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The University of Mississippi

dōTERRA, Pharmacy School Sign Five-Year Partnership to Advance Essential Oil Research

Posted on: March 2nd, 2022 by wltarpy

March 2, 2022

A researcher wears blue gloves as they use a droplet to extract and place oil in glass jars.

Photo courtesy of dōTERRA


PLEASANT GROVE, Utah and OXFORD, Miss. – dōTERRA and the University of Mississippi National Center for Natural Products Research, based within the UM School of Pharmacy, have agreed to a five-year research partnership that will focus on establishing quality standards for the essential oil industry.

As part of the partnership, NCNPR will study the chemometrics, pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and metabolomics of essential oils. Officials from both the company and the university anticipate that the research will result in multiple peer-reviewed, published studies that will serve the broader essential oils and scientific communities.

“Natural products are inconsistent in potency due to normal variation that exists in nature, but that doesn’t give our industry a pass on delivering to the marketplace pure, consistent and potent products,” said Dr. Russell Osguthorpe, chief medical officer of dōTERRA. “We need to pursue scientific understanding of essential oils so we can validate their impact on health and wellness.

“Over the past four years, the relationship between NCNPR and dōTERRA has strengthened because of our mutual commitment to ensuring the safety, efficacy and quality of natural products. Together, we can help to create higher standards that will allow the world to see the true benefits of dōTERRA essential oils.”

The work aligns with the natural products center’s mission to research, develop and commercialize potentially useful natural products, said Ikhlas Khan, NCNPR director.

Ikhlas Khan

Ikhlas Khan

“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with dōTERRA on this important research,” Khan said. “The growth in essential oils and the results of recent research substantiate the need for higher standards in the industry, so we appreciate dōTERRA’s willingness to invest in the validation process, putting quality and safety first.”

NCNPR is an internationally renowned research center and has been named a Federal Drug Administration Center of Excellence for its research of botanical dietary supplements and training of FDA manufacturing field inspectors since 2008.

Earlier this year, scientists at NCNPR published a dōTERRA-backed study, “A novel approach for lavender essential oil authentication and quality assessment,” in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis. The study presents new standards and methods to assess lavender essential oil quality and detect adulteration.

Of the dozens of lavender samples analyzed in the study, two-thirds were found to be highly adulterated and of poor quality, meaning they were mislabeled, had fillers and additives, and/or contained compounds that were of synthetic origin.

“NCNPR’s team of biochemists, chemists, pharmacists and other scientists are expertly qualified and equipped to develop the scientific framework that will define what a quality essential oil looks like,” Osguthorpe said. “They have already done it with our lavender, so there really isn’t a better, more trusted place in the world for this type of research to be conducted.”

The partnership will deliver benefits for the university’s overall research enterprise, said Donna Strum, UM pharmacy dean and executive director of the Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

“It is vital that we have valuable industry partners such as dōTERRA to help drive innovation and advance scientific discovery,” Strum said. “With NCNPR’s leading experts and resources, collaborating with dōTERRA will enhance our shared mission of prioritizing natural products safety and efficacy.”

Review the full study published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis.

The university strives to be a resource and partner for industry. To learn more about the university’s industry engagement initiative, contact Hughes Miller at or 662-915-2885, or visit


About dōTERRA

dōTERRA® International is an integrative health and wellness company and the world leader in the Global Aromatherapy and Essential Oils market. dōTERRA sources, tests, manufactures and distributes CPTG Certified Pure Tested Grade® essential oils and essential oil products to over nine million dōTERRA Wellness Advocates and customers. Through industry leading responsible sourcing practices, dōTERRA maintains the highest levels of quality, purity and sustainability in partnership with local growers around the world through Cō-Impact Sourcing®. The dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation®, a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, offers resources and tools to global sourcing communities and charitable organizations for self-reliance, healthcare, education, sanitation, and the fight against human trafficking. Through the life-enhancing benefits of essential oils, dōTERRA is changing the world one drop, one person, one community at a time. To learn more, visit


About the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy

Founded in 1908, the University of Mississippi School of Pharmacy is rated among the nation’s top pharmacy schools. Through its education, research and service missions, this school aims to improve the health of its state citizens as well as the nation and the world. The school’s Research Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences houses five research centers, including the internationally recognized National Center for Natural Products Research. RIPS was established to discover and disseminate knowledge of natural drug products, develop and commercialize new products, improve public health and stimulate the economy.