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What's In Your Bottle?

Do you know what is in that bottle of essential oil you are buying? And I'm not talking about synthetic substances. Maybe in the future I will write something about that, but it seems as thought it's been done to death. Is your bottle of oil Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia, Lavendula stoechas) or Spike Lavender (Lavendula latifolia)? Why is that important to you?

EVERY essential oil you buy needs to have a common and Latin name on the bottle. Why you ask? So you know exactly what you are getting. It is very important.

Many plant families have the same common name. Latin or botanical names differentiate an oil in the same family from one another. Let's use orange as an example. Orange could be many different oils.

  • Orange (Citrus sinensis)

  • "Orange Blossom" - Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. Amara)

  • Bitter Orange (Citrus aurantium)

Orange is not necessarily just orange. Neroli, which is "orange blossom" has the same latin name as bitter orange, except neroli comes from the subspecies called amara. Bitter orange is highly phototoxic. When applied undiluted or improperly diluted to the skin, and sunlight or artificial UV rays shine upon the application site, a severe sunburn could occur. Being that neroli is from a different subspecies, it is not phototoxic. You would't know that if the bottle wasn't labeled properly.

We could take that one step further. Many essential oil companies put the Latin, or botanical name on the bottle, but not all will tell you if it is a certain chemotype. What does chemotype mean?


A chemotype, is a plant that, when growing in different environments, produces different essential oils. Though it always has the same genus and species. Different regions, elevation, soil conditions and moisture all play a part when it comes to chemotype. Thyme is a plant that will fall into this category. Thyme, which is Thymus vulgarus has 5 major chemotypes.

All of these chemotypes address different issues better in the body. Some are gentle and can be used on anyone while others should not be used with certain medications or on certain ages. This information will tell you how to use each of the lovely oils you have properly. Without proper usage, what's the point? Essential oils are not inexpensive, some are downright costly! When using them properly we are able to receive the full benefit nature intended. Many essential oils have different chemotypes, however I have yet to see a popular brand list them on the label. See our label for basil below.

When buying your oils from now on, look for this information. If the bottle doesn't have it, don't buy from that company. The more you know, the better prepared you are to use each oil safely and effectively. You reduce the risk of harm to you and to your loved ones.

If you should have any questions, please email me at Have a wonderful and blessed day!

Love and light,


Caution: The material on this page is not meant to take the place of diagnosis and treatment by a qualified medical practitioner. Since the actual use of this product by others is beyond our control, no expressed or implied guarantee as to the effects of their use can be given nor liability taken. Use at your own discretion. Any application of the recommendations is at the user’s risk. Sweet Willow Spirit, LLC disclaims any liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of this information and assumes no responsibility for any actions taken. This should not be used in place of traditional therapies but solely as a complementary means for bringing well-being. The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. No claims are made as to any medicinal value of any oil or healing modality.

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