acceptable time the healing property of the oils will be compromised, if not lost.
For example, the distilling process for cypress requires a 24.7 hour distillation time. If distillation time is cut by only two hours, 18 to 20 constituents will be missing from the resulting oil.” If it is increased by 2 hours, there will be no therapeutic constituents. Most commercial Cypress oil is distilled for only 2 hours and 15 minutes! This short distillation time allows the producer to cut cost and produces a cheaper oil. . . Sadly, it results in an oil with little or no therapeutic value.
- The chemical composition of the cooking pots: Essential oils should be kept away from contact with chemically reactive metals, such as copper or aluminum. A therapeutic grade essential oil should be distilled in a food-grade stainless-steel cooking chamber.
- The size of each batch: Essential oils should be distilled in small batches.
→ Test the Oils at Independent Labs
Even with the proper growing, harvesting, and production methods, the oils must still be tested. Having the oils tested at independent laboratories to verify the true composition of the oils is the best way to certify the oils as therapeutic grade. Extensive laboratory testing and independent audits are conducted to ensure quality exceeds industry standards. Those with even the slightest hint of possible impurity are rejected. The particular company we trust works with 7 independent labs around the world to determine the properties and purity of their essential oils.
Pure therapeutic grade essential oils are a very rare
When you come to understand the properties that make up a truly great essential oil, it quickly becomes clear that the production of these oils should be more than just a commercial venture. It requires far too much from the producer in terms of expertise, time and expense to make any sense in purely economic terms.
It’s far cheaper to take short-cuts than to do it right.
Please feel free to contact me regarding personalized essential oil help and guidance. I only have seen major results in our recovery from autism to support our son’s immune system, brain and overall health with one company. It is the only one I trust.
Contact me HERE