While on the search for the perfect essential oils, you are unfortunately going to come across some, shall we say, frauds. What is classified as an essential oil fraud? It’s an essential oil that isn’t made from 100% plant essence and instead is “adulterated” with lab-concocted synthetic ingredients or preservatives.
With this in mind, why is it important that an essential oil be pure?
According to the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA), aromatherapy is defined as the science of utilizing aromatic essences from plants to naturally enhance the health of your mind, body and spirit. Through delicate processes, the natural oils in plants including from the flowers, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of the plant hold the ability to significantly impact your physical and psychological well-being.
So what does this mean, exactly?
It means that if you’re feeling depressed, there are certain essential oils that can actually help to lift your mood, or if you’re feeling lethargic can give you a mental energy boost. Or, if you have a cut, burn or insect bite on your body, there are oils that can actually help to heal those wounds and relieve itch. These are just a few examples of the literally countless ways that essential oils can be used to thoroughly enhance your health and life.
To reap these intense benefits, many people diffuse essential oils throughout a room so that they can inhale the therapeutic properties; or they put them on their skin with a carrier oil or lotion so that the properties can be absorbed into their bloodstream.
So what happens if an oil is not completely pure?
With synthetic essential oils, a manufacturer is basically attempting to recreate the aroma of an actual essential oil, which means that it won’t contain the therapeutic properties discussed above. So even though your lavender oil may still smell like lavender, it’s not going to truly help calm you or heal your wounds. Basically, the “fraud” essential oil won’t perform any beneficial purposes for your mind, body or spirit.
And another great question to ask yourself is what is IN the synthetic essential oil? And will the unknown synthetic ingredients bring about negative effects to your body? Well since the company making the synthetic essential oils is trying to mimic the smell of actual plant oil aromas, one thing that will definitely be included is synthetic fragrances.
According to the Environmental Working Group, synthetic fragrances are bad news for your health, even though they are unfortunately prevalent in an array of bath and beauty products. Some of the ingredients used to make these fragrances have even been linked to startling and serious health conditions.
And if you are sensitive to synthetic fragrance chemicals, you may experience the following unpleasant side effects from these synthetic oils:
- Worsening asthma symptoms
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Difficulty breathing or wheezing
- Tightness in the chest
- Itchy, red rashes
Obviously, none of these symptoms would be anything that you want to experience, especially since real, pure essential oils actually benefit your health and help to alleviate unpleasant side effects; quite ironic that synthetic essential oils can do exactly the opposite!
So, how should you ensure your essential oils are pure and not synthetic?
When doing your homework on essential oil brands, make sure a company readily lists these factors for every essential oil on their site:
- Name and Latin name of product
- Place of product origin
- Part of plant used
- Type of extraction method used to obtain the oil
- Tests performed to ensure product purity (should have GC-MS test)
Making sure that all of these details are properly listed on the product label and company website will ensure that the essential oils you choose are actually pure, therapeutic and beneficial to you! Read our essential oil reviews to help decide which companies offer the best oils, and which have oils that are synthetic frauds.
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