Differentiating Quality

Differentiating different grades of Essential Oils
Before we attempt to understand the power of essential oils in the realm of personal, holistic health care, it is of utmost importance that we appreciate the necessity for obtaining the purest essential oils possible.

Alongside chemists who synthetically "copy" the constituents of a pure essential oil, many essential oil companies today label their oils "therapeutic", even though they have no experience in meeting any standard at all and buy from anonymous brokers. Young Living is the first to establish guidelines that define what a therapeutic essential oil is and to create oils that met or exceeded any known medicinal standard.

Grades of Essential Oils

Therapeutic-grade essential oils

Pure, medicinal, steam-distilled essential oils containing all desired therapeutic compounds

Natural oils (organic) and certified oils

Pass oil-standard tests but may not contain any or just a few therapeutic compounds

Extended or altered oils

Fragrance grade

Synthetic or nature-identical oils

Created in a laboratory

Synthetic oils are very common nowadays as they can be created cheaply and sold for a very low price in places like health food and drug stores or tourist shops. Besides not having any therapeutic efficacy, they may even be harmful. Take fragrance-grade lavender for instance, instead of a healing effect on newly burned skin, it may even have a harmful effect.

Extended or altered oils may have an essential oil base but are "enhanced" with certain lab-created constituents to increase volume or fragrance. Due to chemical impurities or an antagonistic balance among oil constituents, these oils may be either ineffective or even cause negative effects.

Seed to Seal
Seed to Seal is Young Living's way of authenticating our essential oils and protecting nature's living energy in every bottle. The first step of this process-Seed-means we research plant species that offer the optimal therapeutic benefits, identify species with experts and document their source, and monitor the ongoing cultivation process to ensure the chosen plant species is used.

Lavender is an excellent example of Seed authentication. Young Living has identified more than thirty-five different varieties of lavender, and so far, only one, Lavandula angustifolia, has shown the best therapeutic outcomes. Lavandula angustifolia is grown on Young Living's farms in Utah, Idaho, and France.

After the harvest on each farm, the lavender seed stock is collected and stored until the following year. Gary Young always uses the seed stock from the previous harvest instead of cloned or hybrid seed. loned and hybrid seeding techniques are used by lavender growers who aren't focused on therapeutic outcomes. Although these other seeding techniques may grow taller, faster plants and produce larger yields, Young Living's industry-leading experience and research has shown that only a balanced seed stock can deliver the expected therapeutic results.

Lavender is only one example of Young Living's expertise in seed authentication. Think about the dozens of Young Living essential oils, the variety of species, and all the places around the world where these species are grown-copaiba in the Amazon rainforest, helichrysum in the Mediterranean, vetiver in Madagascar. There are more than seventy single oil species Young Living offers as products! Gary and other Young Living experts have visited each partner grower to verify in person the species being used. Even after our experts leave a partner grower, incoming batches are tested to validate the chosen species.

When Young Living researchers discover a largely unknown plant species, we look to the knowledge and expertise of botany experts. Young Living collaborates with academic and professional botanists around the globe to document the species at the plant source. Recently, Gary Young teamed with professionals in the Middle East to document the origin and benefits of multiple frankincense species. Only by going to the source can Young Living confidently share the therapeutic benefits of the plant compounds with all our members.