Essential Oils: Does brand matter?


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One of the things that happened when I started to step into essential oils was feeling completely overwhelmed.

There are so many brands to pick from. Certain brands will tell you that they are better than others. From other products, I know that sometimes brand does matter.

Then there is the cost. A simple bottle of lavender oil can range from $6.50-$56/ounce. That is a huge range and an investment if you buy the more expensive brands.

The other side of me wondered how one can be so cheap. I worried about the quality and purity of the oil. What was in the oil to make the price range so extreme?

I started doing lots of research. Books did not help. They only gave recipes or promoted their own brand so I turned to the internet.

My conclusion:

[Tweet “Brand matters when using #EssentialOils but it does not mean you have to buy the most expensive one.”]

First, to address the elephant in the room. What about the premium essential oils? They are more expensive for a reason. doTerra even markets itself as “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade © .”

Sounds much better, right?

Currently, there is not a regulating board that oversees essential oils in America. Oil companies self regulate.

Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade©, Therapeutic Blend, and Grade A are simply marketing slogans. The reason why doTerra is the only company that calls itself Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade© is because they have copyrighted the statement.


So since there is not a regulating board, and companies call themselves therapeutic simply as a marketing slogan, how do you find a good essential oil?


It is quite simple:

First, look for a brand that labels their oils as 100% pure. That simply means you are getting 100% of the oil. Sometimes essential oils are pre-diluted with a carrier oil. I do believe you should dilute your essential oils, more on that next week, but for now I’ll simply say that when I buy an oil I want to pay for the real stuff. I don’t want something that is already diluted down so I cannot control the strength.

Second, do a little internet research on the company. I personally look for a company that has a very informative and easy to navigate website. I also look for a company that is well respected. If I enter the company on Google and the first page is full of negative reviews, that sends up red flags for me. Check out 3rd party sites that offer product reviews like Amazon. Those won’t tell you everything but should give you a perspective on what the oil is like.

Third, what does the bottle look like. There are some things I look for:

  • Does it say 100% pure (I already covered that above)
  • Is the scientific name on the bottle? Can I verify it online? Does the scientific name match what I think I’m buying? For example: Eucalyptus golbulus can have some anti-inflammatory properties. Eucalyptus radiata may help with disinfecting or helping a cold. Both are marketed as 100% pure eucalyptus oils but have completely different properties. (personally, I use eucalyptus golbulus to help with my congestion during a cold and it seems to work so I only keep one kind in my stock instead of two).
  • Is the extraction method listed? Common extraction methods are steam distilled and cold pressed. Occasionally there will be another method listed. Verify those before purchasing.
  • Is my oil quality tested? This can also come through your internet research. I like a company that tests their oils for quality and purity. I’m not a scientist and I don’t know what those tests mean, but it does tell me that there is some kind of internal quality control measures.

Finally, I go with my gut. If I’m reading about a company or buying a bottle at the store and something looks off, I don’t buy it. It is as simple as that. If at the store I may write down the brand and do a little more research but I won’t buy it on the spot.


But what about “not for internal use”? Aren’t oils that marketed as safe for consumption safer to use?

Not necessarily. In my research I learned from one reason companies may not be listed as safe for internal consumption. It comes down to money. First, in order to be labeled as safe for internal consumption a company must secure insurance. Very costly insurance. Also, the company must produce lots of information for the average consumer to educate and inform safe methods, etc. It is very costly and naturally drives the cost of oils up.

Remember my example of Lavender from the beginning?  The $6.56 /ounce bottle is from NOW Essential Oils. A brand I use and currently have in my stock. It is listed as not for consumption. The $56/ounce bottle is from doTerra. It sold in a 1/2 ounce size for $28. It is listed as safe for consumption.

Both may be of good quality. One is listed as safe for consumption, the other is not. There are other reasons I believe doTerra is much more expensive, but it has nothing to do with the oil.


I have come to these opinions through hours of research. I read, digested, and read some more. I drew what I perceived to be logical conclusions based on my research and decided to share them with you to hopefully help you on your journey. Please don’t take what I said at face value. I encourage you to do your own research and see for yourself. To get you started, I recommend the following resources:

The Hippy Homemaker

Plant Therapy

NOW Essential Oils


Above all, remember:

[Tweet “#EssentialOils can be purchased on a modest budget, but it is still important to be careful.”]





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