Making the grade

Did you know that essential oils are not all the same? There are many different factors to consider when comparing essential oils. The quality of oils, how they are distilled, and the purity of the oil in the bottle are just a couple of the factors that make oils different.

I’m sure you’ve seen essential oils at your local grocery store and thought “Hey, those are pretty inexpensive. Why should I pay more for oils from other companies?” The simple reason is purity of the oil.


Before we get into how the oils are graded, we should discuss what essential oils are.

Essential oil is the lifeblood of a plant because the oil protects the plant from disease, provides nutrients and helps fight off anything it doesn’t want. It keeps the plan (tree, fruit, bark, root, etc) healthy and functioning at its best.

Essential oils are pretty much the earth’s means of staying healthy. They are used to keep the plants healthy and to promote health in the body (physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally).

Essential oils are very complex containing hundreds or thousands of different chemical compounds. This is what gives each oil its unique attributes and characteristics. They are quickly absorbed by the body when applied topically. They oils work on every system in the body on a cellular level to assist in the elimination of toxins, and the fragrance of the oils work on the limbic system (the emotion processing center).

Therapeutic grade essential oils do the following:

  • reach every cell in your body in 20 minutes when applied topically
  • eliminate toxins from your body
  • regenerate DNA
  • have the capability of passing the “blood-brain” barrier to work on emotions when inhaled
  • release emotional trauma, relax and clear the mind
  • transport nutrients to starving human cells
  • act as powerful antioxidants
  • increase atmospheric oxygen
  • remove toxins from the air
  • increase ozone and negative ions in the area

Pretty amazing stuff, right?


The simple answer is NO.

You may see essential oils at your grocery store or local health food store and wonder if they are the same as other essential oils. You may compare one company’s oils to another and wonder if they are the same. There are a lot of essential oils out there so it is important to understand the differences.

In the US, there is no system for rating essential oils. The closest thing to an FDA requirement is that in order to label a bottle of essential oils as “pure” or “therapeutic” grade the contents of the bottle must contain at least 5% essential oil. FIVE PERCENT!

All essential oils fall into one of the following four categories:

  • Grade A
  • Grade B
  • Grade C
  • Grade D


Grade A – therapeutic, made from organically grown plants and distilled at low temperatures

Grade B – food grade, but may contain synthetics, pesticides, fertilizers, chemical extenders or carrier oils

Grade C – perfume that often contains adulterated chemicals. They usually use solvents, for example, hexane, to gain a higher yield of oil per harvest. Solvents can be cancerous and are in many store-bought oils. They may also be diluted 80-95% with alcohol.

Grade D – “floral water”, aromatic only and is usually a bi-product of Grade A distillation. After all the oil is pulled out, the leftover trash water is sold to companies which will fill 5% of the bottle with leftover water and fill the rest with carriers and label it as pure.


I use Young Living’s oils because they are ALL grade A. This is important to me because I am trying to reduce the amount of toxins and chemicals that go into my body and home. I need to trust that the products that I am use are pure. Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise gives me the confidence in their products.

The Seed to Seal promise means that seeds are planted in soil that has to be pesticide free for over 50 years. It means that the plants are hand weeded, they use oils on the plants as pest control rather than pesticides, the plants are harvested at peak time and they go through a rigorous testing process. Young Living takes this seriously and so do I. I am happy in knowing that the oil goes from the farm to my home and there isn’t any funny business in the bottle.


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