Where doTERRA sources its oils
One of the things I like about doTERRA is that the company releases videos that show many of the internal processes of the company. This post includes just a few videos on doTERRA’s Source to You channel, showing where doTERRA sources its oils and the impact on the communities involved. The main narrators in these videos are some of doTERRA’s founders, such as Emily Wright, Dr David Hill and David Stirling.
doTERRA sources most of the oils for its products direct from the growers in the countries where they best grow -- many of them in the developing world. The partnerships formed by doTERRA usually have a lasting impact on the communities that they source from. These direct relationships give doTERRA more control over the quality of its source products and, by cutting out the middlemen, give the growers dramatically improved returns for their product.
The videos in this post are links to doTERRA’s Source to You Youtube channel with descriptions included for their respective videos -- minor changes might be made to localise grammar or spelling.
Click on the links below to find out more about how doTERRA sources that particular oil.
- Arborvitae (United States)
- Bergamot (Italy)
- Cardamom (Guatemala)
- Cinnamon Bark (Madagascar)
- Copaiba (Brazil)
- Cypress (Kenya)
- Douglas Fir (New Zealand)
- Frankincense (Somalia)
- Green Mandarin (Brazil)
- Lavender (Bulgaria)
- Lemon (Italy)
- Lemongrass (India)
- Melissa (Bulgaria)
- Petitgrain (Paraguay)
- Peppermint (United States)
- Pink Pepper (Kenya)
- Pink Pepper (Peru)
- Pomegranate (Kenya)
- Spikenard (Nepal)
- Turmeric (Nepal)
- Vetiver (Haiti)
- Wild Orange (Brazil)
- Wintergreen (Nepal)
- Ylang Ylang (Madagascar)
Countries where doTERRA sources its oils
- Brazil (Copaiba, Green Mandarin, Wild Orange)
- Bulgaria (Lavender, Melissa, Yarrow)
- Guatemala (Cardamom)
- Haiti (Vetiver)
- India (Lemongrass)
- Italy (Lemon / Bergamot)
- Kenya (Cypress, Geranium, Ginger, Pink Pepper, Pomegranate, Tea Tree)
- Madagascar (Cinnamon Bark, Ylang Ylang)
- Nepal (Spikenard, Turmeric, Wintergreen)
- New Zealand (Douglas Fir, Manuka)
- Paraguay (Petitgrain)
- Peru (Pink Pepper)
- Somalia (Frankincense)
- United States (Arborvitae, Peppermint)
doTERRA oils sourced in Brazil
doTERRA sources at least 3 of its essential oils from Brazil.
Unlike Red Mandarin, Green Mandarin essential oil is distilled from the unripened fruit of the mandarin tree rather than the more mature fruit. Green Mandarin offers a variety of benefits. It is best known for its soothing properties for the nervous system and can be supportive of healthy digestive function. Limonene, one of the main chemical components of Green Mandarin essential oil, is renowned for its surface cleansing properties. Limonene may also help support cellular function, along with γ-Terpinene. Green Mandarin may also provide antioxidant support and help support cardiovascular health. Aromatically, this essential oil can also offer positive emotional benefits as well.
doTERRA is proud to partner with small-scale farmers to source all of our essential oils. Green Mandarin’s sourcing story is no different. It all starts on a small Red Mandarin farm. When Red mandarin is being grown, the farmers embark on a thinning process where they remove 70% of the immature fruit so the remaining 30% can mature, ripen, and be sold in a market later on. Normally that 70% would become a waste product. Because there is a need for Green Mandarin essential oil, however, we are able to use that 70% to make our essential oil. Thus creating less waste, and delivering the highest quality Green Mandarin essential oil to our members.
When it comes to sourcing essential oils, location is key to purity and quality. doTERRA now sources Wild Orange from Southern Brazil, which enjoys the perfect climate for growing high-quality citrus fruit, which then leads to producing some of the highest quality Wild Orange essential oil in the world.
The Wild Orange oil itself is extracted from the rind of the Sweet Orange tree (citrus sinensis) through a process called cold-pressing. The distillery in Brazil receives its oranges from many artisanal small farmers that are dedicated to their work. They do not use any chemicals on the trees and they have a composting system in place.
doTERRA oils sourced in Bulgaria
doTERRA sources at least 3 of its essential oils from Bulgaria.
doTERRA sources Cardamom oil from Guatemala.
Discover where doTERRA Cardamom essential oil is sourced. You and your family deserve only the most pure, potent, and effective oils on earth. doTERRA takes great pride in sourcing them to you.
doTERRA sources Vetiver oil from Haiti.
The doTERRA Co-impact Sourcing initiative and Healing Hands foundation works with newly formed cooperatives in Haiti to bring the vetiver harvesters steady income, clean water, and the education they desire. Through dōTERRA, Vetiver essential oil helps these villagers on their way to a better life and hope for the future.
doTERRA sources Lemongrass oil from Southern India.
Lemongrass has long been used in Asian and Caribbean cooking due to its subtle lemony flavor and aroma. It has been found to support healthy digestion, and soothe aching muscles. For topical, aromatic or dietary use.
doTERRA sources Lemon and Bergamot from Sicily, Italy.
Buon giorno! It’s time to travel to Italy with Emily Wright and Dr. David Hill, and take a stroll through the Bergamot and Lemon groves! This video showcases how the highest quality Bergamot and Lemon essential oils are sourced, before going through doTERRA’s scientific testing protocol. Without question, you feel the passion of several generations of Italian families, and the pride with which they showcase their labor of love. All that is missing is the incredible aroma!
doTERRA sources at least 4 of its essential oils from Kenya and processes Pomegranate from Turkey in a Nairobi facility.
In addition to supplying the highest quality essential oils doTERRA is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of farmers, harvesters, and distillers who contribute to doTERRA’s oil production.
With over 100 essential oils in its product line, doTERRA sources its oils from over 40 countries —more than half of which could be considered developing countries. To ensure that small-scale farmers and harvesters in disadvantaged areas are treated ethically, doTERRA has introduced an initiative called Co-Impact Sourcing®.
Co-Impact Sourcing is an initiative that seeks to develop long-term, mutually beneficial supplier partnerships while creating sustainable jobs and providing reliable income in underdeveloped areas. doTERRA is committed to the ethical treatment of its suppliers by providing on-time payments at fair prices. Growers and harvesters are encouraged to form cooperative groups to share collective benefits and bargaining power while improving skills and capacity.
We have identified Kenya as one part of the world where amazing plants are grown. Our partnership with local growers there has helped us to produce pure essential oils such as Pink Pepper, Geranium, Ginger, and Melaleuca (Tea Tree Oil). It would be easy to work with commercial growers, but doTERRA has found that working with small scale-farmers is just one way where we can make a difference and give back in an impactful way.
The Cypress tree is a stately, cone-bearing evergreen with remarkably fragrant branches. Cypress trees thrive in various locations around the world, but we source our Cypress oil in Kenya. By choosing Kenya, we’re supporting many smallholder farmers in rural areas of the country while also getting the best quality of essential oil.
Similar to our Frankincense and Copaiba oils, Cypress essential oil is a blend of multiple species: Cupressus sempervirens and Cupressus lusitanica. Using two species of cypress not only solidifies a sustainable source but also improves and amplifies the qualities and benefits of the oil.
Cypress is unique among wood essential oils because it includes a diverse combination of chemical constituents. Like other types of conifers, Cypress is rich in pinene (which has a distinctive pine-like aroma), but it also has alpha-terpinene and carene. This makes Cypress both invigorating and grounding to the emotions.
Veronica lost her husband in a road accident in 2014. To provide for her five small children, she started making ropes from the fibers of plants. Initially, she would make about 200 shillings a day, but over time local shops stopped buying from her. Veronica made friends with another young widowed mother, Lucy. As they contemplated how they would make ends meet and provide for their young families, they met Mr. Kigo. A man who changed their lives. He told them to leave their jobs and to work for him instead; harvesting Pink Pepper. Veronica was a natural! Since she started harvesting pink pepper, Veronica has been able to make 1500 shillings a day compared to the meager 200-300 she was earning previously.
Veronica and Lucy are just two examples of the hundreds and thousands of lives that are and will be impacted by the harvest of Pink Pepper. That’s why doTERRA does co-impact sourcing. It is all about the individual and how we can make their lives better.
Behind the scenes footage of the production facility near Nairobi, Kenya where doTERRA Pomegranate oil is produced from seeds sourced from Turkey.
The essential oil produced is filtered, tested then sent to Utah where it is blended with Yarrow oil from Bulgaria to produce the Yarrow Pom oil blend.
doTERRA sources Cinnamon Bark and Ylang Ylang from different areas in Madagascar.
Many of our Cinnamon Bark farmers have groves of cinnamon trees on their land that have been there for generations. Families care for the groves, helping to keep them healthy and strong for future generations.
Cinnamon trees grow all year long and must grow for three to five years before they can be harvested for the bark. After harvest, the tree sends out a new shoot from the stump. The little shoot grows into a new tree that can be harvested again in another three to five years.
After the tree is cut, the leaves are removed, and the bark is stripped by hand from the trunk and the branches. The bark is where the essential oil comes from.
After the bark has been stripped, it is put on mats to dry in the sun for two to three days. Then, it is bagged for collection. Some of the bark is sold to be distilled and some is saved to make powder to be sold on the spice market. Any leftover wood is sold as firewood.
A boat ride down the canals takes us to a distillery
Terrain surrounding the Cinnamon Bark harvesting areas is challenging to navigate and only accessible by foot, motorcycle, or sometimes boat. Some areas are quite steep, others prone to flooding, and there are often multiple rivers to cross.
Once cinnamon bark reaches the distillery, it must first soak for 24 to 48 hours. It’s important for the bark to soak, otherwise the oil yield will be low during the distillation. After soaking, the cinnamon bark is steam distilled, which can take anywhere from eight to ten hours to finish.
Supporting Smallholder Farmers
Near the distillery lives a small family. Together, they run a nursery where they cultivate plants like cinnamon trees and clove. Small scale farmers like this family are the ones bringing this oil to the market. We are proud to partner with local families to provide 100% pure and natural products from their source to you.
A Co-Impact essential oil from Madagascar, Ylang Ylang is used for its exquisite fragrance and long history as a component of perfumes.Through doTERRA’s Co-Impact Sourcing efforts, the reality and quality of life has been improved for the harvesters of Madagascar.
doTERRA sources at least 3 of its essential oils from different areas in Nepal.
doTERRA goes to the source and gets Spikenard essential oil from Nepal. We’re partnering with the communities in Nepal to bring long-term employment opportunities.
Nestled along a river in the lowland plains of Nepal is the small community of Sangrampur. Many families in Sangrampur fish and farm for income. The surrounding land is flat and suitable for growing turmeric, so many farmers take on the laborious process of growing and preparing turmeric to be sold for the spice market. One of these farmers is Ramekwal Saha.
Ramekwal and his wife have six daughters and two sons. Ramekwal and his wife have always hoped to be able to provide an education for their children, but it is difficult to progress economically in Sangrampur. The market requires turmeric farmers to not only grow and harvest their turmeric, but also clean, boil, and dry their yield before they can even try to sell it. Farmers often face uncertainty that they can sell their crop due to market instability, and they are often taken advantage of by being paid significantly less for their labor-intensive turmeric than it is worth.
Ramekwal first began farming turmeric on a small parcel of land lent to him by his neighbor. Ramekwal is a hardworking man, but because of the unfair conditions of growing turmeric for the spice market he didn’t make nearly enough to start sending his children to school.
When doTERRA came to Nepal to source Turmeric essential oil, we didn’t just come for the plant. We came to establish and support partnerships with turmeric farmers like Ramekwal.
Unlike farming turmeric before, farmers don’t need to boil or dry the turmeric before selling it to our partner supplier. This saves the farmers both time and energy. Furthermore, it allows us to generate jobs for local women who are hired to wash and prepare turmeric for distillation. These women receive fair wages for their work.
With doTERRA as a guaranteed buyer, market uncertainty and instability are eliminated for Ramekwal and the other farmers who partner with us. Ramekwal can safely expand his turmeric production knowing that we will continue to purchase his high-quality crop, sustaining our long-term partnership with him.
We are committed to paying all of our farmers fairly and on-time. Ramekwal now earns 25% more income while investing less time and less labor into the process than before.
With this increased freedom and revenue, he can afford to rent even more land. Before Ramekwal produced about 1-2 tons of turmeric, but now he is able produce approximately 40 tons, which in turn is increasing his capacity to earn even more.
While producing 40x more turmeric than ever before is certainly impressive, it is not nearly as important to him as something else he has accomplished. The hope of Ramekwal and his wife to be able to provide their children with access to education has been realized. All eight of their children are attending school and one step closer to achieving their own dreams someday.
The partnership between dōTERRA and the hard-working Wintergreen harvesters in Nepal is an exciting Co-Impact Sourcing initiative for dōTERRA, but made the devastating news of the 2015 Nepal earthquake even harder to hear. However, through the remarkable response of Wellness Advocates across the world, the dōTERRA Healing Hands Foundation was able to support the Nepalese people in their time of need. Watch how the generosity of the dōTERRA community influenced individuals in Nepal after the earthquake struck.
doTERRA sources Douglas Fir oil and Manuka oil from New Zealand.
The Douglas Fir is a conifer species introduced to New Zealand. Douglas Fir grows approximately 25 times faster in New Zealand than in North America -- great for the timber industry but not so good for native plants. By harvesting the trees while young and before they’ve started producing cones, doTERRA is not only reducing this environmental problem, but turning this invasive species into a purposeful and invigorating essential oil.
doTERRA sources Petitgrain from a sustainable source in Paraguay.
Find out more about doTERRA sourcing Petitgrain in Paraguay and how doTERRA is helping families and communities flourish.
doTERRA sources Pink Pepper from Peru, in South America.
doTERRA is proud to partner with local farmers in Peru to harvest pink peppercorn for our new product, Pink Pepper essential oil. This has been made possible through our Co-Impact Sourcing® initiative. Co-Impact Sourcing seeks to develop long-term, mutually beneficial supplier partnerships while creating sustainable jobs, and providing reliable income in underdeveloped areas. doTERRA is committed to the ethical treatment of its suppliers by providing on-time payments at fair prices.
doTERRA sources 3 different types of Frankincense oil from Somalia, where its business is significantly beneficial for the grower communities.
See where doTERRA’s Frankincense comes from and the lives that are being changed because of the harvest of Frankincense. doTERRA saw a need in Somaliland and went in to give the people there a seed of hope. doTERRA has built warehouses, collection areas, and provided jobs for men and women. The supply chain has been improved, but more importantly, lives have been improved. The work that is being done there will be long-lasting.
Video and source information from doTERRA Source To You.