by Kelly Kitchen, MA, B.Ed., BPE, RHN –
For years now, you have been asking us to add essential oils to the products we carry. We have taken your requests to heart and have taken the time to learn what we can about the industry and the products available so we can provide you with bioactive oils of therapeutic quality at a reasonable price. It has been no easy task, and it has taken us a long time to bring on a line of essential oils that meets the quality standards of Eastern Currents products for many good reasons. We are excited to share with you our new line of essential oils, Vital Qi.
The essential oil market has become saturated with companies professing to have pure essential oils. As we delved deeper into the industry, we found that essential oils on the market can be, and are in fact, adulterated in numerous ways. They can be thinned out with cheaper, lower quality oils and still passed off as “pure essential oils”. For example, Bulgarian Lavender or Lavandin oils can be added to French Lavender, but still sold as the more expensive French Lavender, and this is just one example. There are also synthetic analogues that smell similar to the oil in question that are frequently added to oils. The aroma is similar, so it is difficult for consumers to tell, and low quality oils can be made to smell more intensely and appear to be “pure”. Isolates from other oils are also commonly added to some oils to standardize them for the cosmetic and perfume industries. If the aroma was the only thing that mattered, then this might not be so problematic. But, as a practitioner, you are needing oils that have a high standard of bioactivity, so your patients can benefit from the amazing gifts these plant medicines have to offer. All the adulterated oils on the market have their bioactivity compromised in some way, and are thus less effective for therapeutic uses. The challenge is knowing what you are getting because there are no labelling regulations around this.
The next issue was wading through the wide range of price points of oils on the market today. It is easy to equate a higher price with quality, but that is also misleading. There are large multi-level companies that have great marketing campaigns and slogans, some of which they have trademarked to make them appear to be the only ones with that quality. For example, “therapeutic grade” has been trademarked by one company, so no one else is allowed to say their oils are therapeutic grade even if they meet the same criteria (which there is none specified). There are also really cheap oils available, but there is little information given on the labels, so the assumption is these are likely adulterated in some way. They may also be mass produced in geographic locations other than where they are native to which also alters their chemical profile. It really is buyer beware.
We have done our homework and have sourced essential oils that we can stand behind and that you can trust. We are providing you with the information all essential oil companies should provide if they are providing the highest quality oils possible, and these are listed below.
Biological identity: We provide the certificates of analysis for all of our oils that includes specific gravity and refractive index test results.
Geographic locations: We have sourced oils from the areas they are native to.
Botanical names: We provide the genus and species instead of just the common name, so you know exactly what you are getting.
Organic certification: While all of the oils we carry are of high quality, not all have undergone the certification process. For the ones that have, we have labelled them with the certifying body.
We have started with 22 oils, but will be adding to the line over time. If you don’t see a specific oil or size you would like, let us know, and we will do our best to source it for you.