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Lovely Lavender

Lavender… 

It’s one of the world’s most popular scents, found in everything from bath salts and lotions to perfumes, soaps, candles, and air fresheners. However, it is commonly a synthetic fragrance, made in a lab, and such lavender does not carry therapeutic value. 

Did you know that 80% of the world’s population of lavender is grown from cloned plants? If you have a plant that is unhealthy in some way, and then you clone seeds from that plant, that means the entire farm is planted with literally the same plant times thousands, that is producing a substandard oil, and it’s the same throughout the whole crop. These large quantities of oil are rather expensive to dispose of, and so they are altered in a lab to bring them up to par, and then sold via brokers to essential oil companies around the US as pure oils, because the average American consumer generally doesn’t know the difference. The FDA does not regulate or produce any requirements for an oil to be labeled “pure,” other than that they must contain 5% of the actual essential oil. The rest can be altered with fillers, preservatives, and synthetics and sold with a “pure” label, but it is a food grade or perfume grade oil at best and will not have therapeutic value.

But at Young Living, they do things right and with the utmost integrity. We are the only company left that grows true lavender from seeds! Our famous lavender farm in the south of France raises every lavender plant from seeds harvested on the same farm. When a lavender crop is harvested for distillation, several rows of plants are left in the ground from which to propagate seeds as starters for a new crop. Plants grown from seeds are capable of yielding more than a cloned plant, and also lessens your chances of inheriting any pests or diseases from a cutting.

This is where Young Living’s Seed to Seal guarantee begins – from the very seed that is put in the ground. In fact, one of Young Living’s most famous contributions to the international lavender farming community tells how Gary Young saved true French lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) from extinction when he brought seeds home in his boot from his visits to France between 1985-1989, and planted them in Spokane, Washington in 1989 and St. Maries, Idaho in 1992-1994. Over the next several years, Gary cultivated that crop until it flourished and over two decades later, when lavender crops throughout France were ravaged and destroyed by wild viruses, fungus, and drought, Gary returned with seeds from St. Marie’s farm and reestablished the beautiful, thriving, rich purple fields that Young Living’s Simiane-la-Rotonde farm in southern France is famous for today. The entire story can be found in Mary Young’s biography of Gary’s life, entitled “D. Gary Young: The World Leader in Essential Oils.” 

The Simiane-la-Rotonde Lavender Farm and Distillery (right) is open to the public for tours, and is farmed by four generations of lavender growers with a collective 100 years of combined knowledge and experience. Fun fact: the French farm uses sheep to weed the lavender, saving on manual labor and also avoiding the use of harsh chemical weeding agents that would destroy the plant’s ability to produce a therapeutic grade essential oil. Jared Turner, President of Young Living, shared recently that it costs YL $12,000 to weed one acre of farm land by hand, whereas it costs others $60 per acre to spray weedkillers.  Those weedkillers (and pesticides) then end up in measurable amounts in the essential oils produced from sprayed plants. Young Living would rather do it right – because who needs to use an essential oil that is adulterated with commercial farming toxins? NOBODY!

Lavender is also grown on the Mona farm in Utah, and this farm hosts several large events each year for members to enjoy, including Lavender Days and International Grand Convention every summer. For many Young Living members, the Mona farm is their first farm visit and is truly an eye opening experience to discover the depth of detail and integrity that is used to distill the finest lavender essential oil in the world.

The distilled lavender takes on a slightly different aroma from year to year as the plant adapts to the environment and the region it grows in. Some years, lavender essential oil has a sweet smell and other years it is slightly more biting and bitter. Nonetheless, you can rest assured in Young Living’s Seed to Seal Guarantee that each small batch will be tested to ensure the therapeutic quality of every bottle of oil that finds its way from the warehouse into members’ hands.

What do you do with that Lavender essential oil once it’s in your home? Well, you can diffuse it for a calming aroma (add some Cedarwood essential oil for some extra Zzzzs, and then add Vetiver to the same blend to maximize your brain potential while you study!). You might add it to an epsom salt bath for a relaxing soak to wind down from a busy day, or put a drop or three onto your pillow, onto wool dryer balls instead of dryer sheets, or onto a cotton ball that can placed into a drawer with stored linens. You can also keep it handy in the kitchen for skin that comes into contact with hot items. Young Living’s Savvy Minerals cosmetics line is infused with lavender oil, making the cosmetic line extra nourishing to the skin.

As for Lavender Vitality, place a drop under your tongue to support the body’s response to outdoor environmental pollutants, or impress your guests by looking up a delicious recipe for lavender ice cream, sugar cookies, or lemonade.

The possibilities for lavender essential oil are endless. It has definitely earned its nickname – the Swiss Army Knife of essential oils! 

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