What's The Difference Between Organic And Non-Organic Essential Oils?- AAA

by Bella Martinez April 05, 2022

All Spice essential oils next to woven basket and beads

On average, organic foods are 47% more expensive than non-organic, making trips to the grocery store a battle between your wallet and your heart. More and more consumers want to be sure their food, cosmetics and essential oils are pesticide-free, but does buying products that aren't certified organic mean surrendering yourself and your family to pesticides? Let's look at the facts.

Organic Essential Oils Vs. Non-Organic Essential Oils

There are two sides to the organic debate. You either prefer certified organic essential oil because they are free of pesticides, or you prefer non-organic essential oils because they’re less expensive and contain little to no pesticides. Each side holds its own set of values as to why they are for or against going organic.

Organic Pesticides

Going organic means ensuring your products are free of pesticides, which may cause health risks. Or does it? The American College of Healthcare Sciences has found that essential oils may still contain toxic pesticides, fungicides and insecticides even if they are certified organic.[1] 

In many cases, organic farms still use pesticides that originate from natural sources and are approved by USDA Certified Organic Standards.[2] Despite their natural nature, these pesticides may pose health risks.[3] 

Essential oil chemist, Brett Harris, prefers non-organic essential oils for this reason "with the occasional exception where you are sure no pesticides were used." He also notes that the cost of organic oils is simply too high.

Certified Organic

In the aromatherapy industry, pesticide-free essential oils that are not certified organic are prevalent. According to Essential Oil University chemist Tanner Wortham, organic farming resources which are needed to meet organic standards are not always readily available in third-world countries where many essential oils are sourced. 

Furthermore, while many farmers living in third-world countries choose to farm without the use of pesticides, their products may not be considered organic because of costs associated with organic certification. 

Pesticides in Essential Oil Distillation

"Another factor that comes into play during the distillation process is the solubility of the pesticide that is being used," says Wortham. Pesticides found in plant material may be oil-soluble or water-soluble. 

During essential oil distillation, oil-soluble pesticides will become homogenized with the essential oil, whereas the water-soluble pesticides will become homogenized with the hydrosol, which gets separated from the oil. 

Depending on the volatility of the pesticide, the pesticides may evaporate from the essential oil as well. This is especially true if the crops were sprayed long before harvest.

A Case For Non-Organic Oils

Aromatherapist Robert Tisserand states that there may be no difference between organic and non-organic essential oils due to the insignificant amount of pesticides typically found in non-organic essential oils.[4] 

At Edens Garden, we are not biased towards either side. We appreciate that consumers are holding the natural industry to a higher standard, while at the same time we have found that non-organic essential oils aren’t always riddled with pesticides. Through various forms of testing and analysis from essential oil chemists and our own in-house aromatherapists, along with rigorous vetting of farms and distillers we partner with, we’ve been able to offer the very best quality essential oils without the organic production price tag. 

In fact, each of our pure essential oils and essential oil blends are free of harmful chemicals, fertilizer, synthetic pesticides, adulterants and fillers – the way nature intended.  

With that in mind, we hope this information helps you to come to your own informed decision.


  1. Behind The Scenes: Sourcing High-Quality Essential Oils. https://achs.edu/blog/2020/11/17/sourcing-quality-essential-oils/
  2. Mythbusting 101: Organic Farming > Conventional Agriculture. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/science-sushi/httpblogsscientificamericancomscience-sushi20110718mythbusting-101-organic-farming-conventional-agriculture/
  3. Rotenone Use in Organic Farming. https://hygeia-analytics.com/2017/01/04/rotenone-use-in-organic-farming/
  4. Clearing Up Essential Oil Concerns: Q&A With Robert Tisserand. https://web.archive.org/web/20171109102821/http://wegotreal.com/essential-oil-concerns-robert-tisserand/

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Edens Garden

April 11, 2022 at 9:33 am

Hi Rubina! Yes, you can find out how to use essential oils on your skin here: https://www.edensgarden.com/blogs/news/aaa-how-do-i-apply-essential-oils-to-my-skin


April 11, 2022 at 9:28 am

Can aromatherapy oil be applied to the skin and is it beneficial?


April 7, 2022 at 10:11 am

Deegi, I think many would agree that while rotenone is no longer used in organic farming, it’s concerning that it was used prevalently up until a few years ago. I for one purchased a lot of organic products before 2018. Let me know your thoughts on this!


April 7, 2022 at 9:49 am

Sources cited are over 5 years old and may no longer be current. For example, as of 2018, rotenone is no longer allowed in organic farming.

I hope thtat next time, the authors will verify that basis and references are still current.

Christine Asplin

April 6, 2022 at 11:15 am

Thank you for this article, it was very informative.
And Love the essential oils🥰


April 6, 2022 at 11:15 am

Thank you all for your diligence and helpful information. Your company and its individuals are greatly appreciated. Keep up the good work!