There seems to be a small group of people who are disturbed by the fact that Young Living (YL) has coined the term “therapeutic-grade”. It seems to me that the reason for them being disturbed by the term is because they don’t have a good understanding as to why YL did this. Let me clarify what has happened…
“Therapeutic-grade” is in fact a term that Young Living Essential Oils came up with to distinguish a difference between, improperly handled plants and oils, and the best handling of plants and oils.
No government or agency was involved with this because there has never been any standards whatsoever for essential oils and there still isn’t. Because there isn’t one, and YL is the largest essential oil producer in the world, they took it upon themselves to create a standard so the consumer could learn and recognize that there is a vast difference.
Before going any further, I want to mention that the term that YL did coin is “Young Living Therapeutic-grade”. Their company name at the beginning of the term gives an indication that not only did they coin the term but that no other company can use the term in the same way they have. They had to do this because YL is not a regulating agency over-seeing other essential oil companies.
That said, YL found that they had to set a standard itself because the terms such as “organic”, “100% Pure”, “Pure”, “100% Pure Essential Oil” and so forth, have been so terribly abused. So much have those terms that once did have significant meaning no longer indicate anything worth bragging about. Right now, you and I could go into a lab and create an essential oil out of nothing but chemicals and label it “100% Pure” – yes, it’s legal to do that because there is no regulation to distinguish the junk from the good stuff.
Here is what the YL (company) uses as its own standard for their essential oils…
Anyone Can Claim to Be Therapeutic Grade.
Only Young Living Can Claim Young Living Therapeutic Grade™.
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.
The term Young Living Therapeutic-grade is an explanation of the standards YL is using to distinguish the gamut of qualities on the market. They had to name (label) their standard as something so that people could gain an understanding of the differences.
What is verifiable is the ‘standard’ YL operates by, and they call that standard therapeutic-grade.
Have you noticed lately that there are more and more people using the term “beyond organic”? That’s a term made up too.
What the term “beyond organic” means is it is informing people about is the fact that since the FDA and USDA took over the “organic” standards and regulations back in the early 1990′s they literally lowered the criteria that earned a farm “Organic Certification” prior to their takeover. The organic label today doesn’t even come close to the organic label of pre-1990′s.
There is no difference between the reason why we today have these two terms, “Therapeutic-grade” and “Beyond Organic” – it was a group of people who were dissatisfied with our current lax government standards, guidelines, and agencies, compared to the old very strict standards which served us so well years ago.
The fact is, since there is no standard or regulatory body overseeing the aromatherapy or essential oil industry somebody was bound to take matters into their own hands and set a standard, that somebody was Young Living.
The reason why YL was in a position to create a standard is because since 1992 they have been keeping articulate labs records from each harvest of plant material used in the distillation of their essential oils. They have the largest documented collection of material in the world. It is only when one has documentation over many years that they can determine a value of what equals junk and what equals superior.
While some might also think this term is merely for marketing purposes but that is coming from mouths that don’t know what has been going on in the industry and how bad it has become because there is no regulating body to oversee what a company is actually producing for consumers. I can assure you that it is not a marketing tactic, it is a standard that was created to help consumers learn and understand the value of what is being marketed around the world.
The standard for organic certification is so bad now that it’s a joke.
Michael Potter, Chairman and President of Eden Foods, in his testimony before the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Many are too young to remember that back in the early 1990s there was quite a bit of concern and protest going on in the health food stores and among the organic food co-op’s. The fear back was that the USDA and the now NOSB would ruin the organics industry in some manner.
Prior to the USDA taking over organic regulation it was actually quite difficult for growers and farmers to meet the very strict organic regulations. While we weren’t certain back then how the new takeover would change the entire industry we did end up seeing the change happen within a relatively few years and it wasn’t good.
Large corporations who have purchased most of the our nation’s organic food industry and farms include: Coca-Cola, Cargill, General Mills, Kraft and M&M Mars, Kellogg’s, and Heinz, to name a few.
With the change in who regulates organics also meant the demise of thousands of small family owned organic farms. Stoneyfield Farms is one perfect example of how a wonderful food product can change virtually overnight and become nothing more than just another average commercial yogurt producer whose product is no longer truly organic, not to mention the fact that the product tastes disgusting as a result.
About 43 years ago, Michael Potter founded Eden Organics, back in the days when the word and label “organic” actually meant that something was super pure and truly natural. During those days, carrageenan, which is a seaweed-derived thickener that has a controversial health record, was not considered organic and was not allowed in a certified organic product. Also on the list of not organic ingredients was synthetic inositol, an ingredient manufactured using chemical processes. Today, those ingredients are permissible in labeled certified organic products. Worse yet is that GMO foods and ingredients are also allowed in labeled certified organic products.
For those of us who remember what food tasted like before the takeover all I can say is what is being sold and labeled today as organic is nothing more than a joke, the entire regulation and certification is shameful.
It is beyond me how any regulatory body can approve known non-organic ingredients to be included in products with a certified organic label. I suppose the only real way we can get the organic industry back to the wholesomeness it was prized for is to stop buying certified organic foods and products altogether, if there is no profits to be made they will stop making phony organic certificates and claims.
To make matters worse, the onslaught of GMO seed is potentially contaminating not only the environment but organic seed and crops as well through cross-pollination. In my mind, the fact that GM soy can and is allowed to be fed to animals in certified organic feedlots is a huge step back in our evolution of maintaining a clean source of food for those who demand better.
Michael Potter says…
“The board is stacked. Either they don’t have a clue, or their interest in making money is more important than their interest in maintaining the integrity of organics.”
Michael Potter refuses to place the certified-organic label on Eden’s product, claiming it a fraud!
In this 5 minute video on May 22, 2012 Michael Potter testified at the National Organics Standards Board Meeting on his dismay on the corruption and lax standards of the certified organic industry today…
Young Living also does not want the certified organic label on their essential oils, the label is a farce people!
I laugh when I see on an egg carton that the chickens were fed a “vegetarian diet” – a chickens ‘normal’ diet is supposed to be a mix of grasses and other leafy green plants and their seeds, and insects. I don’t want eggs that came from a chicken that was fed fake organic grains and kept in a coop with a door that only had to provide them access to the outdoors “IF” the chicken wants to outside (the chickens do not actually ‘have’ to go outdoors, which most don’t if they’ve been raised in a corporate coop. Those birds need sunlight and to be eating their natural diet in order to provide the nutrition we require to be healthy.
Organically certified beef can be raised in feedlots and fed organically certified corn and soy beans. They are allowed under current organic standards and regulations to never even eat a blade of native grass to become certified!
As you may already know, the only reason cows are slaughtered when they are 13 months old is because of the diet they are fed, they cannot survive much longer on a diet of corn and soy beans, regardless if these grains being organic or not. A healthy cow requires very specific types of grasses and some specific grass ‘seeds’ to be healthy, and healthy enough for us to eat. A calf or cow will never eat a grain instinctively because it makes them ill. It is only when they are given no other food choice that most will breakdown and eat grains because they are starving to death. Many calves (raised in conventional and organic methods) die because they simply cannot find another suitable food source (because they’re standing in a corral of mud up to their knees and the only food provided is corn and soy beans, they either eat it or die. A cow that is allowed to eat its natural diet requires 3 years to raise for slaughtering and they eat grasses and some kinds of weeds, naturally. It’s no wonder nutritionists say to avoid or minimize beef (both organic and conventionally raised) in the human diet, it’s because it’s a dreadfully unhealthy product for us to eat. Cattle that is raised on grass has a completely different nutritional profile and is actually very healthy for us to eat. But you wouldn’t know the difference based on the marketing and misleading information available to us these days.
The mega company’s have spent billions of dollars a year, probably adding up into the trillions over the past 50 years ‘convincing’ consumers to ‘accept’ mass produced junk. I believe this is precisely why the health of our children and adults has done nothing but do downhill since WWII.
It is for these reasons and many more, that folks in-the-know came up with the term “beyond organic” – it was a means to which they could help educate the public that there is a vast difference, and that the organic label today is meaningless compared to what the term “organic” once meant.
I personally LOVE that there are some groups out there, YL included, who are gutsy enough and creative enough to come up with the term “beyond organic” and “Young Living Therapeutic-grade”.
I think it’s brilliant because as a consumer of organically labelled foods for most of my life prior the organic regulation take-over in the early 1990s. For decades, I prayed that someone would do something to indicate to the average consumer that organic ain’t what it used to be. The FDA and USDA couldn’t wait to take over what was once a perfectly fine industry, so they could change the regulations to make it easier for the big companies to buy out the small guys and create corporate organic farms. I could go on and on about what a shambles the US regulatory body’s has created over the past 25+ years and I have in another blog I have, see these posts if you’re realizing that you’re not up to speed on what has been done and is being done…
The Trail of Corn; going where no man (or woman) has gone before
Growing Flax: a story of beauty, health, prosperity and ruin
Genetically Modified (GM) Canola Found Growing Along Roadsides
FDA Says GM Salmon, Trout, Tilapia Safe for Human Consumption
Organic Certification: is it all it’s cracked up to be?
Sustainable Beyond Organic Meats: we are what the animal eats and there are plenty more at that blog.
Right now, YL has five beyond organic farms around the world: 2 in the US, 1 in Ecuador, 1 in France, 1 in Yemen. Totaling several thousand acres. You might be wondering why in the world would a company like YL be doing with so much land anyway… it’s because the only way you can know for sure something has been done right is to do it yourself.
Many years ago, Gary Young, founder and president and founder of YL, was offered an ungodly amount of money for the company. He turned the offer down because he didn’t want all of the hard work and standards that made YL what it is today to go down the drain. There are very few people with enormous amounts of money who would maintain the standards YL has put into place.
There is one other essential oil company, whose name I won’t mention, that uses the term “Therapeutic-grade” in the marketing of their essential oils. If you’ve looked around at other brands you know who the other company is.
Without going into detail, I will simply say this… that other essential oil company buys the essential oils that YL has rejected because when tested the essential oil vendors oil did not meet YL standards for purity and naturally occurring constituents. Which mean those oils do NOT pass the battery of tests that YL performs. This other company claims their oils are “Therapeutic-grade”, I can assure you that they are not.
By the way, I sure hope that you are not cooking with or ingesting that other brand of essential oils! They buy essential oils from vendors who spike their essential oils so the profile appears higher quality than it actually is.
One valuable piece of equipment that YL has can test for and identify if an essential oil has been spiked. For instance, this piece of equipment can determine if a lavender essential oil has Linalyl, which is a naturally occurring phytochemical found in many plants and flowers (other than Lavender angustifolia). Also, there is a synthetic linalyl acetate which is used as an adulterant to make an essential oil more marketable. It is also added to the much cheaper lavandin essential oil which is then sold as the more desirable Lavender Oil – this is the cheap essential oil of lavender you find in stores for under $10 per bottle and it is mildly toxic to humans and some wildlife.
Some years back a vendor who had been reputable in the past, brought to YL a batch of Helichrysum oil, YL ran it through the testing equipment and it looked beautiful and YL said they would purchase it. Then vendor brought the barrels over to YL to complete the sale, over a million dollars worth at YL cost. Because YL runs the oil again through the battery of tests before bottling, YL found that the Helichrysum oil was inferior. They contacted the vendor and told them to get the oil out of here. That Helichrysum a month later showed up as Helichrysum oil at the company whose name I am not mentioning, they were boasting that they were the ONLY essential oil company who had Helichrysum oil for sale. This occurrence has happened more than once. The oils that company sells to unknowing consumers are not the same “therapeutic-grade” standard that YL uses, not by a long shot.
What I am afraid of is the day when that company unwittingly purchases a batch of really terrible quality oils from a vendor and someone becomes fatally ill or dies from ingesting them, that would be a terrible shame and I can’t even imagine what their irresponsibility would do to the entire essential oil industry. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, but ‘when’. That’s why I have turned down that company’s distributors who have hounded me to come be a distributor with them. No way, never!!!
This is why I always put a note in my posts saying these recipes and tips are only for the use of YL oils, no other brand.
I say that because about 10 years ago a woman didn’t like the price of YL oils she said they were too expensive, so she went to the store and bought cheap lavender oil. When she got a burn in the kitchen she immediately put her cheap lavender oil onto the burn. The cheap lavender she bought and used wasn’t even real lavender and it worsened to the point she had to go to the hospital for a 3rd degree burn.
I began using essential oils in 1991, before YL was even a company. I had read and studied everything on aromatherapy and oils I could find. Through those sources I discovered that there was a vast difference in quality (which has only gotten worse since) and it was my life goal to find the superior quality oils I had read about. I bought essential oils in the early 1990′s and I ONLY used them for cleaning my house, I never once applied them topically, and I certainly never ingested them because I had learned enough to know that the chemicals in 98% of all essential oils in the entire world ARE adulterated with some very toxic chemicals. I knew that long before I discovered YL in 1998.
Because of all the studying I did before finding YL I went into YL knowing very well what I was looking at, and that is why I went to YL instead of someone else.
I’ve heard some say that they all (essential oils) do what they claim. That is because on some level every essential oils contains compounds that do something. I agree that they all do what they claim, to an extent. But you need to at least consider what else your body is inhaling or absorbing.
So while on the surface YL’s therapeutic-grade might seem annoying, disturbing, and a mere marketing ploy, there’s a lot more going on behind the scenes than people can imagine. The difference is night and day when it comes to quality and purity, and if you are using other brands for my recipes and tips I highly suggest you stop immediately because it will only be a matter of time before you end up harming yourself, this is a very serious matter and one that should not be taken lightly. The recipes and tips I share online are ONLY intended for YL oils, no others ever.
I would never use another brand in place of YL oils for any of my tips and recipes and I expect others to honor my request when I say “do not substitute other brands for YL”
I say that not so I or YL can make sales I say it because it’s based on truth and facts. I would rather be poor and make no sales, than see a recipe I share contain an ingredient that I would never use myself. If I didn’t use my oils in certain ways before discovering YL I would certainly never encourage anyone to use anything else. I hope this clarifies the issue of therapeutic-grade, and more! What’s going on out there folks is not good and if you don’t know the difference you need to because it does matter, it’s your health, your money, and our environment that these companies are messing with in their greedy quests.