Seed to Seal™: Cole Woolley’s Perspective

I started working for Young Living in Sep 2009. By Feb 2010 Gary sent me to Oman to establish the first Young Living Cooperative Farm to distill Sacred Frankincense.

Cooperative Farms are unique and special to Young Living. They are independently owned and operated, yet support by Young Living with exclusive essential oils. Cooperative Farms allow Young Living to establish Farms and Distilleries close to our global family of Members. Young Living will often: provide some funds to get the Cooperative Farm started, work with the owner to develop ties with Gary Young, research novel essential oils, and then develop supply chains to launch the exclusive essential oils for Young Living.

Because of our cooperative farms you as members are able to receive and love the exclusive Young Living oils. such as Jade Lemon, Hong Kuai, Xiang Mao, and many more!

Source: Dr Cole Woolley PhD, January 21, 2015

Step 1 – SEED

At Young Living Essential Oil we have high standards of purity and integrity. All our oils unless noted otherwise are single essential oils, such as: Sacred Frankincense, Lavender, Peppermint, Jade Lemon, Blue Cypress, etc. We take great care to ensure that all single essential oils are authentic and single species.

Young Living quality begins by choosing premium seedYoung Living also consults with expert botanists at universities throughout the world to identify the single-species that we are wild-crafting (collecting in the wild), and that are cultivated on farms

The benefit of tracking genuine seed is that you can depend on the health benefits documented by scientific research papers.

“Seed” establishes a firm foundation upon which the Seed-to-Seal process is built.

Planting only premium seed forms the foundation of Young Living's qualityCome visit our Mona Lavender Farm from February – April to experience the germination and growth of Lavender seedlings in one of our many warm, large greenhouses.

Come visit Salalah, Oman from March-June to see the Boswellia sacra trees in the Dhofar Mountain range that are being tapped for Sacred Frankincense resin.

Our active greenhouses on the Ecuador Ylang Ylang Farm will have cuttings of Plectranthus Oregano (another exclusive Young Living essential oil), seedlings of Dorado Azul, and seedlings of Amazonian Ylang Ylang (we now have over 40,000 Ylang Ylang trees here on this Corporate Farm!).

Lavender Planting Machine

This machine is used to plant the young Lavender plants. However a farmer still needs to sit in the seat and feed the lavender plants into the machine for it to work. Such labor and love goes into our farms!

Weeding Lavender by Hand Beehives on Lavender Farm

Step 2 – Cultivate

This step establishes purity, and quality of Young Living’s essential oils.

“Cultivate” means we use the latest scientific methods in the agriculture of aromatic plants.

“Cultivate” means we use eco-friendly techniques in harvesting wild plants (wildcrafting) to ensure continual abundance of the aromatic plants for many years to come and safeguard the other natural plants in the wild, along roads, along fences, and in forests.

“Cultivate” also means using responsible hand-weeding practices just prior to harvesting the aromatic plant matter. Spend some vacation time in summer to visit our Corporate Farms in Mona, Utah and St. Maries, Idaho to walk the rows of growing Lavender, Melissa, Hyssop, Clary Sage, and other aromatic plants. Please visit our Young Living Partner Farm in Simiane, France to experience the cultivation of Young Living Lavender plants.

Cultivate is another step in the Seed-to-Seal promise that allows Young Living to have genuine essential oils that you can trust!

Source: Dr Cole Woolley PhD, July 23, 2015

Step 3 – DISTILL

Young Living has a deep history in distilling essential oils. “We Live the Story” of distillation of aromatic plants into essential oils. The methods we use are hydro-distillation and steam-distillation. Once the oil is distilled it is stored in Stainless steel drums and kept at a cool temperature to maintain its highest quality!

Gary Young tending a distiller, excited to see the oilNow is the time to visit the Highland Flats Distillery in northern Idaho where we are harvesting, chipping and steam distilling Idaho Blue Spruce, Idaho Ponderosa Pine, and Idaho Balsam Fir essential oils. You will see Gary’s draft horses helping to pull harvested trees in the frozen snow guided by our experienced horsemen.They may let you assist in driving the horses.

At the end of distillation process, essential oil floating on waterI spent some time at the Mona Lavender Farm just 1.5 hours south of the Lehi Headquarters. They have been distilling Juniper trees that are being harvested to help clear some land nearby. They will be distilling Juniper all Winter. What a great way to create your own Seed-to-Seal experience. We live the Story!

During the Summer come by the Mona Lavender Farm in June, July and August to experience daily harvesting and distillation of Lavender tops – there is no better Seed-to-Seal experience.

Source: Dr Cole Woolley PhD, January 28, 2015

Step 4- TEST

You would think that by spending all our time ensuring single-species, authentic species, carefully cultivating and harvesting aromatic plants, and using proper steam distillation techniques that Young Living should not have to test the essential oils. Wrong! We test, test, and test to ensure all previous steps meet the Seed-to-Seal standards.

Young Living Quality Testing Equipment  When we purchase essential oils from around the world, we require a small sample for testing. This sample is sent to our global Research Lab in Lehi, Utah where it is carefully tested by GCMS, and polarimetry to ensure that it meets Young Living’s standards.

Most samples take less than a few days, while others may take a week or two in order to verify proper composition. It is quite common to reject a number of samples that are delivered to the Research Lab. Young Living does not buy the essential oil unless it meets Young Living’s quality standards. This is only the beginning…

Testing Young Living Oils for Quality StandardsWhen the large drums and jugs of essential oil are received at Young Living’s warehouse, either from a Young Living Corporate Farm, Young Living Cooperative Farm, or one of our qualified suppliers; we treat them all as if we have never seen the samples before.

Quality Control scientists then test each essential oil by the methods and standards provided by the Research scientists. This testing in Quality Control can last from 1-3 weeks before the “OK” is given to allow the essential oil into our refrigerated locker and kept at 45°F to maintain its freshness for Step 5 – Seal.

Source: Dr Cole Woolley PhD, January 29, 2015

Young Living Essential Oils Stored in Glass or Stainless Steel DrumsQuality Control tests each essential oil sample by these scientific instruments:

Optical Rotation – The Polarimeter measures optical rotation which is a measure of the “left” and “right” hand versions of the essential oil molecules. This is a key indicator of essential oils.

Specific Gravity – The density or specific gravity tells us how much volume a gram of essential oil fills. This helps us when we weight products so we can determine the volume.

Refractive Index – Essential oil molecules scattered light as a measure of the composition of the essential oil

FTIR – The infrared spectrum of an essential oil reviews the functional groups that make up each molecule. Our instrument matches the spectrum and compares it with a library of standards to determine the essential oil name and how closely it matches the standards.

GC – The gas chromatograph is equipped with dual Flame Ionization Detectors (FID) to allow for polar column and nonpolar column simultaneous analysis. The GC separates the 100-300 components found in nearly every essential oil so they can be identified and the percentage determined. This is a key indicator of essential oil quality.

Color – essential oil color must fall within the color limits of the color wheel that meet Young Living standards.

Aroma – We have an Aroma Panel who smell each sample of essential oil sent to the Quality Control lab. We have some trained “noses” here that can distinguish related essential oils and detect off-odors with their trained sense of smell.

Source: Dr Cole Woolley PhD, January 29, 2015

Step 5 – SEAL

At our Young Living Corporate farms we are using polished stainless steel barrels to keep the oil in an inert environment. Stainless steel and glass are the best inert containers for essential oils. We clean and reuse the polished stainless steel barrels. We use these polished stainless steel barrels because it is the right thing to do. Yes, they cost more; but by reusing these inert containers the price is actually less.

Labeling Young Living bottlesSeal also means that when we fill the 5ml and 15ml bottles that we take special care that all parts in the filling machines are clean from the previous essential oil. When you get a bottle of Thieves, it is not contaminated with Sacred Frankincense (and visa-versa). Seal means maintaining purity of each single essential oil and each blend essential oil.

Seal also means creating essential oil blends with the same formula from bottle-to-bottle. Our Quality Control laboratory testing helps ensure consistency of Young Living essential oil blends. Yes, there may be some natural variation in the essential oil due

Source: Dr Cole Woolley PhD, January 30, 2015

Seal also means that the quality of the essential oil is guaranteed!!

Filling essential oil bottles properly at Young Living facilityOur internal production workers know what classifies a “Young Living product”. You will not get a bottle with the lid screw on improperly, or a label that is sideways, or the volume of essential oil that is not correct. These employees are trained on specific quality measures that make their role in sealing in quality a number 1 priority.

Source: Dr Cole Woolley PhD, January 30, 2015

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