(Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor, nor am I providing any medical advice. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Rocky Mountain Essential Oils and any other products mentioned in this post are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.)
How I Use Essential Oils
Essential Oils (EOs) are an essential component of my life journey. They have become an integral part of my wellness and beauty routine with my usage including, but not limited to, the following:
Wellness / Aromatherapy - I use EOs via aromatherapy for restful sleep, general mental health, and relaxation, and for delightful smells in my home.
Household Care - I add EOs to non-toxic cleaning agents I buy and plan to make more household care products myself in the future. For instance, I made an EO bug spray that is non-toxic (compared to highly toxic store bought bug sprays), which I will share later on this blog.
Recently, I used Helichrysum Italicum and Tea Tree oils to treat an ear infection/inflammation. I went to the doctor a couple days after I noticed the pain and had started treating myself. At that point, the doctor said the redness and inflammation could be the start or end of an infection and recommended a topical antibiotic. I did not pick up the prescription, and the ear discomfort I was experiencing went away after another day or two of Essential Oils (EOs) treatment. (Disclaimer: I am not suggesting anyone else treat an ear infection without their doctor’s guidance. I did alert my doctor to the fact that I was using Essential Oils in my ear.)
I also recently used Lavender mixed with Dr. Bronners Fair-Trade Coconut Oil all over my body after getting a bit sunburnt at the beach and experienced the fastest sunburn healing of my life. Lavender is incredible for healing skin burns.
My own experience in using the power of these oils on myself and my incredible darling late husband (my inspiration) the last couple of years led me to want to study Essential Oils further. I am currently studying to become a Certified Essential Oils Coach by the American Association of Drugless Practitioners (AADP) over the next twelve weeks.
Read on to learn more about Essential Oils and the company I have chosen for all of my oils.
Essential Oils - A Brief History
Essential Oils have a long history of being used as medicine (healing remedies), as beauty tools in skin care, in the home or on the body as fragrance, and for spiritual ceremonies or enlightenment, and more.
The first distillation unit was found in Mesopotamia as far back as around 3500 AD. We know Essential Oils were used by Jews in Biblical times as fragrance, holy anointing oils, medicine and personal care. They are referenced more than 300 times throughout the Bible. Then, we also know they were used by the Egyptians as medicine, spirituality in religious and burial practices, and beauty regimes of course. Essential Oils were used by Cleopatra in the first known beauty spa (she is famous for using rose, frankincense, cypress, neroli and myrrh oils - all aphrodisiacs). Versions of essential oils were also used in traditional Chinese Medicine, Indian Ayurvedic medicine and in ancient Greek medicine. Hippocrates, the Greek physician credited as the father of modern medicine, documented the medicinal uses of over 300 plants, and supposedly advised: “The way to health is to have an aromatic bath and scented massage every day.”
Essential Oils were brought to Europe during the crusades, but during the dark ages holistic medicine was rejected and their usage in Europe went into obscurity. It is believed that Monks of that time secretly kept herbal medicine alive protecting and using essential oils in their monasteries.
During the black (bubonic) plague, there is a legend of the Four Thieves that survived the plague even while robbing graves of those taken by the plague using what we suspect today to be a combination of vinegar, herbs and essential oils, likely eucalyptus, clove, rosemary, thyme, and sage.
However, it wasn’t until French Chemist, Rene Maurice Gattefosse, used Lavender to successfully treat serious burns without any scarring or residual damage in 1928, that essential oil usage and study began to re-emerge in Europe. Rene continued to study, use and teach on essential oils and is credited with the birth of aromatherapy.
Today, there are over 17,000 studies on Essential Oils in the PubMed database today, many of which point to the efficacy of their compounds treating health issues and offering a variety of health benefits. And, that’s studies in the English language. In countries such as India and China where EOs are used more frequently, there is, even more, data on their uses and benefits.
Use of Essential Oils Today
Some common ways of using Essential Oils today include:
- Promoting healthy skin
- Stimulating digestion
- Balancing weight
- Reducing stress and anxiety
- Overcoming insomnia
- Detoxifying air
- Fragrance for home & body
- Household care products
There are four (4) different categories for using Essential Oils:
Aromatically: EOs can be used aromatically to detoxify the air, diffusing to overcome insomnia, provide fragrance for the home, and so on. Aromatherapy may be the most popular way to use EOs.
Topically: EOs can be used to promote healthy and beautiful skin in DIY lotions, alleviating pain and headaches, stimulating the immune system via application to the feet, and so on. I use them most often topically.
Internally: EOs of pure therapeutic grade only can be used internally to stimulate digestion, enhance the flavor of food, fight infection and so on. Therapeutic grade oils are very powerful and cannot be used internally without proper guidance such as by a Certified Aromatherapist or Certified Essential Oils Coach. Only certain oils are safe for internal use and in small quantities.
Externally: EOs can be used to make household care products such as all-purpose cleaners or bug sprays.
Before sharing any usage recipes, I want to address that not all oils are created equal. There are vast differences in quality, purity and even compounds within the same oil type. We all need to be very careful in selecting pure and high-quality oils for usage.
That is why I want to share my choice of Essential Oils brand as well as important factors to consider in choosing Essential Oils below.
My Essential Oil Company of Choice
Rocky Mountain Oils (RMO) has been my choice of brand for all of my essentials oils the last two years, so I am thrilled to have partnered with them as an affiliate to bring Journey to Good followers exclusive sale promotions throughout the year.
Why I Use Rocky Mountain Oils
Read on to learn why I chose Rocky Mountain Oils for my Essential Oils, as well as what to look for when choosing a brand for yourself.
1. PURITY: Distillation, Growing Practices, Final Product
There are four generally accepted grades of purity of essential oils, which I’ve listed below:
Grade D - Low-quality synthetic byproducts of distillation that are not safe to use, but can be put into hair/skin products. This grade can be referred to as “floral waters”.
Grade C - Perfume grade oils that contain adulterating chemicals and solvents and are not safe for topical or internal use.
Grade B - Food grade oils that can be labeled “pure” and “natural”, however, they may still be diluted, adulterated, contain chemicals and are not safe for internal use. I would personally not use topically either.
Grade A - Therapeutic grade oils are the highest quality oils that are safely distilled, pure and unadulterated. They are safe for topical and internal use and have the greatest potency.
All essential oils by Rocky Mountain Oils are Grade A, 100% pure therapeutic grade, properly distilled and contain no added chemicals, pollutants or pesticides.
Rocky Mountain Oils has an “S.A.F.E. Guarantee” for all of their EOs which are guaranteed to be 100% pure and authentic. They note on their website:
All of our oils are 100% pure, which means they do not contain any pesticides, fungicides or adulterants.The distillation process is a major factor in yielding a quality product. There are several methods that can be used to extract essential oil from organic plant matter. These methods include steam, hydro, cold-pressed, CO2, and even extracting an absolute through chemical extraction. Rocky Mountain Oils sources essential oils that are extracted through the method that yields the purest and potent product.
Based on research, almost all of their oils use no solvents for distillation. There are a couple necessary exceptions, vanilla (one version uses CO2) and jasmine, otherwise, the cost would be extreme. Their oils have not been adulterated with fillers, synthetics or fragrance enhances nor have they been heated (except one oil, FCF Bergamot, which is heated after distillation to burn off the furocoumarin since furocoumarin is considered photo-toxic).
Many companies use adulteration to save money. There could be very little of the actual oil in a bottle that has been adulterated and instead consist of mainly vegetable oils (or worse). For reference, adulteration is defined as “to corrupt, debase, or make impure by the addition of a foreign or inferior substance or element; especially: to prepare for sale by replacing more valuable with less valuable or inert ingredients.”
On top of not using any adulterants, Rocky Mountain Oils has outstanding growing practices ensuring the purity and quality of their oils.
First, on The Best Organic Skincare blog post “What is the Best Essential Oil Brand”, RMO is quoted stating, "It is important for any EO consumer to note that just because a product is sold as “organic”, it does not mean the oil is pure [even certified organic oils have been found to contain pesticide residue]. This is why we have strict testing and high standards for each and every batch of oil that we receive from our sources. Although many of our products are organically grown, we are always looking for sources that yield the highest quality of oil, and that doesn't always mean that it is an organic source. As I mentioned above, even though some of our oils may not be certified organic, they are ALL pesticide free."
RMO uses small farms across the world to source the best highest quality oils. All of their oils are certified organic, wildcrafted (my favorite) or organically grown without pesticides, herbicides and using only natural fertilizers (even though not certified organic).
Second, all of their oils come from plants grown in their indigenous locations (where they grow naturally). Per Dr. Z, considered an expert on EOs, “the most important factor is whether or not the oils are indigenously sourced . . . referred to as “native” plants . . . because non-native plants pale in comparison to native plants when it comes to nutrition and chemical constituency.”
Dr. Z goes on to note on his website, “My father-in-law is a retired PhD agri scientist and spent his career evaluating the chemical compounds in plants. He told me that native plants always have a better nutritional profile because the soil is naturally designed to feed indigenous plants with what they need most.”
Additionally, because native plants evolved in their indigenous regions over time, they are able to thrive in that region’s weather and geology without the use of pesticides given they have developed natural resistance to native predators.
Non-native plants are not able to thrive in pesticide-free farming because they are not naturally resistant to local predators, and per Dr. Z “have a negative impact on the local environment and ecosystem because they have a tendency to take over a habitat, require pesticides to thrive, and are not natural food sources for neighboring wildlife.”
Therefore, Rocky Mountain Oils sourcing from indigenous locations is best practice for purity, quality, healing capabilities of the oils as well as environmental sustainability and responsibility.
I’m very happy RMO essential oils are indigenously sourced, incredibly pure, and therapeutic grade so we can feel safe using them for a variety of purposes.
2. Quality Standards: Testing Process, Results, and Guarantees
According to Dr. Z’s guide to buying essential oils, these are questions to consider when evaluating the quality of an essential oils brand:
Does the company have relations with their distillers? Yes, Rocky Mountain Oils has stated they have “direct buying relationships with the most trusted suppliers in the industry. Each of our suppliers is required to meet stringent product quality guidelines before we consider buying from them.”
Can the company readily supply a batch-specific report (MS/GC) on the oil it sells? Yes, each batch-specific MS/GC report can be pulled up on their website here using the batch code on the bottom of each essential oil bottle. They offer these third party testing results for free on the website.
What is the common name, Latin name (exact genus and species), country of origin, part of plant processed, type of extraction (distillation or expression), and how it was grown (organic, wild-crafted, traditional)? Yes, all of this information is available on RMOs website. They provide for each oil the following information: common name, Latin name, description of the oil, oil facts, usage guide, safety information and testing information - all conveniently located on that oils web page. I discuss Latin names further below.
It is important to note that “therapeutic grade” is not a regulated term, can be defined in many ways, so companies can falsely claim their oils are therapeutic grade but be selling low-quality oils. Therefore, testing for quality is important when searching for high-quality essential oils. We must rely on MS/GC testing to determine the quality of essential oils along with other tests as well as our own organoleptic assessment, meaning assessing the way we react to the oils through our six senses: taste, touch, smell, vision, auditory, and intuition.
For reference, GC/MS testing is Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry to provide data on what components are in the oils and how much of each component there is. You can read more about GC/MS testing here.
Rocky Mountain Oils states their “essential oils are the highest quality available in the industry. We provide GC/MS test results from a verified third-party, independent lab on all of our essential oils. GC/MS tests verify purity and quality of the oils sold so customers can know we mean it when we say our oils are 100% pure and authentic. Customers can look at the bottom of their bottle to find their individual batch code and then input that number into our website to pull up the GC/MS test results.”
As GC/MS testing can be done in house or by third-party, I find RMO’s results to be more trustworthy as they use an independent third-party lab for GC/MS test results. Testing in-house is of course suspect of being manipulated given the vested interest the company has in producing good results to sell their oils.
However, GC/MS test results are not fully comprehensive in determining the quality of oils. As Whole New Mom notes on her “Essential Oils Testing — Is it Reliable?” post, GC/MS tests cannot determine if an oil has been heated, re-distilled, from what soil quality it was sourced, or detect environmental toxins.
Thankfully, Rocky Mountain Oils goes further in their quality standards than GC/MS testing. Their quality standards testing includes:
Sourcing from Vetted Suppliers: We test hundreds of samples to find the best essential oils available. These samples are GC/MS tested to check for purity before we purchase essential oils from our suppliers. If the sample contains any adulterants, contaminants, diluents or synthetics, it is rejected. If a sample passes the GC/MS test, we place a bulk order from the same batch that constituted the approved sample.
Sampling & Third-Party Testing: Once the bulk order arrives, we send a sample from it to our third-party lab for another round of GC/MS testing to ensure we received the same essential oil that we sampled and purchased. We do this to ensure that the essential oil you receive is the same 100% pure and natural oil we purchased from our suppliers.
More Testing & Re-testing: We do multiple spot checks to make sure our products meet the highest quality standards as part of our overall Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). Our outside testing process is watched closely by our in-house chemist, as is our in-house bottling process for maximum quality assurance.
Quality Control & Analysis at Headquarters: We guarantee that our essential oils contain no adulterants by conducting both external and internal product testing. Our external GC/MS testing process is verified by an independent, third party lab and is scrutinized by our in-house chemist. After the oil is GC/MS tested, our chemist runs an extensive internal analysis to assure quality with organoleptic, Refractive Index and various other tests. In regards to the organoleptic testing, RMO notes their “oils must pass [their in-house chemist’s] inspection of their physical properties (look, smell, feel, etc.) before she approves them for the bottling stage.”
My personal organoleptic testing has shown RMO oils to be superior to other companies’ oils I’ve tested.
Rocky Mountain Oils goes above and beyond GC/MS testing in their quality standards, and given their commitment to purity and excellent growing and distillation practices, they are of the highest quality and I feel confident in trusting the quality of their oils.
3. Latin Names Provided
It is important for companies to provide the Latin names of essential oils, not just the common names, as different types of oils have different compounds or levels of the same compounds. Therefore, they offer different benefits and correlate to different studies even though from the same plant and using the same common name.
For example, Frankincense is the common name used for that famous essential oil, however, four of the most common types of Frankincense in their latin names are Boswellia Carterii, Boswellia Sacra, Boswellia Serrata and Boswellia Frereana.
Boswellia Carterii and Sacra both contain alpha-pinene, which is a monoterpene compound found to have powerful anti-inflammatory effects, anti-cancer properties, and some evidence shows it to function as a broad-spectrum antibiotic as it has strong antibacterial activity, among other benefits found in studies such as anti-anxiety and sedative effect. Boswellia Sacra has more alpha-pinene than Carterri (75% vs. 60%) so depending on why you were using Frankincense you may want to opt for Boswellia Sacra.
Boswellia Frereana’s active monoterpene compounds are 55% Thujene (also called alpha-thujene or thujone) and 13% Cymene. Thujene has been shown in studies to have extremely high antioxidant capabilities as well as antibacterial and antimicrobial activity.
Rocky Mountain Oils provides the Latin names for all of their oils, so you know exactly what oil you are purchasing. They note, "You can view the extraction method as well as botanical name/Country of Origin for each product on each product page."
4. RMO Website’s Education Focus, Usage Recipes, & Informative Blog
Each product’s page provides the latin name, general information on that oil, facts on the oil, usage information including DIY recipes, safety information, a link to dilution rates, and the testing results.
They have an entire “Dilution Guide” page on their website, which is important as beginners need to be very careful with usage and proper dilution.
Rocky Mountain Oils has a “Learn” section of their website that includes offering educational guides such as “Essential Oils 101”, “Health & Wellness”, “Cleaning & Home” and “Holistic Beauty”. Under “Learn”, they also have an “Essential Oils By Age” guidance page on usage for children.
Lastly, they have an informative blog, which is linked on their website.
All of this information provided was incredibly helpful to me when I was getting started in using Essential Oils and helped shape my ever-growing EOs collection.
5. Fantastic Customer Service & 90-day Return Policy
RMO has an incredible return policy allowing oils with which you are dissatisfied to be returned within 90 days, even if they are opened and used (impressive!). Their customer service team is very kind and fast responding. For returns, they will send a return authorization number and a prepaid return shipping label, so returns are free. They refund customers in the original form of payment after receiving the return. I consider this a fantastic return policy.
They also offer a 1-year limited warranty on their diffusers, and diffusers are also covered by the same 90-day return policy as oils.
7. Affordable Oils, Rewards Program & Free Shipping!
The oils are at a reasonable price point - not so cheap that one would question the authenticity (“too good to be true” situation), but not overpriced. They are not an MLM (multi level marketing) company, and a leading direct-to-consumer company, so are able to keep their prices affordable. Additionally, they offer frequent promotions for greater savings to customers on their already well-priced oils.
They offer a rewards program called "Oily", and every customer who has created an RMO account is automatically enrolled (it is free and there is no minimum spend required). Customers will earn 1 point per dollar spent to go towards coupons such as $5 off your next order with 200 points earned. They also give you a bonus 100 points for your birthday and 30 points for enrolling by creating an account.
They offer free economy shipping (2-7 business days for all orders) and provide tracking information, so you will know exactly when to expect your oils. They offer faster shipping for small fees.
8. Environmental Sustainability
They are in the process of switching over to shipping packaging made from 100% recycled material. They note “we know our RMO Family shares our commitment to environmental sustainability, and we’re excited to provide packaging that protects both your bottles in transit and our earth over time.”
My recent order delivered just last week came in recycled packaging (yay!).
They have also started the industry’s first Bottle Recycling Program. RMO states, “We distribute all of our used bottles (including returns) to an authorized recycling center for proper disposal. You can also send us old essential oil bottles from any brand and we will recycle them for you."
They even offer a "Glass Recycling Center Lookup" on their website should you " prefer to recycle old bottles locally to eliminate the potential environmental impact caused by shipping".
RMO has been around since 2004 but also acquired Native American Nutritionals which had also been highly recommended and had a history of working with small farms and quality oils. RMO has improved already high-quality procedures.
In my research searching for the best essential oils brand to use, I saw Rocky Mountain Oils recommended many times on blogs and websites.
For example, Whole New Mom did an awesome 7-part series on her quest for the best essential oils company and also declared Rocky Mountain Oils the winner. I highly recommend reading her guide as I found it very informative.
Another example as noted earlier is The Best Organic Skincare blog also choosing RMO as the best company in their “What is the Best Essential Oil Brand” stating “They offer amazing customer service, consider quality a top priority, offer transparency on all of their production methods and meet my above criteria for a high-quality essential oil brand.”
Conclusion: Rocky Mountain Oils is My Recommended & Preferred Essential Oils Supplier
I use Rocky Mountain Oils every day, prefer their products to other brands I’ve tried, and have personally witnessed their effectiveness.
I am thankful such an upstanding company focused on purity, quality, education and customer service exists, and am confident in recommending RMO's products.
Stay tuned for exclusive promotions and ways to use EOs!
(Disclaimer: I chose Rocky Mountain Oils as my supplier of oils based on my research nearly two years ago, and stayed a loyal customer based on my experience with their oils. After launching Journey to Good, I was able to become an affiliate for them. That means if you make a purchase after clicking links from this blog to their site, we will earn a small commission, but your price remains the same. This affiliate partnership will also allow us to offer exclusive promotions to JTG followers from this company that we use and trust.)
Do you use essential oils? What are the qualities you look for when you purchase? Have you tried Rocky Mountain Oils, if so, what did you think?