dōTERRA is of Latin origin and means
"Gift of the Earth."
Essential oils are naturally occurring, powerful aromatic compounds that hold incredible benefits for our health and well-being. Improving on what nature has already created can be largely a fool’s errand. Nature knows what our bodies need, and has already provided those resources to us.
When it comes to product innovation, doTERRA employs a simple tactic: allow nature to do what she does best already. doTERRA is committed to providing the highest quality, purest essential oils to the world. Our harvesting and distillation practices are carried out by co-ops of growers and distillers who have mastered the art of producing the finest essential oils. These co-ops are often made up of families who have done this work for generations. They’ve passed down their expertise, continuing a legacy of knowing where best to grow the botanical materials, when is best to harvest, and how best to distill the oils. So, innovation does not come in improving the essential oils. Rather, it comes in maximizing the benefits of those oils.
While maintaining the integrity and potency of the essential oils, doTERRA works to develop new delivery methods that allow the oils to do their work. From carrier oils and lotions, to veggie caps and beadlets, doTERRA has developed ways to enhance the benefits of essential oils by making them more readily and easily applied.
Essential oils enthusiasts also know the power of combining essential oils. These blends can provide the original benefits of the different oils while also create synergistic partnerships between the oils, creating even more benefits and optimizing the oils. But there’s more to creating a blend than just mixing oils together. You have to know the proper ratio and even the proper sequence. That’s where creating blends becomes both a matter of science and art. doTERRA continues to research and develop blends that unleash the potential of nature’s gifts.
How does one improve on what nature has designed? Simply put, you don’t. But, innovating new delivery methods and products as well as discovering powerful blends is something doTERRA excels at.
While there is a science to the distillation of essential oils, it is also an art. Distillers not only rely on years of experience, they also employ modern technologies and techniques. The most common method of extracting essential oils is a low-heat steam distillation process. In this process, pressurized steam is circulated through plant material. The essential oils are liberated from the plant and carried away by the steam. When the steam cools, the water and oils naturally separate and the oil is collected. To ensure the highest quality oil extract with the correct chemical composition, the temperature and pressure must be closely monitored. Too little heat or pressure and the oil will not release; too much, and the oil’s composition and potency will be affected.
Steam distillation is the most common way to extract aromatic compounds (essential oil) from a plant. During the steam distillation process, steam passes through the plant material. The combination of heated steam and gentle pressure causes the essential oil to be released from microscopic protective sacs. As the vapor mixture flows through a condenser and cools, it yields a layer of oil and a layer of water. The essential oil rises to the top and is separated from the hydrosol (floral water) and collected.
Some have asked about the difference between first distillations in comparison to complete distillations. The temperature for steam distilling is usually between 140–212 degrees Fahrenheit. Since different plants require different pressures, times, and temperatures, using this particular distillation method makes it possible to adjust the temperature based on the plant type, making it a very effective and precise way to obtain the purest compounds.
Unlike steam distillation, expression, sometimes referred to as “cold pressed,” does not involve heat. In this process, oil is extracted from the product under mechanical pressure. doTERRA uses expression to extract all of its citrus oils, such as Wild Orange, Lemon, Lime, Bergamot, and Grapefruit, from the rind.
Proper distillation requires a consideration for the uniqueness of pressure, temperature, time, and harvesting practices, each of which may be as diverse as the plants themselves. A poor distillation process can alter or destroy the necessary aromatic compounds that comprise the essential oil, leaving a substance far different from the intended goal and something that would not be used to support health and wellness. For this reason, the best distillation artisans dedicate their efforts and work to only a few select plants. This focused effort develops proper knowledge and experience, helping ensure congruency between the oil chemistry of the plant and its distilled form.