Yesterday I began a series in which I shared with our readers the CRITICAL information needed to know about essential oils in order to make an educated decision as to whether or not they should be a part of your self-reliance efforts, how to properly select them, and how to use them effectively. Unfortunately, the way the deck is stacked against Americans today, making these decisions is a lot harder than you might realize. Knowing this, I’ve been cringing a LOT lately as I’ve watched friends and family using essential oils improperly, or worse, using kinds that can cause long-term physiological damage or that will be useless in 2 years from now regardless of whether or not they’ve been used. As such, I just couldn’t make excuses anymore and I just had to find the time to get this series written. Today we’re going to continue with one of the most fundamental criteria that you’ve just got to insist upon when you select an essential oil. If you choose an essential oil that doesn’t meet this criteria, you would be much better off not using them at all no matter what the price.
Yesterday I discussed the vast amount of financial gain that that various industries have in NOT providing us with actual cures for diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Hepatitis C and so forth. And as a direct result of this financial gain that’s to be had or LOST, depending upon the medical decisions of everyday individuals like you or me, there are presently less than 1% of all the essential oils that come into this nation annually that you would want to use on or in your body. They are a far cry from meeting the arduous standards for medicinal use that is applied to essential oils in the nations which actually use them for medicinal purposes. In fact, in the nations which essential oils are used for health and wellness, all of the essential oils must go through a battery of tests administered by medically trained third party chemists. This battery of tests is known as E.O.B.B.D. which stands for Essential Oils Botanically and Biochemically Defined.
There are only two globally recognized standards for testing essential oils. One is used predominantly by the perfume industry and primarily identifies the constituents and other ingredients and identified the level of perfumery notes. This standard is known as the AFNOR standard and it is definitely NOT sufficient testing or quality to be up to par to use for everyday health and wellness, let alone life or death situations. I mean really, can you imagine? “I’m not feeling well today. I think I’ll go and use some Chanel #5.” Less than 20% of the essential oils distributed in the U.S. qualify for the AFNOR standards! In other words, the standards as set by the U.S. are so low, less than 20% of the essential oils which come here aren’t even fit to be used as a base for the latest Kim Kardashian PERFUME!
The other standard though, the one that is used for purposes of evaluating whether or not a particular batch of essential oils is suitable for medicinal use, is called the E.O.B.B.D standard. Medical facilities in Europe and the UK are forbidden to use any essential oil products which do not meet this arduous 9-step standard of testing. Since this testing process is so thorough, none of the other nations who use essential oils as a part of their medical protocol have attempted to recreate their own version of testing. As such it’s been the global standard for over 50 years and is the only globally recognized series of testing that’s suitable for properly identifying the strength of inherent constituents, the culmination of all present constituents, the purity, and the concentration of the constituents. It’s not some made up, slick marketing name that sounds official but is hollow on effect. Again, I can’t stress this enough. E.O.B.B.D. is THE global standard for identifying medicinally quality of essential oils.
Obviously, testing such as the E.O.B.B.D is not cheap nor is it easy. And it’s also impossible to manipulate the output results unlike a typical gas chromatograph test which so many essential oil companies try to hang their hat on. A gas chromatograph test can be set up to put out just about anything you WANT it to; all you have to do is change the input of information at the beginning. I’ve found far too many companies who try to assure me that their products are “pure” or worse—“certified pure therapeutic grade” testing “guaranteed. This simply is nothing more than a hollow promise in the U.S. world of essential oils. Also, let’s keep in mind that manure is “pure” crap but that doesn’t mean I want to rub it on my open sore. And if you were to ask any doctor in France who prescribes essential oil use for his patients about something so ridiculous as “certified pure therapeutic grade” he’d be mortified at even the suggestion that he use something made-up and trademarked that has nothing to do with the medicinal quality of his essential oils. Using such a useless designation as “CPTG” is akin to Kashi Cereal using the term “all-natural” while being riddled with GMO products that are considered poisonous in Europe and South America just to name a few areas. AFNOR and E.O.B.B.D. and “none of the above.” That’s it. Those are your three choices when it comes to evaluating essential oils. There simply IS no other level of certification of quality for essential oils. Be informed that anything else other than these standards are contrived to fit whatever the manufacturer wants it to be. I’ve learned this the hard way and I can assure you, it’s no picnic to wake up to. No amount of slick marketing will change the efficacy and safety of an essential oil. Remember, when it comes to a proper first aid kit, or battling an otherwise hopeless health situation, you really don’t have time to play Russian Roulette.
Perhaps it’s this lack of knowledge in the U.S. that has driven the demand for essential oil products even though less than 1% of them in the U.S. have endured the battery of testing required to meet the medical standards of the E.O.B.B.D. Translation, you have a less than 1 in 100% chance of using something harmful on your child’s teething problem or preventing your teenagers from getting the flu like all of the other kids in class if you opt to use a product that is void of the E.O.B.B.D. certification.
You should also know that in the U.S. an essential oil can be classified as a cosmetic product, a food or as a nutritional supplement (i.e. vitamins)—never all of the above, and never both as a food and a nutritional supplement. So if you see “nutritional information” label on an essential oil, this means that it’s a FOOD, not a nutritional product. It’s illegal and unlawful, not to mention really dishonest, to attempt to pass off an essential oil as both a food AND a nutritional supplement. But getting an essential oil certified as a nutritional supplement is a costly process in the U.S., as such I’m seeing more and more essential oil products that are publishing “nutritional information” on them. When you see that labeling, please run away. The good news is though that the E.O.B.B.D. standard mitigates much of this confusion as its entire purpose is to determine the medicinal quality of an essential oil. If you just stick with medicinal quality in your evaluation of essential oils, you won’t have to worry about whether or not they are a food, a cosmetic, or a nutritional supplement.
Adding to the problem of obtaining quality essential oils in the U.S., are the U.S. standards required (or should I say the LACK of U.S. standards) in order to properly label an essential oil. An essential oil may be labeled as “pure” so long as that the oil contains a mere 2% of AN actual essential oil—not to be confused with containing THE actual essential oil as it’s labeled on the bottle. For example, a bottle of essential oil in the U.S. can say it’s “100% Pure Eucalyptus Radiata Essential Oil but actually contain 2% Eucalyptus Globulus. The Globulus species is less expensive to obtain and process, however; it contains a much higher concentration of the constituent known as white camphor than does the Radiata species. So to save on costs, it’s very common that your Eucalyptus Radiata will be heavily cut with Eucalyptus Globulus. White camphor can stop the breathing of a small child in less than 20 minutes. That’s especially horrible when you consider that the #1 use for Eucalyptus essential oil is for respiratory issues. (Sure you may stop the runny nose, but you’ll kill the kid in the meantime. That reminds me of how the statin research studies for lowering heart disease were conducted.) Anyway, so long as there is SOME Eucalyptus Radiata in the bottle, then they can label it as such in the U.S.—fabulous, eh?
Here’s another important aspect of this testing to consider. The presence of an enth of a tenth of a percent of one single constituent can make all of the difference in the world in how an essential oil responds to the targeted body system. If that “enth of a tenth of a percent” is missing, you’re using an completely different product. Only the E.O.B.B.D certification process of an essential oil can measure to the lowest numbers of present constituents suitably in order to ensure that those beneficial “enths” actually exist in the oil.
I always cringe when I hear people naively say “oh, this is the exact same essential oil.” Or they will say that one essential oil smells just like another. It’s scientifically IMPOSSIBLE for one essential oil to be the same as another unless it came from the exact same batch—which is highly unlikely because any manufacturer who is worth anything is purchasing essential oils by the batch in large metal drums, not by the 5 ml. bottle. It takes acres and acres of botanical matter to create that one batch of essential oil. The scientific odds that one essential oil is exactly the same as another is more than 20 TRILLION to one. As an example, the essential oil known as wormwood can be THREE times more potent from one crop to another just because of the different levels of rain, heat, and humidity. This is why the E.O.B.B.D. standard must be applied to any essential oil that you intend to use for the betterment of your body and mind. The only way that one essential oil will smell exactly the same as another essential oil by the same name is if it’s created based on the AFNOR standard—the perfumery notes, because otherwise, again, it’s scientifically impossible for one batch harvested midday on a Saturday after a light rain to smell exactly like the batch that was harvested on a Wednesday at 9:00 a.m., 10 miles away from the first batch, before the light rain hit. It’s called nature and it’s complex. And any scientist knows that these elements change the entire profile of a component. Only a slimy salesperson will try to tell you that two different peppermints smell exactly the same and yet they haven’t been adulterated whatsoever. In fact, it’s because of this scientific truth that the perfume industry switched over to chemical fragrances…because they were having such a hard time to get consistency from one fragrant crop to the next. In fact, that’s why there exists a “Chanel #5”. It came after Chanel #4, #3, #2, and #1 until the creator of the fragrance got so frustrated; she decided to just go with the synthetic recreations of the scents in order to have consistency to her perfume.
(Incidentally, I worked at the perfume counter in 1986 of a large department store and I loved every single perfume and cologne there. I loved wearing it, bathing in it, etc. However, when I came back from the Philippines in 1990, I went to purchase my favorite perfume, Anais Anais, and it immediately gave me a headache. That’s because it was just prior to 1990 that the majority of the perfume industry switched over to the synthetic creations. I was shocked that my body responded this way, even to my tried and true favorites that were more subtle such as Obsession for Women or Honeysuckle from Avon. To this day I cannot handle anything slightly fragranced, not even lotion, scented candles, air fresheners, etc. It gives me an immediate headache, my nose stuffs up, etc. I feel like I’m swallowing the chemical of the perfume if I’m within 5 feet of someone wearing it. However, when I’m using a REAL essential oil of medicinal quality, I’m NEVER bothered by the fragrance at all, even if it’s not one that I particularly love.)
There’s a LOT more to cover here and I will continue to do so. Suffice it to say that for now I beg you to use this as your benchmark for worthwhile essential oils. You simply MUST select E.O.B.B.D certified essential oils if you intend to use them on or in your body. AND please make sure that the company from which you obtain the oils can SHOW you the results of those E.O.B.B.D tests. There is only one company that I have found in the past 10 years that uses E.O.B.B.D essential oils exclusively and who will proudly display their E.O.B.B.D. testing results right on their website, and that company is Be Young Essential Oils.** (NOT to be confused with Young Living Essential Oils which are one of the worst offenders of compromise that I’ve ever researched and who go by the AFNOR status if it comes in from out of the country; if they grow it themselves then they use no standard whatsoever and the problem is, they are growing botanicals that aren’t being grown in their naturally indigenous space. Lavender, for example, thrives in the high, cold French alps above 5,000 feet and it’s in that high altitude in which the botanicals produce a necessary quality of the constituent linalyl acetate which is a known anti-inflammatory constituent that specifically impacts the skin. Only by growing in those tough altitudes will the plants thrive and properly develop this constituent that’s necessary to get the best results for your body. However, Young Living, as an example, grows their Lavender in the dry, dusty, clay-ridden deserts of Utah. Remember the article I wrote about last week that talked about the drought in which I shared with you how a plant could be beneficial if grown in one moist and moderate environment but poisonous if grown in drought-like circumstances? Perhaps this explains why I got the results on their lavender oil that I did. I’ve contacted Young Living now for 4 years in a row to ask to see the results of the gas chromatograph testing results on their Lavender essential oil. In response to that request they sent me a report that had the EXACT same numbers on it. 1 in 20 Trillion chances of that happening, remember? This also indicates that the Gas Chromatograph input settings was manipulated in order to provide specific results. *sigh*
If you think that this bit of information might change the way you look at essential oils, and I really hope it does, wait until I discuss the blending of essential oils. That’s a whole ‘nother can of worms!
I’ve evaluated over 120 companies now that sell their products in the U.S. and Be Young is the only one that I’ve found that meets this criteria along with 15 others that I have created as viable benchmarks which must be met by any essential oils that I intend to use for first aid, preventative care and other healthcare.
Be sure to catch Part 1 of this series here.
**(Yes, the author IS a Sharing Partner for Be Young Essential Oils—and can you blame her? When I find something good, I'm going to pay as little as possible for it, and enrolling to be a Sharing Partner was FREE and it gave me access to wholesale. So why would someone volunteer to pay retail when they can pay wholesale and why would anyone want to trust my opinion on this matter if I, myself didn't invest in them. In fact, I'm SO confident in my position of this conclusion that I've stocked up on these oils at a "pandemic levels" and so if there's anything you see on the Be Young website (you'll have to put in ID# 8285 to see pricing) you can get the same product from me at WHOLESALE, without a social security number, NO sales tax, NO per-order processing fee, and only $4 shipping, and no dealing with an MLM. I'm not sure how anyone could logically complain about that, unless of course you LIKE being charged more for a product just so that the company can pay the exorbitant advertising fees to a famous celebrity spokesperson who's probably never even used the product, let alone researched the industry as a whole.
(However, if you think that you might want to pursue this as a business, then you can enroll as a Sharing Partner for FREE--no administrative fee: because Be Young Essential Oils does not use the "administration fee" predatory MLM practice. Their position is “you can’t help a sore throat with an Administration Fee”, and order as you see fit, or simply order as a regular customer from their site directly.)
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