Spa still life with essential oil, fresh peppermint and towel on wooden background outdoors.

Essential oils come from vital plants, flowers and trees. Because of this, they contain healing properties.

Many parts of the plant are used to make essential oils: the flower petals, roots, seeds, bark and leaves. These are all vital at the time when they are picked in order to create therapeutic essential oils.

What’s important for a massage therapist to understand is the difference between organic, nonorganic and wild-crafted essential oils, in order to choose the best essential oils for massage.

Organic Means Certified

Organic essential oils are grown on an organic farm, and the farmers who grow organic plants are certified and operate by a standard which translates into no harmful pesticides, fertilizers or genetically modified plants 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 who grow organic plants take an interest in their quality of production and usually have a smaller farm, more of what we would call 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 provide a therapeutic grade of essential oils.

These farmers cultivate highly prized plants and receive more money due to their purity and distinction. Not only do these farmers provide a wonderful product, 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 and compromise our ecosystem or aquatic life.

The Story on Nonorganic

Nonorganic, or conventional, essential oils 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 plant’s 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. (Related: “When is Massage Cream Really Organic?”)

In fact, they contribute to overloading our bodies unnecessarily with chemicals and toxins. They put an 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 they are conventional oils sold to large industrial companies. These large industrial companies provide suppliers with oils used for flavoring food and making perfumes. These oils are not capable of offering any therapeutic quality.

What is Wild-Crafted?

Wild-crafted essential oils come from plants that are not farmed or sprayed with any kind of pesticide. These plants 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 respect is given to the plant, and only certain parts of the plant are used. If a whole plant is taken, it is replaced with seeds to grow a new vital plant. Many of these plants produce essential oils.

Wild-crafted essential oils come from all around 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, cypress leaf

• India: basil, sandalwood, nutmeg, palmarosa

• Madagascar: ravensara, ylang-ylang

• France: rosemary, lavender, spearmint, tarragon, thyme, vetiver, clary sage

• Brazil: rosewood

• Canada: white sage, ginger, spruce

• Italy: tangerine, clary sage, mandarin

• Nepal: spikenard

• 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

• Northeast Africa: frankincense

• Russia: pine needle

• Morocco: chamomile

• Mediterranean: rosemary, thyme, lavender

• Turkey: oregano

• Spain: spike lavender, thyme, sage

Most native wild-crafted essential oils can be found in small distilleries or by artisan distillers that specialize in pure, high-grade therapeutic essential oils. These are the essential oils used by aromatherapists.

Wild-crafted essential oils, like organic and conventional essential oils, do change from season to season, so 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.

Do Your Research

The information provided in this article is simply for you to decide what you want for yourself.

Remember, what you put on your body or your client’s body goes into the body.

Your body is an amazing biological system, much more highly perfected than any technology available on the planet. Choose wisely and do not compromise yourself. Do your own research.

About the Author:

Elizabeth Golden is an aromatherapist and owns Golden Earth aromatherapy products company. She is passionate about creating products that inspire wellness and make people feel good.