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doTERRA and Young Living #2

Posted by on April 17, 2012

This is part two.

Can Boswellic Acids appear in a PURE essential oil?

And, again, Young Living (YL) words in brown, mine in purple.

YL states regarding Boswellic Acids (BA’s) that…

of course they are also found in frankincense essential oil but not if the species is Boswellia frereana because that species does not contain boswellic acids.  doTERRA does not lie, and does not market their Frankincense oil as having Boswellic Acids.  doTERRA customers get Boswellic Acids through the Alpha CRS.

Boswellic Acid is not an aromatic compound. It exists in the RESIN of the Frankincense plant, and is NOT existent in PURE essential oil.

The only way this compound CAN be existent in the extracted oil, is if a solvent was used in distillation. Boswellic Acid is NOT water soluble, even the B(beta) Boswellic Acid. Here’s multiple external, non-doTERRA, non-YL sources proving it.–boswellic-acid.html

So what you say?  What does water solubility have to do with an essential oil.  Well, let’s go to our kitchen and then to Chemistry class for a moment.

Think of tea.  When you put an herb into water, compounds leak out into the water because they are water soluble.  Then, you can smell the steam and experience aromatherapy!  These compounds are also aromatic, meaning they evaporate into the air and you can smell them.  When you make peppermint tea, smell it, and the aromatic compounds clear your sinuses, it’s because those chemicals are now in the air!

Boswellic Acids are not water soluble, so cannot be “soaked” out of the resin with water.

Now, let’s talk about essential oil distillation.  Distillation isn’t really about solubility but rather vaporization points. And Karen Boren (research writer for Young Living) said this,

“Boswellic acids have a boiling point of 556 degrees C. If they don’t boil, they can’t be made into a gas.”

That’s actually 1032 degrees F for us Americans.  That’s hot enough to melt lead by the way.

Distillation allows a volatile substance to be separated from a non-volatile substance. This works in a similar way to our tea example. Water and herb are put together into a flask or pot and heated until the temperature reaches a point where steam is formed. The steam as well as many chemical constituents will evaporate (turn into gas), float up and enter the column of the still. It then goes into the condenser to return to a liquid form. As it cools, the distillate will separate out into oil soluble and water soluble components with the essential oil floating on top of the water soluble components.  This is the PURE Essential Oil!

The molar mass of Boswellic Acid is very high, (456 g/mol) which makes it quite difficult for it to evaporate and “float” in the air.  That’s like saying a rock can float like a helium balloon. 

Dr. Robert S. Pappas, President of Essential Oil University, educated me a little more on distillation.  “Almost all components in essential oils boil at higher temperatures than water boils. It’s the process of steam distillation that allows organic molecules to be distilled at lower temperatures than their normal boiling temps. But there is a limit to what can be steam distilled. The molecular weight of the molecules eventually becomes too heavy and the volatility is not enough to be steam distilled. There are cases of diterpenes in essential oils but I have yet to see a literature reference reporting triterpenes in a steam distilled essential oil. Indeed, something with a boiling point of 556 degrees C would seem to be too high to come over in normal steam distillation.”

Frankincense oil that contains Boswellic Acids is NOT a pure  Essential Oil because either a solvent must be used in the distillation process in order for the B-Acids to be extracted, or the B-Acids are ADDED after the fact (they can be synthetically created in a lab by the way).

•Standardized*alcoholic (ethanol) extract of Frankincense gum resin contains 60% to 65% boswellic acids.

•The exudates of the frankincense tree contains volatile oils (frankincense essential oil) and terpenoids (Boswellic acids) and both are alcohol soluble, and gum (the water soluble portion). 

Notice (first bullet above) the Boswellic Acids exist in an ETHANOL EXTRACT.  Remember our lesson on the difference between an extract and an essential oil? Ethanol is a solvent. And, the second bullet above lists Boswellic Acids separately from the essential oil because it is not a part of the oil. Another part of this same site (Chemical Composition of Frankincense tab) has the chemical breakdown… Notice at the bottom of that page where the components of Frankincense Essential Oil are listed and boswellic acid is not there!!! Boswellic acids are listed above as part of the terpenoids which is in the resin NOT THE OIL.

Here’s a study on Boswellic Acids used in cancer research.  It states clearly that a methanol extract of the gum resin exudate of Boswellia serrata, contains naturally occurring triterpenoids…  It’s an extract, not an essential oil.

Every third party research article I found utilizing Boswellic Acids either stated it was an extract (where a solvent was used to extract it from the resin), or the resin itself was used in the study. =study using the resin.

This study used essential oil, but notice that the Boswellic Acids were not detected in the chemical make-up.

Is there a way to extract BA’s without using a solvent? Can you cook the heck out of the resin to get it to boil so the BA’s would evaporate and therefore come through in the oil?  Remember, Karen Boren said this:

“Boswellic acids have a boiling point of 556 degrees C. If they don’t boil, they can’t be made into a gas.”

If we do try to cook it out, I also wonder, what’s happening to all the OTHER awesome chemical constituents in the Frankincense as it’s being heated to this high temperature?

We all know that essential oil distillation is a very complicated task. Too much heat, or too little heat will yield a bad oil.  Maybe you can have two batches.  One batch to get the true, pure essential oil, and another batch of resin to get the BA’s.  Either way, if these items are mixed, is it a really pure essential oil?

So, I asked YL how they extract their oil, how they get it. Here’s the quote from my email to them. “So, since BA’s as you say boil at 556 degrees C which is 1032 F (holy cow that will melt Lead!) is this how you can get the Boswellic acid into an oil, or is there a different way?”

Karen’s response was.

And no! You don’t attempt to boil boswellic acids!

Chris Anderson’s response was…

We do a regular hydro distillation of frankincense resin just as most distillers do. We do our own so we can test longer distillation times or different temperatures to maximize the bioactive constituents like boswellic acids or incensole.

I think we already established above that hydro-distillation or steam distillation wouldn’t work on Boswellic Acids.

Frankincense oil is not supposed to have Boswellic Acid. Boswellic Acid is a non-aromatic compound found in the resin, and if the oil is extracted PROPERLY using gentle steam distillation, there wouldn’t be any Boswellic Acid. If your oil has Boswellic acid, then something is wrong. Maybe it was heated it to it’s boiling point which is over 1000o F, in which case most other chemical constituents are destroyed. Maybe a solvent was used (ethyl acetate or acetone), or the resin where Boswellic Acid does exist was ground up and ADDED to the oil.  Or maybe synthetic Boswellic Acids created in a lab were added. If a solvent was used, that essential oil IS NOT PURE!  If something was added, it is not pure.  If it was cooked to death, what health benefits will there truly be?

1. Why when doTERRA’s oils are rejected by Dr. Hin’s cancer studies in Oklahoma does your former Young Living “doctor” tell you at your annual convention that Young Living just made your oils look good when they pointed out that third-party testing found out that doTERRA’s frankincense doesn’t contain boswellic acid.

This wasn’t a test conducted in a Young Living lab. This was third-party, unbiased testing.

Please watch the Liquid Gold webinar on Frankincense on this page.

At minute 37 is where dōTERRA talks about the above boswellic acid test.  It is obvious to YL and doTERRA reps who he is speaking of, but he made every effort for any external eyes to not directly defame YL. He goes into why boswellic acid is NOT in our Frankincense oil which is basically a VERY short version of our lesson above.

Now, more from the YL blog.

By the way, I smelled a doTERRA frankincense. I cried. I couldn’t even recognize it. That’s because your frankincense has Boswellic Acid in it, and of course this is going to make its smell much different. That broke my heart. If it didn’t even smell, or even smell like frankincense, then what was missing, and what else is missing?

The Carterii version is marketed for it’s Boswellic Acids according to a YL document here.

The Young Living website catalog shows that the  Frankincense Carterii is not 100% pure!! I copied my screen shot.  I have a larger version saved on my computer if you can’t see this.  Email me, and I’ll send it to you.image[5]

Notice it just says YL Therapeutic Grade oil. If you click the How to Use tab it is covered with warnings.  Why would a PURE essential oil have warnings?

When you look at the YL Sacred (Sacra) version, it indicates on the Ingredients tab that it is 100% Pure and is marketed for “spiritual” purposes.  And according to the Chem study above there is a huge difference between the BA’s in the Sacra (11.5) version versus the Carterii (81.5) version.  The huge difference is because the Carterii version is marketed and sold for it’s BA’s, but it is also the oil that doesn’t say it’s 100% pure.

doTERRA does not, never has, and never will attempt to market the Frankincense oil as having Boswellic Acids because it is a physical and chemical impossibility in a truly 100% PURE essential oil with no additives, or solvents used.

3 Responses to doTERRA and Young Living #2

  1. anoil4everyailment

    Excellent post.

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