What are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils are natural oils that are extracted from plants/plant parts (such as roots, seeds, leaves, stems, flowers, etc.) They are volatile liquids that contain hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds. Think of them as the life-blood of the plant, protecting it from bacterial and viral infections, possessing anti-inflammatory properties, analgesic effects and more. In essence, they act as a plant’s immune system. Without them, plants could not survive.

The three primary elements – carbon, hydrogen and oxygen – are common in both the body and essential oils. Because of this, essential oils take on the same processes in the human body – transporting valuable nutrients to the cells, increasing oxygen intake, and digesting toxic waste in the blood. The molecular structure of essential oils are the most chemically cohesive plant products to the biochemistry of the human body.(1) With them, we are able to harness nature’s own most intense healing attributes – and convert them to medicinal tools that are equally as powerful in the healing and restoration of the human body.

◇Note: These properties exist in authentic, uncut, unadulterated essential oils, of which Young Living is the world leader. Many oils contain chemicals, fragrances (to alter the smell,) and are made using multiple cuts of harvests. Only the initial batch or the “first cut” of a harvest should be distilled. Oils obtained using second, third, or even fourth cuts (distilling the same plant multiple times,) are weak, ineffective, and cannot be truthfully classified as pure in any way.

Although the name might suggest as much, essential oils are not “oily” as many of us might imagine. Unlike fatty oils (olive oil and vegetable oils) the molecules in Young Living Essential Oils are extremely small, with a structure that is very similar to the make-up of our cell membranes.(2) Because of this they are able to pass through the skin barrier. When applied topically, essential oils can travel through the body in a matter of minutes. Recent studies by scientists including David Stewart Ph.D., R.A. have now shown that essential oils have the ability to penetrate the blood brain barrier – a ground breaking discovery that confirms that essential oils have the capacity to treat brain-based illnesses, psychological/mental illnesses, and more.(2)

When Were They Discovered?

Essential Oils have been in use for thousands of years – some believe longer! Think of them as “mankind’s first medicine.” Through Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts to Biblical text, anthropologists have found that essential oils have been used by physicians and priests for healing and medicinal purposes as well as spiritual and ceremonial reasons.

frankincense blogEssential Oils were used by Roman soldiers to give them strength and courage before battle. In Ancient Egypt they were highly valued and were even found in the tomb of King Tut. The Bible frequently references holy or “healing oils” such as Frankincense and Myrrh, (both brought to the Christ child,) as well as Cassia, Cinnamon, Sandalwood, Cypress, Hyssop, and many others.

Europeans began producing essential oils in the 12th century. During the Plague of the 15th century, four certain thieves went about robbing and pillaging the graves of the dead – while miraculously avoiding infection. The thieves were captured in Marseilles, France and charged with the atrocity of robbing the dead and dying victims.

At the trial the royal magistrate, desperate to save his own family, offered to spare the thieves their heads in return for the secret behind their seemingly inhuman immunity – despite their close contact with infected corpses. It was disclosed that these thieves (spice merchants by trade,) had covered themselves with a concoction of aromatic herbs (cinnamon, clove, and oregano, to name a few). This “4 Thieves” recipe, passed loosely down through the centuries, was the same recipe that Gary Young, Young Living’s founder and CEO, studied extensively to create the Young Living essential oil blend called Thieves.

Despite the rise of western medicine, nature has always been mankind’s strongest ally. Plants have transcendent healing properties such as the ability to fight inflammation, reduce pain, heal infection, eradicate diseases, and even hasten reproduction! We have only quite recently rediscovered the profound healing potential that essential oils offer!

How Are They Made?

Producing the most highly regarded essential oils is a long and tedious process which Young Living calls the Seed to Seal Process. The effectiveness of an oil is based on the quality of the plant as well as the skill of those performing the process. Additionally, once they are produced the oils should be rigorously tested to ensure 100% purity. The process of extracting the purest (or most essential) parts of the plant is called distillation. Plants are grown, harvested, and are then heated in bulk at a low temperature for a long period of time. They are then compressed which leaves behind only the most potent plant byproducts – essential oils. Young Living is a master of this art. Each harvest (excluding plants which must be obtained from their indigenous climates,) are grown, harvested, at our Young Livimg Farms. They are distilled, scientifically tested and scrutinized by our very skilled Young Living experts. Each step of this tedious, precise process ensures that each batch is pristine and untouched. Each batch is then sent for third-party testing.

Nature is truly God’s greatest medicine. Humanity has turned to nature for thousands of years for healing, strength, even spiritual enlightenment. The art of producing unadulterated, 100% therapeutic grade essential oil is truly an art. Young Living has been offering only the highest grade essential oils for over 20 years. With Young Living, there is quite literally a work of art in every bottle…

Founder and CEO, D. Gary Young, and the process of Oil Distillation:

Each intricate step of the process takes a lot of time, and a lot of knowledge. No question as to why Young Living Oils are the highest regarded essential oils on the market!


(1) Stewart, D. Ph.D., R.A., (2008). The Blood-Brain Barrier. Retrieved April 11, 2014, from http://www.rnoel.50megs.com/pdf/theblood.htm

(2) Kupsinel, R.B., MD (2006). Natural Medicine, Part I Introduction. American Neuropathic Medical Association, Retrieved May 17, 2014, fromhttp://www.anma.org/janma104.html#ARTICLE3