So much information! I have started Orientation, which is just an introduction into Aromatherapy! I haven’t even started the lessons, but I am learning so much I thought I’d share some tidbits with you. Because that’s why you’re here, right?
Some information you need before buying an oil:
- Distillation date – season and year
- Distillation location – country is usually enough, but sometimes there is more information available
- GC/MS report results – 3rd party is preferable, and results straight from the tester. Sometimes you have to ask for these, but a lot of companies are offering them right on the product page now. Make sure it is for the current batch being sold. GC/MS are batch specific.
Why is this important?
- Oils have shelf lives. Oils will oxidize and can cause irritation if oxidized. Citrus oils have a shelf life of 1-2 years, conifers, 2-3 years. Those are typically the shortest and you need to know how long your oil is going to last once you get it. This also makes companies sell their oldest oils first to keep the stock fresh. Extend the shelf life by storing out of the light in cool temperatures (fridge works well). (Note: This doesn’t extend it beyond the date range, rather it allows you to get to the longer amount versus the shorter. Does that make sense?)
- Oil chemical makeup varies greatly from location to location. Lavender grown in the US has different a different chemical signature than lavender grown in Europe in the mountains. The soil and climate are so different and it affects the therapeutic uses. Latin name isn’t enough in this matter.
- This tests for adulteration and also checks for chemical makeup on a more precise level. We of course want to make sure our oils are pure (verified by a third party) but also we want to make sure that certain components are in tolerable levels or the right therapeutic levels. Plant Therapy recently removed their ‘KidSafe’ label from an oil because a chemical component in that batch was too high to be considered safe for kids under 10. In some oils, chemical makeup can vary widely and having the GC/MS report allows you to make sure you are using the right oil for job.
Too wordy? Sorry I love this stuff!