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Essential Oils - Spotting the Fakes

Essential Oils - Spotting the Fakes

Sometimes I happen to be in a store and I see a shiny bottle of essential oil that I think I need to have it.  I have to admit, I am drawn to them and feel this need to pick it up and look at it.  There are times, though, when the price seems too good to be true or something else just doesn't seem right.  I usually set it back down on the shelf and move on, but then I am left to wonder how do I know if I am buying the "good" stuff?

I always know when I buy ZAQ's 100% Pure Essential Oils I am getting what I pay for.  I am not worried about the legitimate companies out there.  It's just once in a while, I will see something that I am unsure about that I am left to question the product.  Then, I began researching how to know if the essential oil I buy is the real thing.  I found out some pretty interesting information.

According to Jessica Chia, some companies actually substitute lower cost nut and seed oils into their essential oils to "extend" them.  She also says some companies just "fake" it and use synthetics that give off the smell of the real thing.  I certainly do not want to breathe in synthetics as this is not healthy at all for our bodies.  Here's test she suggests to see if our oil is "real."  Take a drop of oil and place it on a piece of white paper.  If it leaves an oily ring when it dries, it isn't a real essential oil.  Good information to know!  The exception to this, according to Jade Shutes who is the president of the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy, are the essential oils sandalwood, vetiver, German chamomile and patchouli oils which are considered heavier in consistency.

Another thing to look for is the price.  It can take a lot of plant material to fill up a bottle for essential oil, so it makes sense that pure essential oils cost more.  Researching the price of certain oils online should give you an idea of what individual types should cost.

The hidden wording is another tell-tale sign.  If something just says, for example, Lavender Oil, and not Lavender Essential Oil (ZAQ's 100% Pure Essential Oil), you are probably getting a fragrance oil and not the real thing.  ZAQ also lists the Latin name for its products as well which is a sign of getting "the good stuff."

The bottle is very important as well and what brought me to research this question to start with.  Plastic will not be used with 100% pure essential oils.  The reason for this is that glass containers prevent the product from breaking down. The glass should be a dark color such as amber or blue, too, as this keeps the product from degrading.  Remember to keep your bottles in a cool place as well.

Here's something I didn't know.  If your bottle of essential oil is labeled, "wild-crafted" it means it wasn't farmed, it was harvested in the wild, thus no harmful chemicals.  Organics are also a safe bet.  ZAQ now has some wonderful organic essential oils for you, too, such as Organic Juniper Berry and Organic Patchouli.

Finally, make sure you look for a bottle that says 100% Pure.  Otherwise, you may be buying something diluted, altered or mixed with something else.  I've even heard it said that buying essential oils are like buying fine wines.  According to Sierra Bright, the amount of rain a crop received, the temperature of the air, the length of growing season and soil content has a lot to do with good essential oils.  It may also vary from year to year.

Enjoy your essential oils, but be smart about what you are buying.  As you can see, there is a lot that goes into each bottle - both the good and the bad.  Hopefully, these tips will help you like they helped me.  I guess you really do get what you pay for!

Kris Bitar

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