by Dawn Thorpe Jarvis for Garden of life
When it comes to Essential Oils, there are certainly plenty of brands to choose from. So how does someone new to Aromatherapy, or someone who is already buying and looking for a premium quality pure oil, choose which brands are actually 100 percent pure? And what does 100 percent pure truly mean?
With the launch of Garden of Life’s new line of 100% Organic & Pure Essential Oils, we expect people to ask us questions such as, “Are all your essential oils Certified Organic?” and “Are they also Non-GMO Project Verified?” Of course the answer is—yes to both; our entire line of Essential Oils is dual-certified because that is our gold standard as a brand. This fact alone sets us apart from almost all other brands of essential oils as only a handful of products are actually Certified Organic and very few are Non-GMO Verified. Even fewer oils have dual certification—third- party certification—which is the true measure for a clean product.
When partnering with a company having 168 years of experience producing essential oils, we learned that there is another very important quality standard to look for when buying oils: That standard is 100 percent pure.
To most consumers, the term 100 percent pure sounds simple enough. To most it means just a straight oil that is not mixed
or diluted with a carrier oil such as olive oil, which is common practice for massage oils. The ingredient information on the label will help you to identify if carrier oils are added. However, for essential oil experts, the term 100 percent pure has a deeper meaning and truly defines the quality of the oil and the integrity of the supplier. Let me briefly explain what it means to be 100 percent pure to an oil expert.
First, we have to check the identity of the plant. For example, if we are producing organic lavender oil, we need to define which particular species of the botanical genus lavender that we wish to use to make the essential oil such as Lavandula angustifolia. Botanical identity of the lavender oil is performed using different methods to make sure that it is only that one species of lavender that is extracted and there is no other species of lavender mixed in – it is 100 percent Lavandula angustifolia oil.
Some species of lavender that are used in Aromatherapy are of lower quality and less expensive. Therefore, companies may use a mix of lavenders and dilute the better lavender with poorer quality or variety; others may even add synthetic lavender fragrance! Cheaper lavenders are actually called Lavandin (Lavendula hybrida grosso). They are a hybrid of the Lavandula angustifolia which are grown at a lower altitude and have a much higher yield than Lavandula angustifolia.
Our oil testing includes quality analysis methods such as Gas Chromatography with Mass Spectrophotometry to make sure the plant is the correct lavender plant and not a mix of lavenders or other plants. Additionally, FTIR tests are performed to ensure that the batches are consistent. These tests provide a botanical fingerprint against our own botanical reference standards (versus Gas Chromatography test which identifies oils against International Organization for Standardization, ISO measures).
In tandem, the second method performed is Organoleptic testing which is a sensory panel of tests. While this does not sound as scientific, this is truly a science performed by highly experienced experts. Think of wine connoisseurs who can tell which vineyard a grape and wine comes from. The same applies to our oil experts who can immediately distinguish one lavender variety from another using its aroma and sensory properties.
If the Organoleptic testing panel suspects that the oil does not have the correct organoleptic testing profile, and the GC testing is showing the peaks on the graph do not match standards for the particular oil (just like DNA fingerprint testing), then the oil undergoes further testing called Chirality testing. This testing identifies whether there are any foreign substances such as other plants, synthetic fragrances or other adjuncts. This is indeed the ultimate test for oil purity. The combination of these three testing methods gives our quality control team all the information they need to determine whether the essential oils are 100 percent pure oil.
All Garden of Life’s Essential Oils are 100% Pure.
As Garden of Life’s entire line is Certified USDA Organic and Non-GMO Verified, we don’t use harsh extraction methods.
We use special clean-extraction methods to produce our oils. Most other brands use solvents of various kinds whereas we only use steam extraction, utilizing only water for eight of our 10 oils. For the other two citrus oils, we use a cold-press method. So, no solvents or chemicals are ever used for extraction of Garden of Life’s oils. This means that our oils are free of chemicals and 100% Pure, but we still follow strict protocols and tests to ensure that they are indeed the optimum quality.
Just smell our oils for yourself. You don’t need to be an expert to experience the difference. Garden of Life’s 100% Pure Essential Oils have a wonderful natural aroma versus blended non-organic oils with possible added synthetic fragrance.
Other brands’ definition of 100% Pure indicates that they are not blended with other oils, whereas our definition of 100% Organic and Pure speaks to the botanical identity and the Certified USDA Organic standards; ensuring that the product you purchase is indeed nothing but the pure essence of each individual plant.
We are so very proud to offer these top quality Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, 100% Organic & Pure Essential Oils to our health conscience consumers. Experience the difference in fragrance, you can tell!