What is an ethical essential oil producer?

In this day and age it is very important to know what exactly is contained within the product you are purchasing. Whether for sustenance, health or pure enjoyment there is a cost associated with using products with ingredients that are harmful for your health. The cost is wrapped up in mental anguish for falling for a illegitimate product and the physical manifestation as the body works to repair damages done.

It is important to understand the truth so we can make educated decisions on which products and companies are best for us. We need to investigate behind the scenes to know whether or not a company is taking any shortcuts at the expense of the customer.

Botanacine essential oils are truly 100% pure and organic. What does this mean?

Starting at the source – we harvest naturally grown botanicals. These botanicals include Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar. Naturally grown trees and plants uptake minerals and water from the soil, the mycorrhizal network beneath the soil making sure each tree is getting its proper nutrient regime. When a plant is grown naturally like this it takes on the essence of the region it is growing. In wine for example, the same grapes in different regions give different flavours based on the geography (and ultimately the mineral soils and groundwater network). It is for this reason our oils carry the essence of the Cowichan Valley and thus Vancouver Island.

We practice sustainable harvesting. Only taking what we need for a particular batch and with preference for leaves/branches that have fallen off naturally in the wind.

Once back at our lab we keep everything sterilized and have always used gloves – before and after covid! We use steam distillation to extract the essential oils from the botanicals. This process has two products – the pure oil and the by-product hydrosol. For perspective, a large rubbermaid bin filled with lavender will produce around 15ml of pure lavender essential oil. When we think of companies selling 15ml for next to nothing we have to wonder about the quality and if it is truly pure.

In Canada, labelling laws allow producers to call something “100% Pure Essential Oil” if it has 3% of pure essential oil within it. Ours is truly 100% pure essential oil, undiluted and no carriers – as an ethical company we saw no other way. In fact we were truly surprised to find this information.

So what makes an ethical essential oil producer? We would say it comes down to these main items;

  1. Quality of starting materials – For us this is organic & naturally grown in mineral soils. We do not run anything that has disease, mould or any sort of infestation – material is double and triple checked to be “clean” before extraction.
  2. Sustainability of harvest – We harvest with a traditional mind set. Mother nature provides us with this medicine so we must become stewards of the land to ensure the trees and plants thrive and reproduce year after year.
  3. Lab cleanliness – Our extractors have over 10 years of experience in distillation and emphasize lab cleanliness as a key to success. When a lab is kept spotless and sterilized there is no chance of mould, bacteria, or any other unseen or seen elements to influence the extraction process and ultimately the final product.
  4. Oil purity – To not dilute with carriers or other substances that “look and act” like the oil. To provide the truly pure oil to the customer.
  5. Precautions and warnings – Pure essential oils are often toxic at higher doses and can cause allergies, skin irritation, and even fatality and death if ingested. No essential oils should be used in the first trimester of pregnancy and certain ones should be avoided through the entire pregnancy and breast-feeding. It is important that companies provide the proper precautions and warnings so the consumer is fully aware of all potentially harmful side effects.

Care must be taken at each step to ensure the quality we stand by in the finished product. As you can see it is quite a process to do it right and now that you have more insight hopefully it will help in choosing the best essential oils for you in the future.

Browse Botanacine essential oils here.

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