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Checking the distillation dates of essential oils.

Why is it so important to check the distillation date from the manufacturer?

Is that date even listed?

Well, lesson learned. I recently was going through all my essential oils.

I have accumulated a lot from the aromatherapy certification program I had enrolled in. There was a supply list of all the oils to buy for the course, so I did!

After all, who does not want to get involved in the course and use the oils, smell the oils, make the blends, inhalers, and lotions?

All this brings me to the dating of the batches and the distillation date.

When you buy the oil, that is not the date when it expires. When it expires is the distillation date.


Some of my oils were 2 years old when I bought them!

One oil, fennel, was 3 years old!

No offense, but I have expired sweet marjoram, fennel, laurel leaf and only 4 months to use the orange oil. The orange oil is a favorite, but cleaning with fennel? Laurel leaf? Don’t think so…. ☹

Let’s look at a few examples:

  • Anise (Pimpinella anisum) With a batch number as: ANS 102. This was distilled in 9/2017. I bought it on 10/13/2019. The shelf life is 5 yrs, which means it expires in 2022.
  • Cinnamon leaf (Cinnamonum seylanicum) With a batch number as: CIL 105. This was distilled in 3/2018. I bought it in 4/2020. The shelf life is 4 yrs, which means it expires in 2022.
  • Fennel sweet (Foeniculum vulgare) With a batch number as: FEN 105. This was distilled in 7/2016. I bought it in 10/12/2019. The shelf life is 4 yrs, this oil expired in 2020.
  • Laurel leaf (Laurus nobilis) With a batch number as: LLF 111. This was distilled in 9/2017. I bought it in 7/14/2019. The shelf life is 3 yrs, this oil expired in 2020.
  • Marjoram sweet (Origanum margorana) With a batch number as: SWM 113. This was distilled in 7/2017. I bought it in 7/19/2019. The shelf life is 4 yrs, this oil has expired in July 2021.

So if you look at the chart, you will see that the distilled date is 2 to 3 years before the date I bought the oil. The total life span for my use could only be 1 year! and when you are buying oils for a course, that’s a lot of money and waste.

Image by OpenIcons from Pixabay


What if I don’t know when my oils expire? How do I tell how long they are good?

I did find out from the seller of my oils that most oils are distilled once a year–some even less. I guess that is the case and point with Anise or the fennel oil.

The list below helps judge, but beware that your distilled date could be years earlier.

1-2 years Most citrus oils; orange, lime, lemon, grapefruit.

3-4 years Conifer oils; pines, firs, spruces. Bergamot, black pepper, Citronella, cypress, eucalyptus, laurel leaf, juniper berry, geranium.

5-8 years Lavender, rose, carrot seed, helichrysum, vetiver, patchouli, sandalwood.

I hope my mistakes help someone else. I listened to a NAHA webinar from Penny Price a while back.  she said: “Your box should have no more than 30 oils, learn to use them!”

Before clicking the BUY NOW button, check the DISTILLATION DATE!

It will save you aggravation.

What I am going to do with an outdated fennel and laurel leaf oil are beyond me. I thought that I had 2 years left on these oils. In fact, I thought I had 2 or three years left to use all these oils.

I am posting this as a precaution. It is so important that we safely and sustainably use essential oils. I feel that I have wasted precious product. This year my sweet marjoram and nutmeg expired in July. The orange oil will expire in September, with only 4 months of dating.

I think the company ought to put a disclaimer on the page that has short, dated oils.

Happy Blending,

Crystal

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What oils can I use to prepare for back to school?

Is there any way essential oils can protect from germs when going back to school? Is it hype? Or fact?

What is safe for children?

Hydrosols are a safe way to go, and trauma oil with no essential oils added are great for the little ones—infants and children under 5.  If you are unsure, these are also a great starting point for school-aged children.  Hydrosols are easy to find and great for topical skin use.

This post is going to focus on oils that can help keep us safer. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Siberian Fir (Abies siberica) and how they are airborne antimicrobials. I use roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) frequently in blends for adults and children.

Roman chamomile has an apple-like scent, not in an overpowering way. I like the oil for its antispasmodic and digestive therapeutic properties. I have a blend that I use for diarrhea. Roman chamomile has analgesic actions too.

Atlas cedarwood is an oil that I substitute in place of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) a lot. It is great for the cough and cold season. I have a couple of diffuser blends with cedarwood, for when they are sick, as an inhaler for allergies, or on a shower tab for congestion relief.

Orange (Citrus sinensis) – I love orange!  Who doesn’t? Kids love it.  Orange essential oils is not phototoxic, it is safe for use with children in blends.  Orange and lemon are in the Monoterpene chemical family.

Orange oil does not have the research to back the antiviral properties as much as the major component that is in the oil does.  That is d-limonene which is at a percentage of 96% in orange oil.  D-limonene activates white blood cells which are important for protecting against illness and disease. 

White blood cells are also called leukocytes. Think of white blood cells as your immunity cells, always at war flowing through your bloodstream to fight viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders that threaten your health.

Lemon (Citrus limon)  Is another citrus that most people recognize.  The difference between orange and lemon is that lemon essential oils is photo toxic.  Which means that using the oil then going outside in the sun is going to be a problem.  Keep the dilution under 2 % dilution to be safe. 

The chemical components in lemon oil are also d-limonene at 65%, y-terpinene at 10%, and b-pinene at 11%.  As with orange, lemon has the antiviral properties due to the d-limonene.  The b-pinene also has analgesic actions and the y-terpinene.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Not in the citrus family, but the Lamiaceae family. Love the mints!  Peppermint is a monoterpenol, which is high in menthol and menthone.

Studies have shown that peppermint has antibacterial actions because of these chemical components.  Peppermint is said to also have an antiviral potential, helping to stimulate immune function.

Remember– to follow good hygiene  practices first to keep everyone healthy.

Many of you probably have favorite products with lavender.  From room sprays and diffuser blends to lotions and butters, lavender can cover a range of issues.  Lavender has so many uses and because it can be used neat or diluted it is great to carry in your bag.  From headaches and muscle aches to sore throats–dab lavender neat on a blemish, on the temple for a headache;  use a few drops of lavender in a carrier oil for a bedtime massage;  or use in a lotion base for a sore muscle blend.

Recipes for simple inhalers

An inhaler is a great way to use essential oils without any mess for grade school children.

My granddaughter loves and asks to make her own inhalers.

For boosting immunity (ages 6-12):     3 drops lavender, 3 drops sweet orange, 2 drops lemon in an inhaler.

For congestion in an inhaler:       3 drops cedarwood, 3 drops lavender, 2 drops tea tree.

For getting rid of germs:     3 drops cedarwood, 2 drops orange, 2 drops lemon and 1 drop lavender in an inhaler.

Making stock blends for any of these combinations is a timesaving way to have oils ready to use when needed.  All you have to do then is add a few drops to a diffuser when your family is sick.

Research and a few common oils can help protect everyone when returning to the classroom.

Be ready for the start of school.

Happy Blending, Crystal.

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Welcome to the new “Just essentials today” blog

“An elementary treatise” is dictionary.com’s definition of introduction; “an essay, commentary, review, composition or discussion” among many related words.

I have revamped my blog to talk about all things essential oils and herbs and incense, and so on….it is a journey.

Some of the topics I’ve covered in the past are:

     Summer and essential oils-how to stay safe in the sun.

     An introduction to carrier oils-it’s not just jojoba.

     Diabetes medication and essential oil use.

     Trauma oil and first aid.

Unfortunately, my website went away…everything. All posts, pages etc. So I get to start over. So maybe there will be a blog that you see again, I’ll get everything back sooner or later.

In the meantime, sign up for my email list to receive a newsletter about all things essential oils, herbal and what not.

Happy blending,

Crystal