April 28, 2014

Why there is no expiration date on Young Living Essential Oils.

I had a fellow Lemon Drop friend post this on her wall so I took the opportunity to ask Dr. Cole Woolley why exactly pure essential oils don't expire, here's what he said.

Pure, from the ground, plants distilled into oil DO NOT expire and can last for centuries. Essential oil is not a perishable item. If oils come from plants (as long as they are contained) they maintain bio-activity, safety, and efficacy. They don’t grow mold, yeast, or mildew because they don’t contain water and have antimicrobial, anti-viral properties.

Young Living has a date stamp on every label; yr/m/d. They stamp when the product is bottled and can trace back to a particular batch of essential oil (through the seed to seal process) with that stamp. (Read about the seed to seal process here.)



Not even heat up to 130 degrees Fahrenheit can affect the molecular properties of the oils. That much heat or below will only affect the rapidity of the evaporation process. Evaporation does not affect its molecular properties, it will only affect the volume. In a pure oil, the monoterpenes are going to evaporate first (because they are lighter molecules), and the sesquiterpenes will remain. When a person leaves a bottle open and oil has evaporated slightly, it was the monoterpenes evaporating. They’ll even evaporate slowly through the plastic caps and leave the sesquiterpenes behind. But that’s ok, the sesquiterpenes are the powerhouse of the oil. They’re the bioactive power of the oil.

Essential oils have been unearthed in jars in Egypt and were still usable and sesquiterpene rich. Dr. Woolley found frankincense resin in the sands of Oman and there was still oil in the resin even after 65+ years of being buried. Resin itself can stay in the Omani market for 5-10 years and still maintain its properties.

Most other companies use a 3 year expiration date, 3 years from the oil being bottled. Yet, an expiration date for oils is not required in the US but only in Austria and very few other countries. It's not required so why put it on? It would seem that other companies may have a concern with their oils. What are the chemicals in their oils that only allows them to last for only 3 years? Is their oil reactive, is it stable? Is there something in them that makes them unstable? So why the expiration date on something that doesn't, or rather shouldn't expire? Why would their oils go bad?

It's interesting to think about and definitely something to consider when purchasing oils. Phil and I use YL's oils for a reason, not just because we think they're cool but when we know the behind the scene process of how Young Living grows and sources their oils there's just no other oil that can compare.





22 comments:

D. C. said...

According to the FDA (per their web site), in order for something to be food grade (GRAS certified) it must carry an expiration date. Are Young Living oils not even even food grade? I was told they were safe to take internally but now it doesn't even look like they meet the government's lowest standards. This concerns me. Where can I get more info on testing practices and procedures and company (not personal) usage claims.?

AlteredHeart said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
foryoursweetpea said...

Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) is an American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designation that a chemical or substance added to food is considered safe by experts,[1] and so is exempted from the usual Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) food additive tolerance requirements.[1]

If an oil is GRAS certified it is not 100% pure because that certification is for chemical additives and preservatives. The FDA does not certify foods or supplements only the additives. They do however evaluate the labels to make sure they aren't making claims that haven't been tested.

As far as expiration dates go homeopathic remedies are exempt from expiration requirements. http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=211.137

foryoursweetpea said...

Also, food isn't required to have an expiration date with the exception of baby formula. http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/wcm/connect/19013cb7-8a4d-474c-8bd7-bda76b9defb3/Food_Product_Dating.pdf?MOD=AJPERES

D. C. said...

My oil bottles do have dates on them. I know that was addressed in the article, but I'm curious about how i can use this date for tracking purposes. Can the company answer this for me? I know they shouldn't expire but i don't want to get a 5 year old bottle in my order. iI have pre dried herbs that all have expiration dates on them and they are just dried plants. I haven't been with the company long but it still seems like there should be more information on the bottle about in the blends and project sorting and usage.

TSM said...

D. C. Have you ever gotten a 5 year old bottle of EO in any of your orders? I've been ordering from the Young Living mentioned in the blog article since around 1995 and have never gotten any essential oil, or any consumable product for that matter, that is 5 years old. I'm not sure what you mean when you said "I'm curious about how I can use this date for tracking purposes".....what are you wanting to track other than date? If you are wanting to track how old your bottles of oil are, like you said...the date is on the bottle. As you learn more, you'll understand how different dried herbs are from the essential oils you're getting. You may want to check with the person who introduced you to Young Living Essential Oils. They would probably love to assist you, that's what they're for....to sponsor and support you. Also a really good essential oil reference book would be a great resource if you don't have one. Some other great resources that will probably answer some of your question would be your starter kit, the product guide, and your virtual office. If you log in and look around, there's a great deal of information in the members resources. Best wishes on your journey

Riens HandmadeSoap said...

This is something I have been pondering for a while now. Has anyone come to this conclusion yet, are there any answers on why there is no expiration date on the oil bottles?

kfont said...

http://www.theessentialhealth.saludesencial.org/why-there-is-no-expiration-date-on-young-living-essential-oils-bottles/ Looks like you have been plagiarized.

Trish said...

Essential oils are not homeopathic, which by definition is a system of medical practice that treats a disease especially by the administration of minute doses of a remedy that would in larger amounts produce in healthy persons symptoms similar to those of the disease.

Therefore they don't technically meet the homeopathic exemption indicated.

They fall into many FDA categories, depending on the oil and what it is best used for (topical, aromatic, internal) that are largely unregulated, which is what causes the huge grey area.

However, the FDA CAN regulate claims made, and does require production of EOs to follow cGMPs - so a company putting an expiration date on EOs does't necessarily mean they're not pure, it is equally as likely they're just making an effort to be in compliance with the FDA because as we all know, they can put a huge damper on a business!

Reyne Polk said...

There are no expiration dates on Young Living Essential Oils. this is because the oils are made in their purest forms. you can however track which farm the oils came from by the number on the back of the bottle. If the oils are pure with no additives there should be no expiration date.

Diana said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana said...

I would be very interested to hear your thoughts on the points made in this article:
http://www.quinessence.com/shelf_life.htm
You've made some statements in your post that are not scientifically correct. For example, you stated, "Evaporation does not affect its molecular properties, it will only affect the volume." You then went on to say that certain chemicals evaporate faster than others. Your second statement clearly disproves your first, and here's why: As some chemicals evaporate, the chemistry of the oil AS A WHOLE changes. Do you believe that monoterpenes have no therapeutic value? Have you considered that they are necessary in order for the oil in question to have the most therapeutic value?
I know you trust your upline, but it is always a good idea to check the facts. Trust, but verify.
Here is what I have learned: The reason YL oils "don't expire" (as you say) is because they place batch numbers on their bottles instead of expiration dates. Essential oil companies are required by law to use one or the other, but not both. YL chooses to use batch numbers. Other companies choose to use expiration dates. That does NOT mean that the other oils are less therapeutic than YL, nor does it mean YL oils will "never expire."

danielle winkelspecht said...

The science in this post is not accurate or factual. The purest of pure essential oils absolutely have a shelf life. If stored properly and exposed to oxygen as little as possible they can last for years and years, but citrus oils can start to oxidize after only a year or two. How can anyone with an education in aromatherapy or chemistry say monoterpines aren't therapeutic?! That is just against known and proven scientific facts. And the whole fda thing, wrong on so many levels. You realize that essential oils are pure chemicals right? Please step away from your company provided material and do some outside research because you are being handed some really bad information.

danielle winkelspecht said...

The science in this post is not accurate or factual. The purest of pure essential oils absolutely have a shelf life. If stored properly and exposed to oxygen as little as possible they can last for years and years, but citrus oils can start to oxidize after only a year or two. How can anyone with an education in aromatherapy or chemistry say monoterpines aren't therapeutic?! That is just against known and proven scientific facts. And the whole fda thing, wrong on so many levels. You realize that essential oils are pure chemicals right? Please step away from your company provided material and do some outside research because you are being handed some really bad information.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Unknown said...

You can also put your essential oil bottles, Young Living or the like, into the freezer, if they DONT freeze, they are 100% pure, if they freeze or crystalize, you know there are additives :)

Allie B. said...

This is so ignorant. Essential oils can expire. And essential oils can freeze.

Unknown said...

Well said...An oil company that is not stamping their bottles with expiration dates are NOT FDA compliant. I am with another reputable oil company that stamps their bottles with an expiration date as to ONLY meet the FDA compliance! I have heard from many tho sadly that YL likes to bring this up to bash other EO companies because business is not doing as well as they would like it to be....In working with these companies in general isnt the point of it all to be helping people, some with serious health problems live a better quality of life???

Ginny Cox said...

They do not follow FDA compliance that is why their oils do not have a expiration stamp...I followed up with a phone call to the FDA, when someone brought this to my attention!

Ginny Cox said...

This is true and I have done the test with all of my bottles stamped with expiration...guess what...they didnt freeze!

Ginny Cox said...

If an essential oil freezes it genuinely means that they have fillers and synthetics within them:( not good! None of mine froze

DanniiMarie said...

This article doesn't jive with what a world-renowned chemist that specializes in essential oils has to say.

https://essentialoils.org/news/eo_myths

Some essential oils, no matter how pure, with time can become oxidized and oxidized oils should be avoided.

What harm can oxidized oils be? Let essential oil expert Robert Tisserand explain using lemon essential oil as an example:

Citrus fruit oils are high in limonene, and limonene is especially prone to oxidation. As it oxidizes, the percentage of pure limonene in your lemon oil decreases significantly, because it is being oxidized into other substances. There are two consequences of this:

* Because your lemon oil no longer contains as much limonene, it no longer does what it’s supposed to do! As the limonene oxidizes, the therapeutic potential of the oil decreases.

* The chemicals formed – mostly oxides and peroxides of limonene – are not very pleasant, not very therapeutic, and they increase the risk of skin sensitization from the lemon oil. The risk is still small, but it’s no longer negligible.

The limonene content of lemon oil decreased from 67.1% to 30.7% in 12 months when the oil was stored at 77°F (25°C) with the cap removed for three minutes every day. However storage at 41°F 5°C, with the cap removed for three minutes only once a month, resulted in minimal degradation (Sawamura et al 2004). When lemongrass oil was intentionally oxidized, it lost almost all of its antibacterial activity (Orafidiya 1993) .

SOURCE: http://roberttisserand.com/2013/07/lemon-on-the-rockskeep-your-essential-oils-cool/

In case you were wondering, I know that YL doesn't like Dr. Pappas who compiled the myths list. Dr. Pappas himself, while under oath, explained how the rift between YL and him began:

http://sendvid.com/etpi0vha
http://sendvid.com/ossfuxxt

May you continue to love your oily journey, but please, seek third-party expertise when it comes to usage recommendations and purity. It's the only way to be 100% certain that the information you have been given is unbiased.

Full disclosure: I am a rep with another company, but I have dedicated myself to only teach others essential oil safety practices supported by third-party scientists. When I see someone teaching an incorrect principle about essential oils that could possibly lead to harm, I try to make it a point to speak up. It does not matter to me what company the person is with. I have even been known to correct reps in my own company. The fact is: Pure unadulterated essential oil acts the same no matter what brand name is on the bottle.