In an article written by Elizabeth Golden that appeared in Massage Magazine, February issue 2009
Organic vs. Non-Organic vs. Wild Crafted Essential Oils
There is so much information available to us from many different sources that it can be overwhelming and sometimes unclear regarding the simple differences among essential oils available today.
Organic vs. non-organic vs. wild crafted. What is the difference? And what is the best choice from an ecological, sustainable, people-friendly and planet-friendly point of view?
Wild crafted essential oils come from plants that are not farmed or sprayed with any kind of pesticide. They are plants that are wild, native and organic by their own nature. Simply said, they are plants gathered from the wild! They are harvested in a sound, ethical and sustainable manner without the use of chemicals. This means that respect is given to the plant and only certain parts of the plant are used like the leaves or flowers etc. If a whole plant is taken, it is replaced with seeds to grow a new vital plant. Many of these plants produce essential oils.
Did you know that many of the essential oils that are wild crafted come from different parts of the world? Here are some examples of the most popular or widely used of the wild crafted essential oils and their origin:
Australia- eucalyptus, tea tree, sandalwood, anise, Buddha wood and cypress leaf.
India- basil, sandalwood, nutmeg, palmarosa
Madagascar- ravensara, ylang-ylang
France- rosemary, lavender, spearmint, tarragon, thyme, Vetiver, clary sage
Canada- white sage, ginger, spruce
Italy- tangerine, clary sage, mandarin
Asia- cananga, cardamom, bay laurel
Algeria- cedarwood atlas from the Atlas Mountains
Sri Lanka- cinnamon leaf, citronella, lemon grass
Indonesia- clove, patchouli
Egypt- sweet marjoram, anise
Far east- neroli, orange
Northeast Africa- frankincense
Russia- pine needle
Mediterranean- rosemary, thyme, lavender
Spain- spike lavender, thyme and sage
Most native wild crafted essential oils can be found in small distillers or by artisan distillers that specialize in pure high grade therapeutic essential oils. These are the essential oils that are used by aromatherapists.
Rose oil vibrates at the highest level of all essential oils.
Wild crafted essential oils, like organic and conventional essential oils, do change from season to season and you can expect a different type of crop each year.
Only a fragrance developed in a lab using chemicals is the same all the time.
Did you know that a wild plant such as lavender may be growing in one area of France and have another plant just 2 feet away from it of the same variety but be totally different?
The reason is because the plant may be pollinated differently or maybe a part of the plant had to defend itself from some type of a fungus and therefore has a much stronger immune system. Therefore, essential oil properties can vary even if they are from the same area or same plant when grown in the wild.
Mother Nature is ever changing.
Essential oils are usually added to some type of base oil, lotion or gel. The following examples are wild crafted oils from the rain forest that are used for healthy skin care: Acai, Andiroba, Brazil nut, Copaiba, annatto, buriti and passion fruit oil. These are all sustainable in the rain forest and the amount used is controlled and monitored.
Organic essential oils are grown on a farm. The farmers that grow organic plants are certified and operate by a standard which translates into no harmful pesticides, fertilizers or GMO plants (genetically modified organisms) being used to enhance growth. Organic plants are stronger plants because they have to maintain their own immune system and integrity. They are not dependent on chemicals to make them stronger or grow faster.
The farmers that grow organic plants take an interest in their quality of production and are usually a smaller farm, more of what we would call today a boutique farm or
an artisan farm. Wild crafted essential oils and organic plants are provided with the best possible environment and as a result the plants are stronger, purer and provide a therapeutic grade of essential oils. These farmers cultivate highly prized plants and receive more money due to their purity and distinction. It is a win, win for everyone involved.
Not only do these farmers provide a wonderful product but they do not contribute to the polluting of our environment. They do not use pesticides, synthetics or other harmful ingredients that may run into our water supply compromising our eco system or aquatic life. The farmers that produce organic crops are more conscious about the world we live in and support holistic management of the earth.
Non-organic essential oils or essential oils know as "conventional" are grown using pesticides. In other words, they are grown on a farm that uses pesticides as a means to control the life of the plant. It is the farmer's way to make sure their crops will survive elements such as bugs, bacteria and other living organisms that may threaten a plants life. Chemicals can help increase the size or rate of growth of the plant. They are not healthy for human consumption and they are not beneficial for our health. In fact they contribute to over loading our body unnecessarily with chemicals and toxins. They add excess strain on our organs and metabolism in order to process a "foreign substance" that the body does not recognize.
When chemicals are added to plants, they degenerate and adulterate the plant and its healing ability. These oils cannot be therapeutic, especially the less expensive oils.
Most essential oils sold worldwide are usually sold as "industrial grade oils". This means that they are conventional oils sold to large industrial companies. These large industrial companies provide suppliers with oils that are used for flavoring food and making perfumes. These oils are not capable of offering any therapeutic quality.
The information provided in this article is for you to decide what you want for yourself. Remember, what you put on your body goes into your body. It is like food so be mindful of how you want to care for it. Your body is an amazing biological system much more highly perfected than any technology available on the planet. We have lost touch with the innate healing ability of our own bodies. Your body can heal itself with the right diet, rest and use of vital plants from the earth. Choose wisely and do not compromise yourself. Do your own research. Love your body! It is your temple!!