Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
by Sarah Eliason NSP (Nature's Sunshine Products) Health Sciences department

Some marketers of essential oils have created terminology referring to the quality of essential oils. The term "therapeutic grade" was created for oils that meet these criteria:

• Oil comes from the first distillations of the raw plant material.
• Nothing is added to the oil after distillation.
• No chemical solvents are added to the water during the distillation process.

Our steam distilled essential oils meet these criteria. Because of special methods used to obtain certain oils, some essential oils would not meet the above criteria. Citrus essential oils are not steam distilled, but are cold pressed. Because of the nature of citrus oils, it is important not to use heat or steam in the production of these oils. Another exception is Jasmine Absolute. A solvent is needed to extract the important constituents from jasmine flowers.

When applicable, our essential oils are certified to meet Biologic/Eco-Cert standards. Eco-Cert is an international organization that inspects and certifies products to verify that they conform to European organic regulations and national and international norms. Essential oils that are Biologic/Eco-Cert Organic certified are those with “BIO” after the oil name.

Nature's Sunshine uses only the highest quality, pure essential oils. NSP analyzes its complete line of essential oils to ensure that each oil measures up to our strict quality standards. Using Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry, the Quality Assurance Department tests every lot of oil we receive to make sure it meets our high-quality standards and is 100 percent pure. We also test for the proper components. By verifying that proper chemical components are present, we can assure that our essential oils demonstrate the desired properties. Just because an oil is pure doesn't mean it's good enough for NSP. Plant quality and growing conditions also affect quality, so we get our oils only from reputable growers and distillers.