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Gary Young Young Living Founder

D. Gary Young – Young Living Essential Oils Founder

Gary-Young-SniffingGary YoungD. Gary Young was born on July 11, 1949, and passed on May 12, 2018, at the age of 68. He was the founder and president of Young Living Essential Oils, which was established in 1989. He was also the founder of The D. Gary Young Foundation, a nonprofit charity that lends aid to the underprivileged people and communities worldwide. He has researched and studied alternative medicines and is considered a leading innovator on the health benefits of essential oils. He leaves behind a legacy like no other.

Early Life
Gary Young-ProfileClip
In 1973, Gary Young was working as a logger when he sustained an
injury that crippled his legs and left him comatose for four months.
After coming out of his coma, doctors told Gary that he would never
walk again.



For several years following his injury, D. Gary Young traveled throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, India, and Pakistan, to find answers that would allow his body to heal and ease the pain in his legs.

Gary discovered certain plants contained healing properties. He has researched different methods of natural healing, such as naturopathy and herbology. He found that certain plants concentrated in the form of essential oils work very well for his healing regiment.


Gary Young discovered that many commercial grades essential oils were diluted or contained additional chemicals that limited their purity and effectiveness. He embarked on a personal journey to harness the full potential of essential oils from seed selection, crop management, and harvesting to the distillation process.

Gary-in-Rosarita-BeachAfter his travels and studies in 1982, Gary opened a family practice clinic in Chula Vista, California and a research facility to develop and refine natural healing techniques in Rosarito Beach, Mexico.

The First Young Living Farm
Knowing that many commercial-grade oils are altered by the addition of synthetic materials, Gary decided in 1989 to purchase and farm a quarter-acre lot in Spokane, Washington. The farm was used to harvest and distill lavender and other herbs in a way that would harness the total purity of the essential oils. The farm became the first of many living laboratories for refining the growth and processing of essential oils.
Gary Young built his first distiller by welding two pressure cookers with the swan neck of copper tubing. In 1993, Gary Young developed a proprietary process that preserved the highest level of integrity and purity of essential oils. He designed and built the largest and most technologically advanced distillery in North America at the time for the distillation and production of the first 100 percent pure therapeutic-grade essential oils, a term coined by Young for defining the essential oils he grows and distills.


Young Living Essential Oils Company
D. Gary Young and his wife, Mary, created the Young Living Essential Oil company in 1989. Since then, it has become a world leader in essential oils sold throughout the world, including Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Young Living Essential Oils products are not sold in retail stores. The company utilizes relationship marketing as its model from driving sales and promoting its products.

Gary Young’s Young Living Farms
lavendar-budYoung Living maintains four farms for the production and distillation of essential oils. The farms are located all over the world including: in St. Maries, Idaho, Mona, Utah, Simiane-La-Rotonde, France, Canada and Guayaquil, Ecuador.

Humanitarian Efforts
Gary Young has led several humanitarian efforts including:

  • In 2004, Gary and several Young Living Essential Oils employees traveled to Copper Canyon in Durango, Mexico, to build two schools and put in a water system for a remote Tarahumara Indian village.
  • Gary Young launched The D. Gary Young Foundation: Young Living Outreach, which supports philanthropic causes worldwide, including the Cinterandes Foundation and its own Chongon School Project.
  • Through Young Living Essential Oils, Gary and the company also support multiple charitable efforts including the You Can “Thrive” Foundation and the Urban Zen Foundation.

Family & Personal Life
gary-and-maryGary Young was married to former international opera singer Mary Billeter. Together, they have built Young Living Essential Oils and have two sons, Jacob and Josef. He has a passion for the old west that drives him to frequently load his pack horses and ride into the mountains of Utah or northern Idaho where he grew up. He is also was an active tournament jouster.






  • Young graduated from Challis High School in Challis, Idaho, in 1967.
  • Gary attended Bernadean University and earned his master’s degree in nutrition and a doctorate in naturopathy in 1985.
  • During the late 1980s, Gary Young studied biochemistry, anesthesiology, chemistry, hematology and anatomy with four doctors in Mexico.
  • Gary worked with world-renowned expert J.C. Lapraz, M.D., studying the effects of essential oils on the respiratory system.
  • Gary traveled to Egypt and studied with Radwan Farag, Ph.D. essential oil chemistry and its effect on the immune system
  • Gary studied at Anadolu University in Eskisehir, Turkey, studying gas chromatography and the chemistry of absolute extraction of essential oils.
  • From 1990 to 1994, Gary studied with several leading experts on oil distillation in southern France.

D. Gary Young is the author or co-author of several books and articles. One of Gary’s most successful and comprehensive works on oils is the Essential Oils Desk Reference.
This exhaustive collection of research and study explains the uses and benefits of the various natural oils and blends.

Published Papers

  • Journal of Essential Oil Research 1998; 10: 517-523 “Effect of a Diffused Essential Oil Blend on Bacterial Bioaerosols.”
  • Journal of Essential Oil Research 2000; 12: 639-649 “Screening for Inhibitory Activity of Essential Oils on Selected Bacteria, Fungi and Viruses.”
  • Journal of Essential Oil Research 2001; 13: 387-392 “Antimicrobial Effects of Essential Oils on Streptococcus pneumoniae.”
  • Journal of Essential Oil Research 2003; 15: 425-427 “Composition of the Oils of Three Chrysothamnus nauseous Varieties.”
  • International Conference on Essential Oils and Aroma Materias, Guangxi Guilin China 2004; 178-190 “Comparative Study of the Essential Oils of Three Betula Species B. alleghaniensis, B. lenta and B. pendula.”
  • The Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association 2004; 7(1): 32-38 “Pre-Clinical Study: Antioxidant Levels and Immunomodulatory Effects of Wolfberry Juice and other Juice Mixtures in Mice.”
  • Journal of the Utah Academy of Sciences, Arts, and Letters 2005; 82: 50-59 “Inhibition of LPS Induced Nitric Oxide Production in Murine RAW Macrophage-like Cells by essential Oils of Plants.”
  • Journal of Essential Oil Research 2007; 19: 525-526 “Essential Oil of Bursera graveolens (Kunth) Triana et Planch from Ecuador.”
  • International Food Chemistry Conference SICC-5, Singapore 2007 (poster present) Inhibitory Activity of Essential Oils Toward Cellular Proliferation in a Lung Carcinoma Cell Line.”
  • Flavour and Fragrance Journal 2008; “Inhibition of Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) by Essential Oils”

In 1989, Gary Young introduced the Raindrop Technique as a part of his essential science study of therapeutic oils. This specialized massage technique was designed to help relieve discomfort associated with common health conditions.

D. Gary Young has starred in a number of short videos created by his company Young Living Essential Oils. These videos typically depict him in a recreation of modern films, such as Indiana Jones that tie in to his products.

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