Essential Oils

Essential OilsWild As The Wind are an authorised re-seller of Star Child Essential Oils. This Glastonbury based business is long established and has earned itself a well deserved reputation for the highest quality oils.

Aside from their exceptional reputation, Wild As The Wind also selected Star Child for its location. The proximity of this business to the Wild As The Wind premises is very close, allowing both businesses to lower their carbon footprint.

Essential oil quality is also of utmost importance. Approximately 75% of all of the essential oils sold globally are adulterated, often with toxic ingredients that bulk out the product, allowing the vendors to increase their profits. It is, therefore, critical to Wild As The Wind that only the best quality oils are selected.

As with so many things these days, the safety and quality of essential oils is being compromised for profit. At Wild As The Wind we blend oils to obtain optimal healing effects. The idea of cutting corners and selling cheaper oils, that could be potentially harming our customers, instead of curing them, is an anathema to us.

In order to offer a full range of essential oils Wild As The Wind also sources some of its oils from other highly reputable UK based businesses.

We always request to see the chemical certificates for each new batch of essential oil we intend to buy.

Chemical certificates are proof of the chemical make-up of the essential oils being tested. They detail all of the chemical compounds present in the oils.

Although many lengths, many of which are very clever, are employed to disguise the adulteration of essential oils, the methods for testing them are very sophisticated and can identify impure essential oils in most cases.

Essential Oil Quality

It is, therefore, very important to select essential oils of therapeutic or medicinal grade. In fact, it’s even better to select food grade essential oils, which will permit the oils to be taken internally.

(We make a fantastic sugar-free chocolate using Organic Orange Essential Oil. Mm Mmmm!)

Essential oils are produced using different methods. Sayer Ji, of the wonderful GreenMedInfo, is an advocate of CO2 extraction. He considers it the most superior form of extracting essential oils.We are inclined to agree, but the technology is relatively new, and it is not always possible to find CO2 extracted oils.

The majority of essential oils are extracted using distillation, which simply uses steaming hot water to remove the volatile oils. This method is entirely safe as it does not leave toxic residues within the essential oils.

More recently a percolation method has been adopted, which is very similar to distillation, the difference being that water is heated and passed down through the plant matter to extract the oil instead of heated water being passed upwards through the plant matter within the distillation process.

Poor Quality Essential Oils

Poor quality essential oils are extracted using solvents. Solvent extraction utilises alcohols and other chemicals to extract the volatile oils from plant matter. Invariably, residual toxins from the solvent are left within the oils.

Also beware of synthetic essential oils as they do not possess any healing properties, even if they smell wonderful. And, absolutes smell amazing, (such as Rose absolute), as these have been made for the perfume industry and have, thus, been modified to meet industry standards. The standardisation of adulteration within the perfume industry is an entirely accepted practice… but, as perfume is one if the most toxic products you can put on your skin, this is hardly surprising.

The vast majority of essential oils have been produced for the perfume industry, which demands that the smell of an oil is consistent from batch to batch. This is why adulteration is such an accepted practice. Results would be entirely inconsistent from batch to batch if the oils were not adulterated.

So, it is important to only buy oils that have been produced for aromatherapy purposes as these are less likely to be modified. But, not necessarily! It really is a case of Caveat Emptor… let the buyer beware!

Quality checklist

  • Has the essential oil been grown organically?
  • Have the oils been third-party tested by a lab that issues chemical certificates?
  • Do they smell right? Weak and synthetic oils are to be avoided at all costs!

Essential Oil Adulteration

Essential oil producers often dilute essential oils with non-volatile oils with a similar chemical make-up as these are less expensive, and therefore, increase profit margins.

These oils will, at least, not necessarily be toxic.

Then there is a second species addition, such as the that of Cassia being added to Cinnamon essential oil, with Cassia being the cheaper ingredient.

Not only does this allow producers to maximise profits but it also means that the product is potentially toxic. There is a component in Cassia essential oil that is believed to be carcinogenic.

Thirdly, some essential oils are adulterated using natural constituents from much cheaper sources. For example, Frankincense, which has a constituent called alpha-pinene, is often adulterated using the natural isolate of alpha-pinene from turpentine.

It is not uncommon for essential oils to be so heavily diluted with adulterants that they are a mere shadow of the original, sometimes with as little as 20% of the original oil remaining. This means that some Frankincense samples obtained from commercial sources can be as much as 80% alpha-pinene isolate, as opposed to true Frankincense oils that are usually 40% – 50% alpha-pinene.

This means that the oil is only 20% Frankincense, and because many people take Frankincense internally, as a cancer cure, this is really bad news!

GCMS Reports

GCMS reports determine the quality of essential oils. GCMS stands for Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry, but we usually use the terms Chemical certificates when referring to these reports.

But again, beware, not all GCMS reports are created equal! There are only a few companies that can perform analyses that is sufficiently sophisticated to expose the heavily disguised adulterants in essential oils.

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