Why Quality Matters

Many people ask me why I chose to go with Young Living instead of the myriad of other companies out there. I used essential oils from 4 different companies before I switched to only buying Young Living oils.

Even after experiencing the significantly more powerful effects of a few samples of Young Living oils and blends, my geeky mind had to research the various companies and Young Living's claims for days before I bought a starter kit.

Young Living has been doing this for decades. The science behind their innovations and the research and development behind their products continues to blow me away.

Aside from the science, their Seed to Seal process, their standards, the miraculous stories from Young Living users I knew personally, and my own experience eventually confirmed to me that quality really does matter.

Are Essential Oils Safe?

Whether you apply them topically, inhale them, or ingest them - your essential oils are going into your body. They WILL cause some sort of reaction, whether it's noticeable or not, whether it's immediate, or long-term.

Whether that reaction is one of chemical toxicity, in the form of a rash, liver damage, or worse... OR, a response of holistic, therapeutic benefit - depends wholly on the quality of that oil.

Pollution, Dilution, Adulteration

There are multiple ways to "mess up" an essential oil. If knowing the source of your food is important, knowing the source of your highly concentrated essential oil is of utmost importance, because it is HIGHLY concentrated.   In one 15ml bottle of the following oils there are:

  • 75 lemons
  • 27 sq. feet of lavender plants
  • 1lb. of raw peppermint material

It is exceedingly expensive to grow enough plant material to produce a bottle of essential oil, and it is expensive to extract and properly store that essential oil.

But there are several ways of growing plants and extracting oils that minimize labor and time invested, and maximize profits

  • Nutrient-stripped soil
  • Chemical fertilizers used to enhance crop growth
  • Organophosphate pesticides/herbicides on crops
  • Preservatives/waxes sprayed on harvested plant material
  • Contaminated tap water used for steam distillation
  • Chemical solvents used to extract the oil quickly
  • Petroleum-based or mineral oils used as fillers to dilute the bottled essential oil

And you can be sure that most companies out there utilize these strategies - unless there is some sort of system of checks and balances in place and transparency in the process of production of the essential oils.

Visit a Young Living farm or one of their partner co-op farms, and you can view the entire process from start to finish - nothing is proprietary. They have no "dirt" to hide.

You Get What You Pay For!

For years, I used a bottle from NOW brand for $4.99, that is double the size of Young Living's large bottle.

NOW lemon oil.png

The retail profit was probably about 30-50%.  If 30ml of lemon essential oil is made from 150 lemons, can those lemons possibly be grown the right way, the "hard" way? Or were they grown cheap and easy? With pesticide-laced sprays and preservative-packed waxes? Were they cold-pressed immediately, or left in warehouses for weeks while the bruised lemons started molding?

A bag of just 10 organic lemons at Costco costs $7.99 wholesale on a good day. That's not even including the tedious process of extracting the essential oil.

Did you know that the peel of the average citrus fruit sold in the US that was conventionally grown has a toxic chemical content that exceeds the daily limit for a 44lb. child?   Yep - carcinogenic preservatives and pesticides included! And if you multiply that by 150 lemon peels, that's what's in your cheap bottle of essential oil.

Middle Men Are Expensive

Ok...let's pretend that somehow, even though it's not labeled as such, NOW's oil came from 100% USDA organic lemons. Even if this NOW brand's lemon-grower's process, and the extraction company's process ARE up to snuff, there's no way that bottle of 150 lemons, plus the grower's markup, plus the extraction company's fees, plus NOW's advertising costs, plus NOW's labeling cost, plus Natural Grocers' middle man markup could add up to a mere $4.99! Smells like some corners got cut!

In other words...even if the FDA recommend ingesting their essential oil (which they don't - they don't approve any brand but Young Living's for ingestion), you couldn't pay me to do it!  

But because of Young Living's Seed to Seal guarantee, I drink Lemon Vitality every single day. The FDA has approved these oils for supplement/dietary use. And I have complete peace of mind, because I know Young Living has gone the extra mile with non-GMO seeds, soil purity tests, chemical-free growing and oil-extraction methods - as they've been doing for decades before essential oils became a "me-too" pop-up-company-saturated mainstream trend.

But what if a company claims they only sell "100% therapeutic grade, organic oil"?

I still have the following questions in my mind when I see "100% pure" or  "therapeutic grade" or "organic" on a bottle of essential oil:

  • Was the soil stripped of all nutrients?
  • Has the soil been free of all chemical fertilizers/herbicides/pesticides for 20 years?  
  • How likely is it that the growers used GMO seeds that produce unnaturally bug-resistant, lightning-speed growing, gargantuan plants for maximum profit?
  • Were the plants themselves healthy, or were some of the crops diseased?
  • Was the water used to steam distill the plant pure and filtered?
  • Was the temperature of the steam too high, damaging the constituents of the plant?
  • Once the crops were harvested, was the plant material distilled immediately, or was it left in warehouses for weeks to grow mold before the oil was extracted?

Companies re-bottle and sell oil that may be labeled "organic", even if  it fails all the above criteria.

Sick Plants don't make "Therapeutic Grade" oils

Crappy plants make crappy oils, and crappy oils only smell like they're the real deal. If that. 

I've compared and contrasted Young Living's lavender with other lavenders,  their peppermint with other peppermints, and their ylang ylang with other ylang ylang's....I know there's a difference.

Did you know that Young Living is exceedingly careful about making sure that the plants themselves are in excellent health before harvesting them? Chemical constituents in the oil matter when we use them therapeutically,  and sickly, diseased or immature plants do not make for quality oils. If the full spectrum of chemical constituents is not there, then the full spectrum of therapeutic effects or uses or "miraculous" powers simply are not  going to be there either.

Young Living does not compromise on purity. Why? Because their goal is not profit - it's efficacy. It's our health.  It's their health. They themselves are using the oils they're producing, and they need them to continue to work miraculously.

Rejecting Inferior Harvests/Oils to the detriment of Profit

You can be sure that almost all, if not ALL of the pop-up companies of the past 5-10 years simply don't have the resources to obtain chemical-free fields that have mature crops already growing on them,  or the man power to micro-manage crops at that level without chemicals. Even if they did, would those newly-started companies then be able to reject the yield of entire fields simply because the crops had been damaged, say, from record rainfall and flooding that yielded sickly plants?

Young Living does that very thing - regularly. And best-selling blends go out of stock because Young Living simply cannot compromise the purity of the blend by using inferior plants to produce those oils.  The efficacy of the blend matters. Valor, Peace & Calming, RutaVala, White Angelica are some examples of VERY popular, miracle-working oil blends that thousands cry over when they see "Out of Stock" on the listing. But when the crop fails,  YL refuses to "pinch-hit" and obtain plant material from some vendor who has inferior standards for plant health and for toxin levels in their fields.

Testing the Plant Material

Young Living will test the plant material, and if they pass the tests, then they'll distill the oil.

On some crops whose constituent levels are very delicate,  Young Living will send chemists out every few hours prior to harvest time to ensure the maximum amount of naturally occurring chemical constituents are present.  Too ripe of a plant means the oils in the plant have diminished, so as soon as the levels plateau or dip, they will harvest right away.  It's meticulous attention to detail that guarantees the multitude of therapeutic effects of the plant oils.

Testing the Essential Oil

Next, they test the oil itself, multiple times, to see if it was distilled properly and contains the proper amounts of all the constituents. If it doesn't pass that test - they reject it.

GET THIS: The rejected vats of oil are bought by essential oil bottling companies. The bottling companies turn around and sell it to Young Living's competitors, who stick their labels on the bottles.  This is oil that did NOT pass the chemical constituents/quality/purity tests!

Alteration of Pure Oils? To each his own.

One of Young Living’s biggest competitors has a peppermint oil that smells more like candy than an herb. When questioned about why their peppermint smells so different than other peppermint essential oil,  they state that the pure form of peppermint is just too strong. So rather than leaving it up to the user to dilute it, they alter it in a proprietary way.  And thus - it smells utterly delicious! 

Which oil would you choose? Peppermint oil that smells like 1 concentrated pound of pure garden peppermint plants, or peppermint oil that smells like candy?

I know which I would choose. And that's why I made the decision I did.  And the miraculous effects of these quality oils confirm to me daily that these really, truly are the purest oils on the planet.