The Oil of Gaia

In 2003 I took my first ever adventure to visit an aromatic farm.

This farm was located in the north of Idaho, near a town called Saint Maries. Being reasonably remote, I needed to fly into Spokane (Washington), then drive 1.5 hours across the border into Idaho.

I still remember the joy of camping under the stars, listening to the coyotes howling in the distance.

There was something very magical about the energy on this farm. It had been the first aromatic farm established by D. Gary Young, the founder of Young Living Essential Oils.

I still remember his story about one time when there was an insect infestation on this farm. He was told he’d have to spray the insects, and being committed to standards that go far beyond those of the organic farming industry, that simply wasn’t an option for Gary.

Instead, Gary placed crystals in specific locations on the farm, and attuned those crystals to his second farm in Mona, Utah so that the two farms could energetically “speak” to each other.

Overnight, the insect plague disappeared, and no chemicals were needed to be used on his plants then, or any time since.

So perhaps it’s no wonder that the energy on this farm was deep and magical, and throbbing with the sheer power of Gaia. Just to lie on my sleeping bag was enough to connect me to the Earth and her energy in a very effortless way.

When I arrived, I had hoped to participate in both the Lavender and the Melissa harvest on the farm. But as happens with Mother Nature, things were unpredictable, and it looked like neither harvest would take place.

For days, we waited for these plants to be ready for harvest. Multiple times in the day, we’d check the glucose content of the Lavender with a Brix meter, waiting for it to reach that optimal level that would tell us the time was right for harvesting.

Most essential oil companies don’t go to these lengths when they are harvesting. If the sun is shining and the season is right, they do their harvest. But Gary Young had discovered that when the glucose content peaks, that’s when you get your richest, most beautiful essential oil. So checking the glucose content (at least for certain plants where this applies) is part of Young Living’s standard practices.

The glucose content ebbs and flows throughout the day. This one particular day we were planning to go out white water rafting, in order to make good use of the extra time we had on our hands. Just before we left on our activity the glucose was checked in the fields, and wouldn’t you know it - it had peaked!

White water rafting was immediately cancelled, and all hands were on deck on tractors and pitch forks, participating in the Lavender harvest.

To see this level of care and dedication to the process of producing essential oils was indeed awe-inspiring. Yet it was only one of my powerful take-aways from this trip.

Meeting Gaia

The most profound experience was to happen a few days later.

Young Living has a massive field planted with Melissa, also commonly known as Lemon Balm. It’s a well-known herb often used to make Lemon Balm tea, and its essential oil is nothing short of magical!

Just as happened with Lavender, a day or two later the Melissa plant was suddenly ready to be harvested, and all hands were on deck.

In those days, the machinery was less sophisticated than we have today. After the harvester had run over the fields trimming the Melissa plants, a truck then slowly moved up each aisle. I was one of a handful of volunteers on the farm, and our role was to walk beside the truck with a pitchfork, pitching the Melissa cuttings into the truck so they could be taken to the distillery.

Because Melissa oil comes from the leaves of the plant, there was a very strong aroma of Melissa oil in the air. Each time I bent to fill my pitchfork, I was breathing it in this potent essential oil.

I had been working at this labour-intensive task for no more than 15 or 20 minutes, and was feeling fatigued already. I bent down to collect more Melissa cuttings onto my pitchfork, when I was overcome with the deepest of emotions.

My eyes turned to the forest nearby, and I FELT Gaia (Mother Earth) in all of her ecstatic glory, calling me back to her.

Tears fell from my eyes, and I sobbed and sobbed. I felt like a child who had lost her mother, and suddenly spots her in the distance. As my eyes met with Her and I felt her intense presence all around me, I knew I’d never be apart from her again, and something in my Soul was healed that day.

Essential oils have that amazing power to transcend our conscious mind and dive deeply into our subconscious, to find the hidden wounds that we hold at our innermost core. It’s one of the reasons they’ve been my tool of choice for over 20 years.

And each plant carries its own frequency, which is embodied into its essential oil. Melissa holds the frequency of Gaia, and reconnects us to our Soul, and to our beautiful Planet and all of its creatures.

Some fascinating facts

As an aromatic herb, Melissa officinalis has a refreshing lemony aroma, hence its name “Lemon Balm”. The botanical name Melissa actually derives from the Latin name Melittena which means “honey bee”, because it’s beautiful sweet fragrance is much loved by the bees. In fact, its abundant nectar produces some of the world’s best honey!

Melissa oil is extracted from the leaves of the plant, and soothes both our physical and emotional body. It helps to circulate stagnant Chi energy, making it wonderfully revitalising to the physical body.

Gabriel Mojay in his book Aromatherapy for Healing the Spirit says about Melissa: “Itself a plant of a gentle yet hardy disposition, its subtle effect resonates with people who are easily traumatized by confrontation. They tend to manifest their strength through trying to contain, rather than respond to and express, feelings of hurt and anger”.

The beauty of Melissa is that she speaks as a loving Mother would to the sensitive child within. Her lemon-fresh, honey-like sweetness reminds us of the beauty of life, and provides a space of safety where our true Spirit can come out and radiate with spontaneity and joy.

True Melissa Oil is hard to find

Sadly, Melissa oil is frequently adulterated or extended, and much of the “Melissa” oil on the market today is actually a blend of the much cheaper Lemongrass and Citronella oils, combined with naturally derived chemicals similar to the constituents present in genuine Melissa oil.

You get what you pay for.

It takes so much plant matter to make a single drop of this beautiful oil (ie. it has a very low yield), that true Melissa oil very rare and costly.

That’s why it’s so important that you source your essential oils from a company that is not only reputable, but which does the full spectrum of tests needed to determine whether an oil has been adulterated.

Every essential oil sold by Young Living is run through 15 different tests – 3 times before bottling, and 3 times after bottling, so that’s 90 tests in total. This is a company that I trust, if you want to ensure that you are getting what you paid for.

And Melissa Oil is definitely one for your treasure chest of precious oils!
If you'd like to try some Melissa oil, reach out to the person who introduced you to Young Living. If you've lost touch with them or haven't been referred by someone, email me at and I'll be in touch to help you.