Essential Oil Purity
Using the finest pure essential oils is absolutely vital in aromatherapy. Why is that? Because the purity of the essential oils used will determine how effective the aromatherapy treatment or product will be. In aromatherapy, you only receive textbook results when you use the very finest pure essential oils.
At best, essential oils that have been adulterated will simply not deliver the health benefits that you were expecting. At worst, there is the risk of serious skin irritation or sensitisation due to an adverse reaction to the synthetic chemicals that have been used to adulterate, extend or 'standardise' the essential oil.
This is why vigorous checks are made throughout the entire process of sourcing and authenticating the provenance of Quinessence pure essential oils. Failure to meet any one of our purity and quality standards will result in an essential oil or other raw material being firmly rejected.
Quinessence Purity and Quality Standards include:
- Verification of the plants botanical species
- Crops were not subjected to agrochemicals
- Low pressure distillation techniques employed
- Visually inspecting the essential oil
- Odour evaluation of the essential oil
- Measuring the essential oils physical parameters
- Testing the essential oils purity using GC or GC/MS technology
We believe that the search for essential oil purity begins at the very earliest stage of production, preferably with inspection of the crop at the growing phase to verify the botanical species. This important aspect is often overlooked when considering quality issues, and this is why we have established close working relationships with growers around the world.
When growing plants specifically for the extraction of essential oils, the location, altitude, fertility of the soil, weather conditions and the method of cultivation all have an influence upon its oil content and quality. This is why an essential oil produced in one country can be of a higher quality than precisely the same oil produced in another. And it doesn't end there.
At the extraction stage, the skill and experience of the distillery becomes the next critical factor in the quest for excellence, since all the expertise and effort of the farmer will have been wasted if the oil is not extracted correctly.
The importance of essential oil purity can not be over-stated, if for no other reason than maintaining the good reputation of aromatherapy. Cheaper, inferior quality essential oils deliver poor results and mean that ultimately you will have wasted your hard earned money, rather than saving any of it.
Using cheap essential oils can often be a bit of a gamble too, since as stated earlier; at best, nothing at all will happen - in other words you will not receive any therapeutic benefits. But at the other end of the scale you may have an allergic reaction to the oil and experience skin irritation, sensitisation, or other undesired side effects.
These unwanted side effects are often brought about when an essential oil has been adulterated with a synthetic chemical component, or even because it is entirely synthetic. Unscrupulous traders and dealers will often 'stretch' expensive oils by adding cheap synthetics to them to make the product more profitable for themselves.
This type of adulteration can cause problems for unsuspecting customers who then attempt to use these oils in aromatherapy - sometimes with disastrous results. Many people are allergic to synthetic compounds, hence the move to 'fragrance-free' cosmetics that began back in the 1980's.
Of course not everyone is sensitive to synthetic or adulterated oils so the problem should not be exaggerated, but it is still unethical and dishonest for a supplier to sell an adulterated or synthetic oil under the pretence that it is a natural, pure essential oil.
After all, you are paying for something that you are not getting. Synthetic or adulterated oils contain little or no therapeutic qualities and will not produce the results that you are looking for.
If you remember nothing else, remember this; if you want the best results in aromatherapy, essential oil purity is everything.
Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2003. Written by Geoff Lyth
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