Reasons Why Buying Essential Oils “Just Anywhere” Can Be Problematic
Reason #1) Chemotypes;
Chemotype is the title given to plants that, though having the same genus and species, have very different chemical properties. For example, you could have three or more Thyme plants, each grown in a different region/ climate of France, each with a different holistic value. Why does this matter? Well, if you want Thyme for clearing lung congestion you may not get it. A bigger problem is not knowing it and spending good money for something that is not going to do what you bought it to do.
If we consider the variations among genus and species of plants, let alone the chemotypes of each, it would be easy to see that picking the right essential oil can be overwhelming. Take Eucalyptus for instance, which one (Globulus, Radiata, Citriodora, Smithii, or Dives) is the best for breaking up thick, persistent mucus and which one is better for fungal infections? Buying remedies online or off–the-shelf often leave a lot to be desired in the way of information. This might explain why that blend you bought online to help with headaches isn’t bringing the relief you had hoped.
So, how can you know what you are getting? Well, a good provider of essential oils will be able to supply you with the Latin name (though this alone is not enough to assure you of the chemical components), date of production, location of origin, shelf life, and GC/MS test results. The GC/MS documentation is the most valuable source of information when it comes to telling you what is in your oil. I have seen companies that provide a LOT of ambiguous documents that say “testing” - and even “sewage sludge” listed among them. OH BOY! But, in the end, they told me nothing.
Chemotypes are just one reason buying essential oils “any ol’ place” is often a waste of money and even a potential hazard. In the next edition, we will explore shelf life.
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