We publish a lot of articles on the benefits of using essential oils as natural remedies for a wide variety of ailments. So a common question that we get is “where can i buy essential oils?”
The answer to that question depends on how you’re using the oil. The two broad categories are oils intended for human consumption somehow and those that are not.
Essential Oils for Home and Garden Use
(NOT for Human Consumption)
There are many, many uses for essential oils around the house and in your yard or garden. We’ve covered a few of these on this site, such as repelling mice, repelling spiders, treating for fleas, and killing ticks.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, there are probably thousands of potential uses. When used for home and garden purposes, you can be somewhat less strict about the quality of the oils. The core issue is one of effectiveness rather than health. Does the oil do the job?
To ensure the answer is yes, when possible we recommend buying products that are purpose built for your needs. For example, ticks are tough little buggers to kill and they’re a serious threat to humans, so we recommend CedarCide products that are specifically formulated with enough power to kill ticks.
Below is a list of CedarCide products we like, plus some other home and garden products on Amazon. As long as the product does the job, you can then just shop based on price and availability, and we find that Amazon is usually the best source because many physical stores don’t carry a lot of essential oil products.
Home and Garden Essential Oil Products:
Essential Oils for Use on Humans
Human use or consumption is any situation where the oil is applied directly to your body. That could mean that you swallow the oil (do NOT do that without the supervision of a properly trained professional), that you inhale it from an essential oil diffuser, you apply it to your skin, etc. If your body will somehow ingest or absorb the oil, then you have to apply a greater level of scrutiny to where the oil comes from. So how do you assess the quality of essential oils?
Finding High Quality Essential Oils
The University of Minnesota published some guidelines on finding quality essential oils, and below we’ve paraphrased the list:
- Is the Latin name of the plant provided?
Some plants have several species and you want to know exactly what you’re getting.
- Is the country of origin provided?
Consumers won’t know what to do with this info but aromatherapists will, and it’s an indication of a company that caters to a knowledgable clientele.
- Is there a statement of purity?
It is common for oils to be mixed with other substances but that’s not necessary or desirable.
- Is the cost comparable to other brands?
This is a situation where you do NOT want the cheapest option you can find. Cheap means low quality. You want to pay a reasonable price.
- Does it smell like it should?
You don’t know this until you actually receive it, but you can return it if it doesn’t.
- Is there info about whether it is organic or wildcrafted?
As with anything you ingest, organic is likely cleaner and better regulated so it’s definitely a consideration.
At this point you’re probably thinking “Ok, but still, where can I buy essential oils?” Glad you asked! Here’s what we recommend:
Starter Set for Those New to Essential Oils
The Plant Therapy essential oils kit is a good quality entry point for newbies. It’s an affordable set of some of the most commonly used oils and makes a great gift for yourself or others.
Amazon also carries a wide variety of individual oils, many of which fit the quality criteria above. Check them out here.
For Those Who Use Essential Oils Regularly
If you’re really seeking a reliable essential oil provider who can guarantee high quality products and get about any oil you’d want, we recommend Starwest Botanicals. Here’s why:
- Their oils meet all the quality criteria above
- Offer organic and non-organic versions of oils
- Products free of irradiation
- They conduct quality testing with an in-house lab and with independent labs
- They’ve been around for 40 years
Those are our go-to choices for sources of essential oils. Are there oils that you’re having trouble sourcing specifically? Leave us a comment below!