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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
Thanks for the objective information about ‘standards’ for essential oils, or lack thereof and the discussion about MLMs.
As an independent essential oils retailer for the past 15 years, I found Aura Cacia to be my prefered brand.
Aura Cacia is part of Frontier Coop, not multi marketing.
They have established, ethical relationships with their farmers, and quality extraction since 1986.
They educate for safety and proper use of essential oils.
I recommend them for personal use as well as natural body artisans.
I only use doTERRA oils, and an artisan from my area.
not all the oils that you can buy which they say Terpapeutic they are, because there was no regulation at least in my country, like many products you buy and say organic you pay a lot of money and then behind in small letters it says (only 10% of the product is organic!!) same with the oils, many companies mix them. In a survey the tested the 50 biggest brands, which from only 4 , all the range of oils where pure ( no toxic dissolutions ) and guess what…one of the is doTERRA…I have been a holistic therapist for 10 years …I only use doTERRA , with my family and my clients…many blessings
Thank you for sharing. I myself is a wellness advocate of Doterra. I love their products. That said, I hate the fact that they created and trademarked CPTG, giving the impression that their oils are certified by an independent third party (well, you don’t certified yourself). I don’t mind even if they bear no CPTG so long as they are good products. The author is questioning their marketing strategy and integrity – using CPTG to mislead the users intentionally, and may I just add, evident by a stern warning letter from FDA to Doterra. Click here: https://www.fda.gov/inspections-compliance-enforcement-and-criminal-investigations/warning-letters/doterra-international-llc-09222014
I am a wellness advocate for Doterra. They label all of their bottles with CPTG. So, my question is, do you think they are being deceptive? I have heard a lot of great testimonials about how helpful their oils are. I want to know if you have a list of companies that has been identified as fraudulent and what makes this company different besides not claiming to be CPTG certified?
Actually, there are certifications in other countries where they are regulated, like France. There are some American companies that comply with those.
I prefer essential oils because they can help kill bacteria & viruses, fight infection, relieve allergies, and alleviate anxiety, stress, depression, fatigue, and poor memory.
CPTG: 8 tests each ran during distillation, production,and packaging.It certifies that there are no fillers,synthetics, ingredients,or harmful contaminants in there oils that would reduce efficacy. The most Toxic room in a home is the female bathroom. The crap we put on every day that dosent have this label is associated with the illnesses that plague our country . The FDA isn’t to be trusted! They havent been right about anything . There reccomended diet-causes obesity and diabetes .
Thanks for your heartfelt concern about safety of oils! So So important. MLMs teach there sales associates to carefully speak, with careful wording to con and cunningly deceive everyone for $.. Copaiba needs investigated and busted!
Thank you for posting this article about the myth of companies claiming they have CPTG essential oils.
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January 19, 2020
Can essential oils be used in foods, specifically baking?