A FALLACY..."THERAPEUTIC GRADE ESSENTIAL OILS" August 09 2018, 0 Comments

Therapeutic grade essential oils (EO's)...nothing more than a marketing strategy developed for the USA market.

In the USA, there are no regulating bodies for EO's, & it's estimated that only 2% of EO's sold there are pure/uncut. To gain a foothold in the marketplace, ‘CPTG’ or ‘Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade’ was registered as a Trademark by doTERRA in 2009…fact.

They go so far as to claim that CPTG EO's are better than organic EO's. In my opinion, this is utter rubbish- the stringent requirements for organic certification provide the ultimate standard of purity. The chain of supply can be tracked back through to the grower worldwide. However, the strategy worked, & a solid market was gradually established worldwide.

Their EO’s are sold through agents, & an incentive scheme is employed to attract more users. As a customer stated on the weekend, “They are the Tupperware party plan business of the essential oil world”. Users seem to promote their use of their EO’s as ‘a badge of honour’…they buy only ******* or ***** ****** because they “are the best quality available!” in justification of their hefty dollar outlay for their basic kit. This gets sprouted to me regularly, as they waltz up to our stall & quickly cast their eyes over our range of organic essential oils. I really don’t know why anyone would do that…it defies logic to me. They are usually quite shocked, and somewhat defensive, when I state that their oils are not organic…but our EO’s are.

The large US EO multi-tiered brands do not own all of their farms, as they like to impress upon customers. They make the broad-based claim as they do in fact own an odd organic farm in the USA. The rest of their oils are sourced through suppliers/brokers, who negotiate the best prices they can for volume buys. They dangle the dollar carrot in front of producers to do so, with the promise of exclusive supply contracts for volume supply. I don't see anything 'ethical' in their tactics...they are the Coles & Woolworths of the EO world- manipulating suppliers for the benefit of their own profits.

Put very simply, they 'test' the EO’s of potential suppliers to ensure that they meet their required standards, & haven't been cut/diluted with other oils. It's estimated that 77% of EO's sold in the USA are synthetically derived- which offers no benefit in aromatherapy. They might use glorified reasoning in explanation of their testing for marketing, but no amount of 'testing' can transform those EO's into a better standard/quality than organic, as they claim.

Generally speaking, they can be offering nothing better than a Grade 3 EO, by Australian standards of classification. Organic EO’s are classified as Grade 1. Grade 3 EO's are 100% pure, but are from blended origin- they are from a specified botanical species, sourced from various origins of supply & blended to produce a more economical option. Fertilisers & chemicals have been used on the plant. Some of the EO’s obtained might be organic, as there is an anomaly whereby a third world country might produce a plant organically as such, but their pricing can be cheaper than EO's offered through normal commercial production elsewhere in the world.

Personally, I would not use a Grade 3 EO, & I certainly would not ingest a Grade 3 EO…as these companies promote. By the way, it is illegal in Australia for anyone to recommend ingesting an EO, unless they are a qualified medical practitioner- recommending a treatment plan under supervision. I would not apply these EO’s (undiluted as they recommend, or diluted) to the skin either- anything applied to the skin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. An undiluted EO can potentially cause a severe reaction to the skin…if not on the first exposure, repeated exposure can indeed stimulate a reaction. Each reaction thereafter can potentially amplify in severity with each exposure.

EO’s should not be used on babies/children either. Their skin is not sufficiently developed until after the age of seven. A reaction to an EO by a child will potentially set them up for never being able to tolerate any exposure to the EO for life!

There are over 300 EO's available, but only about 150 are used in aromatherapy. Of those, only about 70 are classified as being organic in origin…Grade 1. Think about it- do you really believe that these US companies own farms all around the world, sized to produce sufficient volumes to service their worldwide turn-over? It takes 30kg of rose petals to produce 15mL of rose EO. Organic rose EO is expensive- costing around $640/15mL from a supplier. Plants require environment specific conditions for their successful production. It takes numerous years for a tree to grow to sufficient sizing to tap into their resinous sap. Organic Australian Sandalwood costs around $154/15mL from a supplier. Multiply the above supply costs to factor in a profit margin, and I doubt many would buy into the resultant dollar equation!

I checked the prices of EO’s offered by the two main USA companies a few years back. At the time, frankincense was available at reasonable pricing…but then it was promoted in the media as a treatment option for cancer, and its price quadrupled from one company. No- I don’t believe their tactics are ‘ethical’ at all!

Despite a recipe having existed for centuries, the same company registered it & the name for Copyright. Indeed, it was a clever marketing strategy…but ‘ethical’? I think not. The competing company got around potential lawsuits by substituting the citrus EO used with another citrus EO.

It was also suggested to me recently by a customer, who had been a faithful customer of one of the brands, that I should copy the blends offered by them. No- I find no challenge or interest in this outlook- and I very simply can’t…most of the EO’s used are not available as an organic product. Am I making my point?

If you consider the above information, it is easy to understand the marketing strategies that have arisen by EO companies based in the USA. Unfortunately, most people are exposed to EO’s for the first time through grouped promotions held by their agents, and a knowledge/belief system is instigated. Most people never question this information. If you use and enjoy their products, please continue to do so. The circumstances of the USA do not apply in Australia. We have regulating Government bodies and standards in place Australia-wide, that instil a level of confidence in products.

Also note that I only personally sell our organic EO blends at Northey Street Organic Market on Sundays...they are not listed on our website. The blends are unique, and need to be experienced for their benefits offered through aromatherapy. I cannot perceive how an aroma can be described or imagined by an individual.