Tag Archives: Therapeutic Grade

Which Flowers Should We Pick?

Gary Young with Ylang Ylang flower
Gary points out a delicate ylang ylang bloom that is mature and ready to be picked.

Because harvesting ylang ylang is all done by hand, it’s really important to know which flowers you should pick.

We want to pick flowers that have nice, long, yellow petals with perhaps a little green on them. If a flower is over mature, it starts to shrivel, or atrophy, and smells sour. A flower that is still quite lime green is not mature enough to be picked.

What we have again is just like with other plants; it is in the harvesting and knowing the right time and the right flowers to pick.

With ylang ylang we generally consider the first four grades of flowers: extra fine, fine, first, and second. Sometimes we have even third and fourth qualifications, but the only ones that we’re concerned about are the first four grades.

So you can go from having a green, immature flower that is classified as a second grade to having a beautiful flower that is yellowish, mature, and rich in fragrance, which would be classified as an extra fine grade. The oxidized, over-mature flowers would likely be classified as first or second grade.

When Should We Harvest Ylang Ylang?

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The beautiful, fragrant, and delicate ylang ylang flower

Only if you grow, plant, harvest, and understand what is supposed to be in a plant can you produce the finest quality of oil with all its constituents. Anybody can print a GC (gas chromatograph), but to truly know the quality of oil, you must also understand how a GC and an MS (mass spectrometer) are operated and how to identify the compounds and the percentages of them.

However, there is more to it than that. You must know the best time of day to pick the leaves or flowers or harvest the entire plant from the field. In other words, you must know the best time of the day to harvest, when the Brix measurement is the highest, which measures the glucose levels in the plant, to determine the best time to extract for the greatest quantity of essential oil.

For example, the best time to pick ylang ylang flowers, when the Brix measurement is the highest, is from midnight to 4 in the morning. But it is hard to get people to pick during that time. So we pick from daylight until 10 a.m., because we have found that the oil volume is maintained until about 10 o’clock, and then we will start losing some of the oil as it leaves the flowers and returns to the branches.

That is the reason that when we smell the flowers in the afternoon, the fragrance won’t be as intense, because the oil has gone back into the tree during the heat of the day to protect the tree from dehydration. Then at night as the temperature cools, the oil comes back up into the flower. It is very, very interesting to see how the tree preserves itself.

Ylang Ylang—The “Flower of Flowers”

Distributors and staff at the Master Distributor Retreat in Guayaquil, Ecuador
Distributors and staff at the Master Distributor Retreat in June enjoyed harvesting ylang ylang flowers on the YL farm in Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Ylang ylang means “flower of flowers” and was named such because the tree has beautiful, fragrant flowers, from which a powerful essential oil is steam distilled.

The oil is used in hair formulas, to balance female-male energies, to restore peace and positive thoughts, and as an aphrodisiac. It is also used for supporting normal blood pressures, easing minor motion sickness, and contains a host of other health-enhancing properties.

Ylang ylang originates from Madagascar and is being grown on the Young Living farm in Guayaquil, Ecuador. In the Young Living ylang ylang groves, it’s harvest time again, although the main production time for ylang ylang runs from February to May.

During the recent Master Leader Retreat in June, distributors had the opportunity to harvest ylang ylang flowers and plant new trees. They thoroughly enjoyed learning how to correctly harvest the flowers for the greatest yield and highest therapeutic value.

They learned that just as the monsoon rains start to end, the trees load up with water from the rain and put on flowers. The flowers then become very heavily laden with the water, which increases the glucose, or what we call the Brix, in the flower; and that all converts to essential oil, which is very exciting.

Because of the beautiful fragrance, we have ylang ylang trees around our house and have our windows open at night to let in the breeze. On the farm a gentle breeze blows most of the time, and it’s most refreshing. It keeps the air clean and helps to move out the mosquitos during mosquito time.

But at night when it’s cool and that breeze blows in through the windows, the whole house fills with the fragrance of the ylang ylang flower, because the ylang ylang tree produces the most oil in the flowers during the nighttime and early morning, before the heat of the day.

Young Living’s Mission

Gary Young at lavender farm in St. Maries, ID
Years of hard work pay off with the exquisite lavender from YL’s St. Maries, Idaho, farm.

To grow, harvest, and distill is a lot of work and a huge expense. Our world has turned to technology and synthetic production in the laboratory. By the time the world discovers that Mother Nature’s pure substances are the best, it could be too late to begin producing them again for world consumption.

I am committed to producing Mother Nature’s pure essential oils and to teaching our growers how to maintain and efficiently grow and distill each harvest. If I can’t produce and supply Young Living with a particular pure oil, then we will go without it until I am able to find a good source or grow the plants and trees on one of my farms that will produce the oil that we need.

The mission of Young Living is to provide wellness, purpose, and abundance to those in the world seeking a better way of life. We are not about providing synthetic, non-therapeutic essential oils, which are not in harmony with our purpose.

What I want for my own family is what I want for my Young Living family worldwide, and I can only take care of my Young Living family if I take care of Mother Nature.

Therefore, I will always choose to do those things that nurture and protect Mother Nature so that our distributors will have pure therapeutic grade essential oils.