When it comes to using something foreign to us, especially when it’s a product that deals with our health and well being, it is always important to know what we are using. We don’t want to put ourselves or our loved ones at risk of illness or injury, so we research products to know if they are all natural or synthetic, are harmless or can cause health issues, and a myriad of other things.
Aromatherapy is no different, and for the person who might not be familiar with the world of essential oils or the companies that make and distribute them, we want to know if they are okay to use. One of the major competitors in the world of aromatherapy is doTERRA, and their oils are used all over the world by scent fans, including me. So, let’s take a closer look at doTERRA and learn once and for all, is doTERRA safe?
The best way to begin an investigation into whether or not a company creates a safe product is to take a deep look into that corporation and how they conduct business. When it comes to doTERRA, anything you want to know is right there for you to find on their website. In 2008, doTERRA got its start with founders who were experienced in business and health-care.
Using parts of the Latin language, they agreed the name doTERRA would fit since it means “Gift of the Earth,” which is exactly what distilled extracts are. Still, just because these estracts are from nature doesn’t mean they are necessarily safe, and it doesn’t mean that the doTERRA brand is either. Yet, it needs to be mentioned that this company was started with the mission of offering the “highest quality” essential oils to anyone who wanted them.
This is the first step in many that doTERRA takes to make sure the products sold with their labels on them are pure. When you purchase a bottle of frankincense, you should not only be getting pure extracted frankincense oil- this company makes sure the extracts are derived from a harvest by a local Somalian farmer, which is the native region for the tree this oil is distilled from.
You might be thinking right now, it’s all nice and good that doTERRA has ethical distillation and harvesting practices, but we want to know if they are safe for use. I’m getting there, but in order to get to that answer, we need to also take a look at how this company makes sure their oils are meeting the quality standards they claim to establish on themselves.
After each batch is distilled, doTERRA conducts a series of tests that ensure their oils to be Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG). The tests conducted are as follows:
- Organoleptic Testing
- Microbial Testing
- Gas Chromatography
- Mass Spectrometry
- Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (FTIR)
- Chirality Testing
- Isotopic Analysis
- Heavy Metal Testing
These tests are standard in the essential oil world. Most big companies have come up with their own process of sourcing, extracting, testing, sealing, and selling. Still, the big ones, like doTERRA have third party sources test their batches as well, mostly to remove any doubt from the purchasing public.
So, are doTERRA Oils Safe?
I’ve been using InTune, a combination of essential oils created by doTERRa to help people like me focus, and I have not had one problem except for once. I love the smell so much I used it constantly one day and found myself getting a headache from the scent, which brings me to my next point.
Are Essential Oils Safe?
We’ve covered the process doTERRA puts their oils through so we know that they do a great deal to make sure the distilled extracts are pure. So, that must mean they are safe. But that isn’t exactly true.
In actuality, distilled extracts are volatile compounds and very powerful so there are times when they aren’t that safe for use. For example, there was a study that showed when young boys used lavender oil, they could risk the chance of developing abnormal breasts because that particular essential oil is a hormone disruptor. So, in the case of prepubescent boys, that’s a no. Using lavender oil is not necessarily safe.
There are other situations when essential oils are unsafe for use. I’ve broken them down for you below:
Some essential oils, primarily the type extracted from citrus fruits like lime and lemon, have something called phototoxicity, which means they can cause a burn if you expose your skin to the sun after topical application. It is recommended you let the oil absorb into your skin or wait twelve hours before going into the sunlight. Also, some oils can cause a rash if not diluted well with a carrier oil. Always conduct a spot test first!
If you are suffering from a respiratory illness and want to diffuse for the health benefits, we suggest that you consult a healthcare professional before you start.
While many companies sell essential oils with internal consumption in mind, if you look at each individual scent closely, there are some that aren’t safe to ingest. Yet, doTERRA suggests consumption for their product so why are doTERRA products safe to ingest? It is possibly due to the stringent testing and scrutiny they are put under. Still, it is not safe to ingest a good many oils so, when in doubt, do your research and consult a professional.
Pregnant and Breastfeeding Woman
This is a time when using essential oils can be dangerous simply because they have a strong effect on hormones. Again, ask your doctor before using any extracts during your pregnancy or when you are nursing.
If you are suffering from a serious illness essential oils can help, but depending on the oil, they may worsen the situation. It’s always best to ask your healthcare provider.
Just as we showed with lavender, there are distilled extracts that are unsafe for children so research that oil before applying to your kids.
Our dogs, cats, birds, lizards, fish, and whatever pet you might have are just as important to our families as the humans in them so we don’t want to create an environment that is unsafe for them either. There are extracts unsafe for certain animals, and diffusing around certain animals isn’t suggested either. Talk to the vet and research that oil to know for yourself.
The products created and distributed by doTERRA seem safe to me, but I am just one person who has not had any problems with their oils. I suggest you do some more research on the oils you want to use and the company that makes them. Be sure they are the best choice for you and are safe to use in the manner you wish to use them.
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