Many years ago I ran across an article at what was, at the time, one of the largest "content farms" on the internet. In the article, the author, who repped for a well-known aromatherapy company, claimed that allergic reactions to essential oils are not reactions to the volatile organics themselves but to what she called "impurities" allegedly found in lower quality volatiles.
|A lot of aromatherapy reps claim that essential oils cannot cause allergy. That is untrue.|
Of course this is utter nonsense designed to convince you that one company's essential oils are more "pure" or "therapeutic" than another. And I said exactly that in my rebuttal article.*
The claim that no "pure" essential oil can cause an allergic reaction is often accompanied by elaborate med-speak and a twisting of science, perhaps inspired by research like the 2008 Swedish study that linked natural oxidation in lavender essential oil to an increased risk for dermatitis. In this study, the "impurities" that caused reactions were not the result of tampering or bad manufacturing. They occur naturally when lavender essential oil is exposed to air.
And there are, of course, numerous documented cases of even "safe" essential oils like tea tree and lavender triggering allergic responses.
The truth is, there are good and bad essential oil producers, just as there are good and bad producers of any other consumer good. But, at least in this case, even the best, "purest" essential oils are perfectly capable of causing allergic reaction - no matter what a certain aromatherapy company might want you to believe.
* (That article has since been updated and included in my book, LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL.)