The Ananda Apothecary may be a slightly lesser-known name and strangely hard to pronounce. However, it’s a company of true essential oils people where you can buy almost any type and variety of essential oil you can imagine. Most importantly, they offer wild crafted essential oils, which are oils made from wild harvested plant materials and not plants grown on farms. You can also purchase organic oils certified by both the USDA and Ecocert ICO, and specially aged essential oils.
What’s the Best Thing about Ananda Apothecary?
- Ananda Apothecary seem to be made up of true essential oils people. Their stock includes CO2 essential oils, which I never even heard of before learning about this brand (more info on this below).
- A currently quite trendy claim to fame are Ananada’s specially formulated CBD products, which include synergizing essential oils and CO2 extracts.
- The Ananda Apothecary offers a quite comprehensive educational section titled Aroma Science, written predominantly by a PhD Chemist staff writer.
- You are able to buy wildcrafted essential oils from The Ananda Apothecary. Those are oils made from plants harvested in their very own natural environment and not produced on farms.
- Ananda has a proprietary process to chemically age essential oils as they have found some oils are better aged (like a good wine).
A Brief Company History
The Ananda Apothecary was founded in 2004 by Environmental Scientist Eric Cech, who unfortunately passed away in Spring of 2018. Since the inception of The Ananda Apothecary, it was Eric’s personal mission, through his company, to get the absolute best essential oil of any variety into the hands of customers at prices they can afford. Mr. Cech’s immediate family is very clear of Eric’s vision for The Ananda Apothecary and continues to run the company in his ways.
This essential oil brand is headquartered in Boulder, Colorado in the United States.
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The Ananda Apothecary Quality Assurance
Ananda purchases their essential oils directly from artisan farmers and distillers who work in smaller batches and harvests to produce the very finest essential oils. Working directly from seed to sale allows the company to choose working with people that bring both passion and heart to the process.
The Ananda Apothecary then distributes essential oils directly to the customer, without retail middle-men involved.
What are CO2 Extracted Oils?
The most traditional way to extract essential oils is by way of steam or hydro distillation, or cold pressing. There are also essential oil absolutes, and CO2 extracted oils. A bit of education is required to find your way through those types of oils, but it can go a long way for the aromatherapy enthusiast and aid in proper (or even better) essential oil selection for the exact purpose intended.
CO2 extracted essential oils are distilled at low temperatures, in contrast to steam distillation which uses high temperatures. Lower temperatures guarantee that the plant materials is not altered in any way, just like in cold pressing. The oil produced will be very exact with respect to the original source plant. That said, CO2 extraction is only extraordinarily beneficial for some essential oils, such as Myrrh or Frankincense. Patchouli essential oil for example benefits more from steam distillation, as its aroma tends to become more agreeable rather than through CO2 extraction.
I’m in no way an expert on CO2 extraction, so my advice to you is that if you’re considering CO2 extracted oils, you best bet is to talk to your local Certified Aromatherapist or continue reading up on it on the Ananda Apothecary’s Aroma Science section.
The Ananda Apothecary uses standard GC/MS testing procedures to ensure every oil sample from a distiller is 100% pure. As part of their team, Ananda has a PhD chemist on staff who writes quite a bit about the actual chemistry of essential oils for purity and testing standards.
The next step of the Ananda quality control theory is this: the best essential oil for any application is one that is verified 100% pure and genuine, and smells the best. In this way, consumers use their own senses to choose their very best medicine. Bottom line is that essential oils chosen directly by someone, will PROBABLY have the greatest therapeutic value, and VERY LIKELY be the ones you use the most.
Are These Oils Therapeutic Grade?
There is no agency that oversees the quality of essential oils in the United States, so there is no specific standard that qualifies as therapeutic grade. At The Ananda Apothecary, the mission is to “maximize the potential for therapeutic efficacy by increasing the presence of chemical compounds that have been shown to have benefits to the body”¹.
Ananada Apothecary Product Line-Up
The product line-up at Ananada boast an amazingly wide range of essential oils. I lastly counted 139 essential oils, absolutes and CO2 Extracts in total. It’s also nice to see that one can order some oils by specific countries of origin, for example Helichrysum from the Balkans, Corsica or France. Such transparency is greatly appreciated by the true aromatherapists among us who value the source plant’s native location, climate settings and plant properties that definitely differ from one local ecology to the next.
Certified Organic and Wildcrafted Essential Oils
You’ll also be able to find USDA Certified Organic and Wildcrafted essential oils from The Ananda Apothecary. Choosing organic essential oils ensures not only organic plant materials as the source of the essential oils, but also production in a organically certified facility. Wildcrafted essential oils stand for essential oils made from plants that have been respectfully harvested from their natural environment, rather than from farmed sources or soil conditions not native to the plant species.
You’ll also be able to find any pre-made blend you desire among the 75 blends offered on The Ananda Apothecary’s website shop. You can find an Immune Blend, a Yoga Blend, a Goddess Blend or a Sleep Blend. If you’re in a shopping mood, you could spend some time on this website.
If you’re into custom blending, the Ananda Apothecary website also offers a neat blend calculator where you can input the size of bottle you’re blending (i.e. 30 mL), the % strength of your desired blend (i.e. 2% or 2.5%), and the calculator spits out how many drops of essential oils you should add to your blend. https://www.anandaapothecary.com/drops-per-ml-explained. This page is also a good read if you like the math and science behind blending essential oils. It will not disappoint you in the type of in-depth information it contains! As a short preview (not a spoiler!), here is their explainer video:
The Ananda Apothecary carries a selection o 25 carrier oils, including popular choices such as Jojoba Oil or Sweet Almond Oil, but also including possibly lesser-known options such as Borage, Sunflower, or Evening Primrose. If you prefer butters, you can also purchase shea butter or cocoa butter right with your essential oils order at Ananada Apothecary.
To complete the one-stop-shop of The Ananda Apothecary, they also offer aromatherapy supplies such as blue cobalt or UV-resistant violet blending bottles from 5 mL – 200 mL in size for just a few dollars each. They offer car diffusers, essential oil carrying cases, an ultrasonic diffuser and a nebulizing diffuser (including an option to order replacement parts). Further, if you’re looking to expand your essential oils books library, you can also shop for a few select favorite book titles there.
Being able to shop for aromatherapy accessories at the same time as essential oils is a handy way to save on shipping and eliminate having to check out at multiple online stores to get everything you need delivered to you. I quite regularly run out of essential oil bottles for my blending (I give them away to my friends when I make them a blend), so I often re-order bottles when I purchase essential oils. Shopping at the Ananda Apothecary is a convenient experience for me.
Some Oils Are Better Aged
The Ananda Apothecary’s analytical chemist has created a certifiably-organic process which ages oils in a few weeks, that would otherwise take years. Helichrysum, straight from the distiller, smells somewhat horrendous. Almost like gasoline I’ve heard, so the distiller usually airs it out first. When helichrysum is ‘aged’ in the lab, it not only smells fantastic, but the GC/MS reports higher italidiones (regenerative component) and higher curumenes (anti-inflammatory component). Going back to the quality control discussion, at least in this case, it actually “proves” that the best smelling oil is the best one for you.
I personally tested Cedarwood Atlas vs. Cedarwood Atlas Aged and I agree that the aged variety has a somewhat fuller bodied aroma. The “regular” cedarwood already smells amazing, but then you open the aged bottle and are transported to a whole other level yet again.
The Ananda Apothecary customer service team can be reached directly via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at +1 (303) 440-3766 or toll-Free: +1 (888) 758-6360. Office location is in Boulder, Colorado and customer service hours are Monday – Friday, 9am – 5pm in MST time zone.
Should you need to return an item, the return shipping cost will be your responsibility (with the exception of a few diffuser products as outlined by their return policy). Oils must be unopened and not damaged, basically in good condition for re-sale.
Reading through the testimonial section on The Ananada Apothecary website, you can find plenty of accounts of super happy customers. Raving ranges from outstanding aromas to therapeutic successes, paired with professionalism, great shopping experiences, and a passionate company and customer service team. I agree with all of these reviewers. From the oils I have personally tested, I love the aromas and personality they carry. Overall, five stars out of five from me!