Is your oil a fraud?

Buying an essential oil is easy. Buying a good one on the other hand, can be a challenge, even for trained aromatherapists. Ideally, you’ll get a bottle of potent liquid distilled from the flower, root, leaf, or rind of an aromatic plant. Unfortunately, it’s tough to know if that’s what’s actually in the bottle you brought home.

Some vendors "extend" essential oils by mixing them with less expensive nut and seed oils, while others pass low-cost oils off as ones that are harder (and pricier) to come by. And others just totally fake it with synthetics that echo the plants scent. 

So how do you spot the good stuff? Look for these telltale signs.


Here’s a fun fact, essential oils aren’t true oils at all. They simply got stuck with the label because they don’t play well with water. And, as it turns out, this quirk comes in handy for spotting any hidden nut, seed or vegetable oils covertly added to an essential oil. The test, place a single drop on white printer paper and let dry. If there’s an oily ring left behind, it’s not a pure essential oil.


While high cost doesn’t signify high quality, it’s smart to be wary of an essential oil with a super-low price tag. Essential oils are almost inevitably pricey. It can take a roomful of plant material to fill just one bottle of essential oil, and if the botanical is scarce, it further drives up cost. Check several sites to get an idea for the normal price of the oil you want.


Make sure the plant’s Latin name is listed on the label or, if you’re shopping online, the webpage. If only the common name is listed you might be shelling out for a lower-cost hybrid. And if it doesn’t specify that it’s an essential oil, it isn’t. "Lavender oil" is nothing more than perfumed oil; it may or may not contain material from the plant, and won’t have the same therapeutic properties as "lavender essential oil." 


All essentials must be stored in glass containers, because the oils strong chemical compounds break down and react with plastic. In addition, the glass should be dark blue or amber to protect the oil from degrading ultraviolet radiation.


Place a drop of a vegetable, nut, or seed oil on the pad of one index finger, and place a drop of the essential oil on the other. Rub the oils with your thumbs, noting the differences (or similarities) between the feel of each. True essential oils have a little slip, but for the most part, they shouldn’t feel thick or greasy.


When you unscrew an essential oils cap, ideally it will be sealed with an orifice reducer - a plug that controls how many drops come out at once. This is helpful for dosage, yes, but it also prolongs the shelf life of oxidation-prone oils by limiting their exposure to air at all times. It’s not the end of the world if it doesn’t have one, but do watch out for any essential oils with built-in dropper pipettes. The little tubes are typically made of plastic or rubber, which can both break down and release synthetic impurities into the oil. However, some manufacturers include a removable glass pipette, which is acceptable.


Since essential oils are plant-derived, avoiding pesticide contamination by buying organic only makes sense. The organic label may mean a price bump, but you can be strategic about when to save or splurge.


\\ Via: Prevention