Monthly Archives: November 2014

MEMBER VOTE – Adding Safety Recommendations

AEOTA Members were asked – would you like to expand the website for the AEOTA and add *official* Safety Standard for those who PRACTICE – with recommendations based on Age, Health, etc. This would be modeled after the Aromatherapy Trade Council Member Safety Recommendations: as well as basic safety advice for CONSUMERS?

Setting our own Industry Standards would not conflict with our Ethics Statement in any way, but would simply be “Essential Oil Trade” recommendations for ANYONE buying, using or selling essential oils. It could also include Recommendations for voluntary product labeling, which would mirror those recommendations made by the American Herbal Products Association. [ref.]


The first draft of this information is currently under review and will be published as soon as possible! Thanks to the Members of the AEOTA for their participation in making this new trade association all that it can be!


PLEASE NOTE: voting will end Sunday, November 30th at midnight EST.

FAQ – Product Labeling

Q. What can I put on my essential oil and/or aromatherapy product label?

A. Legally these products are cosmetics, so they need to be labeled according to FDA regulations for cosmetics.


Now the Essential Oil industry does encourage certain information for essential oil labels, but none of this is legally required. One resource is the American Herbal Products Association whose standards offer the following guidance “Trade Requirement & Guidance Policy for Labeling of Undiluted Essential Oils Used Topically and Offered for Retail Sale


Marketing Terms – Guest Post, Martin Watt

In the middle 1990’s, the new trade organisations in the UK, the EOTA and Aromatherapy Trade Council (ATC), organised two meetings with an adviser to the Medicines Control Agency. The MCA had started to flex their muscles over medicinal claims which were banned way back in 1969, but which many aromatherapy outlets were ignoring. At this meeting, participants were given a list of terms that it was agreed we could use in trade literature relating to essential oils. It was made clear at that meeting that no words could be used which related to the physical medicinal uses of essential oils, unless the condition referred to was classified as a ‘normal life event’ such as morning sickness, birth, menstruation, menopause, etc. Many members of the Aromatherapy organisations attended that meeting. Most of them have more or less complied with these guidelines.

Permitted words:


Additional terms:


Relating to colds and catarrh: IDEAL DURING COLDS SEASON

This was a list of some of the permitted terms allowed in the UK in the past, but may not be the same in the USA.

Martin Watt


FOOTNOTE: One of the benefits of Membership in the AEOTA, will be guidance documents, verified by the FDA, regarding acceptable cosmetic marketing terms for essential oils. You have questions, we will have answers…

How Can a Candle be a Drug?

Q. What if an essential oil is just *sold* for diffusing, like scenting a room, and not for topical use or for internal use. Do the rules for making medical claims still apply? What if that essential oil is used to scent a candle, can therapeutic claims really make a candle a drug?

A. Yes. The reason is, the aroma-chemicals which enter the air, are being introduced into the body by the process of inhaling. So even a candle can be a drug if a medical claim is made about it. Perfumes with medical claims would be a drug, too. And of course, a room fragrance with therapeutic claims would be considered a drug as well.


If no medical claims are made, then the intended use determines what governmental agency regulates the product; so the perfume would be a cosmetic, and the candle or the *room fragrance* essential oil would be a household product, regulated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Essential Oil Use in Professional Settings

Does the practice of using essential oils medically violate FDA regulations?

No. This was confirmed to me today with the following email reply:

States regulate how essential oils and aromatherapy products are used in professional settings - not the FDA.

So an AEOTA Member who accepts the Ethics Statement and agrees to follow FDA regulations, would not be in violation of FDA regulations (or the AEOTA Ethics Statement) if they used essential oils “off label” for medicinal purposes as part of their profession. The FDA regulations concern manufacturing, packaging, labeling and storage. Members do however, have to follow State Laws which regulate any licensing or CAM practices. Learn more about Aromatherapy and the Law.