DōTerra is one of the more well-known essential oils companies available on the market today. The name “dōTERRA®” comes from the Latin meaning of “Gift of the Earth”. Agreed – it is a little bit hard to spell, and many variations of the name exist: doTerra, doterra, dōTERRA, dōterra… They’re all the same and I hope to not use any one of them wrongly and offend anyone in this doTerra essential oils review article.
A brief history
The dōTERRA essential oil company was founded in the spring of 2008 by a group of 7 founding health-care and business professionals who concluded that with commitment, hard work, and the help of others with similar passion and vision, they could and would bring a new standard of therapeutic-grade essential oils to the world.
You might find it interesting that four of the founding doTERRA professionals were former Young Living employees. Of course, this didn’t exactly go over so well, and Young Living started a lawsuit – but the five-year battle between Young Living and doTERRA finally ended in 2017 in dismissal¹, where charges against doTerra were removed².
These professionals all shared personal experiences with the profound life-enhancing benefits of essential oils, so they wanted to create an essential oil product that would appeal to all people – from those knowing nothing of essential oils, to those who considered themselves experts in the field.
dōTERRA Corporate Responsibility and Ethics
As many of the dōTERRA essential oils are sourced in developing countries, dōTERRA has created their “Co-Impact Sourcing™” program, which serves to work towards improving lives and communities throughout the world. The program helps create alliances or coalitions of growers and distillers that ensure local communities receive fair and timely payments to support their families and communities. dōTERRA works with these coalitions to provide the resources, tools, and training necessary to ensure a long-lasting partnership.
Oil Quality, the doTerra “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG)”
The CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) essential oil quality standard is what dōTERRA judges and labels their essential oil quality by. It is a sophisticated certification process that strives to represent only the safest and most beneficial oils available in the world today.
However, it is important to note that dōTERRA actually “owns” this name, “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG)”, and that it’s not actually a certification given out by an independent third party. Yes, it is a very good process and list of standards, but it is still a proprietary term to dōTERRA, which leaves the question open of how much of it is marketing hype, and how much of it is actually based on caring for the natural qualities of the plants and elements going into the distillation of an essential oil.
The details of the CPTG standard are:
For an oil to be CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade the oil must be:
- Pure and natural, with aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants
- Free from fillers or artificial ingredients; no dilution of active qualities
- Free of contaminants, pesticides, or chemical residues
- Rigorously tested for standards of chemical composition
- Cross tested using mass spectrometry and gas chromatography to ensure exact purity and composition potency
- Sourced by a global network of leading essential oil chemists and growers to ensure correct species, growth in ideal environments, and that raw plant materials were carefully harvested at the right time
As you can see, it all sounds good, and I am sure it is. It’s just not independently tested, and therefore, in my opinion, holds less weight as you might initially believe it does. It’s just another doTerra house-internal way to make their oils stand out in some way in contrast to other essential oil companies and brands.
So- Are dōTERRA Essential Oils 100% Pure?
Strangely enough, doTerra never mentions the fact that their oils are “100% Pure” essential oils. They also don’t use the marketing language of “100% natural”, or “100% therapeutic grade”. No mention of the “100%” is used. They call their oils “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG)”, but as mentioned above, this is their own certification standard.
Now before you think that this is all bad and you shouldn’t buy from doTerra, let me put this in perspective: NOBODY governs the term, “100% pure”. Or “therapeutic grade”, for that matter. Essential oil companies are all self-regulated, and nobody overlooks their business activities other than lawyers and accountants, and then it’s for business’ sake and not for the sake of health and wellness. The essential oil industry is not FDA regulated.
Therefore, it’s back onto the backs of each individual essential oil company, how they carry out their quality and testing protocol. What sorts of distillers do they use? Where do they establish relationships and what kinds of quality standards to they put in place? Answering those questions for doTerra, again puts doTerra into the leadership board of essential oil companies. DoTerra cares about quality and testing, and I personally trust their staff and company to deliver an outstanding essential oil product to the marketplace.
Want to read more about oil quality and all of this confusing industry lingo? Read on here:
Are dōTERRA Oils Certified Organic?
dōTERRA‘s quality standard for essential oils, CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®, actually exceeds essential oil 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.
Where Does dōTERRA Get Their Oils From?
doTERRA sources their raw materials for essential oil products in communities across the globe. Many source countries are also developing countries, and doTERRA has made a “Co-Impact Sourcing®” promise. This promise includes establishing coalitions of growers and distillers, which in turn helps ensure local businesses receive the necessary tools, resources, and training to ensure a long-lasting relationship with doTERRA. It also includes offering fair and timely payment to source partners, so they can sustain and grow their respective families and communities.
The dōTERRA Oils Collection
The doTerra essential oil company today not only offers essential oils and proprietary oil blends, but also nutritional, spa, and healthy living products based on a well-rounded wellness philosophy.
It’s great that they don’t just have one product on the market!
Their essential oils collection to-date includes 42 single oils and 19 blends for targeted wellness applications. Most oils come in a standard variety of either a 5ml or a 15ml bottle, some products are already pre-packaged in a roll-on bottle/stick for easy application to the skin or pressure points. Make sure you check the ml details before you price-compare or shop around!
dōTERRA Essential Oil Sets
If you’re looking for a dōTERRA essential oil starter kit, have a look at this blog post here. You can start with a set of 3 oils for just around $20 on amazon, or get the whole Home Essentials package deal including an essential oil diffuser for a bit over $280.
My favourite dōTERRA essential oil kits:
doTERRA Weight Management Products and Supplements
I just thought it was an interesting note that you can also buy weight management products and other supplements from doTERRA. While I am in no way a qualified nutritionist to advise you on the use of vitamins and other health supplements, dietary supplements can support the body’s natural functions and provide essentials nutrients – and I use them daily myself.
I just found it an interesting point while reviewing doTERRA as a company and brand and it is something I would definitely say sets them apart from other companies that solely focus their efforts on essential oils – whether that’s in a good way or bad way, I’ll let you decide!
doTERRA Price Point
dōTERRA oils will be among the more expensive essential oils that you can buy. Each oil is subjected to strict standards of purity and potency as well as an array of thorough testing. A lot of scientific research and resources are put into making these oils. But before you price-compare, make sure you check the amount that is included in each bottle. Some essential oils come in 5 ml, 10 ml, or 15 ml bottles respectively! That can make a huge difference in the price point.
Essentially, oils are very costly in general, because large amounts of raw materials must make small quantities of essential oils. Since oils can have a huge effect on our wellness and overall well-being, the price might at times be worth it. And since there are lots and lots of different essential oils out there, there’s really no need to get all of them. If you get a good starter set that can help you with most of the common ailments and needs for home remedies, I think that’s a great start. You can expand your collection for more specific needs later.
doTerra Essential Oils Review Summary
Overall, I like dōTERRA essential oils. Yes, so they’ve come up with their own “therapeutic grade” certification process. At least it’s an honest standard where they don’t add chemicals (very important), and treat farmers and distillers in other countries fairly. If it’s in your budget, give dōTERRA essential oils a try!