Interview with Marra, the Founder of My Pure Earth, supplier of amazing essential oils and yoga mat sprays. Marra gives us some insights about her choice of the right farmers to bring us the best essential oils of the highest quality.
Q: How do you choose your suppliers?
A: I have a few criteria when I choose the farmers that I would like to work with. First of all certain countries have better environmental conditions for certain oils. Italy for example is great for growing citrus fruit, so many of my citrus oils are from there. They must also follow organic growing methods which means that they don’t use any chemical fertilisers or pesticides on their farm. I also only work with farmers who have a strong environmental and social policy. Many of my farmers run zero waste farms, or have strong water management policies. When dealing with farmers in areas such as Africa I also have to make sure that the farmers have strong social policies and look after their employees. Many of my farmers are small family run business’ who hire people from the surrounding community. In areas such as Africa these employees are provided with shelter and food while on the farm.
Q: How do you make sure the quality of the essential oil is right?
A: For each oil I receive a GCMS (Gas Chromatography Analysis) report. This report identifies any adulteration of the oil and tells about the oil’s purity as this is essential for potency and safety. In order for an oil to have therapeutic effects, it must be 100% pure plant extracts. Adulterated oils or perfume oils will not offer therapeutic effects and may in fact cause allergies, headaches and chemical sensitivities.
Q: How do you identify good from bad quality?
A: GCMS reports give us the visibility we need to determine the quality of an oil. This is why we post them on our website for our customers to view. Unless you are a certified aromatherapist you may not know how to read these reports. That’s fine! That’s why you choose a brand that you really trust who can read these reports and provide you with the best oils. I always tell people, the first step to finding a good essential oil company is to ask them to provide these reports. If they refuse to provide them, you should find another provider.
Q: Why is the quality of the oils so important?
A: Adulterated oils or perfume oils will not offer therapeutic effects and may in fact cause allergies, headaches and chemical sensitivities. If you are using poor quality oils for therapeutic reasons you could harm yourself. Even if you are just diffusing them in your home for a nice aroma, poor quality oils can cause horrible headaches and chemical sensitivities.
Q: What does ‘bad quality’ mean?
A: It can mean a number of things… Sometimes vendors will “extend” essential oils by mixing them with less expensive seed and nut oils. Some vendors will lie about the source of the oil (e.g. saying it is organic while it is not). Some vendors will totally fake the oil using synthetics that mirror the plant’s scent. I have seen some oils on the market which have no natural plant extract at all. The chemical and perfume industry has figured out that they can mirror the scent of many oils using cheap, synthetic chemicals. It’s really scary when they are used as 100% pure essential oils.
Q: Are My Pure Earth’s oils organic? And what does that mean?
A: The term “organic” has many different definitions these days, so it’s really important to understand and trust the source of your products. All of our oils are “Organically Grown” meaning that no chemical fertilisers or pesticides were used on the farm. Some of our oils are “Certified Organic” by the local country in which they were grown, but not all of them are. The reason is that not all countries have certifications and many of the small family run farms simply can’t afford to be certified. But they all follow the same chemical free growing methods.
Some of our oils are also “Wild Crafted” which means that they grow in the wild with no chemical or tech intervention. Our Citronella Java is a great example of this. It grows naturally in the hills and is harvested by hand to make the oil. Wild crafted oils are some of the purest, eco-friendly oils that you can buy.