CPTG®, Certified-Pure-Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oils: What are they?
High-quality oils: Aromatherapy's essential foundation
You've heard of it. Maybe you've even been there, done that.
You hear that aromatherapy is supposed to be such a great way to relax and beat stress; or maybe you've even heard that it can help with some health issue or other. So, you run down to your health food store, or buy something online, try it, and nothing happens. Nada, zilch, good night.
So what went wrong here?
Nothing, really. You just used the wrong oils.
In aromatherapy, the quality of your oils is everything
Medicinal aromatherapy has amazing health-supportive potential. It can help you look and feel younger and more alive, enhancing your life and sense of well-being in many ways. But, in order for it to work, you need to use quality oils.
The problem is, about 98% of essential oils produced in the world today are not intended for serious aromatherapy; they're produced for the perfume/cosmetic or food industries. Yet, marketers will bottle these lower quality oils and sell them as aromatherapy products. If you attempt anything more than recreational aromatherapy with any of these oils, you're likely to be very disappointed.
I've never seen a good oil in a health food store. I recently got a sample of the best lavender oil available in my local store. All by itself, it didn't smell too bad. I thought it might be an option for those who felt they couldn't afford dōTERRA® oils. But, when I compared it side-by-side with dōTERRA®'s lavender, I very quickly realized that it was no option at all.
The dōTERRA® lavender had a scent that was several times stronger. The aroma was much deeper and more complex, indicating that it had a much better compliment of the therapeutic chemical constituents. And, dōTERRA®'s lavender never irritates the skin, is very balancing and lifts the body's frequency. But, when I topically applied a drop of this health food store lavender, it irritated my skin and left me feeling out of balance. And, in terms of frequency, this oil was basically inert.
Organic is not enough; you need CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade oils
At dōTERRA®, great care is taken, every step of the way, to ensure that you always have access to the finest oils in the world.
Most essential oils produced today are not intended for aromatherapy. Various short-cuts and bad practices in production seriously compromise the quality of the oils.
Now, this health food store lavender was certified organic; and organic is certainly better than non-organic oils. However, a CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oil — one suitable for medicinal aromatherapy — is more than just organic.
A CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oil is one that is both complete in its chemical constituents, giving it a rich, deep aroma, and kinetically alive and able to raise the frequency of the human body, restoring balance and normal function to weak body systems. This is important, because the oil's fragrance, frequency and chemistry all contribute to its unique therapeutic effects. If any of these properties is compromised, as a result of poor production practices, an essential oil cannot rightly be called CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade.
How a truly therapeutic-grade oil is made
Because a quality essential oil is so chemically complex, and all of these constituents must be present in the oil in their proper ratio for the oil to have its expected effect on the body, one key to producing CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oils is to preserve as many of these aromatic compounds within the oil as possible.
The problem here is that these aromatic compounds are quite fragile, and not easily extracted from the plant material. This means that proper production of essential oils takes a lot of understanding of the oil, and the willingness to invest the necessary time and expense to do the job right. To make a great, CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oil, you must take great care with the follow aspects of production:
→ Grow the proper variety of plants.
Species selection is very important, since different varieties of plants produce different qualities of essential oils. Only those cultivars that produce the highest quality essential oil should be selected. For example, the lavender grown for dōTERRA® is an authentic Lavandula angustifolia, which yields an oil low in camphor and rich in lavendulol and lavendulol acetate (the constituents believed to be the key to lavender's therapeutic action).
→ Use proper cultivation methods.
Plants should be grown on virgin land, uncontaminated by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides or herbicides. The plant materials must be kept free of agrochemicals, since these can react with the essential oil during distillation, and produce toxic compounds. And, because many pesticides are oil-soluble, they can also mix into the essential oil. If these oils are diffused or topically applied, the toxic chemicals in the oils are carried into the body with potentially devastating results.
Plant materials should also be grown away from pollution sources such as nuclear plants, factories, interstates, highways or heavily populated cities, if possible. Also, the soil should be conditioned with an advanced mix of enzymes, trace minerals, and organic bio-solids, since plants lacking in certain minerals and nutrients yield oils low in therapeutic value.
Land and crops should be watered with reservoir or watershed water. Mountain stream water is best, because of its purity and high mineral content. Municipality treated water, or secondary runoff water from residential and commercial areas, can introduce undesirable chemicals and residues into the plant and its essential oil.
→ Harvest with knowledge and care.
The timing of the harvest is one of the most important factors in the production of CPTG™, certified-purer-therapeutic-grade™ essential oils. If the plant is harvested at the wrong time of the season, or even at the incorrect time of day, a substandard essential oil can be produced. In some cases, changing harvest time by even a few hours can make a huge difference. For example, German chamomile harvested in the morning will produce oil with far more azulene than chamomile harvested in the late afternoon.
Other factors that should be taken into consideration during the harvest include:
- the amount of dew on the leaves,
- the percentage of plant in bloom, and
- the weather conditions during the two weeks prior to the harvest.
Also, because of the volatility of the essential oils, to prevent herbs from drying out prior to being distilled (and so, losing many of the precious, aromatic molecules to evaporation), distillers should be located as close to the field as possible. Transporting herbs to distillers hundreds, or even thousands, of miles away also heightens the risk exposure to pollutants, dust, mold and petrochemical residues.
→ Extract the oils in the proper way.
Essential oils can be extracted from the plant by a variety of methods, including solvent extraction, carbon dioxide extraction and steam distillation. Steam distillation is one of the most common, and has several advantages over the other methods.
However, distillation is as much a science as it is an art, and subtle differences in distillation equipment and processing conditions can translate into huge differences in essential oil quality. Factors to consider include:
- The temperature during distillation: The fragile aromatic molecules of an essential oil are easily destroyed or altered by high temperatures; and so, the distillation process must use low-temperature methods. High temperatures seem to cause a harshness in the oil. Even the oil's pH and the electropositive and electronegative balance are greatly affected.
- The pressure during distillation: The fragile aromatic molecules of an essential oil are also easily destroyed or altered by high pressure during distillation, causing a harshness in the oil, as well as affecting the essential oil's pH, and electropositive and electronegative balance.
- The length of time taken for distillation: For lavender, the time required for distillation is about an hour and a half. On the other hand, cypress requires 24 hours of distillation to extract all of its active ingredients. If distillation is shortened by only two hours, 18 to 20 of the essential oil's chemical constituents will be missing.
- The chemical composition of the cooking pots: Essential oils should be kept away from contact with chemically reactive metals, such as copper or aluminum. A CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oil should be distilled in a food-grade stainless-steel cooking chamber.
- The size of each batch: Essential oils should be distilled in small batches. At dōTERRA®, lavender is distilled in batches yielding about one pound of essential oil.
→ Test the Oils at Independent Labs
Even with the proper growing, harvesting, and production methods, the oils must still be tested. Having the oils tested at independent laboratories to verify the true composition of the oils is the best way to certify the oils as CPTG®.
dōTERRA®'s oils all undergo 6 tests at various independent labs to verify the composition and quality of the oils. Any oil batch that doesn't meet the stringent requirements are rejected by dōTERRA®.
This has led to the designation of CPTG® or certified-pure-therapeutic-grade oils which is the highest standard of quality that an essential oil can receive. At this time only dōTERRA® oils carry the CPTG® designation.
Truly CPTG®,certified-pure-therapeutic-grade essential oils are a very rare commodity
When you come to understand the properties that make up a truly great essential oil, it quickly becomes clear that the production of these oils should be more than just a commercial venture. It requires far too much from the producer in terms of expertise, time and expense to make any sense in purely economic terms.
It's far cheaper to take short-cuts than to do it right.
But dōTERRA® wasn't founded primarily as a commercial venture; it's founders have the heart of a doctor. They want a way to guarantee the availability of quality essential oils for everyone. And so, you can trust dōTERRA® to only market essential oils of the very highest quality: those that are truly CPTG®, certified-pure-therapeutic-grade.