The True Definition of Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils
by Jen Springer & Dr. David Stewart
Let’s clear up the confusion … are all essential oils the same?
After teaching essential oil classes for 10 years, I’ve concluded there are 2 types of people – those that realize genuine therapeutic essential oils are extremely rare and those that think Aura Cacia is “good quality.”
Essential oils are not created the same. In fact, if an essential oil is of poor quality it may not work or even be dangerous.
Before using any essential oils – even for air freshening or lotion – it’s important to know which ones to use so you get the results you want.
My rule of thumb is that if I can’t safely eat them, there is no way I’m putting them on my skin, home, or animals. I want them to be effective, not harmful.
I can’t define therapeutic grade better than Dr. Stewart, the repost of his article from Raindrop Messenger Vol. 9, No. 4 is below.
Anyone Can Claim Their Oils to Be “Therapeutic Grade” . . .
But Only Young Living Can Claim “Young Living Therapeutic Grade™”
The term, “Therapeutic Grade,” applied to essential oils was originally coined and defined by Gary Young and Young Living. Years ago some aromatherapists and competing companies criticized Young Living for using this term saying, “There is no such term.” They were right in that no government or regulatory agency had defined the term, but Gary and Young Living did define it. You can use any word or term you like so long as you define what you mean by it.
You will find “Therapeutic Grade” defined, not only in Young Living literature, but also in CARE Publications such as “Statistical Validation of Raindrop Technique,” “Healing Oils of the Bible,” and “The Chemistry of Essential Oils Made Simple.” Since Young Living adopted the term and defined it, after first criticizing Young Living for using it, many companies are now using it for their own oils without defining what they mean by the word, thus implying that their oils are “just as good as Young Living’s oils.” That is why Young Living has modified and Trade Marked the statement that YL oils are “Young Living Therapeutic Grade Oils™” No one but Young Living can use that phrase to describe their essential oils.
Whereas meeting standards like those of the French AFNOR (Association Francaise de Normalization) or the ISO (International Standards Organization), ISO and AFNOR only consider whether an oil has sufficient percents of the main compounds to legally claim it to be the species on the label. For example, if an oil contains enough menthol, you can legally sell it as “peppermint” when, in fact, there may be no actual peppermint plant oil present whatsoever. Hence, an aromatic oil can be 80-100% synthetic and meet AFNOR/ISO standards. AFNOR/ISO only takes into account the end product by testing for the percents of a few compounds that account for flavor and/or aroma. These standards do not take into account the manner by which the oil was obtained nor whether any of the healing compounds are present. In fact, the compounds responsible for healing can all be absent and an oil can still meet AFNOR/ISO standards, which may be adequate for perfumes and flavors, but totally ineffective for healing.
By contrast, Young Living’s “Therapeutic Grade” standard takes into account everything from planting the seed to marketing the oil. With Young Living, “Therapeutic Grade” means there has been verification of the correct species when the seed was planted, the purity and manner of cultivation (no chemicals or nearby pollution, etc.), the proper time of harvest to optimize the healing properties in the oil, the proper manner of distillation to capture all of the therapeutic compounds, the right chemical composition as determined by sophisticated laboratory tests, and the purity of the packaging–i.e. nothing added, nothing taken away, stored in light-protected containers (amber or blue bottles) of glass, ceramic, Teflon, or stainless steel, and kept in a suitable environment of appropriate temperatures. All of this is taken into account with Young Living’s definition of “Therapeutic Grade.” No other company maintains or can claim such a standard, even though they may use the word.
When people come to you saying they have found “cheaper oils that are just as good,” ask if they know how the plants were grown, cultivated, harvested, distilled, tested, and packaged and if a true “therapeutic” standard was held and maintained throughout the process. You won’t find another company that maintains such meticulous standards from “seed to seal” as does Young Living. Gary Young and Young Living stand alone in the world of essential oils in measuring up to such standards. You can visit the Young Living farms, distilleries, laboratories, and packaging facilities to verify these standards for yourself. Anyone can. Is this possible with any other company?
The following article can be found at http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/company/therapeutic-grade.html. There are so many competing essential oil companies these days, as Young Living Distributors you need to know how to explain to people how Young Living oils are different than any other brand and have superior attributes that no other brand can rightfully claim. Most companies claim that their oils are “100% pure, Therapeutic Grade, Organically grown, etc.” But most of the time their claims and labels are misleading and do not fulfill the standards they claim.
One thing we all know: Young Living oils work and do so reliably year after year. So how do we convey to others, who have heard claims of other companies, that our oils are the best and have no equal? The following article may help. It breaks down the key qualities of Young Living oils into four “Ps” which are easy to remember and present.
They are 1. Plants, 2. Preparation, 3. Purity, and 4. Potentcy. You might also visit the archives of The Raindrop Messenger and read the first two articles in the July-August 2008 issue, Vol 6 No 4.
Factors that Make YL Oils a Cut Above All Others
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.
“Reprinted from The Raindrop Messenger, a free eline newsletter, with permission from Dr. David Stewart. To subscribe or download back issues, visit the archives at www.RaindropTraining.com.”
Check your bottles, are you using Young Living Therapeutic Grade essential oils?
Jen Springer is a Holistic Nutrition Expert who currently serves 10,000 clients. Her approach to health is refreshing and out of the box, yet makes so much sense. Through her entertaining and informative webinars, blog posts, and personal recovery program Let’s Get Physical: Anxiety is NOT All in Your Head, her clients quickly get results even though they’ve spent years of chasing for answers. Jen has been a health educator and practitioner for the last 10 years.