Archive for November, 2007

AFNOR Standard for Essential Oils

The term, “Therapeutic Grade,” is defined in some Young Living
literature as well as two of my books, A Statistical Validation of
Raindrop and The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple. In both of
these instances, the definition given was edited and approved by
Young Living so we are all on the same page. The term, Therapeutic
Grade, is actually a Gary Young/YLEO term, originated and defined by
them to distinguish oils used for perfumes and flavorings from those
of a higher quality. There is no government or otherwise official
definition of the term, Therapeutic Grade, other than what Gary and
YLEO has set and which I use in my writings. As for “Grade A,” YLEO
uses the term because other companies do, but it has not been
defined, to my knowledge, by YLEO or any else with regard to
essential oils. YLEO prefers the term “Therapeutic Grade,” which has
been well defined.
> Some other schools of aromatherapy have criticized Gary and YLEO
for using the term, saying “There is no such thing as therapeutic
grade” or “This term has not been adopted or defined by any
authorities agency,” etc. The fact is, when YLEO uses the term, they
have defined it very well and the fact is that the majority of other
brands of oil do not measure up, which is why they don’t like the
> The actually definition is a whole paragraph which addresses the
planting and growing conditions, the harvesting conditions, the
distillation and extraction conditions, the packaging conditions, as
well as the final chemistry. All AFNOR deals with is the final
chemistry irrespective of the origin or the manner of extraction. A
perfume grade oil raised with chemicals and pesticides, extracted
with petrochemical solvents, manipulated with added ingredients or
ones removed can fit the AFNOR profile, which only addresses the main
compounds required to be in an oil to fit the AFNOR standard. AFNOR
standards usually consider no more than 5 or 6 compounds and their
required proportions, with no consideration of the hundreds of other
constituents necessary to compose a therapeutic grade oil.
> There is also some confusion as to what AFNOR stands for. It is a
French agency called the Association Francaise de Normalization,
which regulates hundreds of French products, not just oils. The
or International Standards Organization headquartered in
Switzerland, has adopted AFNOR as its standard for oils. ISO sets
standards for seat belts, and thousands of other consumer items

> David Stewart


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