OIL QUALITY AND ANALYSIS SCHEME


They requested donations towards third party testing of essential oils.

They provide no accounts of donations received. Is all the money being
collected going towards its declared aim? Who knows except the site owner!

Learning about eos gave no information on the expertise & training of the
analyst, neither was this information on the web site of pyrenessences who did
some of the work. Shipping essential oils from the USA all the way to France
for analysis is ridiculous when the US has world leaders on essential oils. I
expect it is because most in the aromatherapy world don't have a clue about
the real essential oil trade and its many experts. I would suspect some of the
oils claimed to be "not in compliance" are in fact perfectly genuine oils. Never
forget, making an essential oil fit standards such as ISO, can be achieved via
chemical manipulations of various kinds.


Some of the certificates of analysis from the 3rd party testing site point to a
French producer of essential oils who claim their oils are produced in "copper
stills". This indicates to me that their expertise in producing essential oils is
suspect because in the REAL essential oil trade it has been known for years
that the best quality oils are produced in stainless steel equipment. Copper is
a chemical catalyst and changes the oil composition from its natural state.

What prompted this article: Every few days I check the stats on my web server
to see who is adding links to my site. I discovered that Lea Harris had added a
link on her site to one of my articles on phototoxicity without asking me. On
my home page it clearly states Do NOT link to this site without asking. I have
no objection to someone trying to get some accurate information on
aromatherapy to a wider audience. However, I have a huge problem when it is
being done is such a way as to make money via ad links; sending people to
disreputable and dangerous suppers and self promotion of those with a
dubious knowledge base.
 

Response to the review of the learningabouteos.com website.

KEY:
MW-orig: Martin Watt statements from original article.
LH: in blue:Lea Harris responses to my original article.
LH: I was recently made aware of a post you recently published, inferring myself
and my website(s) are scams.

MW-reply: Your sites are not listed as scams. That is a general comment about
facebook and similar blogs which is why I took great care to separate the article into
sections.


LH: I am unsure where you got the information you posted, but I wish you had
contacted me first before posting, as your assumptions about me and my website(s)
are in error.

MW-reply: Most information was from your blogs or the many sites you link to as
well as from individuals who contacted me with more detailed information on your
activities. Especially those who tried to correct your information and were then
castigated by the blog owners for their efforts.


LH: Before I refute your statements, I want to say that I am the opposite of the
“scam marketing” websites you refer to in your “older article” referenced at the end
of the post about me and my website(s). I am all about busting those myths, and
am very irritated and distraught over the inaccurate information that is perpetuated
(mostly by MLM reps) on those kinds of websites.

MW-reply: So why do you take money from them and litter your blog with
links to some of the biggest con artists on the internet?

LH: To lump me in with those websites is totally inaccurate, as everything I have
done on my LAEO website has been to combat the dangerous information being
shared across the web.

MW-reply: As above.


LH: and to freely educate others about safe and proper usage of essential oil safety.
Everyone who has been following me and my website(s) knows this. Safe and
accurate information is a passion of mine and something I take very seriously.

MW-reply: You have clearly not been in this trade long enough to understand the
complex issues involved with safety and I strongly suspect you have just assumed
those who taught you know their subject. I know those teaching safety based on
chemical criteria are wrong and it is an issue I was constantly fighting years ago
when I was on the newsgroups. See also:
http://phytovolatilome.com/essential-oil-chemistry-functional-groups/


LH: I hope you will consider posting this rebuttal on your website.
MW-reply: Those who post your information and support you on their blogs do not
allow anyone to make critical comments and people who do are removed
These blogs are controlled by some people who are only interested in promoting
themselves, their products and services. Therefore why should I post your
response? I might if you allowed me to publish my responses here as well.


MW-orig: I wrote the article below a couple of years ago but recently I discovered
some alarming sites that masquerade as educational, but are promoting
disreputable suppliers as well as providing inaccurate information.
LH: Masquerade as educational?” Learning About EOs is ALL about education.
MW: It is not, your sites are really about linking to numerous products and
services to make money from the links.



LH: LAEO does not “promote disreputable”, or ANY, suppliers. I strive to the best of
my ability to always provide accurate information, which is why I have chosen well-
respected and award-winning mentors to learn from.

MW-reply: You have not been in the trade long enough to have the ability to
distinguish between mentors who know their subjects and those who have been
teaching junk for years. All you seem interested in are those who have created
names for themselves via clever publicity. Suggest you read my book reviews.


MW-orig: One of several linked sites is: http://www.learningabouteos.com and
nourishingtreasures.com These sites are run by a Lea Harris who has links to and
has accepted donations from Young Living and DoTerra distributors.
LH: I have accepted donations from everyone, yes, including YL and DT reps
who have donated in support of their brand. Other reps have also donated in
support of their brands, and those are listed as well.

MW: As I said in my article, that means you do not care who your readers are sent
to. That is what linking like that does; it sends people to quacks and con artists.


MW-orig: This lady is - one assumes - getting paid for all those links and does not
seem to care who she directs her readers to. Lea Harris claims she qualified in July
2013 as a Certified Aromatherapist with Advanced Graduate training from
Aromahead Institute. Therefore I question how someone so newly trained, and with
only a limited knowledge of the International trade in essential oils, or analytical
chemistry, or safety issues, can give accurate information on the numerous blogs
she has become associated with.
LH: The link to the rep sites, and other websites, were provided in exchange for
donations. When we raised funds for testing, I offered to link to anyone's website
who donated $25 or more to our testing. Although some of those links (which you
can find at the footer of our website (http://www.learningabouteos.com/ do go to
rep's websites (which I do not get paid for), there are more links to other non-
aromatherapy websites such as Traditional-Foods.com,
Smithspirations.wordpress.com crunchybetty.com and others.

MW-reply: So you admit raising funds by providing links to disreputable businesses
such as Young Living and DoTerra distributors and other sites selling quack
products.


LH: I am flattered that your informant states I appear to be in my early 20's, when
in fact I will be 35 soon.

MW-reply: Admitted error and removed from the article. That was based on the
impression one of my informants gained.


LH: As for me “claiming” I graduated, I did in fact graduate. You can see me listed
as a graduate of Aromahead Institute here: www.aromahead.com/graduates. I am
the last one on the page. You can also feel free to contact Andrea Butje. In defense
of my school, I received wonderful training. I am a fast learner, and when I am in, I
am all in. I soaked up every page of information I was taught, and passed the tests
with flying colors. As far as I know, all the information I have shared as a guest
poster on other blogs, as been accurate to the best of my knowledge, and lined up
with the training I have received. I am all about safety.

MW-reply: You have clearly not been in this trade long enough to be able to
distinguish between good training and bad. See my articles on wrong chemistry.


LH: I also frequently reference Robert Tisserand's newly-released 2nd edition of
Essential Oil Safety, which I have been devouring since September.

MW-reply: Robert is one of a handful of people in this trade that I have any respect
for. However, even he has been drawn into making guesses on safety and
therapeutic activity of essential oils based on unreliable chemistry.


MW-orig: She has links to DoTerra and Young Living distributors who maintain their
oils are all "therapeutic grade", yet on this site:
http://thehumbledhomemaker.com/2013/09/essential-oil-mistakes.html Lea says
"The fact is all essential oils are therapeutic grade". Talk about double standards
making money out of the links, while at the same time implying these companies
are liars - see my articles archive for more on the ML scammers.
LH: Again, I linked to any reps or website owners who provided a $25+ donation to
our testing. Again, I do not make any money from the donor links. I also do not
agree with much of the information released by MLM companies.

MW: How do we know you do not make money out of this testing project?


MW-orig: learningabouteos.com gives misleading information. Good examples are
to be found with the advice about what essential oils **to avoid in pregnancy**: At
least 50 percent of the essential oils mentioned are permitted food flavourings under
FDA and other authorities regulations. It is ridiculous to say "avoid all these oils"
because anyone eating processed foods can't avoid them and there is no sound
evidence that the low levels used in food are hazardous to a foetus.
For more see my articles archive aromamedical.org/articlesarchive.html. Lea's
information says "pulegone... can cause liver toxicity for the mother". This is based
on a handful of cases where huge amounts of the oil have been consumed. See my
article on pennyroyal. Of course the oils she mentions should not be consumed as
medicinal substances during pregnancy. It took me years to research and evaluate
safety data on essential oils. How someone newly qualified is able to do that is a bit
of a mystery.
LH: Better safe than sorry. I would rather avoid an essential oil that might be okay,
than encourage use and have it end up harmful. Incidentally, I am in the process of
updating this page to include essential oils that have been proven safe, although I
will not be changing the information currently provided, as I believe it to be true.

MW-reply: Lea, I have been providing safety information since the early 1990s. I
have hundreds of scientific research papers on the subject, not just abstracts from
online databases which most in this trade use. Safety has always been my
overriding position and some of those who used to be on the old newsgroups can
confirm that. What I will not tolerate is those who teach safety based on chemical
guesswork. If an essential oil is a permitted food flavouring with no restrictions
during pregnancy, then that is good enough as long as the oil is diluted for external
application. Other articles of mine explain why the leading lights in aromatherapy
screwed this up from day one and continue to teach such junk. They did not
understand the differences between herbal extracts and essential oils. ALL the
leading aromatherapy associations and most teachers continue teaching that trash
to this day.


LH: With all due respect, in this day and age, it doesn't need to take years to
research and evaluate safety data on our own when we have legends such as Robert
Tisserand just an e-mail away, and schools like Aromahead Institute (approved by
AIA and NAHA) who have teachers such as Andrea Butje, who was presented by AIA
with a Lifetime Achievement Award this year. I am a proud Aromahead Graduate
and was so happy for my teacher that she won the AIA award at the conference this
year!

MW-reply: (Approved by NAHA) Would that be the organisation whose chairperson
Jade Shutes has taken over again and is promoting the internal use of essential oils?
That is despite NAHA past policy being against internal use and the numerous
reasons why this is fraught with dangers, not the least of which is aromatherapists
being accused of "practising medicine without a license" and possible jail time in
some States? The AIA I also have little respect for as their teachers continue
teaching the same old trash referred to above. Lifetime awards in these
organisations are a member popularity award that's all.

In the case of the Aromahead Institute that Lea trained with, they are also
promoted by her for training courses, yet they sell or sold many essential oils on
which there is no sound information of therapeutic use and some of the oils have no
known safety data. For example, in the Scholars Program course, they claim to
teach "therapeutic properties and uses of over 100 essential oils". However, there
are nothing like that number of essential oils with credible therapeutic data. Many of
the properties are taken from the appallingly inaccurate aromatherapy books, or are
invented based on the chemical profile of the oils. See my other articles for more on
that.


LH: According to Robert Tisserand, who just released his second edition of Essential
Oil Safety which boasts over 400 essential oils profiles which include over 4,000
references to scientific data.

MW-reply: There are plenty of essential oils with credible therapeutic data.
There have never been 100 essential oils with credible therapeutic properties.
Numerous oils have had those properties invented based on chemical criteria; badly
assessed scientific reports where a herbal extract has been used rather than the
essential oil; lab based tests on antiviral activity not then replicated in vivo, etc. The
followers of the French aromatherapists are the worst for fabricating actions.


MW-orig: Another site Lea recommends is Queen Homeschool Supplies who sell
Double Helix Water. Just another quack product designed to fool the gullible into
parting with their cash. They sell a blend of cinnamon bark and leaf oils yet claim:
"Both produce similar results, and have similar aromas". I don't know what they are
using but these oils are totally different in composition, fragrance and uses. Such
statements indicate to me a business who know nothing about the products they
sell and are probably relying on badly trained therapists or the popular
aromatherapy novels. They also link to sandiqueenholisticwellness.com who use
DoTerra essential oils and whose distributors are notorious for making illegal
medicinal claims.
LH: Queen Homeschool Supplies provides their own line, Essential Vitality, that was
in our first round of testing for Myrrh essential oil. They were rated the best out of
5, ahead of YL and DT. As stated on all of our testing pages, the essential oil tested
reflects that oil from that batch only, and does not speak for the whole company
and/or any other products they may provide. I am sure Sandi Queen can speak for
herself regarding the statement(s) you made about her and her products.

MW-reply: Every aromatherapy supplier has to purchase many of their oils from the
same world source producers as everyone else. They buy those via middlemen some
of which are notorious for adulteration of oils. The analysis question gets back to
who did it and their experience and training.



LH: To reiterate, we do not endorse products from ANY company. "I get asked A LOT
which diffuser I recommend. I always recommend the SpaVapor! I loooove mine!
http://www.learningabouteos.com/spavapor"

MW-reply: Oh so that direct link to Amazon is not a recommendation?


MW-orig: Another site Lea promotes is: aromaticsinternational.com who sell oils
with absolutely no safety testing or credible therapeutic use data on the plants
essential oil such as: blue tansy, ghandi Root, guava leaf, linaloe berry, palo santo
and others. They sell Rosewood oil which is a threatened species and comes under
CITES regulations. Note: Since that time the FDA prosecuted Young Living for using
oil from this species. Some of their medicinal claims for oils such as bergamot are
the usual trade fabrications.
LH: I would not say that we “promote” any essential oil companies.
MW-reply: I would maintain that simply by proving links that your readers will
assume this is an endorsement.
LH: Website/Companies are listed because we tested them. This does not mean we
“promote” or endorse any of them. However, AI's tea tree did test “In compliance.”

LH: I am sure Karen Williams would tell you that they provide GC/MS testing along
with the reports for all of their oils and they do get their information from credible
and reputable sources.

MW-reply: Oh come on, everyone claims that!! I have been around too long to fall
for such statements without further investigation.


MW-orig: Numerous cookies are being dumped into your Internet cache if you skip
between the links on these sites which are nothing but spying tools for marketing
purposes.
LH: I am unsure if you are referring to my website, but we don't spy on anyone and
our website isn't about marketing.

MW-reply: I did not say you were spying, but cookies are used for that very
purpose, try reading the latest re the NSA and cookies. When I jumped from one
site to another using your links I found around 20 cookies in my cache.


MW-orig: Learning about eos is requesting donations for third party testing of
essential oils. They provide no information about accounts for donations towards
analysis. Is all the money being collected going towards its declared aim? Who
knows except the site owner!
LH: As all donors and participants know, we kept running totals of donations in our
Facebook Group, and it was updated with each donation.

MW-reply: Anyone can say anything on a blog such as facebook. Only accounts
provided by a third party accountant can be reasonably relied on.


MW-orig: Learning about eos gives no information on the expertise & training of
the analyst, neither is this information on the web site of pyrenessences who do
some of the work. Shipping essential oils from the USA all the way to France for
analysis is ridiculous when the US has world leaders on essential oils. I expect it is
because most in the aromatherapy world don't have the first clue about the REAL
essential oil trade and its many experts.
LH: Information is on the analyst's website, and described on the Peppermint
Essential Oil testing page under “Our Chemist” here:
http://www.learningabouteos.com/PMtest

MW-reply: It gives no information on this analysts training it just says "Daniel
Dantin is a world-recognized chemist". I have not seen any of his work published by
the REAL essential oil trade. I am not saying he is not an expert, I do not know for
sure, but if some information on his work is not given who knows?


LH: There are probably only two or three chemists in the US who are not already
tied to an essential oil company. We chose Pyrenessenes Labs because they are a
highly respected lab and were recommended to me by several aromatherapy
experts. We wanted the best, even if that meant sending the samples out of the
country.

MW-reply: Then clearly your course has not given you much about the numbers of
experts involve with quality controls in the real essential oil trades. People may
wonder why I keep referring to the "real" essential oils trade. That is simply because
aromatherapy is a drop in a very large bucket and many in the bulk oils trade
consider it a minor part of their business. If you want to find out more go any
horticultural University library and look for the journals of the flavour, fragrance and
horticultural trades as well as associated trades.


MW-orig: I would suspect some of the oils claimed to be "not in compliance" are in
fact perfectly genuine oils. Never forget, making an essential oil fit standards such
as ISO, can be achieved via chemical manipulations of various kinds.
LH: Yes, that has been debated. However, adding synthetic ethyl vanillin is
unacceptable.
MW-reply: Agreed.


MW-orig: The essential oil trade has some fantastic analysts with a lifetime of trade
knowledge dating back before aromatherapy was even thought about. It also has
those offering analytical services who rely on University databases. That data is
often created by using lab distillation of plant materials. The resulting oils can vary
significantly from commercial bulk distilled oils. There are other analysts who both
test and sell oils and are known to doctor what they sell. Analysts who also supply
oils are not going to tell people that an oil from one of their best customer is
adulterated.
LH: Right. This is why I wanted a chemist not tied to a brand.
MW-reply: But both people you used are associated with oil suppliers.


MW-orig: Most of these social media sites are being used to fool the public into
purchasing poor quality products and services. Home made products are also being
sold without any kind of safety assessment.The page owners get friends and
customers to constantly post messages about how wonderful the products and
services are. These can look incredibly convincing but the whole system is just
marketing and most people are sucked in by it. Only old hands in the aromatherapy
world know what these sites are like, newcomers do not have a clue that what is
being sold is quack medicine cures and lousy courses at hugely inflated prices. Also
some dangerous information is put on these sites by people with absolutely no
training in anything to do with human health and often their information is gleaned
from other web sites of dubious merit.
LH: I take issue with the libelous statements directed at me and my website(s).
LAEO is not “fooling the public into purchasing poor quality products and services.”
We don't offer products or services. We are about education. We do not offer “quack
medicine cures” or “lousy courses at hugely inflated prices.” We also do not have
“dangerous information”

MW-reply: I never said you supplied anything. I said you direct people via your
links to such people.
You even direct people to books you say you have not read.
You are most definitely NOT just about education as all these links prove.


LH: I do have training from a world-renowned school, Aromahead Institute,
approved by both NAHA and AIA.

MW-reply: There we go again making these claims such as "world renowned" If you
say it enough people believe it!!


MW-orig: Look to see if the individual running the blog gives information on what
training they have had. Check the schools web site and see what claims are being
made. Look in my articles archive and book reviews for information on common
errors which give indications on if the training provider really knows what they are
talking about, or they just parroting common trade myths.
LH- I give information on my training in several places. I am all about busting
myths.

MW-reply: Again the comments were general ones aimed at bloggers.


MW-orig: Look to see if the blogger is giving replies on major health problems. If
they are, question their training and origin of their knowledge. Do they have links to
MM businesses - just that should warn you off.
LH: We do not endorse MLM businesses, and we do provide advice in our forum.
MW-reply: Again the comments were general ones aimed at bloggers.


MW-orig: In the case of essential oils sales look for things such as expressed
bergamot & lime and/or cinnamon bark oils being sold without warnings. Look to
see what medicinal claims are being made and bear in mind most such claims are
illegal in the USA even though many still make them.
LH: Again, we do not sell any products.
MW-reply: Again the comments were general ones aimed at bloggers.


MW-orig: What prompted this update? Every few weeks I check the stats on my
web server to see who is adding links to my site. I discovered that Lea Harris had
added a link on her site to one of my articles on phototoxicity without asking me. On
my home page it clearly states “do NOT link to this site without asking”. I wonder
how many other links are on there without the owners knowing. I have no objection
to someone trying to get some accurate information on aromatherapy to a wider
audience. However, I have a huge problem when it is being done is such a way as to
make money via ad links; sending people to disreputable and dangerous suppers
and self promotion of those with a dubious knowledge base.
LH: I apologize for sending traffic to your website. I have removed the link. It was
not done to make money (I don't believe we have an arrangement where you pay
me for traffic to your website), and I didn't consider you a “disreputable and
dangerous supper.” I stumbled on your page via google, and there is nothing on that
page that states I need permission to promote it. However, I apologize, and the link
has been removed.

MW-reply: The message not to link is on my home page. I do not intend putting
that on every article on my site.


MW-orig: I apologise for getting your age wrong and that has been fixed. Every
other comment I stand by.
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Essential Chemistry for Safe Aromatherapy