A 45-minute workshop designed for people exploring the potential of essential oils for health + wellness. My goal is to educate and empower you so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not essential oils are a good fit for you and your family!
If you've been wanting to use oils but don't know where to start, then I'd like to invite you to my Essential Oils Made Easy Virtual Workshop. It's totally no pressure - and totally free. You'll know by the end of this 45-minute workshop if essential oils are the right next step for you!
If you want essential oils for their medicinal benefits, then you have to ensure their purity and potency. But how do you do this when there’s a sea of adulterated essential oils in the market today?
In this episode, Heidi explains what you should be looking for in a quality essential oil when purchasing. She also gives some tips on how to identify adulterated essential oils on the bottle.
Listen in to learn why you should insist on knowing whether the essential oil has been tested, verified, and sourced in a manner that preserves its medicinal compounds.
What you will learn:
Hey Beloved, welcome back to another episode we are going to be talking all about essential oil adulteration and authentification today. What to look for in a quality essential oil and why verified pure testing and sourcing practices matter. Sadly, 70% of the lavender on the markets today is synthetic. Yes, that means that seven out of the 10 bottles you’re staring at on the shelf at your grocery store health food store are synthetic. In fact, one of the bigger name brands you’re likely using has synthetic markers in their lavender. Now I don’t know about you, but I have multiple chemical sensitivities. And when we’re using essential oils for health reasons like we are in my home, I absolutely need to make sure that they are pure. I’m using these on my kids. I’m using them on my pets. When my kids are babies, other people’s kids, like this is our family’s natural health care. And I need to work with a company that I know is going to test each and every single batch and they’re not going to cut corners for the sake of profits. I need to know that my family’s health is at the forefront of their decision-making process. Let’s jump in because this isn’t just happening to lavender and this is happening to all types of essential oils.
Welcome to the covered beloved podcast where we choose to live faith-infused holistic lifestyles, while nourishing and renewing our minds to experience the depths of God’s love for us. Hey there, I’m Heidi Bramm. World changer and mom on a mission to bring a whole new level of health and wellness to your home. As a decade-long, essential oil advocate, self-proclaimed personal and Kingdom development junkie, and your holistic lifestyle strategist, I believe that when God created the earth, He didn’t leave us without solutions. That He created us to be healthy and whole, and that He’s covered each and every one of us as mothers with his protection, grace and wisdom on how to live our most healthy, happy and joyful lives. Are you ready? It’s time to become the healthy home mom God created you to be because he’s got to cover Beloved. Let’s dig in!
Okay, so it’s important to know that there are different qualities of essential oils. Some essential oils are synthetically fabricated by trained perfumers to smell pure. Some are tested for flavor and they’re using food products, and a very small percentage are handcrafted for medicinal benefits. Quality is everything when it comes to safety and results with essential oils. So I’m going to hit this topic pretty hard today because it’s important, especially again, if you’re planning to use them with little ones. When looking for an essential oil, we’re looking for purity and potency. Those are the two things we’re looking for. And they go back to two things: sourcing and testings.
So let’s start with sourcing…
There are a lot of essential oils on the market. And again, most of them are synthetic versions produced in a lab or adulterated by middlemen along the supply chain. They do this because the higher the percentage of pure essential oil they have in their end product, the more expensive it’s going to be. So to cut costs, they have to add fillers and skimp on safety. If you read the labels of essential oil bottles very carefully, you will see that many warn against topical and internal use, and for good reason. Because you would never want to take an aromatherapy quality or fragrance quality essential oil internally or put it on your skin. That would be very toxic, right? And we’re all about getting rid of the toxins. So why would you switch from a toxic product to a toxic essential oil? You wouldn’t want to do that. It would be like going to a pharmacy and getting an unregulated medication or getting a prescription that didn’t have what it claimed to have in it. And we’ve seen this happen in the industry, right? We’ve seen this happen in the supplement industry too. So again, with essential oils, there’s no regulating body that oversees this. And even with organic, there is no standard that says you have to check the end product. There’s going to be a landmark study coming out soon that it’s going to go even deeper into the adulteration of specifically lavender and it will be peer-reviewed, but I just want to share that 95% of the companies that sell essential oils are selling oils that have been adulterated in some way. And it’s not even necessarily their fault. You can literally put anything on a label because again, the industry s not regulated. So knowing what’s inside the bottle is vital. You have to ensure the purity and potency of the essential oils coming from the plants unchanged just as nature produces them if you want a safe and quality product. And in order to do that, a company first needs to have a sourcing model that is direct from the farmers and the growers.
A typical essential oil sourcing chain would have middlemen, what we call brokers, and that’s where things tend to get kind of messed up. This is where the manipulation or adulteration of oil happens and it prevents you, the end consumer, from getting a pure and potent essential oil. So here’s what that typical process of oils coming to market looks like. In a typical sourcing model, you have the farmer, who then sends their harvest, their raw materials, to the distiller and then you have in-country brokers and perfumers that adulterate the oil. And then they send it to the designated country, typically the United States, and there are brokers there within the United States and perfumists, and then they send that on to the company that is purchasing the essential oil. Most companies will not test when they get essential oils in and they’ll just take the word of the people in between that that oil is good to go. And so they will send that out then to their product line and you as the end consumer.
After seeing the founder of an international independent testing body speak about the purity of oils, he confidently said that there were only three companies of the 50 that he tested that have consistent 100% pure essential oils, and two of them were going out of business. So it was a bold claim. However, all he does is test essential oils and he has no affiliation with any of the companies at all.
Okay, so what do we mean by adulteration? So here are some common examples 1) adding a carrier oil without labeling the bottle as such, so they do this to stretch the essential oil. 2) Mislabeled species is another common adulteration. So for example, selling Cinnamon as Cassia, or selling a cheaper form of Peppermint, or a cheaper form of Frankincense. This happens a lot. And actually, it happens with spices too. So you think a lot of the cinnamon that you purchase in the grocery is cinnamon, but it’s not, it’s actually cassia. 3) Alright, another form of adulteration is adding chemicals to spike or create a higher yield. So you can actually buy individual synthetic versions of compounds in essential oils, like linalool is a common one, and you’ll see this in facial products and beauty products. Whenever you see a chemical compound like that listed individually, you know, right off the bat that it’s synthetic. So if you see any of those added into an essential oil, and it’s listed on the label, you know that it was spiked to create a higher amount of that concentration in the essential oil. 4) And then finally, the last one is adding synthetic fragrances.
Many of these can get past a basic chemistry test, it’s called GCMS. And so you kind of have to rely on the third-party labs. Hopefully, your company is doing third-party testing. Both in-house and out-of-house testing. And so we call this third-party testing. They are much more sophisticated and can detect adulterations. Even in large brand names that you’re familiar with, we’re seeing this happen. So a good quality sourcing model takes those middlemen out of the mix. Those brokers that have historically sucked up all the profits from the farmers and distillers so they get paid next to nothing, right, those brokers, those middlemen, they’re gone. And so this allows the farmers, the hands actually doing the work to now get out of that cycle of poverty and puts in one very critical piece, which is the next piece I want to talk about, which is significant testing. And I mean, you want your company to be doing significant testing!
I think there’s a big difference between a company that specializes and has a heartbeat for sourcing essential oils that are pure. You know, they’re gonna have a sourcing team, right, versus a company that just kind of throws essential oils into their product line because they’re trendy. So your company, you want to make sure they have a sourcing team maybe like between 40 and 50 different sourcing teams that are going to go all around the globe, looking for these small co-ops and these farmers to work with. I mean, you’re talking millions of dollars into these sourcing initiatives that can have the manpower to bypass these brokers and then just work directly with the growers. You want to find a company that’s more concerned with the process from the ground up and who they are supporting and lifting along the way to pour into this industry and keep it going for generations.
A lot of these farms are multi-generational. We have third and fourth-generation farmers working on Bergamot and Lemon farms in Italy and Peppermint farms in Washington. So it’s something to pay attention to.
So let’s talk about our second important piece that goes into a quality essential oil, what to look for; we talked about sourcing already. Now we want to talk about testing. Again, most companies buying oils will not test them, they just don’t. If they do any testing at all, they will test just the one time that they’re setting up an agreement with that company or that farmer and call it good. But a quality essential oil company will test each and every time they source a batch of oil and include a variety of advanced testing processes that will pick up any adulterations, any synthetics, any cross contaminations, fillers, heavy metals, and they will ensure that those medicinal compounds stay intact. So we’re looking for the highest health benefits here. The more developed the methodology, the more safe, pure, and potent the end product will be.
And so, you know, you can have a company that’s doing testing the GCMS. That’s kind of like the basic standard tests. But again, synthetics are getting so advanced that they’re not even able to be picked up on those. So you want a company that’s going to be doing multiple tests to be able to pick up any of these adulterations you know, are they doing a viscosity test? Are they doing a refractive index test? So it’s kind of like a mirror image test. Are they doing a flashpoint test? Are they doing carbon dating? Are they doing organoleptic testing? So that’s just kind of being able to tell by the smell of it. Are they doing formaldehyde testing? Specific gravity is another one. Doing a preservative efficacy test, doing tests for any yeast or mold that could possibly have gotten in there. Optical rotation is another great test that could be done.
A good essential oil company will run all of these tests, and then some third-party validation for each and every single batch of oil that comes in, and they will run them at least three times. Once at the harvest time. Once again at the time an offer has been made to purchase a batch of oils from that source. So testing a sample. And then once again when the batch is delivered to the company to ensure that nothing was altered along the way. They will also go above and beyond and save a sample from each and every batch so that should the quality ever come into question. It can be cross-referenced to see what may have happened. A great company will also have complete transparency and post the third-party validation testing on their website so that with the lot number on your bottle, you can go and pull up the results and see them for yourself.
So an incredible model for selling. Essential oils should again be focused on those two things, sourcing and testing. And it’s really all about getting the best and helping the most like when you can get the best oils and help the most people on both sides of the bottle. Everybody wins. Hugh Jackman says, “good businesses good for everybody.” And every step in the process, you want to be lifting someone and blessing someone and being a light to someone.
So a company that goes to great lengths to pursue purity and source quality oils from their native environments, while putting people and relationships first creates a sustainable sourcing model. And it’s the best way to ensure an adequate essential oil supply that will last generations. If you can get Frankincense, Sandalwood, Helichrysum, and Melissa oils cheap, I’m thinking like $30 and under, you have to realize that that’s not a real essential oil. It’s a very laborious process to harvest or, you know, these oils have a low yield like it takes a lot of raw material to actually get a 15mL bottle of essential oil. And so the price is something to look at, you know, obviously, the label, look look at the company and ask about their testing. Ask what third party vendor they use for their testing because they’re really only as good as their lab and the reference library of what an essential oil should actually look like. Bergamot is another example of an essential oil that’s highly adulterated. There was actually someone that came and spoke to one of our meetings and said that 80% of the amount of bergamot sold doesn’t even exist. And it’s not even grown, so you know that it’s straight synthetic, because it isn’t even grown in the amounts that it’s sold.
And then you know, just kind of realizing most internet and grocery store brands aren’t going to cut it if you want medicinal benefits. I’m so saddened when people tell me that they’ve tried frankincense, and they paid only $15 for this giant bottle of frankincense and I’m like that’s not real frankincense, and then they think essential oils don’t work. So I hope this gives you a sense of peace and confidence using essential oils for health in your home when you have the right kind of oil when you have something that’s been tested and verified pure. And it’s been sourced in a manner that preserves the medicinal compounds.
I know that was kind of a lot, maybe of sciency stuff. But I want you to know that when you use a pure essential oil that it’s safe for all uses, so you never have to worry about what you’re putting in, on, around you. If you haven’t had a conversation with me about purity, then we shouldn’t be having a conversation about essential oils. So if you are looking for someone to connect with and support you along your journey as you learn about essential oils, I actually have two options to offer you. First, you are welcome to take my free 45-minute Essential Oils Made Easy workshop. This was designed for people that are looking for essential oils for health benefits but don’t know where to start. And so I take you through everything – all the basics, like what essential oils are, how to use them, what to look for in a quality essential oil and why it matters, which I just shared with you. But you’ll have slides to go along with that part. I share testimonials and I share the top oils that I feel like every home would benefit from having right from the gates. So if that’s something you’re interested in, I will drop the link in the show notes.
If you want option number two, I’m actually starting to have holistic strategy sessions and these are new, I am just kind of seeing a demand for this here. So I’m putting this out there that you’re going to get a 45 minute holistic strategy session with me and so we’re gonna go through what all you’re struggling with. I have four main areas that we kind of pinned down in life and so you get to pick the one that you feel most out of balance in and we’re gonna focus on that. And you’re gonna walk away with a strategy for your health with a personalized plan to help you live empowered in your daily life. Doesn’t that sound amazing? You can book that one on one session with me just reach out you can message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will personally respond to your email. Signing off for now, beloved, see you next time.
“Heidi has such a gift for inspiring and encouraging! I love her fierce love for her family and wanting to meet mamas where they are, infusing them with faith to see they can find empowerment from God to take control of their life and health.”
- Robyn Wright, Faithfully Living Fit
“I love how Heidi not only cares deeply about health and wellness but inspires us all that part of living holistically involves our spiritual lives! I can always count on Heidi to deliver material that is astutely informative and faithfully inspired helping me live my best life!”
- Wendy Henley, Author and Mindset Coach
“I came across Heidi while looking into personal healing. Heidi offers so much value and helpful information to a new or seasoned Christian. I am really enjoying learning new biblical ways. Can’t wait to hear and learn more! Thank you!”
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