Why do we need an alternative?

We are thankful that we live in the best nation for trauma care and surgical experience. However, when it comes to prevention care, the U.S. has ranked dead last among similar nations for 5 years now, even though we spend more than any other nation on healthcare.

The U.S. has the highest per capita investment in health care of any nation in the world, but the health of Americans is poorer than that of people in other industrialized nations. The U.S. ranks 36th for life expectancy and 39th for infant mortality, and has a higher diabetes prevalence than any country in Western Europe. (NCBI)

Obesity, autism, and cancer are on the rise, not to mention health care insurance premiums. Modern medicine’s answer is more surgery and more pills which are littered with synthetic chemicals. And we all know about the side effects that take up 75% of the time during the tv commercial. Possible death for my acid reflux medicine?  No thank you. I’ll keep the reflux.

It’s time to get proactive and invest in our family’s wellness. The food we eat, the products we use, the way we spend out time – it all impacts our quality and quantity of life.

Essential oils are just one way to help support your body and mind naturally and get safer products in your home.

What are essential oils?

what are essential oils magnifiedEssential oils are tiny aromatic compounds that come from plants. They are the ‘lifeblood’ of the plant, having protective and regenerative purposes.

They are taken from the root, stem, bark, leaves, flowers, or rind of a plant. The oils are extracted through cold pressing or steam distillation, depending on the plant.

Essential oils are 50-70x more powerful than herbs. In fact, one drop of peppermint oil is equal to 28 cups of peppermint tea!

There are about 3,000 different compounds that are found in essential oils that can all go to work in our bodies, working with our bodies to help bring balance to our systems. 

Understanding Quality Differences

It’s crucial that you know that not all essential oils are equal. There are huge differences in quality and purity, even in those trustworthy-looking oils you’ve seen at your local natural food/health store!

The essential oil industry is not regulated by the FDA so as consumers, we are left to determine which essential oils are safe for us to use on our family. I’ve done my fair share of research and will do my best to explain what I learned below.

The first thing to note is that there are 4 different grades of essential oils.

Synthetic Essential Oils

The majority of the essential oil market is completely manmade, synthetic chemicals. Manufacturers are trying to mimic the scent of an essential oil. They are not safe for ingestion and in my opinion, should be avoided as much as possible.

This grade of essential oil is often found in your cleaning products, air fresheners, candles, perfumes, or even your makeup and skin care products (more on avoiding that here).

The majority of the essential oil market is completely manmade, synthetic chemicals. Manufacturers are trying to mimic the scent of an essential oil. They are not safe for ingestion and in my opinion, should be avoided as much as possible as they are linked to common ailments like allergies, asthma, and skin conditions.

This grade of essential oil is often found in your cleaning products, air fresheners, candles, perfumes, or even your makeup and skin care products (more on avoiding that here).

Food Grade (GRAS)

This grade of essential oil is where you would get the cinnamon flavor in your gum, the peppermint in your toothpaste, or even the lemon flavor in your salad dressing.

This is what the FDA calls GRAS or generally recognized as safe, which if you ask me, means nothing. Don’t believe me? Watch this video about Triclosan, a harmful chemical allowed in antibacterial soap.

Therapeutic Grade

Therapeutic grade essential oils are just food grade (GRAS) oils that you intend to use therapeutically. This is what you find in your local health store. The scary thing is that these oils are not regulated. I can put 100% pure essential oil on my bottle, but there’s no one testing to make sure that is an accurate statement. In fact, there doesn’t have to be any essential oil in the bottle at all. There’s no quality testing required.

A huge warning sign is when a bottle says “Not for internal use.” If I can ingest a peppermint leaf, what happened between the plant and the bottle that this oil is no longer safe for me? You DO NOT want to ingest these oils. Trust me. I know. Don’t ask. Not pretty.

Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade

There’s only one brand of essential oil that I felt comfortable using on my son the day he was born. Now the #1 essential oil company in the world, doōTERRA essential oils use a 3rd party to certify that their essential oils are 100% certified pure therapeutic grade, free of any contaminants and of optimum efficacy.  Here’s why I only trust this grade of essential oils.

  • Plants are grown and harvested in their natural habitat.
  • Each liter of oil undergoes over 10 quality and purity tests.
  • The result is a beyond organic essential oil that is verified pure, free of fillers, pesticides and foreign contaminants.

How to Choose Your Oils

There are 5 key pieces of information to look for when you are researching essential oil companies to find the one that is the best fit for your family. I’ve detailed them below and given you some insight into why we chose the company we did.


Essential oils should come from plants that are grown in their indigenous regions. Just like Vidalia Onions are only grown in Vidalia, GA, where a plant is grown determines a lot about the chemical constitute of the plant. The lavender in my backyard does not compare to lavender grown in Bulgaria.

Climate, elevation, soil, species, harvest time – there are many factors that give essential oils the potency and efficacy that we expect.

DōTERRA sources from all around the world such as…

  • Wintergreen from Nepal
  • Lemon from Italy
  • Frankincense from Somalia
  • Vetiver from Haiti

When I can, I try to purchase products from companies that are making a positive impact in the world and loving others well. Nothing on this page matters if the company does not operate with integrity and uphold farming practices that promote growth in the local community.

One of the reasons I chose to use dōTERRA essential oils is because they use what’s called co-impact sourcing. Instead of acting like big brother and buying small farms in foreign lands, they partner with local farmers. Many of these farmers have been harvesting these crops for years and have wisdom beyond anything that can be taught. The company learns from them and works with them to help create cooperatives, and improve the safety and quality of farming practices. The farmers retain ownership of the farms and use local workers for planting, harvesting, and extracting the essential oils.


There are lots of companies that will find great success, but will never leave an impact once they are long gone. Then there are companies that use their success for good that impacts communities and families for generations to come.essential oils integrity legacy

dōTERRA’s Healing Hands non-profit allows them to partner with families where they are sourcing their oils, places like Haiti and Somalia, to improve the living and working conditions for the community by building schools, providing running water, and more. Their vision is to provide every individual, home, and family in the world health and prosperity.


Find a company that implements rigorous testing to ensure that there are no sediments, synthetic chemicals, pesticides, bacteria, or any other foreign substance in the essential oils. The company should also ensure that the species and chemical constitutes of the oil are what they expect for maximum efficacy.

dōTERRA batch tests over 10 different ways at 3 different points in the process by a 3rd party. You can trust that every drop is the highest quality and potency for maximum safety and efficacy.


Essential oils that are intended for internal use like lemon. lavender, and peppermint should not have use limitations on their bottle such as “do not sure internally” or “only for topical or aromatic use.”

You want to look for a supplement facts box on those bottles, just like you would find on a box of cereal. If you’re holding a bottle of essential oil that comes from a plant you can ingest and you don’t see a supplement facts box, put the bottle down and walk away slowly 😉 

Getting Started with Essential Oils

Essential oils can be a safe, effective, and affordable healthcare alternative for your family, but without guidance on how they are used, they are worthless and even dangerous. That’s why I’m passionate about essential oil education. If you are considering using essential oils in your home or are just beginning your journey with oils, I’d love to help teach you proper usage techniques and point you to reliable resources.

Let’s Get Started!

If you’d like to know more about which essential oils are best for your needs or find out how to save 25% on the #1 essential oil brand, check out my essential oils quick start guide or email me at oils@halfwayholistic.com.