Seed to Seal: Distill

After the correct species of plant Distill has been properly identified (Seed) and expertly sown, grown, and harvested (Cultivate), if it is not correctly distilled, the resulting essential oil will not produce the desired therapeutic results. This makes Distill – the third phase in Young Living's Seed to Seal process – one of the most important steps in ensuring oil quality.

As the world leader in essential oils, Young Living is recognized as a distillation innovator and uses a gentle, proprietary technique for extracting the most potent essential oils. Founder and President, Gary Young, and other Young Living experts have decades of experience distilling essential oils. Today, Young Living operates distillation facilities in Utah, Idaho, Ecuador, France, and Oman.


Essential oils can be distilled in a variety of ways, but the most common method is steam distillation – a process that has been used for thousands of years. Following this proven technique, Young Living utilizes vaporized water that travels through the plant material to gently extract the natural oil. Once the steam passes through the plant material, the oil is carried with the steam through a series of stainless-steel pipes where it condenses and separates from the water. The water is then drained off and the remaining essential oil is taken to the Young Living laboratory for quality testing.

With each batch of essential oil, Young Living takes into consideration the part of the plant used (leaf, stem, bark, resin, etc.), when the plant was harvested, and the temperature at the time of distillation. Even minor deviations in distilling the plant material can cause an imbalance in the optimal natural constituents.


When he distills, Gary Young treats each aromatic plant differently. He understands that frankincense resin must not travel long distances before it is distilled. This is one reason why Young Living built its own distillery in Oman. Gary also distills his own lavender in Utah, Idaho, and France, where he can personally monitor the plant's chemical profile. Such is the case with hyssop, golden rod, ocotea, Palo Santo, and many other essential oils.

Young Living also uses its distillation expertise to certify partner distillers around the world. Gary Young and other sourcing specialists personally visit these global partners to certify their machinery and distilling methods. This summer, Gary and Young Living's Director of Purchasing, Mary Lou Jacobson, traveled to Canada to inspect a long-time distillation partner who provides ledum and spruce – two important oils in the line-up of Young Living singles and blends; earlier this year the pair also traveled to Madagascar to help partner distillers complete the ylang ylang harvest and distillation; and Marc Schreuder, Director of Product Formulations, traveled to Australia to supervise the distillation of blue cypress.

Whether expertly distilling essential oils or certifying partner distilleries, the Distill portion of the Seed to Seal process is further evidence of the lengths Young Living goes to produce the highest quality essential oils available on the market. This means you can trust Young Living to produce quality, therapeutic products that work.

Learn more about the Seed to Seal Process: Test