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Why There's No Such Thing As "Certified Therapeutic Grade" Essential Oils ❤️

by Emma Allen February 12, 2018

When I first started working with and learning about essential oils, I wanted to use the very best of the very best (still do—and we do). 

I kept seeing the term "therapeutic grade" or "certified therapeutic grade" in relation to essential oils.  After researching and speaking with numerous experts in the field, it became apparent that this was simply a marketing term that was coined in the 90's, and does not have any real meaning.  Essential oils are inherently therapeutic, and while there are specifications for what constitutes an essential oil, set by the International Organization for Standardization, there is not a set of specifications that would define an essential oil as "certified therapeutic" and no independent bodies that certify essential oils as such. 

In many industries (healthcare, agriculture, etc., as you are probably very familiar), there are Independent Certification Bodies, Accreditation Services, that are generally not-for-profit and independent—watchdogs who make sure that what companies say is happening is actually happening.  With every certification there are specific parameters that the product must meet: So for instance, in the US, the USDA sets the standards for organic agriculture, and any certifying bodies must be approved by the USDA to be credible. This system creates multiple levels of independent evaluation—and a company can't just claim that its products are organic, at least on packaging, unless it's been certified so by this system of certification. 

You may have seen some "multi-level marketing" companies that sell essential oils and recruit independent sellers to vend on their behalf—and recruit more sellers beneath them in a sales strategy that resembles a pyramid :)  One of these multi-level marketing companies puts a "certification seal"on their packaging that says "CPTG" or Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.  This private company actually trademarked this particular term and seal, and designed it to resemble the seals that are from independent bodies.  Since they trademarked it, they are of course the only ones who can use it. Basically, they are pretending like "CPTG" is an official, independent certification, which of course it isn't. 

While I hope very much that the essential oils that they sell are of high quality, the fact that they are creating this misleading marketing scheme does not give me high hopes for their credibility as a company.  As a general rule of thumb, I would think twice before sourcing from a company that claims their essential oils are "certified therapeutic grade."  They are either completely naive and pretending to have a certification that doesn't exist, or they are not naive and are pretending to have a certification that does not exist.  Either way, not promising.  

I wish that the essential oil market was more heavily regulated, however, this is not the case.  Many of the "essential oils" and plant oils sold on Amazon and other sites are synthetic,  and it is up to the consumer to do their homework and make sure to source from reputable companies that can provide paperwork and lab testing to back up their products.  It is up to companies to do their homework as well—and to be transparent with their customers.  A good rule of thumb is to ask companies to provide Certificates of Analysis and GC Reports when you order, any reputable essential oil supplier will be able to provide those.  

So, what kind of essential oils do we source for Everyday Oil?

The essential oils we use in Everyday Oil are of the highest quality and most tightly regulated in the industry.  They are in compliance with ISO 9001:2008 and come with Material Safety Data Sheets, Certificates of Analysis, and GC Reports. They are never tested on animals, and the ingredients that are Certified Organic are certified by the leading Independent organic certification company, QAI.  Every recommended quality control element is in place.  We don't call them "therapeutic grade" because that's not a real thing, and with Everyday Oil you will always get a very real thing.

 

If you would like to read more about this issue, please check out these references:

The Quality of Essential Oils Journal

There Are No FDA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils




Emma Allen
Emma Allen

Author




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