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September 14, 2016 3 min read

A well-known and respected analytical chemist in the aromatherapy industry, Dr. Pappas, presented information regarding Ho Wood essential oil early this week. With his information presented, so also began the great debate about Ho Wood.

The information presented was based on information from other sources and a sample distillation using bark and trunk wood from a Ho-Sho tree that showed significant amounts of Safrole (a chemical constituent that is not desirable) as well as a significantly lower amount of Linalool.

Based on this information, it was presented that any essential oil labeled Ho Wood is rectified and should be labeled a natural isolate if it contains 98% Linalool called Linalool ex Ho Wood oil. While it is possible that the Ho Wood essential oil we offer is rectified and has 94.39% Linalool, it does not mean that it is adulterated with synthetics.

In fact, we are working on publishing an updated format  of our Ho Wood constituent analysis for you to see all of the constituents. This analysis verified purity.

When an essential oil is rectified, it is often done so to remove undesirable chemical constituents that naturally occur-like Safrole. This does not make the essential oil any less desirable, but safer. In fact, Mark Webb said this regarding rectifying an essential oil: “the removal of Safrole by vacuum distillation is a good thing” and “therapeutically you don’t need nor want to be exposed to a known carcinogen for any reason least of all because it is found in an aromatic.”

Robert Tisserand also noted why we would use the rectification process saying “Some essential oils are "rectified", which means fractionally distilled to remove unwanted constituents like mint sulfide (slightly unpleasant) in Peppermint or hydrocyanic acid (toxic) in Bitter Almond. Other oils that may be rectified include Clove and Cassia.

Some oils are rectified to increase the % of the major constituent - sometimes for fragrance, sometimes for other reasons. Ho wood oil, which comes from China, is always rectified, and the heavier fraction, which contains safrole (carcinogen) is removed. This also improves the fragrance. The end result is a substance consisting of about 98% linalool….”

Does the higher amount of Linalool mean that an essential oil like Ho Wood is adulterated or any less of an essential oil? In my humble opinion, it does not. While an essential oil like Ho Wood may have had several undesirable constituents removed during rectification, having a higher amount of a Linalool does not make an essential oil a “bad” or any less therapeutic.

While the essential oil is not as “untouched” as we would like for it to be, in this case, rectification allows for us to have a safer and more therapeutic product. This is NOT a bad thing for those of us pursuing a high quality and therapeutic product.

There is currently a question of labeling regarding Ho Wood brought about by the chemist. Should it be labeled as natural isolate and be called Linalool ex Ho Wood Oil or should it continue to be called Ho Wood essential oil is the real question.

I know of no other companies in the industry selling it as Linalool ex Ho Wood Oil. We may change this labeling in the future, but for now, we will label our product as Ho Wood essential oil, rectified.

I hope that this has given you more understanding regarding the information that was published recently by Dr. Pappas. Thank you all so much for understanding and for your patience as we continue to evolve with you.#AlwaysKeepLearning


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