A Word from Dr. David Hill Concerning AFNOR/ISO

Setting the record straight on essential oil standards

Dr David Hill from doTERRAFrom time to time, as I travel in the field, I am sometimes asked if dōTERRA‘s essential oils meet AFNOR or ISO standards for therapeutic-grade essential oils.  In an effort to clarify any confusion on this matter, I have prepared the following information.

Just what is AFNOR?

AFNOR or the Association Française de Normalisation is a French national organization and member body of the ISO or International Organization for Standardization.  The ISO is an international standard-setting body that promulgates worldwide industrial and commercial standards.  Although the ISO is a non-governmental organization, it often works with government organizations and industry leaders to set standards that sometimes become law.

Although AFNOR and the ISO have monograph standards for certain plant extracts in different industries, they do not have standards for grades of essential oils, particularly “therapeutic grade” essential oils.  In fact, there are no current regulatory standards for the use of the descriptor “therapeutic grade” in the industry, and anyone can use the term to describe their essential oils, regardless of their purity or potency.

Bottle of Basil oil with beaker and sprig of basil

Our Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® (CPTG®) quality standard is more rigorous, yet very different in nature and function than the ISO monographs for aromatic extracts.  This statement, however, should not be interpreted that AFNOR or the ISO has a standard for “therapeutic grade” essential oils, or that any essential oil product has AFNOR or ISO certification or approval.  They do not certify brands, nor do they grade essential oils as therapeutic, grade-A, premium, etc.  The ISO monographs for essential oils are not comparable, nor serve the same quality control function, as the dōTERRA CPTG® standard.

Why we need a CPTG® standard

The absence of regulatory standards regarding the use of the terms “essential oil” and “therapeutic grade” are the very reason for developing a higher standard of quality control we have branded CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®.  Although there are good essential oils available to consumers, many products claiming to be essential oils often are not pure aromatic extracts, and often contain fillers and non-aromatic compounds.  The dōTERRA® name and CPTG® represent our guarantee of 100% pure essential oil extracts and accurate product labeling.

Part of our mission at dōTERRA® is to be a leader and educator in the essential oil industry.  We look forward to working with other responsible industry leaders and standard setting bodies to establish high standards for products labeled as pure essential oils.  In the mean time, the dōTERRA® name and CPTG® will continue to reflect our unyielding effort to provide you with the safest, purest, and most potent essential oil products available to consumers today.


Dr. David Hill
Chief Medical Officer
dōTERRA Inernational, LLC