September 3, 2011

The Use of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils in Medical Treatment.

People tend to confuse essential oils bought at health food stores or pharmacies with Therapeutic Grade Essential oils; however, the former are not the real deal, and it is important to know how to differentiate both.

Here are some important tips:


The chemical constituents which make up essential oils, which are usually affected by many different factors (such as soil condition, types of fertilizers used, geography, weather, etc.), are the key factor in determining their purity.

A high quality therapeutic grade essential oil should preserve its aromatic compounds; to achieve so it requires a specific distillation process, where certain levels of pressure and temperature have to be respected.

Pesticides and agrochemicals must of course be avoided, since they can mix into the essential oil and make it toxic.

The efficiency of essential oils resides basically on their purity; this is why synthetic oils can never achieve the same therapeutic benefits, and they can even pose a risk to consumers. Plus, some of the main chemical compounds cannot be manufactured in a lab.


The AFNOR (Association French Normalization Organization Regulation) and ISO (International Standards Organization) standards in Europe outline the main components and chemical profile of true top quality essential oils.

These standards help scientists study different oils and check them to see if they contain the required balance of constituents. Some labs in the US are slowly starting to adopt these European standards.

How therapeutic grade essential oils are used

Essential oils can be effectively used through ingestion, topical application, inhalation or rectal and/or vaginal retention; however, it has been proved that they bring about the most benefits when they are consumed orally. Topical application is also very common and effective (the most common oils used being valerian, rosemary and bay laurel), as is inhalation.

Therapeutic grade essential oils can be used as antioxidants and stimulants of the brain’s limbic system; they are known to promote emotional balance, appetite control, and perform various immune functions. People suffering from different chronic diseases (such as Systemic Lupus) have experienced the positive effects of essential oils, thus showing that alternative therapies may be of as much help –and sometimes even more- as prescription medicine.

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