The difference in quality of essential oils can vary from company to company. Here are a few points to keep in mind as you start looking into essential oils.
** This post is my opinion alone after months of research prior to joining Young Living. **
One question I get asked often about essential oils is “why did you choose Young Living?” The other is “why are the Young Living oils more expensive than ones I can get at the grocery or health food store?” And this is a topic I could go on about for an hour. Because there is a HUGE difference! But I’ll try to keep it brief.
Purity of Essential Oils
A lot of people that are only semi-familiar with essential oils don’t realize that not all essential oils are created equal. The difference in quality of essential oils can vary drastically depending on the company you get them from. And there are even differences between the top essential oil companies. The majority of essential oils you’ll find at places like the grocery store or other box stores have been adulterated; meaning they aren’t 100% pure essential oils. They usually have an additive included in the bottle, so you’re not just inhaling or applying the pure essential oil to your skin. This could be harmful to your body and reduce the effectiveness of the oil. Some of the additives I’ve found companies use include carrier oils (like olive oil or another fatty oil), synthetic oils, chemical dilutants, alcohols and even just mixing less expensive oils with more expensive ones.
One easy way to tell if an oil has been adulterated is if it says “Topical use only” or “Do not ingest.” That’s a tell tale sign that what’s in the bottle is more than just essential oil.
In doing my research before I decided to start using Young Living oils, I found that most essential oil companies out there are re-bottlers. Meaning they don’t manufacture the oils they sell, they purchase them from distillers or other farmers and re-bottle them to their brand. To me that means they aren’t able to see the quality of the plant that produced the oil, or the distillation process. Now, they may have close relationships with the farmers and distillers, but still, if they aren’t manufacturing the oils themselves or growing the plants that those oils come from, they can’t 100% say without a doubt that these oils were made with the most strict standards, no pesticides were used whatsoever, and that they are 100% pure and organic.
There are many things that can impact the quality of an essential oil. I’ll just touch on the 2 biggest ones, but there are more including packaging of the oils and storage.
Plants: Were the plants grown using pesticides or other chemical fertilizers? Or were they grown naturally, on a fully sustained farm using only herbicides as fertilizers? Were they grown in their natural environment (meaning did the Frankincense come from Oman, Yemen, or Somalia, which are the 3 areas where Frankincense trees naturally grow)? How were the seeds selected? Were they hand chosen to be planted? How the plants are cared for makes a huge difference in the quality of the essential oils.
Distillation process: How were the oils distilled? In order to preserve the medicinal benefits of essential oils, the plants should be steam distilled using little or no heat. Select oils can also be cold pressed (citrus oils like lemon, orange and grapefruit are cold pressed from the rind of the fruit). This preserves the natural constituents of the oils, therefore maintaining their full strength.
When I was making my decision of what company to go with, it came down to two. What really sold me on Young Living was their Seed to Seal Guarantee and the fact that they own their own farms or partner farms. To some this may not matter, but to me that is a huge deal. They are able to control the entire process, from planting the seeds in the ground, to harvesting the plants, to distilling & testing the oils (they also use third party testing with some of the best agencies in the world), to finally bottling and storing the oils. That, in the end, was the final reason that swayed me to Young Living. Seeing their Seed to Seal process showed me that they can 100% guarantee that their oils are pure and of the best quality.
Another thing I liked was that they invite you to come to the farms! They want people to come see the distilleries, come work and plant the seeds with them! Help them weed (all their fields are hand weeded). They have a full open door policy and I love that.
When you’re searching for an essential oil company to go with, make sure you really do your research. Read as much about a company as you can to find out if they are the best fit for you and your family, and make sure what they are selling is 100% pure essential oils and not something you wouldn’t want to use on yourself or your family.
In the end, even though Young Living essential oils may be on the higher end as far as cost goes, I know with 100% certainty that they are of the highest quality. And you can’t put a price on my family’s health.