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Are Organic Essential Oils Better Quality?


Q:  Tell me more about your therapeutic essential oils. Are they organic certified? Wild? Ethically farmed? - D.B. 



A:   Hello D., Thanks for your interest. Some, but not all of our oils are certified organic although many others are organic but not certified and others still are wildcrafted. Our biggest seller is an organic French Lavender, our Lavender Provence. We sell over four times more of it than any of our other essential oils. It is truly a great Lavender. 


We wish that all of our oils were certified organic, but that is simply not possible. Many come from countries where there is no certification body. They may well be organic but there is no unbiased party that can show that to be true. Also, many essential oils are still wildcrafted, and there is no one to certify them as being either wildcrafted or organic. There are certainly more certified organic essential oils than our organic Lavender, Provence but, so far, we've not found many to have therapeutic properties that are as good as the ones we now obtain (that are not certified organic). 


You may ask, "Are not all 'organic' oils better than 'non-organics'?" Unfortunately, the answer is "no", they are not, not always. When we select an essential oil, we choose it based on many factors, including, aroma, source, and pricing but primarily on the MS/GS report that we obtain on each oil. These reports show us all the chemical components of the oil and we use this to select those that have the "right" chemical profile. To see Dr. Power's article on MS/GS interpretation, click: Gas Chromatography article. 


So far, most of the "organics" we've analyzed have fallen short. We suspect that this is primarily caused by them being grown our of the native region of plant and also, perhaps, because alternative growing methods are used. 


Whatever the case, the non-organics seem to have superior therapeutic values. Personally, we choose organic food for ourselves and think that "organic" is the way to go as far as food is concerned. Perhaps that will also be true of essential oils one day. 


One thing we believe is very important is obtaining essential oils from their native or traditional growing regions. The soil and climactic conditions are critical to the distribution of the chemical components of the oil. Another advantage of the use of MS/GS reports is that we can look for contaminants in the oils, perhaps from fertilizers, pesticides or fungicides. We do not accept any oils that have adulterants. Finally, one factor that is important is the process of essential oil extraction itself. Steam distillation of the oils separates out many impurities that might otherwise be in or on the plant. 


Your last question is whether the plants are ethically farmed. We do hope so but have no way of knowing what methods are used on a particular farm even when we buy direct, since almost all of our oils come from overseas. Some of our oils are obtained through brokers who do have people "on site" around the world. All the brokers we deal with have fine reputations and long histories of fair dealing but, again, I do not have any proof one way or the other. 


I do hope that this answered your questions, please do not hesitate to contact me if I may be of further assistance. 


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Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational purposes only, and not intended to treat, prescribe, cure, or diagnose any disease or condition. This information is not intended as a substitute for consulting with your physician or other health care provider. Dreaming Earth Botanicals is not responsible for any adverse effects or conseque nces resulting from the use of any of the suggestions, preparations, or procedures discussed. All matters pertaining to your physical health should be supervised by a health ca re professional. Keep all aromatherapy products out of reach of children.