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Grades of Essential Oils

Grades of Essential Oil

            The first thing that I want to mention here is that there is NO such thing as a “therapeutic grade” essential oil. This is a coined phrase that has come from a pyramid-selling type of company that sells their essential oils. Some companies that are Multi-Level Marketing companies (MLMs), call their essential oils such names as “Therapeutic Grade” or “Pure Therapeutic Grade” or “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade,” etc. This is just their own private labeling brand and does not speak to a national or global standard.

Currently, there are no quality standards or governmental issues to authenticate or judge the quality or performance of essential oils. Hopefully that will change in the future, but for now, any company using these terms are just using them for advertising purposes and as a marketing ploy to lure potential customers in to buy their products. The only for you as the consumer to guarantee the quality of the essential oils that you are purchasing is by using Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). We will look at this topic a little later on in the course.

            For your own information, I have listed below the ‘grades’ of essential oil that is being promoted by some of these companies. To be sure whether any one company is giving you what you are purchasing, you will have to contact that company directly and ask them questions. To date, there are essentially four grades of essential oils and they are designed by a letter, A through C, and Floral Water.


  1. Grade A essential oils are pure therapeutic quality.
    1. Pure therapeutic quality
    2. Usually made from organically grown plants
    3. Distilled at proper temperatures using steam distillation
  2. Grade B essential oils are food grade.
    1. Food grade
    2. May contain carrier oils, chemical additives, fertilizers, pesticides, synthetics, or synthetic extenders.
  3. Grade C oils are perfume grade.
    1. Perfume grade
    2. Usually contain solvents
    3. May contain the same type of adulterating chemicals as listed in Grade B.
  4. Floral Water is a byproduct of the distillation process.
    1. By product of the distillation process