Julie Chertow in Young Living's St Maries Lavender Field

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Secret Ingredient of Young Living Oils: Tender Loving Care

Behind-the-scenes look at Young Living’s lavender oil

Planting at St. Maries
Summer 2004

As many of you know, I just went to a 10-day lavender planting at the Young Living Farm in St. Maries, Idaho. There were just 7 of us with Gary Young. We spent many hours each day planting 15,000 lavender starts. Almost all were planted one at a time, by hand, working along with the regular farm employees. Gary was down on his hands and knees in the dirt planting right along with us.

One of my highlights was driving the huge tractor...a new experience for a city born and raised sort of girl! Each night we had classes with Gary and I learned so much more. It was a precious time to spend such close personal time with him and to be able to ask questions and dialogue with him. To watch the owner/founder, president of our Young Living oils on his hands and knees working 10-12 hour days with us was so humbling.

If I could somehow relay to you the amount of time and energy that goes into just growing and producing lavender you would simply be amazed! The crop we planted will not be ready to produce oils for several years. Gary told us it takes 4000 tons of lavender plant material to make 8 gallons of lavender oil! You know, I think about how spoiled we are by being able to call an 800 number and give a credit card and have our oils arrive at our doorstep. Not so much like this in the ancient days!

I have gained so much more appreciation for our oils and how absolutely pure they really are. The land in Idaho is so pristine and the energy is amazingly high in its frequency. In fact, Gary said that when the guy who makes these quartz crystal towers to change the grid lines on different lands came to Idaho to check it out he said that after traveling all over the world doing this work he had never remotely experienced any land where the grid lines were completely aligned the way they are on our farm. So he put some towers there to connect with our farm in Utah to align the two different farms.

A few days after we arrived, Mary Young came with their sons Jacob (now 3 1/2 yrs) and Joshua (4 months old.) It was wonderful to be a part of their family and spend such precious time with the kids!

We even got in a day of river rafting on this gorgeous river in the middle of a thunder/lightening/rain storm!

If you ever feel compelled to have this experience, I tell you it is a rare and precious time. Gary is planning to do an increasing number of these in the future.

I will be going again on August 1st-8th for the lavender harvest.


Harvesting at St. Maries
Summer 2004

I just returned from another week spent harvesting and planting lavender in St. Maries, Idaho. Once again it was truly a magnificent time of realizing on an even deeper level what goes into making our precious oils...from the very beginning when the seeds are planted and put into the green houses, to when they are big enough to be transferred into the grow beds outside to grow a little more, to when they are hand-dipped in either lavender floral water or a vitamin B mix for nourishment before they are brought out to the fields to be planted. The holes are mostly dug by hand and we plant each and every lavender start by hand making sure they are aligned and the dirt is packed around the roots properly.

Gary spent the entire week harvesting the lush lavender on his specialized lavender harvesting tractor. About 8-12 inches of the stems and flowers are cut from the plants, row by row. The harvested portions go up a conveyer belt into the big container. Then it is all hand pitch-forked into a huge truck and brought to the distillery.

At the distillery we pitch-forke it into the stainless steel distiller and jump on in ourselves to pack it all down with our feet. This determines how much oil we will get. It is hard to believe that all this plant material is going to fit in the distiller but somehow it does.

With 4000 pounds of plant material we can get only about 4-5 gallons of lavender oil. The amount of hand labor that goes into growing just one field is extraordinary. And we only pay $20.00 for a bottle of lavender that we call an 800 # and give a credit card and then it is delivered to our door. Amazing!

When the truckload of lavender is packed into the distiller, the lid is closed and sealed tightly down, the appropriate temperature and pressure is set and the steam process is started.

We walk down stairs to the lower part of the distillery where the temperature is constantly checked in the various parts of the distiller. Within about 10-15 minutes you start to see the oil coming though the glass and, since the oils and water do not mix, it is separated and the oil floats to the top. We all stood around with our hands on the glass doing our various prayers and visualizing potent and large amounts of oil!

To the side is a hose where the lavender floral water comes out and I just had to go and sit under it. It was a truly divine experience to feel this fresh lavender water all over my head and back. The oil is then sealed into a large container and sent to Utah where it will go through all the different filtration systems before being tested on the gas chromatography machine to see the constituents. If it is not up to the highest standard Gary WILL NOT use this oil no matter how long it takes to grow a crop which is a good 2-4 years.

During my 3 different times in France and the two times I went to plant and harvest in Idaho, I never once experienced one compromise or an ounce of anything out of integrity relating to how the oils are made and how the plants are planted. We are beyond blessed!

Each and every time we finished planting, even if it had been 90 degrees out, it would begin to rain. Young Living is incredibly supported in this way. Gary even told us that in all his years—I think about 12 years of harvesting and planting—each and every time, no matter what time of the year, it has always rained upon the land right after the planting!

There were about 25 of us in this group, from all walks of life and different ages. We worked harmoniously and shared in our one vision to bring these oils to the world.

We had several classes with Gary. In one class I asked him if he could help us become aware of the inherent qualities and unique personalities of various plants. For instance, in the Essential Oils Desk Reference (EODR) under Rosewood it speaks about how this flower/plant has a very gentle quality in it so this is what is brought out in ourselves when we apply this oil. He explained how these qualities can be sensed/felt and used several plants as examples. It was fascinating!

I feel absorbed and consumed by my experience there. I cannot encourage you enough to take advantage of these chances to be a part of a harvest or planting. It will forever change your knowledge and feeling about our oils. And when you go to your people to share about them you will have had this experience and be able to share from a whole new level and in a whole new way.

Love, Julie

Spotlight on Julie

From Young Living's Essential Edge Magazine - Jul/Aug/Sep 2004 Issue

Julie Chertow

Career Background:

How Long With Young Living:
8 years

Why Young Living:
Instant connection with the oils

Success Formula:
Focus on helping others

Julie Chertow’s good friend and fellow massage therapist Sophia Sharpe called her and mentioned that she wanted Julie to look at essential oils. Julie said, “I told Sophia that I was not interested. As a massage therapist, I had tried essential oils many times. In fact, I had used fifteen or twenty different brands of essential oils in my bodywork. I had a whole bag of essential oils that I had bought over the years because they had a nice fragrance. I did not desire any more.”

At that time, Julie had been doing bodywork for fourteen years. She had applied essential oils to her clients many times and had never seen them make a difference on anyone. However, Sophia never gave up. Julie related, “Sophia continued to urge me to use the oils and I kept resisting. She would say, ‘But these are different.’ I would reply, ‘Yeah, yeah.’”

Six months later, Julie went to Sophia for a bodywork session. Julie said, I was going through an emotionally difficult time. During our session, she put a drop of Joy on me. Within thirty seconds, I felt a lifting and release of the heaviness and sadness from my heart. I went from complete sadness to total joy and elation. I was amazed. I asked her, ‘What did you just do?’” Sophia said, “This is what I have been trying to tell you. Young Living essential oils are different from the rest.” Julie related, I was so excited that I begged her to sign me up and teach me everything that she knew.”

Julie ordered an Essential 7 kit and Seventh Heaven kit. She did not have any training or literature to learn about essential oils, so she just started using them in her bodywork. Julie explained, I immediately saw profound changes with my clients. I used to get results with bodywork before, but nothing like I have been able to achieve since I started using Young Living essential oils. The interesting thing is the results are consistent. I see the same results with the same oils again and again. I love that about the oils.” The essential oils were so inspiring that Julie started going to all the Young Living training sessions.

Giving her advice to new distributors, Julie advises that they use the oils and have a personal experience. She stated, “After people use the products, then they really get it.” She has found that after people have their own experiences, there is a natural desire to share. Julie helps her new distributors properly structure their businesses to be efficient. She teaches distributors that whenever they share the Oils, they are never wasting time. Even if it does not look like results are happening, it will come back to them in various ways. Julie shares, “Do not get discouraged if someone is not ready. When they are ready, they will come.”

At first, Julie was resistant to doing Young Living as a business. She said, I did not care about building a business; I was only trying to help people. Then I started getting checks in the mail.” Julie called Sophia, who explained that Julie’s business was growing whether she was aware of it or not, and that as long as it was growing, Julie might as well structure it to operate effectively. With her improved business structure, Julie’s checks from Young Living doubled.

Working with so many people for so many years, Julie saw a lot of pain and misery. As she helped people, she would often reflect on nature. She shared, “There is such an absolute perfection in nature. I would watch a tree or a flower and see that they do not judge or have an opinion. They just stand in their absolute glory of what they are. I also noticed how being in nature changes people.” When Julie started using Young Living essential oils and saw how profoundly they influenced the people she was working on, she found herself comparing the effects of the oils to the effects of nature. She expressed, I started to see that Young Living essential oils help people come back to their true divine nature. The oils help people become more like nature, more simple and pure.

Expressing her feeling for Gary and Mary Young, Julie said, “Gary and Mary have so much integrity and love for people. They have such a deep desire to uplift humanity. I am grateful for my association with Young Living and Gary and Mary Young.”

Julie stated, “Essential oils were the original medicine on our planet. Through nature, God has given us everything to heal ourselves. Those of us who are drawn to Young Living are responding to this truth. The world is ready for our message. People are yearning for it. There has never been a better time for us to step forward and share with the world the amazing gift we have Young Living essential oils!”

St. Maries Lavender Harvest
From Young Living Magazine
October-December 2004

Led by Gary Young, a team of Young Living executives and distributors gathered this past August to participate in the lavender harvest at the Young Living Research Farm, located in St. Maries, Idaho.

Over a decade ago, St. Maries was selected by Gary from many areas throughout North America as an ideal site for the cultivation and distillation of high quality aromatherapy herbs. With an ecosystem very similar to France, which is the world center for the cultivation and production of lavender, St. Maries is perfect for lavender cultivation. France and the St. Maries area share similar altitudes, soil compositions and climates. Recent state-of-the-art gas chromatography has shown that several of the constituents of the St. Maries lavender are actually superior to French lavender.

At St. Maries, the lavender is collected using specialized machinery designed to gently lift the plants as the blossoms and stems are removed. During this process, a purple hue fills the air and the aromatic scent of lavender carries for miles upon the mountain breeze. The cut blossoms and stems are then transported to the distillery where a proprietary system using low-temperature and low-pressure steam releases the essential oils from the lavender plant.

Producing lavender essential oil requires extensive labor. Most of the work is done by hand, including planting the seeds, growing the starts in the greenhouse, transferring them to grow-beds, planting them in the fields, moving irrigation and weeding. Even the distillation process is slow and labor intensive compared to the rest of the essential oil industry, because at St. Maries the premium and artful French style of distillation is used to produce superior therapeutic-grade quality lavender for use in aromatherapy.

As an alternative healthcare practice, aromatherapy is growing rapidly throughout the country has been implemented by medical doctors, chiropractors, massage therapists and other mainstream professionals. Of the many essential oils in aromatherapy, lavender remains one of the world’s most popular and its harvest is spectacular. In foreign countries where the lavender harvest is a cherished tradition, vast crowds gather to celebrate the special event.

David Stirling, Young Living’s Chief Operations Officer, related, “I was so impressed with the beauty of the St. Maries farm and loved jumping in (literally) and participating in the lavender distilling process. I was even more impressed with the Young Living distributors who were there to assist in the harvest. They worked very hard and seemed to really be enjoying themselves. The highlight of the lavender harvest for me was getting to know some of our distributors better, while sharing in the excitement of being part of a dynamic and growing company.”

Harvesting Lavender in France
Summer 2003

What a most wonderful and inspiring time I had in France and Italy. The following letter came to me from my two new Austrian friends who were part of our team of 12 that spent the week with Gary Young in Simiane, France. It is so well described that I thought of passing this on to you so you can get a taste of how it was for those of us who were there.

For myself, it was so fantastic to come full circle—from actually getting my hands into the fields of lavender and Lavandin, to experiencing the intensity of weeding many acres by hand in that heat and then actually partaking in the distillation process. And it was an absolute blessing to hear the many stories directly from Gary Young and be able to ask questions in such an intimate setting.

I can tell you all first hand that we truly have some of the best oils on the planet and I don't say this lightly. As we toured other distilleries and watched and learned, I saw that even these 4th- and 5th-generation lavender distillers only know about distillation for perfume and sachets (which are very popular in France). This is the heart of the lavender world and they are clueless about distilling therapeutic-grade oils.

All I can say is that Gary Young is a man of absolute integrity with knowledge beyond what I ever realized even after studying for 7 1/2 years with him. I am inspired and am so very grateful to have been one of the 12 people to spend this kind of time in France with Gary.

I send you my love,


Dear Friends,

We are back from our traveling to France for the harvest. For me, the Provence area where the lavender and Lavandin grows is one of the most wonderful places on the planet. Perhaps the Lavender and Lavandin growing there have a vibrational healing affect on the area and the people. The feeling is silent. This year was unusually hot and dry so the plants matured early. Most of the fields had been harvested before we arrived. The area is hilly with small villages that go back hundreds of years. The houses are built out of stone. We stayed in a house that was renewed, and very old. (I was impressed with the spiral staircase as I could see no means of support.) There were 12 of us, mostly from the states, 2 from Vienna.

We had three training evenings with Gary. The first was a talk about the importance of the health of the liver. The second was on emotional release. And the third was a demonstration of the Raindrop Technique. We also had a 'field trip' where we drove around the area and saw where Gary first learned distillation from a master. And also saw fields that had been full with lavender in the past decade, and are no longer. True Lavender is dying out in France.

On a different day we visited with the President of one of the largest Lavender Associations in France. We also had a field trip and slide show with a botanist who showed us in the wild how to tell the difference between true Lavender and Lavandin. Lavandin is a cross between true Lavender and spike Lavender that also grows in the wild at a lower elevation. When the two cross-pollinate, the result is Lavandin, which is sterile. It also grows in the wild. Cuttings are taken from the Lavandin and when the plants mature more cuttings are taken from those and grown until a whole field of Lavandin is produced. These plants are called clones. Lavandin produces 4 to 5 times the amount of oil as does true Lavender. And it is relatively easy to alter with heat and added chemicals and sell as 'Lavender.' Also it is difficult to detect. That is why Gary has a 60-meter gas chromatography machine at Young Living that is calibrated to the machine at France--the only calibrated machine in the U.S. Most companies that say that they are using gas chromatography to test their oils are using a machine that is only 30 meters long and designed for a varity of substances, and is unsuitable for the complexities of essential oils. Young Living has over a quarter of a million dollars in test equipment and it is used for every batch of oil! Even oil that is tested in France is re-tested at Young Living to assure quality. And Gary has a degree in operating and reading the gas chromatography machine.

Back to the Lavender Harvest. We actually harvested Lavandin. It is used in our blends of Purification and Release. (The Lavender was planted this spring and needs two years to grow.) To harvest the Lavandin we used a machine that cut the Lavandin and put it into small bales. We then loaded the small bales into a wagon with pitch forks. We then drove to the distillery and emptied the wagon into the distiller and packed it in, closed the lid and flowed the steam in for one hour. In the end we each got to dip our bottles into the new oil and have our own personal sample of Lavandin. We were told that it needs to breath for awhile, like a good wine. Then it can be used. This, I believe is true of all essential oils.

We also spent a bit of time weeding as Young Living uses no chemicals on their fields.

If you ever listen to a tape of Gary speaking and you wonder if one man can accomplish what he says he does, spend a few days in his presence. Then you will see for yourself. He was in the fields often before we were awake, and stayed up late each night teaching us. He experienced no jet lag in coming from America. There are not many men on this planet like him. I certainly am not. He is constantly giving of himself. I feel privileged to have the opportunity to be a part of this company and vision. Together we are working for true healing for ourselves and the planet.

With Love,
Lars & Prakama

Putting Pain Formula through the Paces

From: Julie Chertow
Date: 10/31/06
Subject: pain free

OK tried, tested and true!!!

I woke up this morning with an awful pain in my lower right back. (its an old injury area) I don't recall doing anything that triggered this.  I was planning on going to take a class at the gym just 45 minutes after waking up

I could not bend forward AT ALL.
I could not turn to my left or right AT ALL.
It hurt me to breathe in.

I have no interest in having this back pain ever ever again. The pain was right on the edge of it being really close to how it felt with my last injury several years ago.  I drank my Ningxia Red juice, I took Alkalime in water and my Omega Blue and Longevity capsule and went right for my oils. I must have lathered 15 different oils on continually for 15 minutes. They helped for sure but the pain was still there. I thought what did Gary teach us to do for pain?

Ahhhhhhhh YES!  He just showed us the results of using 4 different oils for 200 post surgery patients.
He revealed to us that 200 people out of 200 had 100% pain control with using these 4 oils right after surgery. I thought OK this has got to work because I am just not into this kind of pain and I AM going to the gym!

I found the recipe in my notes from convention...

20 drops of Valerian
10 drops of Helichrysum
3 drops of Clove
3 drops of Peppermint

As I am pouring the oils into my capsules I am thinking God this is an expensive formula and that only lasted about 10 seconds before I thought No! Expensive is being out of work as a massage therapist and not being able to work for weeks let alone not being able to move and walk normally.  If this worked for 200 people it just has to work for me!

I am telling the complete truth here now... Within 10 minutes of taking the capsules I was out of the severe pain. I thought, go lay on ice, go put more oils on... No, I chose to see what this pain formula would do.

Within 20 minutes (I swear) I bent over and put my shoes on and was out the door to the gym.

Burping my oils up (we are supposed to! :)) all the way to the gym I thought I am going to try this and just be really cautious and go slow.  Within 1/2 hour I was 95% free of pain and was working out with 10 LB weights and twisting, lunging, doing core strength work pain free!

201!!!! Count me in Gary!! It worked and I only did one dose of this treatment all day and I am still out of pain tonight!!!!!  Thank God!!

I don't call this a miracle anymore. All the compounds and properties are there in nature.

For the last 10 years since I started using the oils for myself and my bodywork clients I have seen consistent phenomenal changes and results both physically and emotionally.

And just to let you know I used 20 different brands of essential oils for 14 years with my bodywork clients before I ever heard of Young Living oils and NEVER EVER saw one result. I used them because I felt drawn to oils and because they smelled good.

The reason why our oils are so effective is because of a man named Gary Young and his knowledge, tenacity and years of study and research around the world. Not only that he is a master agriculturist, farmer and distiller which is why our oils work!

I just LOVE having yet another personal testimonial!

If you are in any sort of pain TRY THIS FORMULA!

In a size "00" vegicap
(you will need 2 empty capsules for this)

20 drops of Valerian
10 drops of Helichrysum
3 drops of Clove
3 drops of Peppermint


Tried, Tested and True!!!


Julie Chertow

Julie Chertow
Young Living Independent Distributor #34378

Ordering Young Living Oils
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Listen to Julie's Recorded
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Series geared toward
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Episode 1 - Episode 2 - Episode 3

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Good News for Healthy Hearts
Spice Things Up in Your Kitchen
Mystery of Scriptural Oils
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Cool Off Those "Power Surges"
Regenerating Your Skin at the Cellular Level
"The Change"...in Men

Julie puts lavender starts in trays in preparation for their "dip."

Before starts are planted they are hand-dipped in either lavender floral water or a vitamin B mix for nourishment.

Lavender starts brought to field for planting.

Though a tractor is used when possible, planting the lavender starts continues to be a "hands-on" process. Note the spiked wheel punching holes in the soil before Julie inserts individual starts. As with much of the equipment on the farm, it is unique to Young Living because Gary Young designed it when the need arose.

Gary and Julie carefully pack the soil around each lavender start.

Gary's son Jacob contributes. Jacob was Mary's (Gary's wife) firstborn at age 54. Mary has since given birth to a second son at age 57!

After long days of hard labor, a handful of distributors enjoy gleaning from Gary's knowledge.

Nothing but the best for the animals at Young Living Farm!

Meet the farm's best organic weed killers. Goats forage among the herbs but eat only weeds as the herbs are too strong for their tastes.

Julie serenading Sundance.

Harvesting of a mature lavender crop begins...one row at a time. The top 8-12 inches of the plant is trimmed off.

Julie gets very first tactor-driving lessons under the watchful (worried?) eye of Gary.

Harvested lavender is pitch-forked onto a truck to be hauled to the distillery.

Distillery before lavender arrives.

Lavender is dumped at distillery as Gary looks on.

It doesn't seem possible that all this lavender will be squeezed into the distiller...

...but we pitch-fork it in...

...and stomp...

...and stomp. Julie gives it a try as the top is within reaching distance.

At the lower level of the distillery, Gary turns on the steam.

Julie in blooming lavander field.

Young Living's second-best organic weed killer!

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