Essential oils are volatile liquids that are distilled from aromatic plants. Their molecules are smaller than fatty oils, which allows them to penetrate the skin and get right to our cells. Essential oils are smart, so they know what our body needs and won’t overload our system with things that we don’t need!
I am often asked what the difference is between synthetic fragrance oils and pure essential oils. There are crucial differences between them; in fact, I would never recommend using synthetic fragrance oils. However, even between what is labeled as “pure essential oils,” there are significant differences in quality and purity. Basically, there are 4 grades of essential oils:
- Grade A oils are pure, therapeutic, and superior quality. They are usually made from organically grown plants, and are distilled at the proper temperatures. “Virgin” soil may also be used.
- Grade B oils are the most common essential oil and they are sometimes labeled as “pure.” However, they may still contain pesticides, fertilizers, synthetics, extenders, or carrier oils. While Grade B oils are considered “food grade,” I would never recommend ingesting these oils.
- Grade C are perfume grade and usually contain the same type of adulterating chemicals as Grade B oils. They also often contain solvents which are used to gain a higher yield of oil per harvest. Solvents are not healthy. Still, these oils are sometimes used in aromatherapy or for making perfume products.
- Floral Water is a by-product of the distillation process. It can be very high quality if superior, organic material is used and it comes from a “Grade A” distillation process. However, if it is from compromised raw materials and/or a poor distillation process, it will be a very low quality. Floral Water is often used for more expensive oils, such as Rose Oil, since it takes 5000 pounds of roses to make just one 1 pound of essential oil.
Synthetic fragrance oils may come close in duplicating the smell of the pure botanical, but the complex chemical components of each essential oil created in nature determine its true benefits. In other words, synthetic fragrance oils do not have medicinal properties; they are NOT suitable for aromatherapy, and they are just plain bad for you. That is why many people complain that perfumes and air fresheners give them a headache. Most have never experienced pure essential oils.
What does “Therapeutic Grade” really mean and why is it important? Click HERE to find out.