The same idea holds true for essential oils. Just because two similar bottles are labeled as ‘lavender essential oil’ and both at least resemble the smell of lavender flowers, it doesn’t mean they are the same quality or even meant to be anything other than a pleasant-smelling liquid.
How are Essential Oils Categorized?
Essential oils are categorized on a grading system and there are four grades of essential oils in production today:
Synthetic or Nature-Identical Oils = created in a lab
Extended or Altered Oils = fragrance grade, for aromatic use only
Natural Oils (Organic) and Certified Oils = pass oil-standard tests — may contain few, if any, therapeutic compounds.
Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oils = pure, medicinal, most often steam distilled or cold pressed and contains all of the plant’s therapeutic properties.
Why Most Essential Oils Are Hype
Most health food stores carry some version of the first three categories listed above. This is often where people get their first experience with essential oils, but they become easily frustrated when they do not see the expected results after using them. The reason I choose Young Living Essential Oils is because they fall into the last category above – 100% Pure, Therapeutic Grade.
It is so important to KNOW your grower, to KNOW your distiller, to KNOW your supplier. Young Living only produces the BEST, which is why they are all three: grower, distiller, supplier. No other essential oil company can compete with Young Living’s Seed to Seal. In reality there is no “Battle of Brands”.
When choosing not only which essential oils to use, but what company to purchase your oils from, here are some things to consider:
- Where does the actual, original plant product come from? The quality of an essential oil is largely based on the quality of the product from which it is extracted. This goes all the way back to the seeds that are chosen, where they are planted, and then continues through the entire growing process in how they are cared for and harvested. Young Living owns seven – SEVEN! – of their own farms across the globe and carefully monitors with feet on the ground the network of partner farms they work with. This is unlike any other essential oil company in existence and shows the level of Young Living’s commitment to providing the highest quality essential oils.
- How are the oils extracted? The method of extraction greatly effects the properties of the essential oil. The steam distillation, cold pressing, and resin tapping methods of extraction maintain the precious therapeutic properties of the plants. Young Living utilizes all three of these in their private state-of-the-art facilities and they are regarded as innovators in essential oil distillation.
- Is there a quality control procedure in place? If a company is not consistently testing and evaluating the quality of their oils, there is no way to guarantee their effectiveness and safety. Young Living tests their oils both on-site at the distilleries and with third-party facilities to ensure that they are producing the highest quality essential oils possible.
- How are the oils sealed and stored? Many companies ‘enhance’ their oils with different constituents to increase the volume or fragrance before bottling. Nothing is added to Young Living’s oils – they are the purest oil form of the plants they come from. They don’t smell like desserts or chemicals, just the earthy aroma of their plant origins! 100% Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils should never go rancid or expire if sealed and stored properly. Young Living seals all of their oils in dark amber, glass bottles to protect their therapeutic properties. Every bottle is carefully labeled with the ingredients and other important information before arriving at your doorstep.
* It is important to note that Young Living does NOT sell their oils to third parties. For safety and to ensure the quality provided by Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise, do NOT purchase from Amazon, eBay or other websites. It is scary how easy it is to adulterate a bottle of essential oil and the number of dishonest people as well as the profit margins for this industry are ridiculous.
** I am often asked about essential oils being ‘FDA approved’ or ‘organic.’ FDA is an acronym for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Essential oils are neither food nor drugs. Most essential oils fall into the cosmetics category with regard to the FDA. These items typically do not require FDA approval before they can be sold. The FDA also does not define or regulate the term ‘organic’ as it applies to cosmetics, body care, or personal care products. Young Living goes above and beyond the ‘organic’ standard to ensure that their products are the highest quality possible!
The Importance of Quality
Let’s talk about Young Living Essential Oils quality and why I only trust this company when it comes to my essential oils. The oils from Young Living are 100% essential oil. Nothing added. Nothing removed. They are not laced with chemicals or synthetics that are harmful and dangerous, and they are not lab replicated. They are not cut or diluted with a carrier oil. It’s taken directly from the plant. This gives peace of mind that even a 100% organic label from another company simply cannot give me.
Additionally, Young Living is the ONLY essential oil company in the world that owns their own farms to grow their crops. Every other company has to buy their oils at some point — and yes, that includes every single other essential oil company out there. Young Living tests and maintains pure, organic, therapeutic grade from the time the seed is put into the ground to the time it is sealed into the bottle.
Therapeutic grade essential oils are rarely, if ever, sold in retails stores. They might be organic, but they distill in a way that is cheaper and faster (hence the cheaper price tag), which kills the compounds that make up the molecules; meaning the healing properties are gone. So, don’t expect healing properties from them — which then I must ask, “what’s the point!?” When oils are distilled at low temp, low pressure the healing properties are preserved, but it takes a lot of time and a lot more money to do it that way. Even essential oil companies that may claim they distill in this fashion are actually cross contaminated with other harvests, which include the use of various dangerous chemicals and synthetic compounds. Young Living is the only company that grows and distills ON SITE. They have their own distillers and guess what? We are allowed to visit their farms and check out their entire operation. What other company will allow that? The answer is none!
Over 90% of the oils that are sold as “essential” are food or fragrance grades and are NOT suitable for healing applications. Young Living oils are safe to apply topically, diffuse/inhale AND ingest… this is because they are 100% Therapeutic Grade essential oil — more than organic standards. If you see “do not ingest” on the bottle, run in the other direction because you’re basically buying it for the smell only, which I actually don’t recommend even smelling. Just like the food industry, “legally” there only has to be 10% of the actual oil in there to be considered 100% whatever essential oil it’s claiming to be. SO WHAT’S THE OTHER 90%!?!? This is one of the main reasons Young Living Essential Oils are so great — there are no fillers, no additives, no chemicals, no synthetics etc. You could travel the world visiting their farms because it’s important to Young Living that these shrubs, flowers, trees, roots, bushes, and seeds are growing and thriving in their native regions. The fact is, we truly get what we pay for with essential oils.
[To me] This topic will never be a “battle of brands” because I’ve done the research, I’ve called other companies, I’ve asked all the questions, and no one even comes close to Young Living’s transparency and quality. Young Living’s quality of essential oil is the highest available and the other brands simply cannot be compared to Young Living Essential Oils.
When we hear the phrase ‘You get what you pay for,’ we know there was a lesson learned shortly thereafter. We know there will always be a more ‘affordable’ version of a product on the market, but we need to understand the reason these products are priced that way. When it comes to the essential oils we use with our families, quality and experience is what matters most. Young Living celebrated their 20th anniversary last year and their products reflect the principals and rich heritage that the company was built upon!