ESSENTIAL OILS 101
WHAT IS AN ESSENTIAL OIL?
So here you are, wondering …”what in the heck is an essential oil?’ Well, let me enlighten you, hahaha. I had no idea either. I always thought that an essential oil was something that was only used to make things smell good. I had no idea that there was actually such a thing as a therapeutic essential oil until my friend Avery introduced me to them to help my children sleep. Little did I know that I could also use them to help me with fevers and so many other things for kids under 2.
Essential oils have been around since the beginning of time because essential oils are made from plants. The oil is the life blood of the plant. It’s what gives plants their aroma and their ability to fight diseases, heal themselves, repair damaged tissue, rid themselves of toxic substances, and thrive. Have you ever broken a plant stem and observed a liquid substance coming out of the stem? This is the essential oil. Through cold pressed and steam distilled methods, the medicinal qualities of the oil can be captured. Some of those medicinal benefits can be, antiviral, anti-fungal, analgesic, antispasmodic, anti-parasitic, anti-tumoral, antidepressant, among others per the Essential Oils Desk Reference, 6th edition.
WHAT MAKES YOUNG LIVING DIFFERENT FROM OTHER BRANDS?
Honestly, I trusted my friend who had done many years of research before using the oils on her family. I then began my own research to find out that Young Living is different because they actually let you go to their farms, and that just plain cool! I also feel safe knowing that Young Living owns their own farms and can monitor how the seeds are planted, grown and harvested. There is an open door policy to anyone who wants to visist these farms or the distilaries. Young Living puts the oils through a very strict testing process to make sure they are 100% pure and they only keep 28% of what they harvest to use in their bottles. The rest is used as natural pesticides on the farms.
Here is what Young Living says about their process.
The process Young Living uses when planting, cultivating, harvesting, and distilling a batch of oil is crucial to retaining its vital compounds. Without the exact blend of naturally-occurring plant chemicals, an essential oil can lose its beneficial properties and fail to produce the desired effect.
Young Living Therapeutic Grade (YLTG) means that every essential oil Young Living distills or sources has the optimal naturally-occurring blend of constituents to maximize the desired effect. Young Living is able to make this assertion because of our strict cultivation process—illustrated by the Four Ps—that guarantees the optimal potency of every Young Living essential oil.
An oil’s potency can be affected not only by selecting the proper plant to cultivate, but also by where the plant is grown, the quality of soil in which the seed is planted, and even the time of day it’s harvested.
Young Living has extensive experience selecting the correct species of plant for desired oil potency, planting under optimal conditions, using ideal soil and natural methods to encourage growth, and knowing the precise time to harvest each crop. Only those plants that produce the most active and widest array of therapeutic compounds are selected.
Once the optimal soil, plant, cultivation, and harvesting conditions have been adhered to, the plants must be distilled properly in order to meet Young Living Therapeutic Grade standards. Young Living uses a gentle, proprietary technique for steam-extracting the most potent essential oils, which remains unmatched throughout the essential oils industry.
To meet Young Living Therapeutic Grade distillation standards proper temperature must be maintained throughout the distillation process, and pressure, length of time, equipment, and batch size are strictly monitored.
Young Living Therapeutic Grade standards prohibit the acceptance of any diluted, cut or adulterated oils. Every product Young Living produces—essential oils, oil blends, nutritional supplements, or personal care—meets strict purity standards.
Every batch of essential oils is subjected to rigorous, state-of-the-art analysis at the Young Living chemistry lab. Using some of the most advanced equipment in the world, our scientists subject every batch of essential oils to Gas Chromatograph and Mass Spectrometer testing, and heavy metals analysis. Oils that exhibit even the slightest hint of possible adulteration or tampering are rejected.
The culmination of the preceding three stages, Potency means that the naturally occurring compounds contained in each essential oil product are of the highest and most consistent bioactive levels. Without strict adherence to the Young Living Therapeutic Grade standard in the Plant, Preparation, and Purity phases, the final product would not have the necessary potency to create the desired effect.
Very long story short. I have read a pretty good bit of information about the different companies out there. I have read review after review, article after article. I came to the conclusion that I feel VERY confident that I am getting the best quality of oil from Young Living. There may be others out there just as good, but I have personally used these oils and I am pleased with the results I get. If my mind ever changes on that I can assure you that you will be the first to know.
I have mentioned this in another post, but I will mention it here as well. I HAVE read some of the negative claims about the company founder on some sites that spews negativity about a LOT of people who go the “natural” route or promote the “natural” route. I have also read articles from the founder himself answering every claim ever made against him. I can only go by what I know. I know that I have used these oils and they TOTALLY WORK for us. That’s enough in my book.