How do you know you’re getting what you think you’re paying for when you buy one of those little bottles of lavender essential oil at your supermarket, pharmacy or health food store? How can you be sure that the lavender you’re buying is really lavender and completely pure?
The blunt truth is, you can’t. But you can stack the odds in your favor by looking at how ethical aromatherapy companies produce, package and label their products:
Botanical nomenclature – “Lavender” can mean any species in the Lavandula genus. An ethical producer will tell you exactly which species you’re buying—and do it in the generally accepted way of listing both the genus and species, with the genus capitalized and the species in lowercase.
Essential oil declaration – Essential oils such say something like, “Essential Oil” or “100% Pure Essential” on their labels. If they do not, or they say something like “perfume” or “scent”, they may not be pure volatile oils.
Specialization – Terms like “certified” and “therapy grade” are really just marketing spiel. Look past the legally toothless claims and choose brands produced specifically for aromatherapy. That usually means that those products are distilled at lower temperatures—a factor considered especially important for essential oils like lavender.
Opaque bottles – Volatile oil producers agree that opaque bottles are must-haves to stop sunlight from accelerating the natural oxidation process.
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