Essential Oil Purity – The First Distill vs Complete Distill Debate ?>

Essential Oil Purity – The First Distill vs Complete Distill Debate

Peppermint Black and White ©2016 Jen O'SullivanEssential oils are created using several methods of extraction such as steam distillation, solvent extraction, cold press or expression, and CO2 extraction. The majority of essential oils today are extracted using steam distillation, which we will be discussing in this lesson. There is a lot of misinformation floating around the internet on steam distillation. People may mention various thoughts about first distillation, second distillation, and complete distillation.

Essential oils are created using several methods of extraction such as steam distillation, solvent extraction, cold press or expression, and CO2 extraction. The majority of essential oils today are extracted using steam distillation, which we will be discussing in this lesson. There is a lot of misinformation floating around the internet on steam distillation. People may mention various thoughts about first distillation, second distillation, and complete distillation.

Which one is better, how do you define different distillations, and how does it all work? Unfortunately, most information you read is incorrect. Many internet authors do not take the time to research and understand different distillations; they just base their information on assumptions or reiterate ideas from other misinformed posts. I believe that it is critical to know what you are using and if it is right for you. If you are not interested in finding out how your essential oils are processed, then I highly recommend that you either stop using essential oils, or, at the very minimum, read the labels and use them only for aromatic purposes. That’s how important it is that you understand production methods.

With all the debate going on about first distills vs. complete distills, it is not really about which one is the right one, or if there even are different distillations, but rather, which complete method, from farming to bottling, does the company practice? The real question should be, was the correct method for that particular plant material used to create the finest quality essential oil to obtain the most desirable end-user action? In other words, does the essential oil work the way you desire it to work?

The reason understanding the distillation process is so important is that many oils from many companies are labeled pure essential oils. That, however, is a meaningless claim. Federal regulations allow companies to label their essential oils as pure, when the product actually contains fillers in addition to pure essential oils. You can’t rely on purity claims on the labels. Pretty much every essential oil company on the market states that their essential oil is a variation of the following:
“Pure Therapeutic Grade”
“100% Pure Therapeutic Grade”
“100% Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade”

This is all seemingly fine and well; however, there is no actual certification or regulatory agency in the United States to back up any of these claims. Basically, anyone can call their oils “Certified 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils” or some variation of those words, and no one from the general population would be able to verify if they are what they claim. Now people are claiming their oils are “Medicinal Grade” as if this grade is even better than “Therapeutic Grade”. If a company claims that their essential oils are pure, we would hope that most likely they are, in fact, just that.

If you were trying to sell a product as a high quality product, why would you want to state it as a lower grade? Therapeutic grade implies that there are lower grade essential oils. You will hear people claim this is all nonsense and that there is no such thing as therapeutic grade essential oils. They are either essential oils or they are not. That is not the whole story, though. Just like an egg is not just an egg, nor is water just water. There are different qualities based on many factors. For essential oils there are hundreds of factors that make them what they are.

To say Lavender essential oil is just Lavender would be a mistake. Not only are there many different types of Lavender, there are also different methods of seed selection, farming, harvesting, extracting, and testing methods to ensure the right constituents are contained within the final product. A baking instructor could give 12 students the exact same recipe to bake at home and all would come back with interestingly different outcomes. The same is true with essential oil production. Using the same genus and species of a plant does not guarantee that two different companies will produce the same quality essential oil. Essential oil production is a delicate science that requires a tremendous amount of knowledge and understanding of proper full production from beginning to end.

 

Excerpt from “The Essential Oil Truth: the facts without the hype” ©2015 Jen O’Sullivan
Order your copies here: www.jenessentials.com/books

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