I’m pretty science-y. I have a science degree, and so I like test results and logical explanations backed by solid science. That does not always look like what we were taught in school, because I’m NOT a fan of being indoctrinated. So, science-y with a generous helping of conspiracy theorist. That’s me. Give me test results. That makes me happy.
I’ve talked a little about GCMS reports on this blog before, but it bears mentioning again because I think it is so important in this new age of essential oil marketing. You want to be sure you are getting what you think you are getting and make sure it is safe and effective for what you are using it for.
Example: Thyme ct. thymol is very good for respiratory concerns but it is very skin irritating. So it has a low maximum topical dilution and it is not recommended to inhale at a high concentration because it can irritate the mucus membranes. Thyme ct. linalool is ok for respiratory concerns, but it is much more sedative in nature and is not skin irritating. Both have the same latin name, Thymus vulgaris. They can be grown in the same regions. The only way to know which is skin irritating and which isn’t is to have a GCMS report done and see the levels of the chemical components – thymol and linalool.
So, how do you get these reports? And what are you looking for?
We’ll cover the first question today. And I’ll do my best to explain the second question next time. It’s not overly complicated, but reading a report is just as important when buying essential oils as reading a food label is important when you have food allergies.
I just did a general search for some of the companies that I’ve bought from and some that I haven’t. I did the same oil for all companies to keep it simple – Sweet Orange – and I’ll just do them in alphabetical order. I’m only posting where to find them and what they look like today and I’m only posting from companies that do have GCMS reports available on their website. If you know of another company that has test results available, let me know!
Here is the product page for Sweet Orange and you can see under the photo, they have a link to “View full GC/MS Report”. (I love that they have the dominant chemical families listed there already, but that info isn’t very helpful for most outside of Aromatherapists.) It has the date the batch was created and a batch number for the report. When you click the link, you’ll see this (only the first page)
This is a summary done by Aromatics International. It does not have the original test results and I’m not sure by looking at this if it was done by third party testing or not. This page is still useful, as it is helpful to monitor the dominant compounds when you are replacing oils to make sure they are relatively stable or if they aren’t, how that might affect the use of that oil.
This is the product page from Eden’s Botanicals. I like this company because I can get sample sizes of oils I don’t use very often or don’t use much of. Not cost effective if you plan on using more than a few drops a year, but prevents waste on those oils you maybe want for one recipe, but probably wouldn’t use otherwise, or, like me, an oil like Vetiver that I’ll use every once in a while, but use so little of it that it doesn’t make sense to have a whole bottle. The link for the test reports is the tab labeled “Certificate of Analysis (COA)”. When you click that, you get this:
Not a GC/MS report, but a summary of sorts. Does give more information about that particular batch of oil – manufacturing date and location, but very little information on the chemical components. And there is no way to tell if the GC/MS was done in-house or third party.
This is the product page from Eden’s Garden. They have a “Reports” tab just under the product description.
And when you click that, you get this. This is the graph and list form from the GC and MS tests. It appears that these tests are done in-house.
Plant Therapy has their reports under the Product Details in a tab labeled “Test Reports”. They have all batches available to view so you can compare the current batch to previous batches. When you click on the links you get this:
This is the summary page. It is a summary of the main components of the oil and has comments from Robert Tisserand, the leading expert on essential oils. This is just the first page though. This is all I print. I look through the other pages, but I print this one for each oil when I buy it to have on record. After the first page, you get this:
This is the first page of the lab results. This particular lab is one of the leading essential oil testing labs in the world. It’s very thorough and includes the list of all of the chemical components present and on the last pages includes the graph (like Eden’s Garden) as well.
Here is the product page for Orange at Rocky Mountain Oils. If you scroll down quite a ways, you’ll find this:
You must have the batch number off your bottle OR contact them for the current batch number for the oil you are interested in. I have contacted RMO for the current batch number and when I get it I will post the results here. They do say that their tests are done by a third party, independent lab. Not my favorite because it seems easier for them to just post the results and have multiple batches like Plant Therapy. I prefer to check my reports before I buy, so constantly getting batch numbers via email or calling would be tedious.
**Update: I did receive the current Orange batch number and here are the GCMS results (first page only). They use the same third party company that Plant Therapy uses in France.
I checked Young Living, DoTERRA, and Mountain Rose Oils, as well as a few smaller companies but they did not have GCMS reports available. Young Living claims their test results are proprietary, while DoTERRA says they do more testing than just GCMS but do not provide the results anywhere that I can tell (If this information is not correct, please let me know!)
Now, why do you need this and what do you do with the information once you have it? Stay tuned!