Consider the following questions:
- Where were the plants grown? Oil composition can vary depending upon the geographic source. Pure essential oils are gathered from plants that are indigenous to the region.
- How and when were the plants harvested? Plants must be harvested at varying times of the year and even specific times of the day in order to maintain a potent chemical composition.
- What is the distillation process? Distillation times and temperatures can make a difference in oil purity. Temperature and pressure must be closely monitored.
- What type of testing is done? Mass spectrometry and gas chromatography are both standard tests to determine oil purity. Ideally, essential oils will also be tested against an ideal standard.
- Are all batches tested? The mass spectrometry test is fairly expensive, thus, not all oil companies test every batch for purity. Testing of every batch ensures consistency in therapeutic use.
- Are the essential oils safe for consumption? Essential oils can be identified with a supplement label indicating a “GRAS” rating (Generally Recognized as Safe) for internal consumption. Very few essential oils have this rating.