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Monday, September 7, 2009

What is an Organic or Wild Crafted Essential Oil?

Essential oils are marketed as 'pure' essential oils, so what is an organic or wild crafted essential oil? What is the difference between a 'pure' essential oil and an 'organic' essential oil?

Its not something I originally gave much thought too as I was taught essential oils should be pure. So a 'pure' essential oil is 'organic' isn't it?

Well, not exactly. Although 'pure' essential oils are 'pure' in the fact that they are 100% obtained from plant material and not synthetically made, it depends on how the original plant is grown and farmed to earn a label of 'pure', 'organic' or 'wild crafted'. 'Pure' essential oils may have actually been treated with pesticides in the farming process and although it is argued that only a miniscule amount (if any) is transferred through the distilling process of an 'pure 'essential oil, it is not an 'organic' or 'wild crafted' essential oil.

An 'organic' essential oil has to meet strict guidelines which ensure the plant material has been grown and farmed organically; this has to meet the growing country's criteria for organic farming. A farmer has to be certified as an organic farmer to be able to produce plants which will distill organic essential oils. Consequently, 'organic' essential oils are usually more expensive than 'pure' essential oils as they are more costly to produce, distill and market.

'Wild crafted' essential oils are obtained from sources of wild crafted plants; this may happen naturally, or can be cultivated, if the plants and farming methods again meet certain critieria.

There may be times when there is overlap between 'pure', 'organic' or 'wild crafted' essential oils; for example, some plants don't need pesticides or fertilizers to produce essential oils and are, by their very nature, naturally 'organic' or 'wild crafted'.

As the essential oil business is often a large, commercialized machine it is, again, important to know who your essential oil supplier is and where they obtain their essential oils from; knowing how their essential oils are distilled, farmed and by what methods in which countries, will make you more knowledgeable about whether your essential oil is 'pure', organic' or 'wildcrafted'.

It has made me re-think too more about what the essential oil actually is that I am buying, in my search for reputable and quality essential oil suppliers in the USA! I think that it is also making me a knowledgeable aromatherapist in the process!

If you have any thoughts or additional comments on pure, organic or wild crafted essential oils please post comment at the end of this post!

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