With rumors about snake oils racing around the online world like mad jet skis on a busy summer lake, the question of, “Can I trust Young Living?” is an important one.
The good news? I have the answer.
Anyone can claim anything on a website, and have it regarded as truth — at least until someone takes them to court to prove otherwise. So why should you trust me? Because I’m going to deliver facts that support my opinion.
Now back to the question: Can you trust Young Living? The answer is yes. You can without a doubt trust Young Living products. Now, let’s prove it!
Fact 1: The Right Foundation
Young Living was founded in 1993 by D. Gary Young. Prior to starting the company, Gary studied nutrition, biochemistry and essential oils in various places around the world. Now he continues to lead the company, with his wife and a team of experts. Here are a few, as of May 2016:
- R. Michael Buch – PhD
- Dr. Lindsey Elmore – PharmD, BCPS
- Christi Bonds-Garrett – MA, MD
- Clell M. Fowles – RPh, BA, BS
- Peter Minke – PhD
- Carlos Orozco – BS (Experimental Biology, Biochemistry, Biophysics), MS (Immunology), MD (Rep Med, Gynecological Oncology), PhD (Biochemistry), ND (Nutritional Medicine)
- Tom Reed – DPM, DABPS, DABPM, FACFAS
- Olivier C. Wenker – MD, MBA, ABAARM, DEAA
Read more including details on schools and credentials here: Young Living Scientific Advisory Council. But as you can see, Young Living is backed with serious credentials.
Young Living wasn’t founded by a businessman. It was founded by someone dedicated to discovering as much as possible about health and the natural world. D. Gary Young continues to spend his time locating land for new farms, planting, distilling and formulating the products so many of us love.My View on the Critics: If you’ve done a bit of Googling when trying to figure out if you can trust Young Living, you’ve probably read information from sites like Quackwatch slamming Young Living and/or Gary Young. I don’t want to waste time on the topic, but since this page is about facts, it should be addressed.
My opinion? The best approach to finding the truth regarding online claims is to “reverse Google” the source. For example, Quackwatch is one of a rumored 60+ sites run by Stephen Barrett. It doesn’t take much time to reveal interesting facts about his history and mission. All he has to do is put the same accusations on 60 websites, and everyone thinks it’s factual. Wrong.
Every successful American at some point receives a barrage of criticism, and D. Gary Young is no exception. Simply Google Abraham Lincoln and you’ll find articles calling him a hero, and others calling him a tyrant.
At the end of the day, you can probably find some type of dirt on anyone, because they’re human. It’s what they’re doing now that matters — as long as the past didn’t have them as a serial killer! I’ve personally met Gary Young, and heard him speak in intimate settings, large group meetings and at a couple of his farms. My first hand experience has produced nothing but respect for his work and life.
Fact 2: Commitment to Quality
Young Living doesn’t waiver in quality. I witnessed this in 2014 when one of Young Living’s most popular products, the Valor essential oil blend, went out of stock due to a shortage of blue spruce. This cost the company millions of dollars. My wife and I were at the St. Maries farm in Idaho, and Gary flew in for a few hours. He addressed the shortage and said that even though people urged him to change the blend to meet demand, he wouldn’t do it. He’d rather the company lose money than compromise a blend that he had formulated for a specific purpose.
Wow — That’s a memory I’ll never forget. Show me someone who will sacrifice millions for quality, and I’ll show you someone who will experience ongoing success with an ocean of loyal customers.
Young Living does not sacrifice quality to meet demand. If you decide to purchase products from them, be prepared for out of stock times as new harvests are waited on. This isn’t the typical grocery store where chemical filled, synthetic products are always available. It goes against America’s “give it to me now” entitlement, but it’s completely worth the wait.
Fact 3: Seed to Seal / Farms
If I knew nothing else about Young Living, the fact that they own and operate their own farms would go a long way in convincing me to trust them. And it goes beyond privately held farms — the Seed to Seal™ guarantee is the only one in the essential oil industry.
In a nutshell, Seed to Seal means everything is done right from seed selection to sealing the jar of oil. If you’re new to the oil industry, there a many, many steps that if not performed correctly, can radically reduce the therapeutic quality of an oil. And how does one know if an oil has been damaged? With GCMS testing in a lab – but I’m getting ahead of myself.
Visit our Young Living farms page to learn more about each location. In addition to owning their own farms, Young Living has a few significant claims that will impress anyone in the industry:
- Young Living is the first and only company to distill and export sacred frankincense from Oman and bring it to the western world.
- They are the only American company to own a lavender farm in France.
- Young Living is the only company cultivating helichrysum in Croatia.
Co-op & Partner Farms?
Young Living does use partner farms, co-op farms and suppliers for certain oils, but the Seed to Seal guarantee is never compromised. Young Living is notorious for refusing entire shipments when the oils do not pass their own stringent lab tests.
Fact 4: Superior Laboratory Testing
Seed to Seal™ isn’t possible without laboratory testing. Whether the oils are from a Young Living farm, co-op or partner farm, proper testing is a must to ensure the oils are therapeutic grade.
Laboratories have libraries of compounds stored within their chromatographic computer systems. These libraries are often purchased from the instrument manufacturers, and are then supplemented over time by the lab itself – but it can take years to build up a quality library. A relatively new lab will often only contain the compounds loaded by the manufacturer. Or they will purchase a library tailored to their industry, such as pharmaceuticals or petrochemicals.
A gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS) is an analysis technique used to identify and quantify all of the compounds within a sample. When a GCMS test is run at a lab, the computer will analyze the output and attempt to match it with what is contained in their library. If the lab doesn’t have the correct compounds in their library they will often not identify the compounds correctly.
Example: Look at this like fonts loaded on your computer. Have you ever received a Word document or presentation created by someone else, with a font that your computer doesn’t have? What happens? Your computer takes its best guess at a font substitution. We all know this usually doesn’t work – you end up with wrong sizing, skewed presentation slides, etc. The same goes for a laboratory. If a petrochemical lab tried to analyze a sample of peppermint oil, their systems will not have the needed information.
Young Living is the oldest essential oils company of current day, and their labs have the most extensive essential oil libraries. This is a massive advantage in accurately identifying the components of essential oils. If you took anything to a lab for analysis, if the lab didn’t have the extensive libraries loaded for that specific substance, the results could be inaccurate.
Young Living has the laboratories and skilled technicians required to accurately analyze each essential oil to ensure that not just their own oils, but partner farm oils meet all required criteria. As mentioned above, Young Living often sends entire shipments back to a farm because something wasn’t done right during planting, harvest or distillation, and the oils don’t meet YL’s standards.
A Single Test Will Not Do
Any experienced chemist will tell you that more than one method of testing is required to verify quality. This is why Young Living introduces 8 or more methods of testing into their production process. This adds 10 days to their supply chain, which introduces substantial expense.
3rd Party Labs
Young Living doesn’t stop with their own expertise. They employ 3rd party labs, and the labs are the best in the business. We’re talking government / EPA certified laboratories that have been in business for decades — one in particular for over 50 years. They are not fly-by-night labs that charge a hundred bucks to crank out an analysis in a day. But seasoned shops even used for high level forensics cases.
Millions in Research and Testing
Millions of dollars are spent by Young Living each year in laboratory testing and research. The extra time and precise work of the Young Living laboratories is yet another thing that separates this company from the rest. It means the oils and blends you receive with the Young Living label are the best in the business.
Michael Buch, PhD, Vice President of Research and Development and Product Management, talks about how they scientifically measure the purity and quality of our essential oils. He also demonstrates the most common tests used to determine if a product meets Young Living’s Seed to Seal standard.
Fact 5: A Global Mission
The Young Living Foundation builds homes, orphanages and schools around the world for people in need. Young Living Corporate pays the salaries of everyone working at the foundation, so 100% of donations go to meeting real needs, not paying for salaries, office space and the plethora of other expenses consuming the donations at other charities.
A more recent project was assisting in Nepal in 2016 after the 2015 earthquake. Young Living arrived in the country to find that very little was being done to help thousands of people in need. Money donated was tied up in red tape, so the YL Foundation made things happen. In fact, the American Red Cross thanked Young Living for the assistance.
I believe God blesses people and companies who have a heart for the poor. James, the brother of Jesus, said helping widows and orphans is a big deal. The fact that Young Living takes helping others seriously, opens a window into the heart of the company as a whole.
This post only scratches the surface of the things that make Young Living a company you can trust. My wife and I are Diamond level distributors, and with that we have a lot of access to see how the company works first hand. Besides personal visits to farms and hearing from their chemists, we’ve met with corporate leadership to strategize and plan for a better future. And the great news is that you don’t have to be a Diamond level distributor to schedule your own personal visits to farms! They’ll even let you participate in planting and/or harvest if you really want to see things in detail.
Young Living is a company of integrity, humility and passion that I am incredibly proud to be a part of.