Essential Oil Frequently Asked Questions

What 'grade' are Nature's Sunshine Essential Oils?

The truth is that there is no such thing as a 'grade' of essential oil. Terms like 'Certified Therapeutic', number designations or letter grades assigned to essential oils are strictly marketing language created by the very corporations that utilize them. Which begs the question, how meaningful are these self-certifications? Not very. There is no independent, third party body that evaluates essential oils and assigns them a rating or a 'grade'. At Nature's Sunshine, we focus on the authenticity of our oils by providing transparency through the complete product lifecycle. In order to consistently meet phony man-made standards which these 'certified' oils necessitate, many manufacturers will tamper with the oil that comes from nature. Tweaking an oil's natural phytochemical profile with adulterants, synthetics or lower grades of plant species is commonplace. That's why Nature's Sunshine's SureSource™ guarantee is so important. It provides tangible proof that the oil that leaves the distillery matches the oil delivered to your doorstep and that no funny business happens in between. Other companies with 'certified', made-up grades simply cannot match the validity of our SureSource guarantee.

See all of our Authentic Oils | SureSource Guarantee | Oil Resources

What is the difference between Certified Organic, Organically-grown and Wild-harvested oils?

  • Organic Oils: Certified Organic oils are officially recognized by the National Organic Program, the same level of certification used for USDA Organic labeling. This means that oils are produced sustainably, without the use of synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers.

  • Organically Grown Oils: NSP scours the globe to find the highest quality plant sources. Hence, our oils often come from small, family-owned farms in developing regions as remote as Tunisia or Madagascar. While these farms follow organic cultivation practices, they simply cannot meet the high costs of Organic certification. We list oils that come from these farms as 'organically grown'. Botanical supply experts inspect sites to ensure that organic practices are in place and, as with all of our oils, third party and in-house GC/MS testing verifies the materials are pure and free of contaminants like chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or other adulterants.

  • Wild-Harvested Oils: Wild-harvested oils come from plants growing as they are found in nature. Untamed, free and natural, these plants are watered by the rain and nourished by the soil and sun. They are untouched by the hands of man until harvest time.

Is Nature's Sunshine Carrier Oil Organic?

Nature's Sunshine offers select oil singles in certified organic, organically grown and wild-harvested options and notes these oils on the label. Though our Carrier Oil is not organic, as with all of Nature's Sunshine Essential Oils, third party and in-house GC/MS testing verifies our materials are pure and free of contaminants like chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers or other adulterants. We feel that a carrier oil is best served by the versatility and synergistic effects of a well-rounded blend which is why we include sunflower, safflower, grape seed and olive oil in our Carrier blend. We consciously chose to offer a carrier oil that is versatile and effective while also being cost-conscious. Nature's Sunshine also offers a more premium massage oil which contains sweet almond, apricot kernel, hazelnut, vitamin E and borage oil.

Do you offer a fractionated Coconut oil carrier oil or massage oil?

We choose not to offer fractionated oils in any of our oil singles or oil blends. The process of fractionation may remove naturally-occurring essential fatty acids, vitamins, antioxidants and minerals that are present in all-natural, unadulterated oils. Nature's Sunshine promises to deliver only authentic oils, the way that nature intended. Our Carrier Oil blend is a silky smooth blend of oils that goes on light and absorbs easily. Because it is naturally unscented, our Carrier Oil is the perfect medium to help the aroma of our essential oils shine through.

Why did you discontinue your previous oil blends like Guardian, Deep Relief, and Breathe Free?

With the launch of our new line of Authentic Essential Oils we saw the opportunity to improve and diversify our blend offerings with new, innovative combinations of oils that are aromatically pleasing. We feel that our new blends go above and beyond the already excellent blends Nature's Sunshine has offered while still meeting key niches within the Essential Oils marketplace. We strive to be the one-stop-shop for our customer's Essential Oil needs.

The good news is that our new blends essentially fill any spaces left by the discontinued blends. Below is a list of old blends with their new blend equivalent. These are based on intended purpose of the oil, not necessarily the ingredients of the blend itself.

Essential Oil Blend Equivalents

Old New
Breathe Free Breathe Deep
Guardian Essential Shield or Breathe Deep
Cellu-Tone Inspire
Deep Relief Recover

Did you change the Tei-Fu® blend formula?

No! Tei Fu is the same formula you have come to know and love. It will continue to be offered in the smaller, .17fl. oz. bottle in the traditional red box as well as in a 15ml size with the new Authentic Essential Oil label.

What is the shelf life of Nature's Sunshine Essential Oils?

Our essential oils can be expected to maintain full aroma for two years when stored under ideal conditions. We recommend storing Essential Oils in a cool, dark place. Oils will last even longer when refrigerated, but refrigeration is not necessary.

Do any of Nature's Sunshine Essential Oils have child proof caps?

Yes, our RECOVER blend features a childproof cap. This blend has a high amount of Wintergreen oil which can be toxic if ingested, especially by children. RECOVER is the only blend or single we feel warrants a child proof cap.

Are there any cautions I should be aware of before using Nature's Sunshine Essential Oils?

Natures' Sunshine provides safe instructions for topical use on every bottle and cautionary statements for skin sensitivity or photosensitivity when warranted. Oils that can cause skin sensitivity include Oregano, Lemongrass, Cinnamon leaf, Clove and Peppermint. These oils should be used sparingly in topical applications and should always be diluted with carrier or massage oil. Avoid sensitive areas. Oils that can cause photosensitivity include Lemon, Pink Grapefruit and Bergamot. One should avoid sun exposure after using these oils topically.

Why are Nature's Sunshine Essential Oils not labeled for internal use?

Safety and Quality go hand in hand. From raw material sourcing to formulation and production and the multiple layers of testing in between, Natures' Sunshine ensures that we are creating high quality products of unmatched potency, consistency and purity. Our Authentic Essential oils are no exception, backed by the strict criteria of our SureSource guarantee which encompasses two layers of GCMS testing; once at the distiller and once again in NSP's own labs. We ensure that all the proper phytochemical constituent peaks displayed in these tests match perfectly which verifies that no adulteration has taken place from the time the oil was distilled to the time it is received. GCMS testing shows that the oil is free from any pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, fertilizers, synthetics or any other type of contaminants.

All of our products come with recommendations for safe and proper use designed to be easily understood by the average consumer. However, Essential Oils have a slightly steeper learning curve. We know that many companies in the marketplace label their essential oils for internal use. This leads to many people who are not properly educated on the use of essential oils using them internally without any knowledge of how, when, how much or what kind of essential oil to use or for what purpose. Not to mention that some oils have possible safety concerns.

Nature's Sunshine believes that a more conservative approach is best. The safety guidelines set forth by the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) places emphasis on internal use only under the supervision of an aromatherapist with advanced training. Nature's Sunshine agrees with NAHA and supports a more cautious and carefully monitored approach with internal use of essential oils. Because not every user of our oils is expected to be an expert, we are not comfortable labeling our oils for internal use.

However, we are fully confident that an expert aromatherapist or health professional trained in the appropriate use of essential oils will find our guaranteed authentic oils to exceed the quality, safety and purity standards required for all clinical practice applications.

We are committed to providing extensive education for our customers and will continue to monitor the NAHA recommendations and will cautiously address the issue of internal use as needed.

Why is Nature's Sunshine Thyme Essential Oil no longer listed as 'Sweet'?

As part of our relaunch of the Authentic Essential Oil line, we changed the botanical source from Thymus vulgaris (chemotype linalool) to Thymus satureioides (chemotype borneol).

There are several chemotypes of Thyme which can be referred to as "sweet." These include Thyme Linalool, Thyme Geraniol, and Thyme Borneol. There is no official rule per se as to what defines "sweet" thyme. There may, in fact, be additional sweet thyme chemotypes growing around the world that we are just not yet familiar with!

Sweet Thyme varieties are usually referred to as such because they are less harsh in aroma and have a sweet note to them. This sweet note results from naturally lower in phenols (including thymol) and higher in esters content than common Thyme. They are also usually considered to be gentler because of this.

Thyme linalool has become synonymous with 'sweet' because of its heavy use in France, where it grows, and because this variety was popularized in early aromatherapy books and literature. So, to avoid confusion, we removed the label 'sweet' from our Thyme. It should be noted, however that even Thyme linalool contains Thymol at levels from 1% to 3.8%. Our Thymus satureioides contains Thymol at 1.5% to 3.5%. So you can see, from a chemical constituency perspective, our Wild Thyme is as mild as Thyme linalool.

Additionally, Thymus satureioides has a much more globally sustainable supply and is less prone to frequent outages often associated with Thymus vulgaris.

You have increased the size of most of your Essential Oils from 5ml to 15ml. How can I justify the extra cost this entails?

When compared on a per milliliter basis, most of our oils are actually more affordable. This is due to economies of scale – the same reason it's usually cheaper to buy items in bulk. Here are some examples:

Cost Per Milliliter
  Old New
Eucalyptus $1.90 $0.99
Lavender $2.45 $1.56
Lemon $2.15 $1.00
Peppermint $1.79 $1.33
Pine Needle $2.10 $1.16
Pink Grapefruit $2.35 $1.13
Rose $34.97 $31.99

Switching from 5ml to 15ml makes sense for other reasons. The standard size in the marketplace is 15ml. If you offer Essential Oils to others, now you can be much more competitive. As a user of essential oils, you benefit from larger bottles with cost savings in volume and shipping. And because you are actually saving money in the long run, you can try out new oils you haven't tried before or can experiment with your favorite oils in new and different ways that maybe you had been hesitant to try previously.

See all of our Authentic Oils | SureSource Guarantee | Oil Resources

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