Cō-Impact Sourcing® Arborvitae & Nootka

British Columbia, Canada



British Columbia is well-known for its sustainable foresting practices. Their rate of deforestation has been virtually zero for more than 20 years. Their entire annual harvest comes from less than 1 percent of the working forest. By law, all harvested areas must be reforested. The seedlings must be native species, and none of them can be genetically modified.

Arborvitae and Nootka essential oils came about because of an effort to make sustainable use of all the elements of the trees, including capturing the important chemical components found in the sawdust residue. Because of the sustainable forestry program in place for harvesting these trees, not one additional tree is being cut down to produce the essential oils. Once the oil is extracted from the sawdust through a proprietary steam distillation process, the sawdust is then returned and used by paper mills for pulp production. “All the resources, including these amazing and unique essential oils, are sustainably and responsibly harvested from these majestic trees—which of course is a key priority for our distillation partner and for doTERRA,” says Tim Valentiner, doTERRA Director of Strategic Sourcing.



Arborvitae essential oil has molecules called tropolones, which have a unique chemical structure. Most molecules in nature are six-sided; tropolones are seven-sided. This makes it so other sometimes harmful molecules don’t know how to attack them. Because of this, they are natural preservatives. This oil is also an effective bug repellant. Arborvitae trees can live for up to 1,000 years, partially because they are naturally resistant to insects.


One chemical found in Nootka oil is nootkatone, which is strangely also found in grapefruits. This adds a sharp, citrusy note to Nootka oil and gives it similar properties to grapefruit oil. Nootka is also known for being a powerful insect repellant.

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