Over the past few months, I’ve had several conversations with people about how they love essential oils and love getting them at a bargain price. One woman said she could buy 10 mL of Frankincense for less than $10. She was so proud to show it to me and so I asked if I could use energy medicine to test how she responds to that particular oil. To her dismay, she learned that the cheap oil was draining her overall energy and weakening her crown chakra. The oil was counter productive as her goal was to use the oil to strengthen her crown chakra. She was better off energetically with no oil as opposed to using a cheap oil. We could have sent the oil to get tested at a laboratory to find out what exactly was in that bottle, but it was clearly not pure Frankincense.
It’s amazing that essential oils are getting much more traction these days. We are seeing a return to ancient medicine and health approaches that come directly from nature, and not a laboratory. With this boom in the essential oil market we are also seeing a lot of false advertising and sub-par products. There are no regulations on essential oil marketing, so it can say pure without any backing to that claim.
Young Living has their own code of standards (www.seedtoseal.com). Their standards are stricter than USDA organic. I knew Young Living oils were worth the investment the moment I touched them. They have the strongest chi of any of the oils that I’ve tested. I would like to share with you what sets the quality apart of Young Living apart from other brands and what risks are involved with using sub-par oils.
There are 5 grades of essential oils sold are the market today. Therapeutic grade essential oils are the only ones that contain medicinal qualities. The lowest quality is “Synthetic Biology” oils. These oils are created in a laboratory from synthetic DNA and are bio-engineered with fungus and enzymes. They can be labeled as natural as they are derived from yeasts and are made quickly and cheaply. These oils are fake copycats that give the illusion of fragrance without any therapeutic benefit. In addition, the incomplete formulas often cause harm opposite of the intended benefit. For example, fragrance grade Lavender contains high levels of lavandin, a hybrid of lavender. It is often heated to evaporate camphor, mixed with synthetic linalyl acetate to improve the fragrance, and then sold as lavender oil. Higher levels of the constituent camphor can lead to burning of the skin, so if one uses Lavender to support the skin in healing after a burn, then this oil will worsen the burning sensation.
When one uses adulterated oils topically, they may experience rashes, burns, and other skin irritations. Common synthetic additives used in creating those oils are propylene glycol, DEP, and DOP. These chemicals have no smell and are used as volume fillers. They put the user at risk for allergic reactions in addition to providing no therapeutic benefit.
Adulteration of oils is such a concern that Young Living tests all oil batches with gas chromatography and mass spectrometry and then retested with gas chromatography and flame ionization detector. These tests help identify chirality of the compounds, which will detect synthetic oils. Some essential oil companies will dilute the essential oil with a fatty lipid oil to increase supply and reduce cost.
Even natural or organic certified oils can be problematic depending on the growing conditions and time of harvest. The type of genus, species, and chemotype is important for growing plants that contain the highest constituents that provide the therapeutic benefits. In addition, the use of chemical pesticides contaminates the final product.
According to Jared Turner, the president of Young Living, it costs around $12,000 per acre to weed lavender fields by hand. Other companies that used cheap herbicides may spend $60 per acre to kill the weeds. This is why Young Living oils cost more, but the investment includes not only a higher quality product with therapeutic benefits, it also invests in the quality of the earth.
Pesticides are known for having delirious effects on health, in the short and long term. Tyrone Hayes has scientifically documented how a common herbicide, Atrazine, has been shown to change gender and sexuality in frogs. This herbicide was the most common water contaminant in 2001 and has had a large impact on reducing fertility and disrupting endocrine balance in males and females. Glyphosate, another herbicide, has been shown to increase permeability of the intestinal tract and has caused the most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies in our food supply. All pesticides and herbicides have been shown to have adverse health effects on the soil, plants, and animals who consume those plants.
Here are a few of the seed to seal requirements for producing quality oils. This is an excerpt from the Essential Oils desktop reference by Life Science Publishing.
Producing pure essential oils is expensive. It can take thousands of pounds of raw plant material to create one pound of essential oil. For example, it takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals to produce just one pint of Rose oil, which is the essential oil with the highest vibrational frequency. If we want the world to be a better place, then we need to invest in better quality products that are sustainable, regenerative, and allow us to be stewards of the earth. I’m grateful that Young Living does not sacrifice quality for a number of reasons that other companies may do so.
Essential Oils desk reference: Seventh Edition (ISBN 978-0-9966364-9-0)