Therapeutic grade Essential Oils: The Truth Is Out There!
In the first of our ‘myth-busting’ series we take a hard look at the marketing term ‘therapeutic grade‘. It may be disappointing to learn the truth about this term, but there is some great news – oils that are 100% pure and of good quality can be a lot cheaper and just as good (or sometimes better) than very expensive oils sold as ‘therapeutic grade.’
Therapeutic Grade is an unregulated marketing term
Sadly, marketers are very, very good at fooling us and getting us to buy into myths and we end up ‘believing’ them to an extraordinary degree – even to the point that we become offended when someone contradicts them, because we have bought into their ‘false religion’. We need to fight this tendency and get real value for our hard earned cash – not myths like the flying spaghetti monster!!!
The term “therapeutic grade” sounds technical, official and impressive, and pretends to be an industry-recognized certification reserved only for the highest-quality essential oils. The problem is that “therapeutic grade” and another marketing term commonly used term “CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade,” are only marketing terms – not in any way evidence of quality or official standards, These misleading terms were essentially invented by essential oil companies to help sell their own products by differentiating them from other products with a false badge of official approval.
That’s not to say that companies selling ‘therapeutic grade’ oils are selling bad products – in general, they are not – but they are charging as premium of two to five times the price over other oils that are just as pure, just as good.
We all know that differentiating one product from another is in many ways the essence of marketing, and when products cannot be differentiated on technical performance, companies simply make things up – and charge a hell of a premium to consumers for the ‘difference’. This was the tactic used in 2007 when the term “therapeutic grade” was invented.
Prior to 2007, the term “therapeutic grade” did not exist in the essential oil market. This term is not an independent or third party endorsement of purity and quality, but a trademarked marketing term created by a company selling essential oils. This 2007 creation spurred a greater fallacy, the term “CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade.” Again, this term sounds technical, implying the product has been “certified” to be pure and of therapeutic grade. But, like its predecessor, it is nothing more than a made up, trademarked phrase.
These fabricated terms are defined by the companies who create them. As other companies take up the terms, we find a whole variety of definitions coming into being into justify them – often a new definition for every company that climbs onto the bandwagon!
Let’s be clear about one thing – there is no governing body that certifies essential oil quality and production, or designates a standardized grading system for essential oils. Therapeutic Grade Essential Oil is a MYTH – and it’s BUSTED!!!
How to Assess Essential Oil Quality
Until there is a government agency or other official body that certifies or “grades” essential oils, the best and easiest way to determine the purity of any oil is to look at the label on the bottle. The best measure of quality we have found is PURITY. An Essential Oil declared to be 100% pure must be just that or the supplier will have to answer to the authorities as soon as someone detects that the product does not comply with the statement. The oils must also be from the plant declared on the bottle or box and not blended with anything else. In general, suppliers are honest about this – although no doubt some slip under the radar!
Conclusions on claims for Therapeutic Grade essential Oils
Therapeutic Grade means nothing. PURE Essential Oils are rigorously tested to meet stringent quality specifications. They undergo some key quality tests to ensure they are always the highest quality available:
- Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) purity testing
- Heavy metal/pesticide/herbicide testing
- Microbial testing
Therefore, when you choose essential oils, by all means choose pure oils, but avoid paying a large premium for oils carrying claims of ‘therapeutic grade’ and which are no better than any 100% pure essential oil. 100% PURE ESSENTIAL OILS DO NOT HAVE TO BE EXPENSIVE. Here’s another superb reference on essential oils quality and the therapeutic grade myth for you.
Essential Oils add to the quality of our lives and simply make life better – ENJOY!!