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What you should know about essential oils
Unfortunately not all essential oils are created equal. In fact many, if not
all the oils on the market are what is called "perfume quality" or "4th &
5th quality oils. These are over-processed, chemical laden, highly
adulterated & de-natured products that, in reality, are little more than
cheap perfume made from various odorous plants. This includes oils found in
health food stores. Many people think that when they buy an oil that is
labeled as "100% pure" they are getting good oils. This is far from true.
Pure unadulterated essential oil is very hard to come by & can be very
expensive. One reason for this is because it can take as many as 500 to
2,000 pounds or more of raw plant material to produce just a pound of pure
To maintain all of the therapeutic qualities, it must be extracted by steam
distillation using extremely low pressure & low heat so as not to defile the
quality of the oil.
There are 4 grades of essential oils:
PURE - This means the oil was not diluted with a lesser quality essential
oil. For example: lavender oil is often cut with lavendin, which has very
little therapeutic quality. "Pure" does not mean it has no chemicals added to it. It could
be 75% vegetable oil & 25% essential oil & still be labeled "100% Pure."
NATURAL - This means the oil was not adulterated with vegetable oils,
propylene glycol, SD Alcohol 40 or other chemicals.
COMPLETE - This means the oil was distilled at low heat & low pressure so
that all the therapeutic properties are there. They have not been rectified
or purified (which means stripped or redistilled.) Essential oils are often
redistilled to make a small amount of oil go farther. They can make more
profit that way. The problem is, when you redistill the oil you lose the therapeutic
properties. It's like using a tea bag over & over again. An example: France
is the number one producer of lavender oil. In 1997 they produced 25 tons of
lavender and 67 tons were shipped to the U.S. Melissa oil is another
example. It is very hard to produce. Out of 52 pounds of pure melissa oil,
1000 pounds were exported.
What is wrong with this picture?
** There are anywhere from 200 - 800 chemical constituents that take up a
single essential oil. When the oil is not distilled properly, you will be
left with as few as 10. Some of the most powerful healing constituents are
at the end of the process.
GENUINE or GRADE A - These are the cream of the crop. Great care is taken
at every step of the process. Seeds- not from hybrids, soil- organic soil
that never has chemicals put on it. Chemicals are never used on the plants
in the field.
Distillation by steam at low pressure & low temperature in upright
containers & no chemicals are ever used in the process. Must have clarity of
definition (one plant could have 200 species.) The time in the distiller is
also important- cypress oil needs to be distilled for 24 hours. Many
companies will distill at higher temperature for a shorter time. This will
destroy the quality of the oil. The distiller must be no more than 50 miles
away from the sight where the plants were harvested, must have Gas
Chromatograph readings with an embossed seal that does not come from their
own lab. Then & only then can they have the words "Grade A" on the label.
Young Living's oils are GRADE A oils. They are one of the few companies in
the world that grows plants from seed, distills & bottles their essential
oils. Young Living is the largest grower of essential oil plants in the
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