Just like everything in nature, essential oils are chemicals. As we discussed in last week’s blog post, the chemical composition of every single batch of essential oil is different from the next due to all of the factors that impact the growth of the plant–weather, soil, harvest, etc. One batch of lavender will have a different chemistry than the next, even if grown by the same farmer on the same land using the same process.
Nevertheless, what makes lavender distinct from lemongrass is the chemistry. All lavender should share the same overall chemical constituents, and all lemongrass should as well. What varies from crop to crop and region to region is not the chemical constituents, but the percentage of each chemical constituent in the oil.
The aromatherapy community has generally agreed upon standards as to the acceptable percentage range of certain chemicals for different essential oils. If a certain chemical is outside that range or does not show up at all, then that is how you know that the oil has been tampered with and is NOT 100% pure!
The test that makes these determinations is called GC/MS and it consists of two separate tests, one Gas Chromatography the other Mass Spectrometry. Gas Chromatography is the process of separating the essential oil into its constituent parts. Mass Spectrometry then determines exactly what the chemicals are and the percentage of the whole that they represent. The chemicals found in the oils and the percentages in which they are found is what determines whether an essential oil is 100% pure, uncontaminated, unadulturated, and undiluted.
GC/MS testing is the only way to ensure your essential oils are pure and that the chemical profile is within acceptable ranges for use. Knowing the chemical profile is essential (pun intended) to ensure you have a 100% pure, quality essential oil with no adulterants and no residuals.
Always be wary of a company that claims its oils are 100% pure but does not talk about, let alone provide GC/MS test results for every batch of oil. That should be a red flag and you should run the other direction! Our P.E.T.A.L.S Promise is our guarantee that you are always getting 100% pure essential oils, and making our GC/MS test results available to you for every batch of oil proves it!