Essential Oil FAQ

Our aromatherapy blends are created by a certified aromatherapist.

What Are Essential Oils?

The cells that generate the plant’s fragrant smell are it’s “essence.” When the essence is extracted from the plant, the result is an Essential Oil.  Essential oils are extracted from the seeds, roots, bark, stems, leaves, flowers, resins, and other parts of plants. Essential oils are obtained from plants, most often, through steam distillation. Oils also be expressed mechanically, or cold-pressed.  An example of cold pressed oils are citrus oils, which are extracted from peels.

The amount, type and source location of the plant material used to extract the essential oil, determines the value of the oil.  It takes a huge quantity of plant material to make essential takes about three pounds of lavender flowers to extract just 15 ml of lavender essential oil.  Compare lavender to rose essential oil, which needs about 245,000 rose petals (about 22 pounds) to extract just 5 ml of rose oil.  Rose oil is one of the most valuable of all the essential oils.

Storing Essential Oils

Always store essential oils in a cool dark place.

What About Essential Oil Quality?

The quality of essential oils is extremely important. An oil that is adulterated will not provide the properties expected from a pure essential oil, and in some cases can actually be harmful. Fragrance oils are often used by soap and candle makers. Note that fragrance oils are synthetically made and are not to be used in the manner one uses essential oils.

How do I Know If an Oil is a Pure Essential Oil?

  • The cost. Essential oils can be quite expensive.  For example, Bergamot Fragrance oil can be purchased for about $7.00 for .5 oz (15 ml). A 15 ml bottle pure Bergamot essential oil, purchased from a reputable vendor for about $20 – $40, depending on the vendor.
  • The Name. Look for the Latin name of the plant along with the common name. If you see an oil named Almond Biscotti, you can be sure this is a fragrance oil. Fragrance oils often have ‘fragrance’ on their label.
  • The Container. Essential oils are always packaged in amber or dark blue glassware. Essential oil chemical compounds can eat away at plastic. The color of the glassware also protects the oil from ultraviolet heat.
  • Bottle Top: Essential oils are in bottles sealed with an orifice reducer, which allows only a drop at a time to come out of the bottle. Droppers made of rubber or plastics are not used because the essential oil can break down those materials, which causes synthetic impurities to mix with the oil.
  • Third party testing results are available.  Tests should have been executed on the batch of oil by a third-party laboratory. Documentation of the test results should be available to consumers.
  • The Vendor has a good reputation. Companies that sell quality essential oils are generally known and advertised by word of mouth.

Self Health Solutions purchases all of the oils we use from reputable vendors.  We require the following:

  • The Latin name of the plant is provided to ensure we are purchasing exactly the oil we intend to purchase.
  • The name of the country in which the plants were grown is provided.
  • Third party Certificate of Analysis containing:
    • Physicochemical Data
    • Analysis Summary
    • Chromatogram Results
    • Full Analysis Data
    • Peak Report (optional)
  • To ensure customer satisfaction, we also self-test the oils we purchase to make sure we are satisfied with the oils.