Producing pure unadulterated essential oils is very costly. It often requires several hundred or even thousands of pounds of raw plant material to produce a single pound of essential oil. For example, it can take 2 – 3 tons of melissa plant material to produce one pound of melissa essential oil. Its extremely low yield explains why it sells for $9,000 to $15,000 per kilo.
Likewise, it takes 5,000 pounds of rose petals to produce approximately one pint of rose oil. It is not difficult to understand why this quality of essential oil is expensive. You do in fact get what you pay for when it comes to essential oils.
The vast majority of essential oils are produced for the perfume industry, which is only interested in their aromatic qualities, rather than the plants therapeutic benefits. Therefore it is not important if the finished product contains impurities, chemicals, or if all of the plant compounds are present.
Perfume oils and most aromatherapy products use the lesser quality essential oils so their price point is lowered for the consumer and so profits are higher for them. Which makes me take pause and think about how if we, as consumers, were not of the mindset that everything having to be cheap enough that we might be living in a world where most things made actually were only of the best quality with care for our health… how different store shelves would look and how much better we would feel.
High pressure, high temperatures, and the use of chemical solvents are used in the distillation process for the perfume industry to produce greater quantities of oil in a shorter time. Some of those solvents are: hexane, di-methylene chloride, and acetone.
To most people, these oils carry a pleasant aroma, but they lack true therapeutic properties. Many of the important chemical constituents necessary to produce therapeutic results are either flashed off with the high heat or are not released from the plant material.
In addition to poor distillation processing an essential oil can be further ruined by being adulterated and diluted down with any number of other substances. While this may be terrific for company profits, it’s horrible for consumer use because those chemicals are absorbed through the skin and through inhalation.
The temperature and pressure levels during steam distillation can enhance or destroy the beneficial healing properties of the essential oil. The operator of the distiller must have a full understanding of the value of essential oils in order to produce quality essential oils. If the pressure or temperature is too high, it may change the molecular structure of the fragrance molecule, altering the chemical constitu! ents. For example, the distilling process for lavender should not exceed three pounds of pressure, and the temperature should not exceed 245° F.
We are indeed fortunate to have superior essential oils from Young Living!
Articles by Evelyn Vincent, Young Living Independent Distributor #476766
"There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly." ~ R. Buckminster Fuller