How Essential Oil Companies are Cutting Corners
The Negative Effects of Supply and Demand in the Essential Oil Industry For thousands of years, people have used plants and essential oils as a form of natural medicine. Today, that practice continues as more and more people desire natural ways to eat, improve their health, clean their home, and just enjoy life. In recent years, however, the desire for and interest in essential oils has greatly increased. While we fully support natural, healthy lifestyles, the increasing demand for essential oils poses some significant challenges for the essential oils industry as a whole.
Before we get into those challenges, we’re going to briefly review the process of how essential oil companies receive their products. In order to produce essential oils, companies often work with suppliers across the world. These suppliers produce essential oils by, obviously, first growing the actual plants. If done properly, this process includes:
- Focusing on growing a single plant, or a select few.
- Allowing the plants to grow to full maturity before harvesting.
- Rotating crops to maintain healthy soil and proper growing conditions.
Depending on the plant, the cultivating and harvesting processes may take several years. An example of this is the Boswellia tree, which produces Frankincense; this particular tree takes eight to ten years to become mature enough to produce quality Frankincense resin. In addition, many oils are simply rarer than others, are more difficult to extract, or yield smaller amounts, which makes them more difficult to come by and more expensive to purchase. All in all, creating high-quality essential oils is a long and tedious process that requires great care.
As the demand for essential oils increases, many companies and suppliers have started to look for ways that they can cut corners to produce more oil without spending additional time or money. However, in an effort to maintain the integrity of plants and the essential oils they produce, many organizations and governments have tried implementing regulations, boundaries, and standards, such as restricting the harvesting of rarer plants and encouraging good agricultural practices.
When abided by, these restrictions can make it even more difficult to cultivate certain plants and obtain their essential oil. As the plants and oils become more difficult to find, it often costs companies more money to purchase the oils, which in turn raises the price of the actual product sold to customers. Unfortunately, for companies and suppliers who aren’t willing to pay the price to maintain truly pure oils, there are many ways that they can still get the oil they want to sell to their customers. Some of the most common ways that essential oil companies and suppliers are cutting corners today include:
- Not growing a plant in its natural environment or country of origin, which can cause chemical variations and lead to impure oil.
- Harvesting plants too soon, which can lead to lower-quality oil.
- Harvesting more than the allowed 10% of wild and endangered crops at one time.
- Employing untrained testing operators. This can lead to the improper interpretation of GC/MS test results, which can result in selling adulterated or contaminated oil.
- Illegally importing, sourcing, or trafficking endangered or protected plants and the oils they produce.
What is Rocky Mountain Oils doing about these challenges?
Here at Rocky Mountain Oils, every decision we make is founded on our three pillars: integrity, purity, and sustainability. We understand that the demand for essential oils is increasing, and that it is becoming harder and harder to obtain quality oils. However, we refuse to compromise our standards in any way, and we accomplish that by:
- Staying in regular and frequent contact with our suppliers to ensure that they maintain honest, high standards of natural cultivation and harvesting, and to be aware of any issues that plants may have.
- Monitoring crop and weather conditions to know how the crops are doing and what we can expect to receive from our suppliers.
- Requiring Certificate of Analysis, Country of Origin Certificate, Safety Data Sheets, and other official documentation from our suppliers.
- Verifying the purity of our oils with third-party GC/MS and pesticide testing, and in-house testing on the final product.
- And so much more!
Our goal at Rocky Mountain Oils is to provide essential oils and essential products that are truly 100% natural and pure so that you can confidently purchase the products you need to care for yourself and your family. We are also dedicated to ensuring that the process by which we receive our oils is done naturally and does not harm the earth from which these oils come. We are committed to making the right choice, even when it is difficult, against the norm, or more expensive, and we do that simply because we want to provide you with the absolute best products.
What does all this mean for you?
We believe that, as a consumer, you have the right to be informed about the products you buy. In this particular case, we want you to know just how the supply and demand issues within the essential oil industry can affect you directly.
As we mentioned above, many plants that essential oil companies use to create oils have become harder to find, especially in natural sourcing environments. Many other plants are or have become endangered, which makes them even more difficult to come by.
If an essential oil company decides to go with cheaper, impure, and sometimes illegal sourcing options, the oil you purchase and use will likely contain adulterants. This can lead to irritation or more serious side effects when used topically or internally, and no one wants to compromise their own or their family’s health.
Here at Rocky Mountain Oils, we care about you and the safety of your loved ones. For this reason, we will always choose to work with honest suppliers who provide pure, high-quality oils. We will also continue to conduct all necessary testing to ensure that our products are ones you can trust.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to us!