Was Dr. Pappas ever an employee of Young Living Essential Oils?

The answer to this question is ABSOLUTELY NOT! Unfortunately there has been an attempt by some YL reps over the years to use his good name to promote their products. But the facts are that Dr. P did some consulting work for Young Living back in the late 90’s. He was hired by Young Living to help them get a handle on their quality control and improve their analytical techniques. But ever since then his words have been twisted and manipulated by certain people in order to promote their products, most everything that has been reported claiming to be a direct quote from Dr. P concerning these products is complete fabrication.

What is an essential oil?

Essential oils can play a role in your life through many applications. Essential oils are the volatile, aromatic, non-water soluble liquids obtained by steam or hydrodistillation of botanicals. Most essential oils are primarily composed of terpenes and their oxygenated derivatives.  Different parts of the plants can be used to obtain essential oils, including the flowers, leaves, seeds, roots, stems, bark, wood, etc.

Certain cold-pressed oils, such as the oils from various citrus peels, are also considered to be essential oils for traditional reasons but the citrus oils are the only non-distilled oils considered to be essential oils.  These are not to be confused with cold-pressed fixed or carrier oils such as olive, grapeseed, coconut etc. which are non-volatile oils composed mainly of fatty acid triglycerides and should never be called essential oils.

Other aromatic, plant-derived oils, which technically aren’t essential oils because they are solvent extracted, include absolutes (hexane followed by ethanol extraction), CO2’s (liquid carbon dioxide used as the solvent) and Phytols or Florosols (fluorocarbon solvent).  Its very important to understand the fundamental difference between a solvent extraction process and a distillation process, they are not the same thing.   This is why one should absolutely NEVER say that essential oils are “extracted by steam distillation” as this is a nonsensical statement.

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What are Carrier Oils?

Carrier oils are cold pressed vegetal oils and are non-volatile and typically low odor or odorless. They are heavier oils that are usually composed of fatty acid triglycerides. Most carrier oils go rancid fairly quickly due to the presence of unsaturated fatty acid side change (presence of multiple double bonds, providing sites for oxidation). One notable exception to this is Fractionated Coconut oil (not to be confused with whole coconut oil), which consists of only saturated fatty acid side chains and thus does not oxidize and thus has an indefinite shelf life.

What are Absolutes?

Absolutes are solvent extracted products. They produced by a multi-step process which involves first extracting the flower (or other biomass) with a non-polar solvent such as hexane. After the hexane is evaporated a waxy product is obtained called the CONCRETE. The concrete is then extracted using a polar solvent such as ethanol. The polarity of ethanol will allow extraction of the volatile aromatics from the concrete while leaving behind the non-polar plant waxes which don’t dissolve well in ethanol. Finally, the ethanol is evaporated to leave behind the absolute which will typically have 1-5% ethanol remaining in it and sometimes a trace of hexane, depending on the method used.

What are CO2s?

CO2 extracts, like absolutes, are solvent extracted products. The key difference is that the solvent in this case is simply CO2 or Carbon Dioxide (that’s right, the same stuff you exhale with every breath!). Obviously, carbon dioxide is a gas under normal atmospheric conditions, but under certain conditions of low temperature and high pressure we can actually force Carbon Dioxide to become a liquid. In the liquid phase CO2 happens to be a good solvent for extracting out the aromatic molecules from plants. Once the desired extraction is complete, you simply bring the extraction vessel to normal atmospheric conditions and the CO2 rapidly converts back to a gas and dissipates, leaving behind a very high quality aromatic product that is the true, unchanged essence of the plant and completely free of solvent! CO2 Selects - obtained at lower pressures and more closely compare to the volatility of essential oils since the less of the heavier waxy materials are extracted. CO2 Totals - Obtained at higher pressures to get out the volatiles along with the heavier molecules and plant waxes that would not be seen in essential oils.

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