Are Plant Therapy’s Essential Oils Therapeutic Grade?
All of Plant Therapy’s oils are 100% pure, free from any additives, adulterants or dilutions. They are of the absolute highest quality and are ideal for use in aromatherapy. Since there is no organization that oversees the quality of essential oils, ‘Therapeutic Grade’ is simply a marketing term. Any company can say their oils are therapeutic grade. Some companies use other therapeutic grade terms, or other grading or certifying terms, for internal quality standards. However, these terms are often trademarked by the company. When looking for the highest quality oils, don’t look for terms such as ‘Therapeutic Grade’ since any company can use this term. Since there is no actual third party grading or certifying of essential oils, it is best to look for a company that ensures the quality of their oils based on test results and experts. Some tests that are important when ensuring the quality of an essential oil are GC/MS (Gas Chromatograph/Mass Spectrometer) tests and organoleptic test.
Are Plant Therapy’s Essential Oils Organic?
Many are but not all. We work very hard with our suppliers to provide oils that come from organically grown plants. That being said, we only carry a small line of certified organic oils. These oils are clearly labeled and our line of certified organic oils and synergies is continually growing. If you are looking for a guarantee that the oil was grown organically and follows the organic standards, we recommend you purchase our certified organic oils. Since many small farmers cannot afford to certify their organically grown plants, the only way to guarantee the oil is organic, is to purchase a certified organic oil.
Can Plant Therapy’s Essential Oils Be Used Internally?
We do not recommend the general internal use of essential oils. Essential oils are highly concentrated and have the capacity to cause serious damage if used internally without the necessary expertise required in administering them. We do have customers who choose to use our oils internally. However, we recommend it only be done with great respect for the power of essential oils, under the direction of someone who is qualified in the internal use of essential oils and someone who truly understands the chemical makeup of each individual oil, and NOT on a daily basis.
Are Any of Plant Therapy’s Essential Oils Redistilled (1st, 2nd, 3rd distillation)?
Most essential oils do not need to be redistilled. The only time this happens is if you are trying to remove some of the minor constituents found in the essential oil. Most often this is done for the food flavoring industry. This is also done for toxic substances such as hydrocyanic acid (cyanide) in bitter almond oil. Because cyanide is so toxic, this oil is legally required to be redistilled. In these cases, the plant would be distilled and then the essential oil would be fractionally distilled, or redistilled, to remove these minor constituents. The only oil that we carry that has been fractionally distilled is our Bergamot. Bergamot is a highly phototoxic essential oil. Plant Therapy’s Bergamot is known as bergapten free. This means that the chemical constituent that makes Bergamot so phototoxic, bergapten, has been removed from our Bergamot making it safe to use in the sun.
How Are Plant Therapy’s Essential Oils Extracted?
Most of Plant Therapy’s essential oils are extracted using steam distillation. Our citrus oils are extracted using cold pressed extraction. We also carry a few CO2 extracted oils and also a few solvent extracted absolutes. Here is some more information about the different methods of extraction.
Steam Distillation: The most common process of extracting an essential oil is by distillation, a process that isolates the aromatic, volatile element of the plant with steam.
Hydro-Distillation: Hydro-distillation is very similar to steam-distillation with one major difference. With traditional steam-distillation, steam passes through the plant material, carrying the essential oils in the vapor to be separated later. During hydro-distillation, the plant material is placed directly in the water that is then heated to boiling. The essential oils are carried through the vapor, condensed, and decanted to separate the essential oils from the water.
Cold Pressed: Expression, or cold pressing, is used primarily for citrus fruits like orange and lemon, where the essential oil is obtained in tiny pockets in the peel or rind. Oils extracted by cold pressing are the most volatile of essential oils and can evaporate quickly when exposed to air.
CO2 Extraction: The CO2 extraction method yields a greater number of aromatic compounds than any other distillation process, making this extraction method one of our personal favorites! In certain conditions at a low temperature Carbon Dioxide or CO2 can be pressurized to become a liquid. This liquid then acts as a solvent and is used to extract the oil from plants. After extraction is completed, the extraction vessel is brought back to normal temperature and the CO2 rapidly converts to gas, leaving behind a high quality oil that is free of solvents.
Solvent Extraction (only used for absolutes): Flowers too delicate to be processed with heat are soaked in a solvent, usually hexane that extracts the volatile elements. The solvent is then evaporated leaving only the most fragrant constituents behind. This process produces what is called an "absolute". Here is a more in depth step by step process: 1) Plant material is macerated in a solvent. Usually hexane. 2) After several days the solvent is removed, leaving the viscous, fragrant concrete. 3) The concrete is dissolved with high proof alcohol. 4) The mixture is chilled, and separates into plant waxes and fragrant tincture. 5) The fragrant tincture is vacuum distilled to evaporate off the alcohol, leaving an absolute. All absolutes are extracted using solvent extraction.
Why Are Some Oils Unsafe To Use On Or Around Children?
There are many reasons why some essential oils are not recommended to be used on or around children. Some of these reasons are toxicity concerns, adverse skin reactions and breathing problems. Children are more at risk because they are smaller and therefore more susceptible to toxic substances, their metabolism is less effective than an adults, their skin is thinner and not as mature as an adults, and they are more susceptible to respiratory issues.
Why Should Certain Oils Be Avoided During Pregnancy?
Certain essentials oils are considered too powerful for use during pregnancy as they may stimulate the production of certain hormones and can encourage bleeding. Please consult your physician.
Do I Need To Dilute Plant Therapy’s Essential oils When Using Topically?
Short answer, yes. Essential oils are volatile meaning that they evaporate very quickly. When you dilute essential oils, the evaporation process is much slower because they are diluted in non-volatile substances. The carrier oil then carries the essential oil into the skin which means that you can use less essential oil. Additionally, the therapeutic benefits of a carrier oil often increases the therapeutic benefits of the essential oil!