Health & Harmony
Massage & Wellness Center
Deep tissue in Lansing, Deep tissue in East Lansing, Aromatherapy in Lansing, Aromatherapy in East Lansing
How does Harmony Naturals stack up to other essential oils? Read below!
Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Price and Quality. We are frequently asked questions as to how/why our prices our so much lower than Young Living or doTERRA's and how does our quality compare. We are going to answer both questions for you and, we are going to be frank about it. Young Living and doTERRA sell top quality oils and we do not intend to disparage their products or offend anyone whom may be a distributor but, in order to answer these questions, it is necessary to provide both honest information and comparison.
Q. Why are your prices so much lower than Young Living or doTERRA?
A. First and foremost, we started this business so that we could provide practical, chemical-free natural products that an average consumer can afford to use in everyday life. Creating top-quality, versatile and affordable products is a driving principle of Harmony Naturals. We buy in bulk from a trustworthy, top-quality wholesalers. We primarily buy from New Directions Aromatics and occasionally from Bulk Apothecary and/or Plant Therapy. We rebottle the single note (unblended) essential oils for resale exactly as they come to us and, we create our essential oil blends personally from the same oils and then bottle them ourselves. We hand-make all the natural products we sell! We determine the retail cost by our total cost to produce the item and the amount of time taken to produce the item. In addition to producing our own products, we also sell our products ourselves, via Kim’s massage therapy/chiropractic office in Lansing, Michigan, farmer’s markets in central Michigan (directly from Lindsay and Kim) and our Harmony Naturals’ online store (which we build and maintain ourselves). There literally are no middlemen in our operation which saves our customers a lot of money!
Regarding the large price difference between our essential oils and Young Living or doTERRA’s – we don’t know how they price their essentials oils but, we suspect that a large factor in pricing difference is business structure. Both Young Living and doTERRA are multi-level marketing (MLM) companies (MLM is a system of direct sales through a hierarchy of individual distributors, where sellers get a cut of the profits from sales by other distributors they have recruited). This increases cost because, in addition to the actual company making a profit on their goods, the hierarchal network of distributors all make commission on each sale. Additionally, Young Living and doTERRA offer some essential oils that are “ingestible” (more on this below); this adds a substantial amount of cost (due to liability insurance) to their products. See our apples-to-apples price comparison below.
Q. Are your essential oils therapeutic-grade?
A. Harmony Naturals uses only 100% pure essential oils in our products. We do not use “therapeutic grade” essential oils because there is no such thing as a “therapeutic-grade” essential oil! This comes as a shock to many essential oil aficionados but surprisingly, in the world of essential oils, there is no accreditation process. There are some certifications such as: ISO 9001:2008, Kosher Certified, QAI, USDA Organic and Certified Vegan, which speak to some aspect of the business practices and/or essential oil quality but, essential oils are not evaluated by the FDA (or any other governing or accrediting agency) that regulates, grades or certifies essential oil quality. Therefore, there is not a standard by which the oils can be measured; any claims stating that essential oils are “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” or “100% pure therapeutic-grade” are merely marketing descriptors – there is no real meaning behind them. A statement of “100% pure essential oil” is really the only truthful claim a company can make! Our essential oils’ veracity can be independently investigated by visiting the website of our main supplier, New Directions Aromatics. The following information is readily available for each and every essential oil we sell or use in a product: MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet), C of A (Certificate of Analysis), GC/MS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry Analysis) and Quality & Regulatory Info.
Q. Why don't you use organic essential oils?
A. Our main supplier, New Directions Aromatics, always does their best to source all their products from organic growers and distillers, leaving their products free from pesticides or chemical fertilizers. No pesticides, synthetic chemicals, herbicides, gmos, harmful chemicals or fertilizers are ever used during any stage of the growing or distillation process. All of Harmony Naturals' essential oils are unadulterated, meaning no additives of any kind (such as bases, carriers and parafins) have been added (the exception being exoctic oils which are diluted in jojoba oil). NDA's 55,000 square feet facility is also equipped with a laboratory using state-of-the-art gas chromatography to rigorously test the veracity of the purity and potency of their sourced oils. This ensures that their customers are supplied with superior products at all times. NDA meticulously tests, documents and provides certifications for every product in our portfolio. MSDS, Specifications and Certificate of Analysis are all available on the New Directions Aromatics website.
All that being said, we don't usually use organic oils because it dramatically increases the cost of the oil with only a negligible (if any) difference in quality. All essential oils come from plant material; many of the plants used for essential oils are already natural deterrents for insects and pests or simply are not affected by them (like trees). As stated above, synthetic, chemical-laden pesticides, fertilizers, etc. are not used during any stage of the growing or distillation process (which is what "organics" seek to avoid). Additionally, the plant material for essential oils is grown all over the world -- many countries simply do not have a certification process for organics even if the essential oil would meet organic standards. When it comes to essentials oils, organics do not necessarily provide any additional purity or safety and therefore, it is in the opinion of Harmony Naturals, that they are just not worth the extra money.
Q. Can I ingest your essential oils?
A. Absolutely NOT! All the research we have done at Harmony Naturals indicates that this is not a wise practice. The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists do not support the indiscriminate or uneducated internal use of essential oils unless used under close supervision by an appropriately trained and licensed healthcare practitioner. From herbalist Lee Tea via HealDove.com, “As the potent, concentrated extract from literally POUNDS of plant material, essential oils are not a food. They are solvent in nature and can rip the finish off your wood flooring, dissolve adhesives and eat right through a plastic cup - even just one drop. It's not something you want to put in your body or through the sensitive organs of your digestive tract. If you want the medicinal benefits of nature's plants, make an herbal tea.” Essential oils are extremely concentrated. If you ingest them, there is a possibility that they could mix with your current medications or aggravate a current medical state or condition – this could accidentally create a toxic situation! If you are still insistent on ingesting essential oils, please consult a licensed aromatherapist, not a sales rep!
On almost all bottles of 100% pure essential oil, you will see one the following warnings printed on it: “not for internal consumption”, “not for ingestion” or, “for external use only”. Almost all 100% pure essential oils on the market ARE NOT labeled as safe for ingestion; this is often “spun” by the MLM companies as being representative of a lower quality essential oil rather than the company does not believe in essential oil ingestion or didn't want to purchase the high price tag insurance required to remove the warning (essential oils must carry these warnings unless the manufacturer is willing to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on insurance and training programs/literature to protect themselves from liability if someone has adverse reaction). Presumably, the high cost of liability insurance becomes a part of the “cost” to produce the essential oil. Additionally, consumers are frequently mislead that ALL Young Living and doTERRA essential oils are of such high-grade (again, “grading” simply doesn’t exist) and such a higher purity (an oil can’t be more than 100% pure) than all their competitors that their essential oils are “safe” for ingestion and all other oils are inferior because they are “not safe” for ingestion. Truth be told, all Young Living essential oils are actually labeled “for external use only” unless they are part of their even pricier Vitality (dietary) line of oils; doTERRA doesn’t have a specific line of essential oils labeled safe for ingestion, some are, some are not. Regardless, it is very controversial and debatable whether essential oils should ever be ingested.
In summary, do not confuse the “ingestability” of an oil as a sign of superiority! There is a lot of misinformation on the web, in books and by word of mouth, about the use of essential oils. ALL essential oils (regardless of brand) can be dangerous if not used with caution and care; using essential oils safely should always be a top priority.
A Price Comparison
* Lavender Population is slightly more expensive than French but, if Harmony Naturals sold Lavender Population, we would price it the same as Lavender French.
** Orange Bitter is more expensive than Sweet but, if Harmony Naturals sold Orange Bitter, we would price it the same as Orange Sweet.
You will notice on the comparison grid that both Young Living and doTERRA offer a retail and wholesale price. Because both companies are MLMs, their pricing likely includes commission for their individual distributors and “uplines”. There are no brick-and-mortar stores; sales are done online or directly person-to-person (sometimes through online “parties”). The retail price is for the regular consumer; the wholesale pricing is for the company's individual distributors and/or members (becoming an individual distributor and/or member requires an initial financial commitment and typically some sort of monthly sales or reorder requirement). This is a very different business model from what we use at Harmony Naturals. We purchase the raw materials from our wholesalers, produce our products ourselves and sell the products ourselves. This direct sales chain allows use to keep our retail prices much lower. The difference between Harmony Naturals and multi-level marketers becomes even wider when dealing with more expensive essential oils. For example, if we carried single-note Frankincense (Boswellia carterii), we would charge $24.99 for a ½ ounce bottle (we do carry a single note of Frankincense India – a different strain of the Boswellia tree that is far less expensive). Young Living charges $96.71 retail for the same exact oil (wholesale is $73.50) for which we would charge $24.99. However, please note this comparison isn’t to say that the cost of procuring essential oils is apples-to-apples. Young Living actually operates their own farms all across the world and mass produces their own essential oils. You can read about it here. DoTERRA does not produce their essential oils themselves however, they put a lot of research behind their oils. You can read about it here. Our main supplier, New Directions Aromatics, sources directly from ethical producers in all six continents. They have developed on-going relationships with leading suppliers all over the world and have negotiated high-volume contracts that allows them to pass on substantial savings onto their customers. You can read about New Directions essential oil acquisition here. Every distributor has their own method for acquisition of raw materials and essential oils and therefore, price is dependent on the cost of acquisition. Again, we can’t speak for other companies’ cost of acquisition, manufacturing costs, distribution costs, etc., we can only speak for Harmony Naturals. When dealing in essential oils, there is an erroneous belief that cost is exclusively indicative of quality. This is only true to a small degree.
When it comes to essential oils, a bigger (price) isn’t necessarily better.
Price & Quality
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912 Coolidge Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823