BOOK FOR SALE Essential Oil Safety

Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals 2nd Edition by Robert Tisserand (Author),? Rodney Young (Author)

“The only comprehensive text on the safety of essential oils. The first review of essential oil/drug interactions. Detailed essential oil constituent data not found in any other text. Essential oil safety guidelines. 400 essential oil profiles.” — Elsevier



New Aromatherapy Company Launch – Ology Essentials

From the new website for Ology Essentials

There is a great depth of knowledge, training, and commitment behind Ology Essentials. You can trust Ology Essentials for accurate, scientific, and honest no-hype information about essential oils, business, and natural cosmetics. The founder of Ology Essentials is certified aromatherapist and cosmetic formulator Kayla Fioravanti. She has been a trusted disseminator of knowledge and provider of high quality products since she and her husband first co-founded Essential Wholesale in 1998.

I have known and admired owner Kayla Fioravanti since I first started in the soap and aromatherapy industry myself many years ago and her articles, posts on social networking and knowledge she so freely shared through Essential Wholesale are very much a foundation of my own knowledge base.  I am thrilled she is back in this industry again and highly recommend her company as a source of products and her school as a great place to learn about safe essential oil use an aromatherapy.  She represents what ethics in aromatherapy looks like on every level!

NOTE: I did not receive any products at a discount or free in exchange for my review, nor have I been compensated in any way. I am just a fan! I have no material affiliation with the websites in this blog post.

Tisserand Defends Science

In a rare example of online confrontation; essential oil safety expert, author and educator Robert Tisserand recently took on blogger, guest speaker, educator Jade Schutes* in this blog post: In Defense of Science

Jade writes: “What’s better than research in aromatherapy? – Practice and the results an aromatherapy practitioner experiences with individual clients, with family members, with friends, and/or with self, and then sharing these experiences with other aromatherapy practitioners.”

Robert shared his blog post on both his personal Facebook profile and the business page for his Tisserand Institute. A rather heated series of comments on his and Jade’s Facebook pages followed. Many of the comments have since been deleted from both his and Jade’s Pages. How unfortunate!

One missing item is the topic which came up, of relying on testimonials and anecdotal reports of people who have positive effects from using EOs, or who are not harmed by using them in ways; but those same people totally dismiss testimonials and anecdotal reports when they are documenting injury or adverse effects!

I posted a link to the online Injury Database being hosted by Aromatherapy United, reports which have been collected by volunteers with The Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy.

Side Note: Why are volunteers collecting this important data? When Jade was President of NAHA for the second time, without a vote of national Directors or Members, she directed that the data collection and much of the Safety information be removed from the NAHA website. Prior to that during her first reign as President, there was a petition and complaint sent to the IRS Nonprofit Regulations & Enforcement Division, requesting an investigation of her regarding issues including her use of non-profit funds for personal gain:

These injury reports are nothing really unique. Almost all the injuries or adverse effects could have been predicted because there is science to support that almost every incident was the result of the injured party taking potential risks which outweighed the possible benefits.

But the very same people who dismiss the testimonials of injuries, somehow suspend disbelief when it comes to Jade’s claims that an individuals positive experience matters more than “research”.

Jade writes: “When I read what others have written from the ‘intellectual’ side regarding polarity, solubility, and sensitization risk, I think to myself, these are people who have never taken a bath with aromatic bathing salts or essential oils.”

Oh, but when that bath results in rash, chemical burns, one heck of a tender vagina – nope – doesn’t count. There was no third party verification that bath ever took place, or that skin was damaged, and whose to say this person was really in pain! Is there a hospital record? An invoice from an ambulance company! NO. Dimissed. Not enough proof.

The ‘intellectual’ side take baths. They are not working in climate controlled laboratories, in haz-mat suits, dripping EOs on rabbit skins to see what burns. Researchers are compiling data from people, people with positive experiences and people with negative experiences. Then they analyze that data.

Maybe even from the bathtub.

*It is not clear where Jade’s actual one-on-one experience with people using aromatherapy comes from. Nothing in her online biography indicates she has an actual Aromatherapy practice or sees clients. She is not licensed in any field, she is not a Registered Aromatherapist. Which leaves me wondering, where does all the aromatherapy practitioner experiences with individual clients *non-research* she depends on so much for teaching her students, actually come from!

UPDATE: I found the answer to my earlier question about how someone who does not say they have an aromatherapy practice, gets all this “aromatherapy practitioner experiences with individual clients”! Jade’s friends and students are her guinea pigs.  She experiments on them, then observes how they respond!  And why not?  In her opinion – right from her website – it’s no big deal.  Not like anyone died or anything.  Yet.

And in conclusion – it’s not “harm” per se – simply a tragedy:

Ethics in Aromatherapy

I am very disturbed to recently be dragged back into yet another essential oil drama.

Back in May, Dr. Pappas (essential oil testing specialist – not medical doctor) posted:

“I got to thinking *If there was a non-profit foundation set up by someone who could accept my donations of oil, hydrosols, CO2, extracts, boswellic acid powder and other extracted aromatic products that we accumulate from various research projects and testing that would otherwise go unused and then these products could be sold by the foundation to support free testing as requested by the buyers of said products, this might be one way to accomplish a decent amount of testing of oils from companies that people would love to verify if the quality is really what these companies are claiming.*”

Clearly, the idea of a non-profit was Roberts. He writes “I pitched this idea to my friend Roxanne Benton.

Their professional connection was recently disclosed as being through doTerra, Dr. P’s former testing client, and MLM that Roxanne sells/sold for. Shortly thereafter, Roxanne announced that she and her husband are the proud “owners” of a 501(c)3 charity called “The Essential Oil Analysis Foundation“.

The mission of this “charity” is described as “an attempt to bring accountability into the industry through competent GC/MS testing made available for free to the consumer…”

Their About page concludes with “The results of the testing will then be displayed on the website and filed according to company name. The consumer can then always have a place to go to check on which companies are selling authentic oils and which ones are selling fake oils.”

Obviously, this scenario raised a lot of questions and was met with skepticism, and as so often happens in this volatile essential oil industry, the personal attacks and accusations began.

I’m not going to post the web address for the main *haters* because they want to remain anonymous, so they won’t get any web traffic from me!

There are some legitimate questions, however.

#1 – there was a lack of transparency when this idea was formally launched which *seemed* to be an attempt to downplay Robert Pappas’ affiliation with the organization and that raised the alarm. Because of this lack of transparency, people assumed this entire exercise was a cover for driving more business to Dr. P’s testing services. Anyone who has followed Dr. P’s career or for that matter, his Facebook page, knows he does not need the money! This exercise would be like a millionaire spending 40 hours a week cutting coupons in order to save $20 on groceries.

The best analogy I can think of is, this is almost like a wedding gown company donating their sample sizes from a past season to a store that then sells them at a discount in order to be able to donate dresses to the less fortunate or which sells the dresses and donates the profits toward a stated charitable purpose.

Here is one such example –

A win win for everyone.  All transparent at the bridal shop!  That is what is missing at this new organization: clarity of purpose, and a mission which is actually charitable.

#2 – claims that Roxanne Benton and her husband “own” the charity. That set off alarm bells, and rightly so.

If the founder of a charity does not know that no one *owns* a charity, what else do they not know about forming a charity? They should have presented themselves as the founders of a non-profit foundation, incorporated in the state of Nevada, and NOT presented themselves as a 501(c)3 Charity.

#3 – the way this foundation is described, they will not be eligible under the Federal regulations governing charitable organizations, as I understand the regulations.

“Inurement/Private Benefit – Charitable Organizations – A section 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, such as the creator or the creator’s family, shareholders of the organization, other designated individuals, or persons controlled directly or indirectly by such private interests. No part of the net earnings of a section 501(c)(3) organization may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. A private shareholder or individual is a person having a personal and private interest in the activities of the organization.”

An analogy – there is a lot of public interest in the charity run by Eric Trump. “Donald J. Trump Foundation, a charity set up by the president, “apparently used the Eric Trump Foundation to funnel $100,000 in donations into revenue for the Trump Organization.

Setting up a charity where the money generated is paid to one or two labs for testing services, is no different than planning fund raising golf tournaments, and having a large percentage of the funds pay for the golf club costs!

#3a – so why is this non-profit being set up as a charity in the first place? Saving a consumer or a supplier the costs of having their own products or ingredients tested? How is that charity?

  • Is the only purpose the ability for certain people to make donations *to* the charity and take a tax deduction for their donations?
  • Then their donations are sold, and that money gets paid back to them in the form of paying for them to test other oils?
  • Because right now, that is how it appears – whether that was the intent or not. And it looks way too much like a money laundering scheme, which explains the drama.

#4 – so if not a Charity – what about founding as a nonprofit “Scientific Organizations”?

Nope, because “Scientific research, for exemption purposes, doesn’t include activities of a type ordinarily incidental to commercial or industrial operations such as the ordinary inspection or testing of materials or products…” Testing of essential oils is an activity of a type ordinarily undertaken as the normal course of business. So performing the same tests but publishing the results publicly, is not scientifically valid (SEE #5) or what the public understands when they hear the word *charity*.

So it looks from the outside like a *scheme*…again, maybe this was not the intent – but clearly the way this nonprofit is set up to avoid paying taxes looks self-serving.

#5why do I say the tests themselves are not scientifically valid?

An analogy: It’s no different from being pulled over for drunk driving, and the Breathalyzer shows no alcohol – all it means is that day, on that drive, you were not DUI. It does not mean you weren’t yesterday or won’t be tomorrow.

These tests mean that one bottle from that one batch – tested as reported.

So what is the point? Dr. P. himself has said for years that his test results only are valid for the batch he tested. And with many of these suppliers selling EOs worldwide, from hundreds of different batches – a test result on one batch showing purity or free from adulterants, or for that matter, showing adulteration – only applies to that one specific batch.

(Regardless of the source of the original oil tested – no one with an ounce of sense would question the test results of Dr. P. – but to imply the results mean anything other than that one batch tested with the published results, is implying something which may not be supported. AND critiquing a company based on these test results, opens this organization up to a huge liability for defamation if a company is characterized in a negative manner based on the test results.  They better have a very hefty liability insurance policy because law suits are almost guaranteed.)

So every test result is tied 100% to the commercial product tested and is in effect, no different from a YELP review for a restaurant – helpful if you are considering that restaurant for your next meal, but just one bit of information helpful to consumers to review before they make a purchase.  And hardly an act of charity!  It’s more like free marketing and advertising for whomever happens to be the supplier of the oil that had a positive test result!

Just because someone receives something for free – does not make that something charity.

#6why I am even writing about this topic?

Over the past couple days, my past employment as the Founder of the American Essential Oil Trade Association [AEOTA] was recently brought up in a discussion about this topic. A person wrote something like “this reminds me of that scam, the AEOTA”.

  • The AEOTA was founded by me, and incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation in the state of CT.
  • The AEOTA was NOT a charity, it was not a church or other religious organization, it was NOT a political organization, it was NOT a private foundation, it was NOT a school or university – it WAS a BUSINESS LEAGUE.
  • It was NOT a 501(c)3!
  • The AEOTA was self-declared as a 501(c)6 Business League, and once we had a years worth of tax returns, the newly elected Board of Directors were supposed to file the appropriate forms in order to comply with tax exempt status with the IRS.
  • Membership dues were NOT tax deductible as charitable contributions.
  • I was paid a small salary to run the organization (not profit status does not mean the organization is run by volunteers, almost all non-profit organizations have paid staff).
  • All Federal Tax returns were filed per Federal laws.
  • Bylaws were available to Members.
  • The AEOTA went out of business when the new Board of Directors refused to take office.
  • As a volunteer, after the newly appointed Board failed to take office, I filed all final tax returns and state corporate filings.
  • EVERYTHING about the AEOTA was 100% transparent from day one: some people may not have agreed with how we initially raised the start-up funds in order to afford to incorporate (crowdfunding), and start in business; but nothing about any part of the process was conducted in secret or without peer review from the volunteer Board of Advisers.


Cosmetic Labeling

Well…I went to my first Farmers Market of the summer on Sunday. I tried not to be confrontational…just “helpful”.

When I was told a certain product contained “no toxins” I politely asked “what toxins are those“? She actually meant allergins not toxins.

Then I asked if the raw materials were certified organic – and was told “No, organic certification is too expensive – but these ingredients are actually BETTER than organic.” BIG SIGH… really? I was so hot I could not even argue, but I did tell them they should recommend to their supplier that they check out BayState Organic – they have great prices, and also check into the rebate program because up to 75% of the costs of organic certification can be refunded!

So that said, I want to highly recommend this book by my online friend and author, Kayla Fioravanti, which not only covers how to make cosmetics but how to properly label them for sale!

The rules don’t change just because you are small… consumers deserve to know what is in the products they buy, and they have a right to know how to contact you if they have an adverse reaction to their product – so the laws for labeling cosmetics must be followed even if you are selling from a farm stand, a boutique, at a market or online!

The Real Skin Absorption Facts

Whether you are new to aromatherapy or have been using essential oils for 30 years, you probably have read “everything we put on the skin gets absorbed into the bloodstream” – or – “60% of what we apply to the skin gets absorbed” – or even – “when applied to the skin up to 80% penetrates via the sweat glands and hair follicles“.

When asked for references to support these statements, there is nothing. Why? Because these statements are not true.

Robert Tisserand has addressed absorption at length in classes and online in his Facebook page, and debunked the “80% and 60%” claims numerous times.”

“Since essential oils are not water soluble, they cannot use these (sweat) glands to bypass the skin barrier. Not even water-soluble substances enter the body through sweat glands. If they did, we would put on weight after a swim or a shower. The palms and soles have no hair follicles. Hair follicles contain sebum, an oily substance, and there is some evidence that essential oil constituents are able to use this route to bypass the skin barrier.” –Robert Tisserand, Robert Tisserand Essential Training [Facebook Group] ref.

What is the truth then? From this article “Why Is Essential Oil Dilution Important?” we read in part, “About 5% of applied EO is absorbed into the body through the skin…”

Asked where this statistic comes from, author Robert Tisserand replied:

“Transdermal absorption is in Essential Oil Safety p42-44 and Table 4.2. From all the data I assume a max of 10% and an average of 5%.” 





So then, what is the best method for introducing essential oils to the bloodstream for systemic effect? Answer – inhalation.

“On p 49 under Inhalation you will find data on absorption into the blood and pulmonary uptake – generally 40-70%.” — Robert Tisserand


I am sharing these images from my copy of the book, Essential Oil Safety, with permission. COPYRIGHT PROTECTED. Please feel free to share links to this article but do not copy any part of the article without proper attribution and do not remove and/or download the images from this article.

Consider the source…

Whether you are looking for a teacher, a supplier, or just advice online..always consider the source!

Teachers claim to be a Certified Aromatherapist, even add initials after their name as if that means something.  Before you sign up for that workshop, class or school…ask them; Where did they study? Then check the credentials of the school! Are they teaching aromatherapy along with tarot card reading and angel healing?  Well, that might not be the level of professional education you want to find in your teacher! The title Certified Aromatherapist has no defined meaning in the USA. Read more about that subject on What does Certified Aromatherapist Mean?

It’s not just in seeking out a proper education, that you need to consider the source, and check actual credentials!

Example, who who knows best…the essential oil chemist or the chiropractor?

Essential Oil chemist, Dr. Robert Pappas wrote (in part): [on the Essential Oils University Facebook page]

“Recently a follower of this page sent me some links to some sites claiming that black pepper oil is a replacement for melissa oil. When I heard this I was quite shocked. At the end of the day the therapeutic properties of an oil are determined by its chemistry. Melissa oil and black pepper oil are about as far apart chemically and organoleptically as you can get so I am just wondering, from where does this myth originate?”

It turns out, this misinformation comes from the very top, one of the owners of doTerra, Dr. David Hill. Dr. Hill is a chiropractor, and former office manager/administrator for Young Living Essential Oils. You can still see him online, telling everyone that Young Living is “the best” essential oil company, and the only one to trust.


Emily Wright, Executive Vice President at doTERRA replied to Dr. Pappas comments (in part):

“Now let’s keep in perspective that Dr. Pappas has a PhD in chemistry, a physical science. He is not a physician, he does not study life science, and he is not an expert in the application or usage of essential oils.” and “Now let’s take the science of essential oils up another notch. It is important now to work with experienced physicians who understand not only how essential oils perform in a lab setting but also how they interact with our human chemistry.” and later “Many have heard Dr. Hill state that Black Pepper is the poor man’s Melissa. This is not because their chemistry is similar. It is not. The chemical profile of these two oils couldn’t be more different. Rather, Dr. Hill is referring to the anti-viral activity of these two oils. Although no oil can completely replace Melissa, there are other oils that offer similar health benefits. Black Pepper is one of them. This has been proven through years of experimental application with excellent results.”

Essential Oil University responded:

“Emily, I appreciate your input and compliments and am ready to be done with this thread. The only thing I have to say in response is that there are posts all over the Internet claiming that black pepper is the “poor man’s Melissa” because black pepper is high in aldehydes like Melissa oil. I don’t know who put these posts up but they are there. But if you just look at some analyses of black pepper one can easily see there are no aldehydes in black pepper oil. So my only question is, if the conclusion concerning black pepper was made based off of undeniably incorrect chemistry then from what science is the conclusion based? I am more than happy to admit that I am wrong. But for my own education I would like to see any scientific literature out there that supports black pepper oil being anti-viral or being used used in the same capacity as Melissa oil. I like to think I have good standing with most all of the well known aromatherapists in the world and I know what most of them teach. I have not seen any studies showing such activity of black pepper. Is it possible I’ve missed something? Of course, it is. That’s why I am asking for something to hang my hat on so I can be in support of this. Please if anyone can provide me with a study supporting this idea I would be eternally grateful.
· October 11, 2014 at 9:46pm

And Dr. P. supported his statement with a link: “Example of a post stating incorrectly that black pepper is high in aldehydes:”

There is no reply from Emily Wright on this topic. The management of doTerra are allowing their consultant to continue to display this misinformation, as the PIN is still there. [ref.]

So who do YOU believe…the chiropractor who never studied aromatherapy or essential oil chemistry, who is trying to convince you to buy products from the company he co-owns; or the expert in essential oil chemistry who has been an integral part of the aromatherapy community since the 90’s? Consider the source.

NYR Organics “no petrochemicals” claim

Originaly published October 10, 2013:

About a year and a half ago, I read an article about how cocamidopropyl betaine actually is partly of petrochemical origin:

Neal’s Yard Remedies/NYR Organic deserves to be applauded for allowing the Facebook discussion to play out to a natural end rather than deleting my comments, and especially for following up with the following letter: