Determining which company has the highest quality essential oil can be a difficult task. Especially since  the United States does not have a regulatory committee that oversees the production of essential oils. After all the research that we have conducted there is only one company that seems to have everything that we were looking for. In the end the thing we wanted the most were the safest and purest essential oils available on the market today. We found that in one company. Before we get to that though let’s talk a little about why we chose this particular company.

Like we mentioned previously there is no regulatory committee that oversees the production of essential oils.  Each producer is left to their own devices when it comes to how they grow, where they grow, how they extract, and how they bottle their essential oils. While most try to produce what they consider to be a high quality essential oil, it just wasn’t the best, which meant it wasn’t for us.

If you look closely at the fine print on many products and distributors websites a lot of the companies have warnings that say “Do not use on children”, Why, if these oils are pure, organic, or 100% oil, are they not safe to use on the general masses? I wanted something I could use on my children, something I could use when I was pregnant and nursing, something I could use on everyone in my family without hesitation.

Essential oils are the natural aromatic compounds found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. If it is treated with care from soil to bottle there is no reason it shouldn't be safe for my family, as long as it is applied correctly.

It would be nice if you could determine a good quality essential oil based on the smell and look alone. However, this is not always the case. Some synthetic oils smell very much like the real thing but when you look at them, at the cellular level, they are definitely not the same thing and do not provide the benefits that pure essential oils do.

So what do we look for when it comes to essential oils that pass the test for our family?

  1. First, the plants are grown in their indigenous location where it has extremely fertile ground and the pH level is just right.
  2. The plant is not treated with any pesticides.
  3. The growers are extremely knowledgeable about how to grow their particular plant as well as how to harvest them. They know down to the specific time of day when their plant is best harvested. They also know what part of the plant produces the best quality essential oils...does it come from the bark, the seeds, or the flower?
  4. Then comes the extraction process. It is crucial that the plants are not treated with chemicals or alcohol during the extraction process. Not only can the chemicals be damaging but it also leaves a residue in the oil which you then apply to your body or inhale aromatically. It also takes the right temperature and pressure to make sure the oil isn’t ruined or changed during the extraction. These levels need to be monitored very closely and be adjusted based on the plant the oil is being extracted from.
  5. Once the aromatic compounds are extracted at a consistent rate, temperature, and time, then they go through extensive testing. There are two important tests that need to be completed for every batch of essential oil which are, Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry GC/MS.

Essentially what these tests do is separate the compounds within the oil, verify that there are no foreign contaminants, and make sure that the oil has it’s normal number of elements. If there is anything other than the components that make up the essential oil then it’s not for my family.

The company that we found goes to great lengths to ensure that they deliver pure essential oils. When they do the GC/MS test and find that there are only compounds that make-up the essential oil present but there are too many or too little, they discard the batch because it will not offer the greatest health benefits. Not all oil producers feel that too many or not enough of a particular component is a deal breaker. What they will do at this point, instead of throwing it out, is either add synthetic compounds to make up the difference or add an isolated compound from a different oil that carries the same compound, and add it in.

While there may be essential oil distributors that do part or even most of the above steps, we’ve only found one that does them all. That company is  dōTERRA. In addition to the above steps and tests dōTERRA performs an FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectrophotometer) test which makes sure the oil is of organic origins. It also identifies the species of plant the oil comes from and whether or not it comes from one source. Here’s why they run this test. Some oil producers will isolate a particular element found in, let's say Geranium, which is also found in Frankincense. They will take that element along with other frankincense elements that are found in other oils and make a cocktail of sorts and call it “frankincense oil” when in fact it isn't at all.

dōTERRA also runs a TPC (Total Plate Count) to test against different bacteria such as Staff. In addition to that they also do the Organoleptic Testing to test for the right color, viscosity, feel, odor, and taste. They also do a shelf life test to verify how long they will last. It is not until all of these tests are passed and meet dōTERRA’s standards that they are bottled.


Here are some frequently asked questions regarding dōTERRA essential oils answered directly by dōTERRA:

Are dōTERRA’s essential oils certified organic?

dōTERRA’s CPTG essential oils exceed industry standards. Because organic certification varies from country to country, province to province, and in the US, from state to state, it is not currently possible to acquire all oils under certified organic status. However, through the GC/MS analysis process, we are able to determine if any chemical residue exists in the essential oil, e.g., pesticides, herbicides, extenders, and solvents. With this rigorous analysis process, we are able to ensure that all CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils offered by dōTERRA are absolutely pure as nature intended and a step above organic.

Is it safe for pregnant women to use the essential oils?

There are no specific reasons or contraindications that we know of that pregnant or breastfeeding women should not use our essential oils and have not found any issues in this regard. We always recommend that pregnant women or people under a physician's care consult their doctor before using new products.

Why are some of the oils not recommended to be taken internally while others are?

For some of the oils it is not the most beneficial application method to take them internally. When we include the supplement facts information and internal use instructions on our essential oil labels it indicates both the safety of using the oil or oil blend internally AND a belief that there are benefits from using the oil internally.

Most of the oils that are marked for external use only would not pose any harm; they simply would not provide benefits this way. It is not a matter of purity, simply a matter of not having any practical internal use. Using the oils as directed on the labels with moderation will help you avoid any undesirable side effects from the oils. We err on the side of safety and conservatism on our labels and reference materials.

dōTERRA's Certified Pure Tested Grade* essential oils are pure and natural. They are guaranteed to be free of synthetic compounds or contaminates. They are subjected to rigorous mass spectrometry and gas chromatography testing to ensure extract composition and activity. dōTERRA's pure essential oils represent the safest and most beneficial essential oils available today.

How Do Your Oils Compare?

  • No fillers
  • No synthetic oils added
  • No contaminants or toxins
  • The right plant material selected
  • Grown in the right environment
  • Harvested at the right moment
  • Harvested in the right way (bark vs. flowers vs. other plant material)
  • Heated at the right temperature, and temperature has increased at the right rate
  • Steam has been circulated the right way, at the right pressure and temperature for the right amount of time
  • Cooled at the right rate
  • Efficacy tested for its purity and therapeutic grade qualities by scientists
  • Carefully controlled extraction process
  • Only aromatic, pure extracts are gathered - no ineffective compounds mixed in
  • Tested for balanced levels of aromatic compounds
  • Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry tested
“Certified Pure Tested Grade essential oils mean something very different. It means we protect the chemical compound of the plant just as it was produced from the earth. We don’t need to improve upon that. If we have the care, the scientific knowledge, the commitment and the integrity, we can preserve that.” -Dr. David K. Hill Chief Medical Advisor and Chairman, dōTERRA Scientific Advisory Board