Today much of the lavender oil sold in America is the hybrid called lavandin, grown and distilled in China, Russia, France, and Tasmania. It is brought into France and cut with synthetic linalyl acetate to improve the fragrance. Then propylene glycol, DEP, or DOP (solvents that have no smell and increase the volume) are added, and it is sold in the United States as lavender oil.
Often lavandin is heated to evaporate the camphor and then is adulterated with synthetic linalyl acetate. Most consumers don’t know the difference and are happy to buy it for $7 to $10 per half ouce in health food stores, beauty salons, grocery and department stores, and through mail order. This is one of the reasons why it is important to know about the integrity of the company or vendor from which you purchase your essential oils.
Frankincense is another example of a commonly adulterated oil. The frankincense resin that is sold in Somalia costs between $30,000 and $35,000 per ton. A great deal of time – 12 hours or more – is required to properly steam-distill this essential oil from the resin, making the oil very expensive. Frankincense oil that sells for $25 per ounce or less is cheaply distilled with gum resins, alcohol, or other solvents, leaving the essential oil laden with harmful chemicals. Sadly, when these cut, synthetic, and adulterated oils cause rashes, burns, or other irritations, people wonder why they do not get the benefit they expected and conclude that essential oils do not have much value.
Some commercial statistics show that one large, U.S. corporation uses twice as much of a particular essential oil as is naturally grown and produced in the entire world! Where are these “phantom” essential oils coming from?
In France production of true lavender oil (Lavendula angustifolia) dropped from 87 tons in 1967 to only 12 tons in 1998. During this same period, the worldwide demand for lavender oil grew over 100%. So where did essential oil marketers obtain enough lavender to meet the demand? They probably used a combination of synthetic and adulterated oils. There are huge chemical companies on the east coast of the U.S. that specialize in creating synthetic chemicals that mimic every common essential oil. For every kilogram of pure essential oil that is produced, it is estimated that there are between 10 and 100 kilograms of synthetic oil created.
Adulterated and mislabled essential oils present dangers for consumers. One woman who had heard of the ability of lavender oil to heal burns used “lavender oil” purchased from a local health food store when she spilled boiling water on her arm. But the pain intensified and the burn worsened, so she later complained that lavender oil was worthless for healing burns. When her “lavender” oil was analyzed, it was found to be lavandin, the hybrid lavender that is chemically very different from pure Lavendula angustifolia. Lavindin contains high levels of camphor (12-18%) and can itself burn the skin. In contrast, true lavender contains virtually no camphor and has burn-healing agents not found in lavandin.
Adulterated oils that are cut with synthetic extenders can be very detrimental, causing rashes, burning, and skin irritations. Petrochemical solvents such as dipropylene glycol and diethylphthalate can cause allergic reactions, besides being devoid of any therapeutic effects.
Some people assume that because an essential oil is “100% Pure”, it will not burn their skin. This is not true. Some pure essential oils may cause skin irritation if applied undiluted. If you apply straight oregano oil to the skin of some people, it may cause severe reddening. Citrus and spice oils like orange and cinnamon may also produce rashes. Even the terpenes in conifer oils like pine may cause skin irritation on sensitive people.
Some writers have claimed that a few compounds, when isolated from the essential oil and tested in the lab, can exert harmful effects. Even so-called “nature-identical” essential oils (structured essential oils that have been chemically duplicated using 5 to 15 of the essential oil’s primary chemical compounds in synthetic form) can produce unwanted side effects or toxicities. Isolated compounds may be harmful; however, pure essential oils, in most cases, are not. This is because natural essential oils contain hundreds of different compounds, some of which balance and counter the effects of other compounds.
Many tourists in Egypt are eager to buy local essential oils, especially lotus oil. Vendors convince the tourists that the oils are 100% pure, going so far as to touch a lighted match to the neck of the oil container to show that the oil is not diluted with alcohol or other petrochemical solvents. However, this test provides no reliable indicator of purity. Many synthetic compounds that are not flammable can be added to an essential oil, including propylene glycol. In addition, flammable solvents can be added to a vegetable oil base that will cause it to catch fire. Furthermore, some natural essential oil high in terpenes can be flammable.
-EODR 6th Edition
BE SURE TO USE ONLY PURE, THERAPEUTIC GRADE ESSENTIAL OILS AS YOU WILL ABSORB ANY TOXINS FROM INFERIOR ESSENTIAL OILS. WE CARRY A FULL LINE OF THE HIGHEST QUALITY PURE, THERAPEUTIC GRADE, ORGANIC ESSENTIAL OILS WHICH ARE TESTED FOR PURITY BEFORE BOTTLING. WE ALSO GROW ALL OF OUR OWN PLANTS AND HERBS AS TO ASSURE PURITY. IF YOU’D LIKE TO GET STARTED CLICK ON THIS LINK OR SEND ME A MESSAGE AND I WILL PERSONALLY ASSIST YOU. WE OFFER GENEROUS DISCOUNTS, PROGRAMS TO EARN POINTS FOR FREE OILS AND YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SELL ONE BOTTLE OF OIL. JUST ENJOY THE BENEFITS OF THESE AMAZING GOD GIVEN HEALING OILS AS RECORDED IN THE BIBLE. I WILL GUIDE YOU AND TEACH YOU HOW TO USE THESE LIFE GIVING OILS AND GUARANTEE THAT THEY WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE. JOIN MY TEAM AND LEARN HOW TO TAKE BACK YOUR HEALTH! I will send you your own copy of the Essential Oils Deck Reference PLUS tons of literature to help you get started in the exciting world of Essential Oils. Also, I am always available to any member of my team day or night for questions or protocol.
-THE OILY GURU – Soon to be a Certified Aromatherapist!