Herbs and Essential Oils Simple Health

Essential Oil Wars

May 31, 2014
Essential oils blog post with pictures of essential oil bottles

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So, you’ve been hearing a lot about essential oils. And you decide that you want to learn more about them. So you ask your friends on social media about them. And you get very passionate responses about which companies to purchase from. Before you know it, your wonderful friends are debating each other over the merits of certain essential oil companies. And the tone of each response is getting a little negative and pretty uncomfortable too.

If you have been around essential oils for any length of time, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. Frankly, I see this happen far too often.  People are passionate about their essential oil brands….extremely passionate! Unfortunately, this has led to plenty of mudslinging from people who are aligned with different companies. Let me just preface this by saying that this article in no way shape or form will be questioning the quality of the essential oils of any of these companies. What I do want to look at is this culture of negativity that is being perpetuated by some people aligned with the two largest essential oil companies. And how that negativity affects and even compromises the legitimacy of essential oils.

The marketing war

The biggest problem seems to be occurring between the two most popular multi-level marketing companies, Young Living and DoTerra. There is definitely no love lost between these companies. And lawsuits have been flying in both directions. Each company has very loyal distributors and followers, many of whom are wonderful, respectful, and very educated in oils. These people represent their companies well.  I believe both companies sell quality oils. But what has caught my attention is this seeming war that is occurring between many of the loyal followers of these companies. It sort of reminds me of the Coke vs. Pepsi war that was waged back in the 80s. Except that essential oils are so much healthier than those drinks!

What has happened as a result of the essential oil war is actually not that great for essential oils in general. All of this bickering that takes place throughout the internet has left a bad taste in the mouths of those who are new to oils and want to learn. I have seen some shockingly ugly conversations online about these two companies. And I’ve seen some pretty nasty and ugly articles from bloggers who promote the different brands.

Scaring people away

There are many wonderful users and distributors of essential oils. But  I am hearing more and more essential oil newbies who are shying away from using essential oils at all, because of this war. What a shame that really is! Unfortunately, this bickering is giving a bad name to the essential oil world in general and many people are afraid to ask questions to learn more for fear of being “attacked”.

I have personally been studying and working with essential oils for years. But I have rarely talked about it because it is such a hot-button issue these days. But it really shouldn’t be! That is going to change! I am not going to sit back and be quiet about essential oils anymore! I am going to put on my teacher hat to educate people about the benefits of essential oils and the plants that they are distilled from. What I will not be doing is recommending one brand over another.

No brand wars here!

There aren’t going to be any brand wars here….just real education about the benefits and dangers of EOs! Now, I will not be discouraging people from purchasing oils from any company (unless a company is known for extremely poor quality, adulterated oils)…I will just be giving them options of oils that can be purchased from quality companies and introducing them to some companies that they may not have heard of and giving them options for using herbs and herbal remedies…which is always my first line of defense for healing my body. This is about giving people options and getting back to the art of healing naturally!

The perfect company?

To those that are passionate followers of any essential oil company….there will NEVER be a perfect essential oil company. It will never exist because this is not a perfect world and while one company may be a good fit for one person, it may not be for another….and that’s okay! If you find an essential oil or company that works for you, then be confident in that choice and stop feeling the need to justify why you use a specific brand.

The fact that it works for you should be enough. If someone else doesn’t understand, then that is their problem! When you attempt to convince others that your brand is the ONLY brand, then you do a disservice not only to the brand or brands that you like, but to those who are just learning about essential oils because it becomes far more about the brand than the healing benefit of the oils, and can turn some off from learning more about oils as well.

What brands do I use?

I have actually tried a lot of different brands through the years. I have used both DoTerra and Young Living and think that they both have high-quality oils. But I no longer use them regularly for one simple reason. I am a highly sensitive person and anything (a product, brand, tv show, magazine, movie, person, etc.) that is connected with a lot of negativity I really have to avoid. While that may seem weird to those who are not so sensitive (and I’m perfectly okay with being a little weird), other highly sensitive people out there will understand what I’m talking about.

When there is negativity attached to something, we sensitive souls feel it very strongly and it is uncomfortable! So I specifically don’t use those brands because of that reason alone. They make me uncomfortable. I have found several other brands that are really wonderful and that work brilliantly that you may not know about.  Please check out these different companies. Look at what oils and blends they have. Learn more about these different companies and who they are, what they believe, and what they offer. Many of these companies offer sample packs that can allow you to try several oils without breaking the bank. This will allow you to become familiar with their oils and how they work for you!  If you discover a company, not on this list…that’s okay too!

Discovering new essential oil companies

Rocky Mountain Oils

This company actually joined forces early in 2013 with Native American Nutritionals, but I have been using them for a while and really love the quality of the oils.  I actually just signed up for a professional account so that I can purchase essential oils and supplements to have on hand for my local clients. I did a lot of research on this company and they just resonated with me. You can also find some of their oils on Amazon.com. These oils are not certified organic, but many are raised with organic standards or wildcrafted and are guaranteed free from pesticides and any other chemicals. They carry over 100 single essential oils and 75 blends.

Mountain Rose Herbs

I spend a lot of money on herbs and although I don’t buy a lot of my oils here, I have bought some. Their oils are high quality and I’ve really liked the ones that I’ve purchased.  They have a very large certified organic oil selection, but also guarantee that their non-organic oils are free of pesticides and chemicals….very important! They do not carry EO blends but have a great selection of single EOs.

Aura Cacia

This company is actually owned by Frontier Co-op  and can be found in many health food and grocery stores. This was actually the first brand that I ever used and I have since found out that the quality of the oils is very good and they’ve tested very well for purity. They don’t have as many oils as NAN or MRH but let me tell you, they are absolutely fantastic if you need a basic oil fast and don’t have time to wait for ordering online! Their prices are very reasonable as well.  I cannot vouch for the purity of their aromatherapy bath blends and such because I don’t use things like that and often these types of products have additives that are less than healthy…but their oils are good.

Plant Therapy

This is actually a newer company, but they have just brought Robert Tisserand, (the man who wrote the book…literally, about essential oil safety) onboard as a consultant.  Their oils are very reasonably priced, and with Tisserand as a consultant, I feel much more comfortable about the quality of their oils.

These are the main companies that I am using at this time. There are a couple more that I have been hearing good things about that I hope to order from in the next few months to see how their oils compare….and when I do, I will let you know what I discover!

  • Reply
    May 31, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Thank you for this, it needed to be expressed. I am also an HSP, and the militant defensive of this or that company as *the* best is off-putting to me.

  • Reply
    May 31, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    I just recently signed up with one of the biggie companies. I went to a local “prepper” show in which the two biggies had booths. I spoke with the representatives of each. What made the decision for me was the time the reps spent with me. One only spent a couple minutes with me, shoving a business card and a small brochure at me before moving on to the next person. The other spoke with me at length, asked about the concerns I have and want to address with EOs, told me specifically which oils would be helpful, gave me her email address to which I could write with more questions – even before I decided to purchase anything, let me try a couple samples and explained a lot about the history and mission of the company. She let me walk away to think about it without any huge sales pressure. I Googled the company on my phone, confirmed much of what she told me, and learned more. I also prayed for guidance. Within minutes I made my decision as the company’s mission fits in with my own faith values, so I went back, signed up and made my purchase of a starter kit.

    If there is bad blood or negative battles between the representatives of these companies, I generally ignore it. The Lord led me to this, so it’s right for me. That’s all that counts.

  • Reply
    Jennifer in PA
    June 6, 2014 at 4:44 pm

    Yes I use the same 3 companies that you do. And I feel the same about the essential oil wars. The other things that bothers me is people from both those companies widely promote using the oils internally. What I have read from several people I trust is that any essential oils should be use very cautiously internally because of the concentration of an essential oil. I don’t use them internally at all.

  • Reply
    Lara Strickland
    December 3, 2014 at 4:03 pm

    I am new to EO’s and was really looking at NAN… but not understanding what you mean by that they are ‘not certified organic’…
    Any help you can give me would be great!! THANKS!!

    • Reply
      December 7, 2014 at 1:19 am

      In the US, there is a strict process for organic certification (produced without pesticides and other chemicals). A lot of people feel better purchasing certified organic because of that process. Many EO companies do carry certified organic, but other smaller companies cannot afford the huge fees involved with organic certification. A company like NAN has strict policies about their oils being made without pesticides and other chemicals…they just don’t have the official certification. You are absolutely safe purchasing from them if you are looking for chemical free EO’s. They use oils from plants grown by organic standards…just without the official “label”. Hope this clarifies things a little bit.

  • Reply
    March 10, 2015 at 1:22 am

    I also love NAN. I wanted to suggest another company that has excellent quality oils. Their website is very informative for someone new to EO. It is Heritage Essential Oils. Their Plague Defense has the exact ingredients as larger companies’ thieves or immune blends. The only difference is Heritage sells theirs for $15.

    • Reply
      March 10, 2015 at 1:25 am

      Thanks for telling me about Heritage. There are SO many more companies to research. I will put that one on my list! 🙂

  • Reply
    December 29, 2016 at 2:26 pm

    Great points. I have family and friends involved with the two largest MLM essential oil companies. I’ve definitely been exposed to some of this “war,” though not to a great degree.
    No doubt their quality is fine, but I’m with you as far as avoiding that conflict goes.
    I heard of another company recently. I think it’s very new…maybe a couple years. It’s called Mother E (mothere.co). Have you heard of them yet and whether their oils are any good?

    • Reply
      January 5, 2017 at 5:16 pm

      I haven’t heard of them at all, so I don’t know what the quality of their oils is. Sorry! 🙁

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