We’ve all heard about synthetic or “nature-identical oils” that were created in the lab compared, altered oils which have been modified for fragrance purposes. However, even if they are true or pure essential oils they are not necessarily equal. Some companies simply rebottle the oil and slap a label on it. Young Living owns their own farms and have partner farms with YL staff onsite – so they know exactly where their oils come from. Most locations have a distillery right on site, but all of them have a lab.
Young Living plants are grown on virgin land, land that is uncontaminated by chemical fertilizers, pesticides, fungicides, or herbicides. Minerals and enzymes are used to nourish the plants. When it's harvest time, they send teams into the fields every 2 hour and micro-distill-- to see if the oil is at its peak. If not, they wait 2 hours and do it again, sometimes for weeks until it's at its best quality. They put their oils through an 8 point test-- and if it fails in one area, the crop is sold. Young Living approaches distillation as a form of art.
One of my favorite Young Living lessons is that on Idaho Balsam Fir.
It took Gary almost a decade to figure out the best way to distill this tree. At first, taking a tree and distilling in spring, he discovered there were few available compounds beneficial to using the essential oil. Then, the summer...even fewer. Fall harvest, a few more compounds. A winter harvest, in several feet of snow in negative degree temperatures yielded an essential oil with hundreds of scientifically identifiable compounds known to be beneficial to the human body. Why? Well, when Gary and scientists at Young Living began researching, they discovered something, which when you know, makes perfect sense, but really you never thought about it. Idaho Balsam Fir is a conifer tree. It must survive the harshest, coldest, most extreme conditions through the winter. You see, the essential oils are in the tree. In the summer, the essential oils are buried, way down deep in the soil, through hundreds of feet of roots. To get to them in the summer, you would need to dig up all of the roots of this tree. But something very special happens in the winter. The essential oils come up from the roots and flood into every branch, every needle...every fiber of this tree, to help it sustain and thrive despite the conditions - which would kill most other trees. So in order to get to the essential oils, this is the time you must harvest the tree.
Is it fun being out in-20 degree weather, in the snow, hauling out trees with horses from a very thick forest? Nope. But Gary saw it had to be done and so we do it. He, along with members and staff from all over the world head to Idaho and freeze their tushes off so we can have the essential oil at its best. Then came the distillation process. Most companies distill at super high temperatures for an hour or two, then purify and bottle. Time is money. Their sole goal is to get the oil in the bottle. Not Gary. He tested the Balsam Fir distillation for an hour, two, four, --up to twenty plus hours...to see where the best distill time is measured for this tree. Could Gary have distilled and bottled spring, summer, or fall? Yes. He could. But he isn't looking to just fill the bottle. Other companies do this, but I'm sure you are noticing...Young Living is not like other companies.
Another example is cypress which requires a minimum of 24 hours of distillation, if cut by only 2 hours, 18-20 constituents will be missing from the resulting oil. Most commercial cypress oil is distilled for only 2 hours and 15 minutes!!! This short distillation time allows the producer to cut costs and produces a cheaper oil. So even if it is pure essential oil, it contains little or no therapeutic value.
Commercially produced lavender is often made up of flowers and stems, it is only distilled for 15 to 20 minutes at 155 lbs of pressure with a steam temperature. This essential oil is cheap to make, easily marketed but again it contains little or no therapeutic benefits. Young Living lavender is distilled from the flower tops only, with zero pressure for a minimum of a 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Young Living decided long ago not to cater to the whims of commercialism.
They choose to LIVE the life and show the world first-hand what it really means to grow a farm with better than organic practices and a quality seldom seen in today's world of mediocrity.
The world lost an incredible man last night, a man who was more interested in the healing properties of the oils than making a quick buck. Thank you for everything that you have done for me, I wish I could have had the chance to thank you in person. You touched the lives of so many.
In loving memory of Young Living founder D. Gary Young, father of the modern-day essential oil movement.