The following is an important definition of what it means to be Young Living® Therapeutic Grade:
“It means there has been verification of the correct species when the seed was planted, the purity and manner of cultivation (no chemicals or nearby pollution, etc.), the proper time of harvest to optimize ... the properties in the oils, the proper manner of distillation to capture all of the therapeutic compounds, the right chemical composition as determined by sophisticated laboratory tests, and the purity of the packaging–i.e. nothing added, nothing taken away, stored in light-protected containers (amber or blue bottles) of glass, ceramic, or stainless steel, and kept in a suitable environment of appropriate temperatures. All of this is taken into account with Young Living®’s definition of “Therapeutic Grade.”
The term, “Therapeutic Grade,” applied to essential oils was originally coined and defined by Gary Young and Young Living®. Years ago some aromatherapists and competing companies criticized Young Living® for using this term saying, “there is no such term.” They were right in that no government or regulatory agency had defined the term, but Gary and Young Living® did define it.
You can use any word or term you like so long as you define what you mean by it. You will find “Therapeutic Grade” defined, not only in Young Living® literature, but also in CARE Publications.”
Since Young Living® adopted the term and defined it, after first criticizing Young Living® for using it, many companies are now using this term for their own oils without defining what they mean by the word, thus implying that their oils are “just as good as Young Living®’s oils.”
That is why Young Living® has modified and Trade Marked the statement that YL oils are Young Living® Therapeutic Grade Oils™. No one but Young Living® can use that phrase to describe their essential oils.
Whereas meeting standards like those of the French AFNOR (Association Francaise de Normalization) or the ISO (International Standards Organization), ISO and AFNOR only consider whether an oil has sufficient percents of the main compounds to legally claim it to be the species on the label. For example, if an oil contains enough menthol, you can legally sell it as “peppermint” when, in fact, there may be no actual peppermint plant oil present whatsoever. Hence, an aromatic oil can be 80-100% synthetic and meet AFNOR/ISO standards.
AFNOR/ISO only takes into account the end product by testing for the percents of a few compounds that account for flavor and/or aroma. These standards do not take into account the manner by which the oil was obtained nor whether any of the healing compounds are present. In fact, the compounds responsible for healing can all be absent and an oil can still meet AFNOR/ISO standards, which may be adequate for perfumes and flavors, but totally ineffective for healing. Article from David Stewart, PhD