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What is a GC/MS Test?

What is a GC/MS Test?

Purity is something many of us strive for in our daily lives. We read labels, scrub away excess and remove negativity. The difference in Edens Garden's essential oils is that from the very source, each drop is 100% pure and undiluted. To ensure this, our team closely examines each oil's chemistry through a detailed and important GC/MS test.

What’s a GC/MS Test?

GC/MS stands for Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometry. In simple terms, a GC/MS separates an essential oil into individual components. The oil is vaporized upon entry into the device, and the oil passes through a column assisted by a carrier gas (usually helium or hydrogen). The column itself sits within an oven; here change in heat over time is managed. Different chemical compounds react at different speeds within the column, and this information is captured on the Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometry.

100% Pure

How can we be sure an oil is 100% pure? If you’re reviewing GC/MS reports at home, and don’t have a background in chemistry, comparison skills are required for this portion of the analysis. Each essential oil batch we offer is GC/MS tested before it’s bottled. We review each test, checking to ensure there are no synthetic chemicals, paraffin, carriers, or other adulterants in a batch. So how can you check to see if your oil contains adulterants at home? Try comparing reports with other companies, researching individual constituents in the report or asking an aromatherapist about common adulterants found in a specific oil.

So you didn’t find any synthetics or adulterants in the oil’s GC/MS report, does this mean it‘s a quality oil? Determining the quality of an oil has been regarded as tail chasing by some. Just as medical doctors might disagree on a variety of medical issues, aromatherapists may disagree on what makes an oil “quality”. However, though there may not be an official standard for what makes an oil quality, there are general ranges in which an oil’s constituents fall that makes it therapeutic. To see if your oil’s constituents fall under this general range, try referencing essential oil databases, ISO standards, or books like Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand. We also recommend speaking with an aromatherapist.

The Chemistry Behind Therapeutics

When it comes to determining the therapeutic benefits of an oil, we also look to an oil’s GC/MS report. For example, it’s commonly known that Lavender essential oil helps with sleep. There are two ways one can know this- either by using Lavender oil and finding that it does help with sleep, or by looking at the constituents in Lavender oil and finding it contains high amounts of linalool and linalyl acetate which have been studied and shown to have sedative properties. This is another case, in which we must research constituents to find out their therapeutic properties.

Let’s look at another example, like Sweet Orange. After analyzing Sweet Orange’s GC/MS report, we find that like most citrus oils, it is very high in limonene. Upon researching limonene, we find that this constituent has been isolated and found to activate white blood cells, work as an effective anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent, amongst many other things. So, because limonene itself contains these therapeutic properties, and Sweet Orange contains upwards of 90% limonene, we can gather that Sweet Orange also may activate white blood cells, making it an immune boosting oil, and can be used as an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial agent.

Last Words

If the importance of GC/MS testing to an essential oil company is crucial, the importance of GC/MS testing to the consumer is paramount. GC/MS testing takes the guesswork out of whether an oil is pure and therapeutic. We encourage essential oils users to start analyzing reports for themselves, because the more informed we are about essential oils, the more we can benefit from one of the simplest and most unique forms of wellness that nature has to offer.

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12 Responses

Edens Garden

October 02, 2019

Hi Tania! Here is an article that explains our stance on ingestion in detail: https://www.edensgarden.com/blogs/news/is-it-safe-to-ingest-essential-oils

Tania

October 02, 2019

Can you ingest these oils?

Edens Garden

August 06, 2019

Hi Erica! GC/MS reports for all of our current batches of oil are available on each oil’s product page under “Reports.” If you purchased an oil prior to the date on the GC/MS report, then please contact our customer care team and we will gladly send you your correct reports.

Erica

August 06, 2019

How would I go about getting the GC/MS reports for the oils I purchased? Thanks!

Edens Garden

July 22, 2019

Angie, these factors can effect quality and efficacy, which is why we only source from top quality farmers and distillers around the world. This is also why GC/MS testing is important–because it allows you to assess the quality and purity of your oil.

Angie

July 22, 2019

Thank you for responding to my comment. You stated that “Natural factors can affect the aroma of an oil such as rainfall, harvest time, pH of soil, country of harvest, etc.” Would these factors affect the “effectiveness” of an oil or not? Thanks again Angie

Edens Garden

July 12, 2019

Hi Angie! Because natural products are made in nature, and not in a lab, they are bound to not have uniform aromas. Natural factors can affect the aroma of an oil such as rainfall, harvest time, pH of soil, country of harvest, etc. At Edens Garden, we do not add to or alter our oils in anyway so as to give them a uniform aroma. It should be understood that the same plant/ oil variety can smell vastly different from other oils of the same plant/ variety.

We have occasionally run out of different oils, and have even had to discontinue some due to lack of available material. However, we don’t believe that whether or not a company is able to keep a product in stock or not is concerning.

Angie

July 12, 2019

Why does the smell of a specific oil vary from company to company?I have been using Edens Garden for a few years. My sister has started using Young Living and Edens helichrysum smells differently than Young Living’s helichrysum Her representative stated that Edens helichrysum had to have something added because the scent was considerably different. She also said you have to be concerned when a company has an endless supply of oils or is never out of stock with an oil because you can only harvest so much at a time. Another concern is the part of the plant that is used… leaves, flowers, stem etc. I have also smelled Peppermint and Sweet Orange from Young Living and the scent was different than Edens. I have also ordered from Rocky Mountain but have predominantly used Edens for the past 2 years. Thanks

Edens Garden

July 03, 2019

Hi Sheri! Our single oils are 3rd party, GC/MS tested and analyzed for purity and quality.

Sheri Warner

July 03, 2019

Are your oils 3rd party tested in addition to the tests you perform?
Thank you and have a great day!

Edens Garden

April 15, 2019

Hi Rebecca! Here is an article that answers this question extensively: http://bit.ly/2DWR6fB

Rebecca Gallagher

April 15, 2019

Can you ingest these oils?