In January, I was invited to go to Young Living’s Highland Flats Farm in Naples, Idaho to help with the winter harvest. It was an honor, a pleasure, and I learned so much!
I was there for a week. I wish I could have attached a camera to my head to capture everything I experienced for you! And I wish I could put everything I experienced into words and share it with you. The experience was beyond amazing. And this experience is exactly why I chose Young Living Essential Oils for my family. Young Living is the only essential oil company that owns their farms and the only essential oil company that distills their own oils. This experience could only be had at a Young Living farm. Period. The Seed to Seal Process is the reason I chose Young Living and it was AMAZING to see that process brought to life before my eyes & be a part of it. Find out more about why I chose Young Living here.
There were 30 of us there from The Oily Angels and Healthy Living With Essential Oils teams, all but a few I had never met. We stayed at the Highland Flats farm and shared bunk beds. There were 6 of us in my cabin. Our days were packed full of classes and helping with harvest. We all took turns helping in the kitchen with cooking and cleanup.
Harvesting & Distillation
We were there to harvest Idaho Balsam Fir. “The fir tree – a tree commonly used as a Christmas tree today – has been prized through the ages for its medicinal effects and ability to heal respiratory conditions and muscular and rheumatic pain. [It is] grounding, stimulating to the mind, and relaxing to the body” (Essential Oils Pocket Reference). I was especially excited about harvesting and distilling this oil because I use it often in my favorite oily capsule.
We got to spend a lot of time with Gary Young, the owner and founder of Young Living. He was kind, humble, funny, and had a very calming presence. He took us to the “bush” to cut the trees. He showed us how to use the machinery and we each got a turn cutting a tree! After the trees were cut, they were chipped there on site and then taken back to the distillery. The distillery (which is where our cabins were) was only a few miles from the tree farm. The “gold” (the essential oil) is in the needles. So we hand gathered all of the fallen needles we could find to add to the pile. Here I am cutting my tree:
Once the chipped Idaho Balsam Fir trees were back at the distillery, they were, you guessed it, distilled. The chips were put into huge distilling pots and distilled for hours. Young Living steam distills their oils at very low temperatures for a long time to extract as much oil as possible without damaging any oil (with the exception of citrus oils which are cold-pressed). Many other commercial and perfume-grade essential oils are distilled at higher temperatures for a short amount of time and often finished off with chemical solvents instead of steam.
After the essential oils are distilled, the wood chips are removed and sent to a paper processing plant to be made into paper products. One item being made from these wood chips is the packaging for the new roll-on bottles.
I even got to bottle my own bottle of Idaho Balsam Fir!! Straight from the freshly distilled batch.
In addition to harvesting, we had lots of classes and training. We had classes from:
- Gary Young: Owner and Founder
- Lindsey Elmore, PharmD, BCPS: Director of Global Education and Health Sciences
- Tyler Wilson Chemist
- Paul Hansen; Director of Quality Assurance and Process Optimization
- Chérie Ross: Royal Crown Diamond
- Tamara Packer: Licensed Massage Therapist and learned the Raindrop Therapy Technique from Gary Young
- Jodi Samuels: Product Manager
Some Interesting Tidbits
I could write a book and still not be able to share all the information that was shared with us during the week. Here are some interesting tidbits I learned:
- The day before we got there, Young Living received a score of 100% from the FDA! Young Living went through a 5 day audit and passed with flying colors.
- Gary Young has tested his essential oils after going through the x-ray machines at the airport. Amazingly, the oils repair themselves and are not damaged!
- Last year, Young Living cut about 38k trees. They planted almost 60k trees.
- A company can label an essential oil “pure” if it contains as little as 5% of pure essential oils in the bottle.
- Each batch of Young Living Essential Oils is tested at least 3 times for purity, consistency, and contamination.
- When a person is stressed, digestion is usually the first thing to be affected.
- For symptoms in your head, put a drop of essential oil on your thumb and push to the roof of your mouth. For symptoms in the diaphragm and higher, take orally in a teaspoon of honey or coconut oil. For symptoms below the diaphragm, take the essential oils in a capsule.
- When you are congested, put the oils on the back of your neck to allow that area to drain properly.
- Ginger is almost as effective as oregano at digesting viruses. Oregano is a hot oil and people with sensitive skin & children sometimes have difficulty using it. Use ginger instead.
- Copaiba essential oil intensifies other essential oils. If you use 5 drops copaiba and 5 drops of another oil, your body will react like you used 10 drops of the other oil. (<<– A great money saving tip for the expensive oils!)
- The best Young Living supplements for memory are PD 80/20 and MindWise. The best essential oil for memory is lemon.
- “Pay attention to your thoughts when using these oils. These oils have the ability to magnify your intentions more than anything I have ever seen.” Chérie Ross
- Essential oils can regenerate and detox cells simultaneously.
- Helicrysum digests plaque in the brain (put a drop on your thumb and push to the roof of your mouth).
- If you get “oily burbs” when you take an essential oil capsule, add coconut oil to your capsule and/or eat something like bread or crackers after you take your capsule.
- The more pH balanced you are, the more effective your essential oils will be.
- Chewing frankincense gum is great for your teeth & gums and curbs appetite. Young Living’s Slique Gum has frankincense resin in it.
- Need a makeshift water filter? Add 2-3 drops of lemon or purification to your glass of water, leave for a few minutes, then run the water through a napkin to filter it.
- It is important to stay hydrated while using essential oils.
We also had a full day of Raindrop training! “Raindrop Technique® combines the art of aromatherapy with the techniques of Vita Flex and massage in the application of essential oils to various areas of the body. This collection provides a revolutionary means of bringing balance and harmony to the body – physically, mentally, and emotionally” (Young Living website). It is one of the “safest, noninvasive regimens available for spinal health” (Essential Oils Desk Reference). I wish I had known about this technique when I was in the middle of back surgeries.
Our instructor was Tamara Packer (pictured below in the purple shirt). She is a licensed massage therapist who learned the Raindrop Technique personally from D. Gary Young. She has taught Raindrop in countries all over the world including Australia, Austria, England, France, and Sweden. Tamara also served as the therapy director at the Nova Vita Clinic in Ecuador for five years.
My massage partner was Kelly from Oh Lardy! Unfortunately, I was unable to receive a massage. I was pregnant during this trip. Tamara said that since it was my 1st Raindrop, she did not recommend getting the first one while pregnant. She said that if my body was used to them and I had been getting them, she would be a little more comfortable with it. The Raindrop technique uses a lot of very strong essential oils. Even if I had Raindrop massages before, I don’t think I would get one while pregnant (unless I felt it was necessary for back comfort). But as always, that decision is completely up to the pregnant mama.
Young Living sells a Raindrop kit. It comes with everything you need:
- Aroma Siez
- Ortho Ease Massage Oil
- V-6 Massage Oil
- An Instructional DVD
I bought 2 of these kits after the demonstration. I’m looking forward to giving more massages (and receiving!) in the future.
The essential oils are dropped like rain (hence the name “Raindrop”) in a specific order onto the back along the spine. They are feathered out using fingers over the back muscles, shoulders, and neck. The oils continue to work for several days healing and realigning. Many recipients report less pain and more mobility.
Here is an AMAZING testimonial from my friend (Ashley Diette, Virginia, a Young Living Gold) that had her 1st Raindrop massage during this training:
“I have had severe scoliosis since middle school and have chosen not to go through fusion or other surgeries. I used to be in pain most days; but the oils have helped me deal with that naturally. Guess what is better than dealing with pain??? Helping resolve the issue!! My hands are usually 3 inches different in length when I extend them, my shoulder blades are extremely uneven, and my right should curves in noticeably. I feel taller, my arms are the SAME length, my shoulders are even in the front, and my upper back is almost symmetrical!! Oh my goodness!! These oils are able to digest bacteria, viruses, and encourage balance in the spine. I am SO excited at what happened here his afternoon. I am not completely straight yet but well on my way!”
Wanna Visit A Farm?!
Young Living is the ONLY essential oil company that owns their own farms. And guess what?!?! You can visit the farms, too! Here is some information on their farms with addresses, phone numbers, distillery tours, and special events going on at each farm.
So Are You Ready To Join Young Living?!
My week at the farm was beyond amazing! I’ve never experienced anything like it. If you ever have the opportunity to go, don’t miss it! I am looking forward to visiting more of Young Living’s farms in the future.
To get started with Young Living, click here for more information (including how you can get 24% off of your orders and how to get a FREE copy of the Essential Oils Pocket Reference book – a nearly 500 page reference guide I refer to every single day).