Quality is Essential
Hopewell Essential Oils insists on using only the finest quality, authentic essential oils available. We select Certified Organic, Organic (farmed with organic methods and principles but not certified), Wild Crafted (self-propagating, uncultivated, grown and harvested by hand in the wild) and ethically farmed essential oils. Hopewell Essential Oils are Gas Chronometer and Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) tested and analyzed by a third party. They are pesticide free and meet strict aroma and analytical requirements. We believe our oils are among the safest and most beneficial essential oils available.
Hopewell Essential Oils are:
- 100% authentic, unadulterated
- Premium quality
- Grown on biocide-free farms or land, in soil nourished organically (without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers and so on). We use term "unsprayed" to indicate biocide-free plant material.
- Most are grown in a region in which the plant is indigenous, with proper nutritive soil conditions
- Harvested at the proper time and carefully distilled for therapeutic value
- Sourced from known botanical species
- Identified with their Latin name and tested to meet the standard of this species
- Ethically farmed or gathered; sustainably grown and harvested
- Used and recommended by health care professionals and authors, including medical doctors, dentists, chiropractors, integrative and alternative health professionals
Authentic: Hopewell Essential Oils are "authentic," meaning they are genuine, truly what they are said to be, plant derived, grown without pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, chemical fertilizers and unadulterated (no additives, no extenders or price-reducing components).
Certified Organic: essential oils are free from biocides (herbicides, fungicides and pesticides). There are numerous farms that grow biocide-free plants, but they are not certified organic due to the high cost of certification. We avoid sourcing from farms that use biocides despite the fact that biocides are not typically present in the plant material when harvested several weeks after spraying, and even if biocides are still present, levels of biocide in a distilled essential oil are basically non-existent (perhaps a few parts per million). We use the term "unsprayed" to indicate "biocide-free" plants/essential oils.
Aroma: The aroma of Hopewell Essential Oils is consistent with academic descriptions by experts in the industry, such as Steffen Arctander, Giovanni Fenaroli and Dr. Robert Pappas. Besides appreciating the testimonies of others, we feel that the best way for a consumer to know the quality and value of any product is to experience it for themselves. At Hopewell Essential Oils, we offer sample sizes of most of our oils and blends so they can be tested before investing in larger bottles.
Quality for Internal Use? The quality of our oils is suitable for internal use within safe parameters if such use is deemed appropriate. Internal use safety should be based on quality of the oil and suitability of the oil in question. It is our feeling that essential oils are generally more effective used topically with proper dilution or inhaled. Kurt Schnaubelt Ph.D. notes that "French aromatherapy literature contains many references to using oils internally." He goes on to note that "generally 1 drop is always enough when ingesting essential oils." A potential toxicity hazard could occur when untrained people use essential oils orally and ingest too much.
First Distillation? There is only one distillation of an oil to remove it from the plant material. Once the plant material has been distilled, there is no essential oil in it, so it is never re-distilled. A few oils go through a second process called rectification, which involves fractional distillation to remove *undesirable* constituents. Peppermint is sometimes further processed with fractional vacuum distillation. This is not a second distillation, but a secondary process to remove some components felt to be undesirable (such as by the flavor industry). (HEO's Peppermint has not undergone this process.) For more information, see the Peppermint and Ylang Ylang detail pages.
Therapeutic Grade: Currently there is no regulatory standard for the descriptive use of the term "therapeutic grade," which means anyone can claim something is therapeutic grade, but since there is no quality standard for authentication, the term is essentially meaningless. Some companies have their own commercial trademarks for their standards (such as CPTG or EOBBD), but again, this is an internal standard with no oversight from an objective, regulatory agency. This registered "word mark" is not regulated by an independent, certifying body nor approved by the FDA. Companies that use these registered marks own the exclusive right to their use (however not the exclusive right to the actual words such as Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade). The seal, or word mark, is a commercial trademark registered and paid for by the company for exclusive use.
Pure: The law is ambiguous in regard to the use of the words such as "natural" and "pure" when speaking of essential oil purity. This is a case where legality and ethics differ. Therefore, it is possible for essential oils to be labeled as "100% Pure," or "100% Natural," but to be low-grade or tampered with for greater profitability at the consumer's expense. Using the word "pure" does not necessarily mean the plant material was grown or distilled following strict standards for purity and potency.
Because organic certification varies from country to country, province to province and, in the US, from state to state, it is not currently possible to acquire all oils under certified organic status. Through the meticulous GC/MS analysis process, we are able to ensure that all Hopewell Essential Oils are absolutely pure and unadulterated.
Ethical farming practice is an important factor when we consider where we source our essential oils.
As conscientious consumers ourselves, we understand the need to be sure of the quality of the products we sell. Hopewell Essential oils are genuine plant extracts and contain no fillers or non-aromatic compounds (except as noted on the website and label when a carrier oil or other product is added). We guarantee our essential oils to be 100% authentic, premium quality and free of chemicals and pesticides.
EOBBD (Essential Oils Botanically and Biochemically Defined): This test uses gas chromatography and is a standard of quality that the French Scientific Institute of Aromatherapy introduced. It is their conviction that it is important that the exact botanical name in Latin is determined for each oil, and we at HEO agree. All our oils are gas chromatography tested, and each botanical name is verified and is listed on the website and label for single oils. For our blends, the botanical name is listed on the website, but the label in many cases is too small to list the botanical name.
FTIR Scans (Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy): are performed on heavier oils. A light is shown at the material sample, and the amount of light absorbed by the chemical constituents is measured and then compared to a historical database to further assure adherence to standards.
GC/MS: Gas Chromatography and Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS) testing is used to "certify" the highest quality standards in the industry. In GC-MS testing, a mass spectrometer is attached to a gas chromatograph. The essential oil molecules that emerge are subject to high energy electrons which separate out the individual components. This allows qualified experts in the field identify the individual components by comparing it to the molecular mass spectrum of the essential oil. GC reveals the peaks of different chemical constituents of an essential oil. MS detects the constituents by separating ions by their unique mass. Exact constituents and their quantity will be listed such as 92.35% limonene or 55.15% 1,8-cineole.
ISO and AFNOR provide specifications as a guide to essential oil compositions. For example, ISO defines an essential oil as "a product made by distillation with either water or steam or by mechanical processing of citrus rinds or by dry distillation of natural materials. Following distillation, the essential oil is physically separated from the water phase." Neither ISO nor AFNOR set standards for differentiating the quality of essential oils, but rather they provide specifications for industries as a guide to essential oil compositions. This has no inference to therapeutic properties.
GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe): While there are many essential oils that possess GRAS status, this designation can in no way be indicative of therapeutic efficacy. Harris (2006) states that "individual chemicals can be recognized as GRAS, as can adulterated/synthetic essential oils." Therefore, essential oils which have GRAS status are not required to be pure, organically grown or to have even come from a plant.
Elston, M. (2009), Retrieved on May 14, 2013 from Wingedseed Blog.
Harris, B. (2001). Editorial. International Journal of Aromatherapy, 11 (4), p.181-182.
Harris, B. (2006). Editorial. International Journal of Aromatherapy, 16 (2), p.55.