Melissa Boice

Distilling Quality Essential Oils

A few years ago, I had the great privilege to go to Young Living’s farm in St. Marie’s, Idaho.  Wow!  It was amazing!  The farm is in the middle of nowhere and is surrounded by an evergreen forest.  That serene energy is captured in the plants that are carefully grown and cultivated there.

Walking through rolling fields of lavender with Gary Young, he filled us in on the great amount of care and work that goes into cultivating and distilling authentic lavender oil.   From growing and nurturing tiny lavender angustifolia seedlings, planting using organic methods and picking at just the right time of day when the desired constituents are highest, every consideration revolves around cultivating plants that will produce superior quality essential oils.

One of the interesting points I learned that day was that in order to preserve the beneficial compounds found in lavender, the plants must be distilled for about one hour and 30 minutes under low heat and low pressure.   Most lavender (non Young Living) is distilled for only 15 minutes!   Three-quarters of the volume is extracted during the first quarter of the distillation process. Many producers end the process there because the increased time does not significantly increase the volume.  Of course, if maximum volume/maximum profit is the goal, distilling for 15 minutes makes sense.  Fortunately, quality essential oils have always been Young Living’s first priority.

Much time, energy and financial resources go into producing quality essential oils.  It often requires several hundred or even thousands of pounds of raw plant material to produce a single pound of essential oil.  For example, 250 pounds of lavender will produce approximately 1 pound (16 ounces) of pure oil.  It takes three tons of melissa to produce 16 ounces of essential oil.  It takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals to produce 1 pound of rose oil.  No wonder quality oils are relatively costly!

Understanding the work and skill that goes into producing authentic essential oils helps us understand why they cost more than most essential oils commonly found in health food stores.   The good thing is, you get what you pay for!

Diffuse Stale Odors Away!

Aria diffuser and TheraPro Diffuser Diffusing is a great way to reap the benefits of essential oils and make your home smell nice, too.

Here’s a simple blend that will make your home a haven of healthy relaxation:

  • 20 drops lavender
  • 10 drops lemon
  • 6 drops bergamot
  • 5 drops tangerine
  • 5 drops grapefruit

Diffuse neat, or mix with 2 cup of distilled water in a spray bottle; shake well before spraying.

Other Ways to Diffuse Oils:

  • Add essential oils to cedar chips to make your own potpourri.
  • Put scented cedar chips in closets or drawers to deodorize them.
  • Place any conifer essential oil such as spruce, fir (all varieties), cedar, or pine onto each log in the fireplace.  As they burn, they will disperse an evergreen smell.
  • Put essential oil on cotton balls and place in your car or home air vents.
  • Place a bowl of water with a few drops of oil on a wood stove.
  • Dampen a cloth, apply essential oils to it, and place near the intake duct of your heating and cooling system.
  • Add oils to your humidifier and vaporizer.

Questions to Ask When Looking for Quality Essential Oils

Thanks for stopping by my essential oils blog!

I want you to understand that there is a world of difference between essential oils.  When I talk about using essential oils, I am referring to 100% pure, authentic essential oils from Young Living.  I know there are oils out there that cost less than Young Living’s.  You get what you pay for.

If you are like me and care about what you are putting in and on your body, we really must look beyond the price and the catchy advertising.  There is a shocking amount of “adjusting” and blatant adulteration that goes on in the worldwide marketplace, including essential oils.  In order to know what we are purchasing and using, therefore, it is essential that we know and trust our essential oil supplier.

Your skin is your largest organ!

Here are some questions that you might want to consider when choosing an essential oil company:

• How many years has the company been working with essentials oils?
• Does the company own and operate its own essential oil research farms? If so, how many farms?
• Is the company proficient in distilling oils?
• Does the company test essential oils to ensure that there are no adulterations? Do they use in-house labs to test each batch? Do they use independent labs to validate their own findings?
• What does the company do in its processes and procedures to guarantee accurate plant identity and oil purity?
• Does the company routinely visit its suppliers to ensure the best manufacturing practices are followed?
• How has the company established its oil standards? How do they know they are selling oils containing the right amounts of constituents to be effective?
• Does the company have in-house expertise and commitment to quality assurance?

In the next few blog posts, I will be addressing the aforementioned questions, giving you details as to why I am convinced that Young Living Essential Oils sets the standard for quality essential oils and are worth their price in gold.

Let’s Get Cooking with Essential Oils!

OK.  Like me, you probably love the way you feel when breathing in the delightful aromas of quality essential oils.  You probably have benefited from the many ways true essential oils help us maintain our health.   Have you ever considered using essential oils in your favorite recipes?  When I add essential oils to my cooking, it really perks up the flavor!  You, too, will want to experiment and find different ways to enjoy your essential oils.

cooking oilsHere are a few tips for using essential oils in your favorite recipes:

Many essential oils make excellent food flavorings. They are so concentrated that only 1-2 drops of an essential oil is equivalent to a full bottle (1 – 2 oz size) of dried herbs.

As a general rule, spice oils impart a far stronger flavor than citrus oils do. For strong spice oils (such as oregano, nutmeg, cinnamon, marjoram, tarragon, wintergreen, thyme, or basil), you can dip a toothpick into the oils and stir food (after cooking) with the toothpick. This controls the amount of essential oil that is put into the food.

Some oils that can be used as spices are: basil, cinnamon, clove, fennel, ginger, lemon, marjoram, sage, spearmint, tarragon, coriander, grapefruit, orange, tangerine, wintergreen, black pepper, and thyme.

For recipes that serve 6 – 10 people, add 1 – 2 drops of an oil and stir in after cooking and just before serving, so the oil does not evaporate.

So what oils do I add?  Whatever sounds good!  Any essential oils that are Generally Regarded As Safe (GRAS) can be a fun and healthy addition to your recipes.

Following are a few ways I add essential oils to my cooking:

  • I wash and stem green and red grapes and put them in a bowl and toss with a few drops of tangerine oil.
  • Lemon, orange, or tangerine oil  can be added to a regular cake recipe.  The same principle applies to sugar cookies.
  • Peppermint or orange oil is delicious when added to chocolate cake, brownie or frosting recipes.
  • Nutmeg, cinnamon, clove, or ginger oil can be used in pumpkin pie, spice cake recipes, gingersnap cookies, pumpkin/butternut squash soup, even smoothies.
  • Lemon or orange oils are delicious added to whipped cream or cheesecake.
  • With a toothpick, I add oregano, marjoram, basil to Italian type tomato sauce recipes.
  • For tabouli, I add spearmint oil with the toothpick method.
  • Dill oil is a great addition to potato salad.

I could go on and on, but you get the drift.  Since Young Living’s oils are 100% pure, adding them to favorite recipes is not only FUN, it is also HEALTHY!

Tomato Cucumber Salad

* 1/2 c. cider vinegar
* 1 tsp. Blue Agave
* 1 tsp. salt
* 1 drop dill essential oil
* 1 drop black pepper essential oil
* 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
* 4 cucumbers sliced
* 2 c. red onion chopped
* 4 ripe tomatoes cut into wedges

In a large bowl, mix vinegar, sugar, salt, dill essential oil, black pepper essential oil, and vegetable oil. Add cucumbers, onion, and tomatoes. Toss and chill in refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.

My references in the article exclusively refer to 100% pure, authentic essential oils.   If you care about purity and quality, choose Young Living, period.

GRAS = Generally Regarded As Safe

Here is a list of essential oils that are Generally Regarded As Safe.

Chamomile, Roman
Chamomile, German
Cinnamon Bark
Citrus rind (all)
Clary Sage
Eucalyptus glob.
Laurus nobilis
Melissa (lemonbalm)
Ylang Ylang