GC/MS testing, or Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry, is a precise method to determine exactly what makes up a specific substance. GC/MS testing is considered the "Gold Standard" for testing the quality, purity, and safety of essential oils. It is extremely accurate and is a measure that helps us make sure the oils we are using in our products are effective and sourced from an ethical and high quality retailer.
At HPF, we ONLY use essential oils that are GC/MS tested. We do this for the following reasons:
Safety. Accurate botanical identification is crucial for safety reasons. Unfortunately, some manufacturers of essential oils take shortcuts to save money. They fill their oils with adulterants that look and may smell similar to the product they are marketing, but are not even from the same plant. This is a MAJOR safety concern. "Honest Essential Oils" (website available below) provides a great example of this dangerous practice. "[...] there are several different essential oils produced from plants named chamomile. But only two of these oils are genuine chamomile. There are oils that contain a blue colored hydrocarbon called azulene which lends them a color similar to that of chamomile. Occasionally they are sold under the name of chamomile, but they are actually distilled from a relative of wormwood, namely Artemisia arborescens. While the oil of German chamomile and Roman chamomile are safe, oils from the mugwort family, which are occasionally sold as chamomile, are toxic due to the presence of thujone, which can lead to damage of the central nervous system, epileptic seizures, or liver damage".
Therapeutic Purposes. Simply put, we want our products to be therapeutically effective. Different parts of a plant make different essential oils and have different therapeutic properties. GC/MS testing can determine what part of the plant was used to craft a particular oil and ensure that it is labelled and being used correctly, ensuring efficacy.
GC/MS testing is critical to make sure that the aromatherapy products we are making are safe and fulfill the therapeutic purpose intended. For more information, check out https://www.aromatics.com/ to view their oils. A GC/MS report is available for every single essential oil available for purchase. This is a key indicator of a high-quality essential oil retailer.