Facts About Essential Oils and Allergic Reactions
We receive many questions from customers who swear they are allergic to everything and want to know if they can still use Ascents® clinical aromatherapy products. Generally speaking, the answers is a resounding, "Yes!"
The wonderful thing about most quality essential oils is that they contain no proteins. Various proteins in different substances are the only thing that can cause allergic reactions. Therefore, any essential oil that has been extracted via steam distillation -- the best way to extract most essential oils -- is therefore unable to cause an allergic reaction, even in those individuals with the most sensitive systems.
It's important to note, however, that not all oils are created equal. Producers of poor-quality essential oils often use extraction methods which are less expensive, and therefore leave trace proteins behind. Others use chemical extraction methods, such as solvents, which can very much be an irritant to sensitive skin.
Additionally, essential oils that are extracted via expression (cold pressing) often naturally leave trace proteins behind. For instance, while citrus oils can be extracted via the steam distillation method, it is nearly universally considered an inferior practice in terms of the quality of the oil and aroma produced. Therefore, most citrus oils are extracted via expression. However, as it relates to essential oils when utilized in inhalation therapy, the very small quantities of proteins remaining in cold-pressed oils are quite unlikely to produce allergic reactions, even in those who are sensitive to such substances. For example, only 1 in 10 million individuals are likely to experience an allergic reaction to grapefruit citrus oil (an ingredient in Ascents® Curb No. 23, which is used for healthy weight management).
Ascents® makes an extraordinary effort to ensure the oils that we use are ethically sourced from growers using sustainable practices, and distillers who use nothing more than pressure or steam to extract the oils. Every oil is subjected to rigorous purity testing -- including both MS (mass spectometry) and GC (gas chromatography) tests -- ensuring our products are consistent and free of adulterants, pesticides or chemicals.
Many suppliers do not use these purity tests regularly, and some don't use then all. They are extremely important, as they identify the individual compounds that comprise each oil, while verifying there are no contaminants present. The tests also check for the elements that should make up each individual oil to be sure they are at normal levels, and therefore potent enough for clinical, therapeutic use.