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I have dabbled in essential oils before. I know a couple basic recipes for all purpose cleaner and bug repellent.  I decided that this summer I want to expand our repertoire a little bit more. Where to start and what to buy were the big questions for me. When it comes to essential oils I quickly found out that it isn’t so easy.

We found ourselves diving head first into the debate of which methods are best for distilling? Which brands are more pure? Which brands use indigenous plants? Are indigenous plants really better? Are there truly “grades” to oil purities? Can essential oils be ingested? Which ones are safe for ingestion? Do you apply directly to skin or use a carrier? Do the different varieties of plants have different properties? Can you be allergic to essential oils?

After a few days of research and talking to friends who use essential oils I have only come to three conclusions. There is one company that I will not buy oils from, I will not be giving my family essential oils internally, and I will not use essential oils without some sort of a carrier. The use of essential oils internally seems to be hotly debated.  In this instance I’d rather err on the side of caution and just not ingest them.  As for using straight essential oils? It is the same sort of idea. The use of straight essential oils is debated and I would rather err on the side of caution. When using a highly concentrated substance, even if pure from a plant, there are always risks of side effects. Diluting the essential oils with a carrier will not only increase the number of uses out of a bottle but help protect you from using something too strong and having a negative reaction.

As for the company I will not buy from, I will state my feelings on it and leave it at that. After looking into the claims of being “certified pure therapeutic grade” I learned that this company has trademarked the particular phrase they use to market their oils as better than the competition. I then looked into what it takes to get a trademark and what trademarks mean. In the short trademarks are ways of branding themselves. While this means that the company has given themselves a high standard to deliver on, this also means that other companies can have equal quality but can’t use the trademarked phrase. I did e-mail in to the company in question regarding the ability of others to acquire the use of the trademarked phrase and was informed that currently there is no way for another company to use the trademarked phrase.

These hours of reading and research still leave me with no idea on what additional oils I should purchase and who I should purchase from.  I was also left wondering if I should put the money into buying only neat oil blends or go ahead and buy the ones that were already diluted. In the end we decided to go with undiluted oils so that we know exactly how much of an essential oil each person is getting. This way will most likely lead up to buying the individual oils and making up blends of our own but currently, I prefer this way. Not all oils are safe for young children or pregnant women. Now I can just eliminate the ones that are not safe for me and Pirate M. I can also dilute more the oils that are for Big M and Little M and dilute less the oils for Homemade Daddy.

So now we know that there are two companies that we will not use. The second one just because we don’t want to get involved in a finger pointing contest. I strongly believe that if we look hard enough then we can find a company that suits our needs without having to go through a consultant.

Keep a look out for a follow up post on what we finally decided on and how we got there.

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