Young Living Essential Oils Seed to Seal Process - Step 3: Distillation

Step 3: Distillation

Young Living distilleries use only stainless steel and glass material for the distillation vats, condensers and separators.  They document all pertinent distillation data, including volume of plant material, curing time if needed, steam temperature, time of distillation, essential oil yield, and harvest location of every batch of essential oil at their farms.  They distill only single species of plants for the essential oil extraction and must, therefore, have plant verification before entering into any partner agreements.  

We support both ancient and modern techniques of steam distillation, hydrodistillation that is used for the extraction of the oil from the resin tree, and cold pressing of the rind of fruits to produce the highest quality oils for Young Living.   

Young Living's Seed to Seal 

This is a 5 part series where we will spend some time examining Young Living Essential Oil's Seed to Seal process.  Seed to Seal is the process that controls the production of every essential oil from the farm to the labeled bottle ready to be sold.  

The 5 steps in the Seed to Seal process are:

The Young Living Seed to Seal process ensures the highest quality possible of every essential oil poured into the bottle at the production facility, thus providing their members with the confidence that they are buying the very best essential oils available.

Show me your friends, and ill show you your future - Dan Pena

When Gary Young started his new business, he was a 'one-man band.'  From Monday through Thursday, he answered the phone and took orders and then packed them and had them ready for shipping.  He filled the oil bottles by hand in his little lab and hand wrote the labels for them.  Thursday evenings he would put the answering machine on an fly out to a different city for meetings in an effort to grow his business.  Sunday night he would return home and prepare to do it all over again.  He quickly realized that in order to grow he needed to be around more successful people and learn from them.  

Jean-Noel Landel - The French Connection

In 1990, while giving a lecture at Whole Life Expo in California, Gary met Jean-Noel Landel.  Jean-Noel was visiting from France trying to find someone to buy his lavender oil.  After speaking with Gary they hit it off and Jean-Noel invited Gary to visit him in France.  One month later Gary found himself in France meeting with Jean-Noel's family who would eventually become business parters to the Young Living brand.  Today the Landel family help Young Living with their Lavender Farm which is where a large portion of their lavandula angustifolia is grown

Marcel Espieu - Mentor and Friend 

Gary travelled back and forth many times learning about France and the essential oil industry from Jenn-Noel.  One year after Jean-Noel introduced Gary to Marcel Espieu, the president of the Lavender Growers Association.  Marcel was not very open or receptive to this curious American who kept asking questions.  However, with time, Marcel could see how serious Gary was and eventually invited him to see the distillery.  Gary volunteered to work filling the firebox and doing anything that Marcel asked.  Gary stayed late into the night keeping the firebox filled, and Marcel would then come to trade places with him until morning.

Marcel began to trust Gary more and more which developed into a friendship that they share to this day.   Marcel tough Gary everything he could, and Gary would often drive with him to take the lavender oil to the perfumeries in Grasse, France.  It was amazing that even though they did not speak each other's language, the were able to communicate through working together and accomplishing the desired goal.  As Gary learned about distillation, he began to visualize building his own distillery.  Everybody laughed and Marcel make jokes about the American who thought he could do what the French have done for hundreds of years.

Henri Viaud - The Father of Distillation

There was yet another teacher of distillation who Gary wanted to meet, Henri Viaud, who at that time was considered the 'father of distillation,' lived in the mountains in Provence, not far from Jean-Noel; but he was not open to having visitors, especially 'curious' Americans.  However, Gary persisted; and one night, five years later, Mr. Viaud came to Head-Noel's house for dinner when Gary was there.  

In a very short but intensive interview, Mr. Viaud asked Gary what essential oils meant to him.  Feeling tremendous pressure and with much anxiety, Gary said, 'I believe that essential oils are the closet physical and tangible substance that carries the spirit of God on earth.'  Pointing his finger at Gary and in a dramatic tone of voice with a heavy French accent, he said, 'You are right and anyone who messes with them should be treated like a criminal.'  Then he stood up, turned, and abruptly walked out the door.

Jean-Noel walked Mr. Viaud to his car; and when Jean-Noel returned, he said to Gary, who was feeling very defeated, 'Mr. Viaud wants you on his mountain at 6 a.m.' It was an exhilarating moment  for Gary that left him sleepless and with great anticipation.  

Gary spent many days with Mr. Viaud, cutting and harvesting wild lavender, thyme, and rosemary and then distilling them.  He had only two 1,500-liter cookers, so the distilling was slow.  The days added up to weeks and then months as Gary traveled back and forth from the U.S., going up the mountain to Mr. Viaud distillery, to work.  Between Mr. Viaud and Marcel, Gary could not have had better teachers.

Over the length of four years, Gary traveled back and forth to France, spending as much time as he could studying and working in all aspects of the production from planting, to harvesting, and to all facets of the extraction process.  Volunteering to help harvest, working in the distillery, and tending the firebox and boiler at night enabled him to study the cooking and distillation in detail.  He made meticulous notes as he measured and drew plans for his future distilleries.  

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