There are various factors that contribute to the quality of essential oils:
• The soil affects the mineral and nutrition that are available to the plant.
• The amount of sunshine impacts on the processing of nutrients from the air.
• The amount of rain affects the ability of the plant to survive and feed.
• Geographical location results in variations in growth pattern and availability of nutrients. For example, lavender is best at high altitude.
• Organic or non-organic plantations impact on the chemical composition in the plant and therefore the extracted oil.
• The quality of the extraction affects the quality. Some oils needs faster processing, others need slower. The temperature of the steam can either destroy some chemical, or enhance others.
• Storage conditions (cool, dry, dark place) will affect the quality of the therapeutic properties and the shelf life of the oil.
• Purity of oil means higher quality (as there is no messing up with the structure). On the other hand, adulteration means adding synthetic material or removing some chemicals. In aromatherapy we believe in whole oils (oils that hadn’t been adulterated), as they are true to nature.