Cō-Impact Sourcing® Arborvitae & Nootka
British Columbia, Canada
The Pacific Northwest is home to the largest temperate rainforest on the planet where more than 40 indigenous tree species grow, including the Giant Arborvitae and the Nootka coniferous trees. Both trees are an important part of the aboriginal First Nation history in British Columbia, Canada. In 2015, doTERRA introduced Arborviate (Thuja plicata) as a single oil and the recently reformulated doTERRA TerraShield® Outdoor Blend introduced earlier this year, both Arborvitae and Nootka essential oils are featured as key oil ingredients.
The name arborvitae comes from the francophone version of the First Nation name meaning the “tree of life.” For 10,000 years, this tree has been instrumental in their everyday lives. They used the tree to build canoes, long houses, and totem poles.
The Nootka tree is named after the Nootka tribe who resided in an area called the Nootka Sound. It is considered a “twin” to the arborvitae tree, and it has been used in many sculptures that are a significant part of the First Nation culture in that region.
Both trees also play an important part in the Pacific Northwest’s forestry industry, which is one of the largest and yet most environmentally sustainable in the world. This industry also produces tons of sawdust every year that is normally burned for energy. But, there are other uses for it too. doTERRA partners with a Canadian distiller that has perfected the productive use of the sawdust from these two unique trees to produce pure quality oils with powerful properties. They are the only distillery in the world producing Arborvitae and Nootka essential oils.
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.
WHAT MAKES THESE OILS UNIQUE?
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.