Did you as a kid play with flowers? Pressed them in a book to preserve them??

If your answer is YES, these were early attempts of your own herbarium!

It might be interesting to know that Young Living houses the world’s largest aromatic herbarium. And it’s open to the public!

“Our herbarium is just one more way Young Living leads the scientific community in the research and preservation of aromatic plants and essential oils.”

Herbarium plays a vital role to researchers worldwide. Plant specimens preserved in an herbarium represent the best record of the plant’s original distribution. We can use this information to understand changes due to habitat loss, climate change or other impacts by humans.

This is just another example of how Young Living truly stands for the quality and contribution to all of us – users, researchers and so many more. It is an important achievement to science and research in the field of aromatherapy, essential oils, plants, it makes us even more proud of their work and value we get to share with others. 

Did you know about it?? Geli Heiman thank you for sharing this video, it is truly inspiring!


From Dr. Mike Buch (YL Chief Science Officer): 

You may recall my earlier post about our Young Living Herbarium, located within the D. Gary Young Research Institute at our global headquarters.

Well, now, our Young Living herbarium has been officially recognized and registered with the New York Botanical Garden. The New York Botanical Garden is the world registry for herbaria.

The official registered name of the herbarium is the Young Living Essential Oils Aromatic Plant Herbarium. All herbaria are assigned an herbarium code (for example, the Royal Botanical Society in London is RBS).

Young Living’s code is YLAH (short for Young Living Aromatic Herbarium). The easiest way to find information for any herbaria is  use a code search on the New York Botanical Garden website (http://sweetgum.nybg.org/science/ih/).

As I’ve mentioned in my previous post, herbaria are like museums, used to permanently house botanical specimens. All plant herbaria provide access for researchers around the world to study and compare plant specimens, so registering herbaria is key to building a scientific network for botanical research.

Now that we are registered, scientists from anywhere in the world can perform an online search to see if our herbarium houses information they need for their research.  There are over 3,000 herbaria registered throughout the world and having our herbarium registered now provides the opportunity to add to this network.

Of those registered, it appears that only a few focus specifically on aromatic plants (the All-Russian Research Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants and the Central Institute of Medicinal and Aromatic Plants are two examples). YLAH is now part of this very exclusive group of herbaria and is the first of its kind in North America.

All botanical specimens submitted to a herbarium contain basic information showing the identification of the specimen, the specific location  (including the elevation) where it was found, the official botanical name and common names of the specimen, and facts about what other plants were growing nearby.

In addition to this, we also provide the aromatic profile of the essential oil distilled from the plant, which is a unique feature of our herbarium. This additional information links traditional taxonomy research with chemotyping, and lays the foundation for novel phenotype/genotype research.

Right now YLAH contains over 100 plant specimens from all around the world. A few examples include Madagascar (ylang, vetiver), Ecuador (ylang), Morocco (rosemary, myrtle, blue tansy), Tunisia (bitter orange), Bulgaria (roman chamomile), Croatia (helichrysum, sage), Argentina (lemon), Italy (lemon and bergamot). Our specimens not only span the globe, but they also span across 25 different plant families.

The diversity of aromatic plants never ceases to amaze me. 20% of our specimens are currently from the Lamiaceae (mint) family. These include samples that one typically associates with mint (spearmint, peppermint, catmint) but others that are not as commonly thought of as mint (sage, basil, patchouli, lavender, rosemary, mountain savory, vitex). 

Aromatic plants also grow at a wide range of elevations. We have an ylang (Cananga odorata) specimen from Madagascar that grows at 70 meters above sea level and Skypilot (Polemonium viscosum) that grows in Utah at 3700 meters above sea level.

Preparing the specimens is quite tedious, and we must follow standard practices that are followed by all herbaria. It takes 2-3 months to process any given sample before it is submitted to the herbarium. We will continue to add specimens as we collect them. 

So this herbarium represents a lot of work by some very dedicated scientists, but we think it is essential work to drive global understanding of these important aromatic plants. Frankly, our scientists didn’t even need any “encourage mint”!