Updated: Mar 15, 2019
Essential oils seem to be everywhere these days - on Amazon, Whole Foods, even some department stores. And most of them are marked therapeutic grade. This can give the false impression that this oil is safe, effective, and is what it says it is. Therapeutic grade has about the same meaning as "natural" in the food industry. It is essentially meaningless. When choosing an EO (essential oil), look for is an E.O.B.B.D. certification.
E.O.B.B.D. is the highest standard for EOs, (H.E.B.B.D. in French). This label is only granted through the I.N.S.A. (Institut de Normalization Scientifique d’Aromatologie) - a scientific committee of independent health professionals, including PhD pharmacists, based in Europe.
This is what E.O.B.B.D means:
1. The oil is properly named with both common and full Latin name (genius and species). -For example there are several different species of lavender and eucalyptus. You want to make sure you are getting the proper oil for your needs.
2. The source of the oil -Where exactly the oil is grown. The oil producer has to be able to trace a batch from field to finished product.
3. The extraction method -Oils have to be extracted without the use of harmful chemicals.
4. The part of the plant is being used (or producing organ). -For some plants the whole plant can be used or for some it's just the petal, flower, or bark.
5. Purity or the Refraction Index -Oils should be free of chemicals, dyes, artificial fragrances (obviously - but it happens), and should be 100% pure.
6. Physical health of the plant and surrounding area - Climate, elevation, water, insects, and soil quality are just a few of the parameters that may influence or alter an oil's quality.
7. Biochemical Analysis (GC/MS) -This process makes sure the oils are effective for true therapeutic use.
EOs are one of my favorite remedies. Some can help prevent illness, used for household cleaning, reduce pain, lift mood and more. But, only if they are what they say they are. So please choose your oils carefully.
2nd Foundational Aromatherapy by Leianne King, Brenda Wright, & Amanda Renold