I am going to do it. I am going to break down the ORAC (Oxygen Radial Absorbance Capacity) in a way that doesn’t make you want to gouge your eyeballs out. I promise. What is the ORAC, you ask? Good question!
Perhaps you’ve been browsing the Young Living website and come across a sentence like this “Rose has an approximate ORAC of 1,604,284 (TE/L). TE/L is expressed as micromole Trolox equivalent per liter”.
Well, here’s the deal. The ORAC scale offers us a tool that can be used to choose the most powerful foods for health. It also allows for easy comparison of foods to see which food is best when it comes to antioxidant power. These foods can be used in a dietary or topical way in order to bring antioxidants to the body. So why are antioxidants important? Well, first we need to talk about free radicals. “The free-radical theory of aging states that aging is due to damage of cells caused by free radicals, which are byproducts are oxidation.”* What does that mean?
Well, free radicals are a byproduct of oxidation. These cells are missing an electron in their outer shell. So…like sneaky health bandits they can, and will, pirate electrons from healthy cells. THAT’S WHERE ANTIOXIDANTS COME TO THE RESCUE! An antioxidant is a molecule that prevents the oxidation of other molecules. They capture free radicals and make them harmless, so that free radicals will not attack healthy cells.
Ok, so what does this mean when it comes to choosing essential oils? Does this mean that because Clove has an extremely high ORAC, it’s the best for us? Not necessarily. The ORAC is expressed as Trolox equivalent (TE) per 100 g. “When you look at a number like 1,078,700 TE (for Clove oil) you have to remember that we’re talking about that level of [oxidation] reducing power in 100 g, NOT per serving”** Still, it has been found that adding foods high on the ORAC scale to our diet may reduce oxidation and our overall feeling of wellbeing! Young Living Ningxia Red is a beast when it comes to antioxidants! The wolfberry prevails in a sea of antioxidant claiming drinks! [insert HOWL here]…
ORAC isn’t a marketing ploy. It was developed by USDA researchers at Tufts University as a way to for consumers to understand antioxidant capacity of foods more clearly. It replaces vague terms like “high in antioxidants” or “superfood” as a reliable way to ensure that foods making antioxidant claims are telling it like it is. I’m down with honesty. The USDA actually used to have a chart of ORAC values on their site. They recently removed it, due to “potential misunderstandings by consumers and misuse by marketers** Meaning, while chocolate comes in at 13,120 ORAC, it’s for 100 grams of unsweetened cacao – an unrealistically high amount to be contained in a sweetened bar. However I still say GIVE ME ALL THE CHOCOLATE. But, I digress.
So, which Young Living Essential Oils have the highest ORAC Values and therefore are chock full of good stuff that our cells like? Here you go!
And, the great part about choosing Young Living Essential Oils is that many of these oils are safe for consumption, in moderation.*** We’re talking pure, unadulterated, therapeutic grade oils…NOT no-name bargain brand perfume oils. (Don’t eat those. Your body won’t like you.) So, our cells inside and out will be happy about that! You can bring antioxidants to your body using a variety of different methods. Dietary and topical are the most common.
You’ll notice many fancy shmancy beauty products nowadays boast being high in antioxidants. Because pollution, sunlight, and smoking are all causes of free radical development in the body, many beauty marketers have honed in on this need and promised products to reverse the signs of damage. But at what cost? What are they adding to these products? Using essential oils is a safe, natural way of rejuvenating our body at a cellular level! I can totally get behind that.
So ORAC attack your body!! It will thank you! Also, the antioxidant value of Cabernet Sauvignon described in ORAC units is: 4,523 μ mol TE/100g…just saying… It’s science.
***Always consult a certified Aromatherapist with any questions regarding consumption
Disclaimer: I provide my own personal opinion and experiences with essential oils. I am not endorsed by the Young Living Corporation. None of what I mention on this site has been evaluated by the FDA, nor is any of it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a registered physician or aromatherapist and I always encourage you do discuss your health concerns with your own doctor. My stories and research are intended as a supplemental tool based on my own personal experiences.