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Are dōTERRA Essential Oils Organic?

No, they’re better.

Don’t get us wrong, this post is not intended to be a CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® vs. certified organic debate. Certified organic is good. We support organic practices from any organization that seeks to produce quality products, but the certified organic standard is not the only standard of quality.

plantsdōTERRA‘s quality standard for essential oils, CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® , exceeds industry standards. Because organic certification varies from country to country, province to province, and in the US, from state to state, it is not currently possible to acquire all oils under certified organic status. However, through the GC/MS analysis process, we are able to determine if any chemical residue exists in the essential oil, such as pesticides, herbicides, extenders, and solvents. With this rigorous analysis process, we are able to ensure that all CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils offered by dōTERRA are a step above organic.

quote 1CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® essential oils mean something very different. It means we protect the chemical compound of the plant just as it was produced from the earth. We don’t need to improve upon that. If we have the care, the scientific knowledge, the commitment and the integrity, we can preserve that.” -Dr. David K. Hill, D.C., dōTERRA’s Chief Medical Officer.

lavenWe source our essential oils from a number of growers and distillers from around the world. Each location has its own specific laws and rules governing agriculture and collecting wild crafted botanicals. We look for plant materials that are grown in specific environments, but we cannot say that our oils are all “organic” as that requires specific certification that we simply cannot produce for some of our oils.

Our CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® testing standard requires that our oil extracts be both free of other foreign materials, which is one of the main reasons for people seeking organic botanicals, and it tests for certain compounds at certain levels so that our oils meet the performance criteria for each lot of oil. If an oil fails the test, specifically pesticides, there is no secondary process for removing the pesticides or foreign matter. The oils failing the test would simply be rejected. Other than the careful distillation of the oils from the plant material, there is no other processing that takes place. They are aromatic extracts, nothing added, and nothing removedthey either meet our standard or they don’t.

plant 2We partner with experts that have a lot of experience in this field, and their long history is part of the art of producing such beautiful oils. They are farmers, collectors, and chemists, but they are committed to distilling essential oils as artisans; and we believe are mindful of their environments and are committed to sustainable practices. Our network is vast and our suppliers’ methods are diverse. If we were to learn of any actions of a supplier causing harm to either the environment or to the local people of their community, we would certainly seek other and more appropriate sources. Our long-term hope is as we grow the demand for essential oils, we can help develop clean industry for local economies around the production of plants and extracts. Steam distillation is a very clean process. No solvents are used in the process, the left over plant material can make good compost, and the water waste stream is clean but for a hint of beautiful-smelling aromatics.

Click here to learn more about Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade standards and testing.


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  1. THANK YOU!!!! I’ve been asked so many times in the past month about why we are not “organic” like other companies that sell essential oils claim! Even though I’ve tried to explain that the CPTG ensures no pesticides and purity, this article will really help me provide something concrete that they can come and read!

  2. I “<3 My doTERRA Essential Oils, now I have to buy double because my husband "<3 them Now!! Any How!!!

  3. Thank you for this explanation, it makes it so easy for me to share it rather then try to explain it myself. Love the blog, and love the new information that is always being updated here! Thank you!

  4. This is a phenomenal post, very clear and will be a great tool to use here. Thank you so much for this valuable information. We are so grateful for the purity of doTERRA’s essential oils. Thank you!

  5. Does doTerra use any form of palm oil in their products?

    Palm oil plantations (aka monocultures) are detrimental to Orangutan habitat and populations.

    The single greatest threat facing Orangutans today is the rapidly expanding palm oil trade. Rainforests are being cleared at the rate of 300 football fields per hour to make way for oil palm plantations.

    The increased demand for palm oil, which is grown only in tropical environments, is fuelling destruction of the rainforest habitat of Sumatran and Bornean Orangutans, pushing those endangered species even closer to extinction.

    stimates show that if something isn’t done soon to stop the spread of oil palm plantations into the forests, Orangutans will be extinct within 10-20 years.

    How can I find out more or who to contact at doTerra about my concerns?

  6. I am glad you clarified because we have asked this question when we called in and one of your reps said your oils were in fact Organic so you might want to clarify that with your team. We were very specific when we questioned and did not leave a lot of room for error so there may be some confusion with your customer service team.

  7. Exactly Mary! Has anyone contacted you or answered your questions re:Palm Oil? I see now that DoTerra uses palm oil in their On Guard, and Peppermint, beadlets. I would like to mine their stance on this issue. Thank you in advance that is able to provide insight.

  8. One of the reasons I choose certified organic products is so I know the use of “chemical” fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides in the growing process of a product as as minimal as is required. Not finding these “chemicals” in a final product does not necessarily indicate that they weren’t used while the plant was growing, up until a certain point before harvest so that they won’t be found in the end product. The way this article is worded, I still don’t feel like I have a definitive answer. What some people believe is bad for the environment and what actually IS bad for the environment aren’t always in line. I love doTERRA products, I use them daily and share them freely but this is one area where I feel like the answer sounds too vague.

  9. Hi, I’m also interested in the follow up response on Mary’s comment / question about Palm Oil. Where does doTERRA source it’s Palm Oil from? I have a customer that raises this very valid question and also has concerns about the debilitation of the Orang-utan’s natural environment. I would love to see a response.

  10. dōTERRA uses only sustainable palm oil. Though there has been some negative press about some palm oil farms, that does not mean all palm farms are using bad practices.

  11. Hi. I am about to make a decision as to whether to become a member & make a significant buy with doTerra and have someone bring me a Kit over from the US in a few days time.
    I love everything about doTerra that I have read and felt so far, especially the whole CPTG seal etc. What is holding me back is however that even after reading this article I still have questions about this issue. My question was well worded by Sara Gullifort-Gosnell in her post above of Feb. 26th when she says: “Not finding these “chemicals” in a final product does not necessarily indicate that they weren’t used while the plant was growing, up until a certain point before harvest so that they won’t be found in the end product. The way this article is worded, I still don’t feel like I have a definitive answer”. Could doTerra please explain to me if this is accurate, i.e. that non-organic practices, using ‘chemicals’ may have been used in the plants up unto a certain point and yet don’t affect the final harvest and product – so they won’t be found in the final product? A clear answer to this would really help me, and probably others. Thank you!

  12. This article is vague. I haven’t used DoTerra because I prefer organic sources certified by an independent company. DoTerra is certified by the same company standing to gain from these claims. Also if the psalm oil is from a sustainable source, there would be more transparency. All ‘essential oils’ work the same. I love how Doterra is educating and making essential oils more available yet wish they were more transparent and specific about their information.

  13. God information…. Not all oils are organic, but they are CPTG. Can you mention which oils actually are organic – some must meet the preset standards also (aside from meeting your standards). Thanks!

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