The Art of Selecting Therapeutic Essential Oils
by Emily Wright, Executive Vice President, Leadership Development
dōTERRA came to life in 2008 in order to set a higher standard for essential oil purity and potency. Our CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality standard requires precise care and effort to protect what nature has created so beautifully. This commitment to quality correlates directly to the life-enhancing benefits we have come to expect from dōTERRA essential oils.
Where the oil is sourced is essential. The composition of the plant will vary greatly based on the location, climate, and environment. After performing a series of testing, dōTERRA discovered that where the plant is grown is a primary factor in determining the therapeutic quality of the essential oil. That’s what makes dōTERRA stand out. dōTERRA has carefully selected farmers who have mastered their art in locations where plants have been grown traditionally for many years.
Potency Begins With the Seed
dōTERRA understands that potency begins with the seed. The proper seed variety (species) and even chemotype for particular plants must be carefully selected so that the distinct molecular profile of the aromatic compounds produced by the plant can be achieved. For example, there are many different plant varieties and chemotypes for rosemary. The chemotype depicts the level of particular compounds within the oil composition which will determine specific health benefits. dōTERRA chose to offer Rosmarinus officinalis,chemotype 1,8 cineol because we appreciate the benefits this specific composition offers for respiratory support as well as mental clarity. It’s important that you know your plants and what types of benefits they offer.
Harvesting the Right Part of the Plant
The environment plays a key role in the potency or therapeutic value of the plant. Growing season, elevation, climate, moisture, soil, terrain, and pH all factor into the quality or potency of the essential oil produced. It is also essential that the right part of the plant be harvested. The aromatic compounds from the leaves of the plant will differ from what is produced in the flowers. For example, we only use the yellow flowering tops of the Helichrysum italicum plant wild-crafted from Corsica for the most dependable therapeutic benefits, but many producers will harvest the leaves and stalks as well to increase the oil yield of this delicate crop thereby increasing their profitability. This completely changes the composition of the essential oil.
Where Essential Oils are Sourced Matters
dōTERRA has made the commitment to source our essential oils from artisans who grow aromatic crops in the indigenous soils of their land and follow our stringent growing and harvesting quality standards. This allows dōTERRA to not only offer the world’s finest essential oils, but to also impact the economy in a positive way on a global scale. Isn’t it wonderful to know that the bottle of essential oil you are using today is not only benefiting you but also the person who so carefully grew it for your benefit?
Plants grown in traditional or indigenous environments yield better results because the natural elements specific to that region promote a more therapeutic profile of the aromatic compounds produced by the plant. For example, dōTERRA’s Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) essential oil is indigenous to the Provence region of France. The high altitudes at which lavender is grown results in the plant having higher ester and sesquiterpene alcohol content, thereby increasing its therapeutic benefits. You simply cannot duplicate the rocky soil and Mediterrean growing conditions that are specific to this region anywhere else. Although lavender grows readily in the United States, the therapeutic values are not as beneficial because the growing conditions that exist in its native land cannot be duplicated. Where your oils are sourced matters.
Another example is dōTERRA Lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil, which is indigenous to Sicily. The rich soil conditions, the salty, humid air from the Mediterranean Sea and rocky, mountainous terrain all contribute toward the sweet lemons that have made this region so famous for its citrus production. There is a saying in Sicily that, “lemons aren’t real unless they are Sicilian.”
Although lemon oil can be acquired from the US, Argentina, or other regions for a much lower price, dōTERRA is committed to sourcing our oils from indigenous regions that produce the highest quality essential oils. It’s not about price for us, it’s about results!
Producing essential oils that meet the dōTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade standard is a skill requiring years of experience. It takes the work of a dedicated artisan at each step, from growing and harvesting to fine-tuning the distillation process, dōTERRA only partners with the best.
About the Author: Emily’s hands-on experience and understanding of global sourcing of oils and quality assurance practices has allowed dōTERRA the ability to offer nature’s purest essences, sourced from the most pristine regions around the globe.
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