doTERRA partners with expert distillers who apply custom pressures and temperatures to extract each essential oil—ensuring the most potent and beneficial chemical profile.

Infopic distillers chemistry

Preserving a plant's chemistry

Once an aromatic plant has been properly harvested, it is transported to a distillery where its oil is captured. Extracting essential oil is an extremely delicate process. If done improperly, distillation can dramatically alter or destroy a plant’s aromatic compounds. If distillation is completed with customized care, the resulting essential oil retains a strong chemical profile to provide therapeutic benefits to its users.

The doTERRA Difference

While others in the essential oil industry cut corners during the planting, growing, and harvesting process, or even try to “extend” pure oils by adding less expensive ingredients, doTERRA is uncompromisingly selective.

Steam Distillation

Steam Distillation

In the steam distillation process, steam from boiling water passes through the plant material and then carries the volatile aromatic compounds from the plant into a collecting tube.

In the tube, the steam is cooled and condensed into water. The lipid-soluble essential oil then separates from the water and the oil is collected. Time, temperature, and pressure are carefully monitored in this process and are catered to the needs of each plant so that the oils retain their beneficial chemical components.



Expression, also known as cold pressing, is used to produce several of doTERRA’s citrus oils. During this process, oil is extracted from the rinds of the fruit under mechanical pressure.

The fruit grazes against sharp rasping cylinders that scrape the surface of the rind, opening microscopic sacs containing essential oils. Water is then sprayed over the fruit to collect the released essential oil and the watery mixture passes through a filter removing remaining pieces of the fruit’s rind. The citrus oil is then separated and collected from the water. This expression process produces oils that are potent, effective and fragrant.



Bulgaria is a country rich with opportunity, but it has faced challenges in reaching its full potential. Accordingly, doTERRA established a Bulgarian company called Esseterre Bulgaria EOOD.

Esseterre is a farming and distilling operation headquartered in the Black Sea resort town of Varna, with its main production center in the nearby industrial town of Dobrich. Esseterre is now one of the largest distilleries in Bulgaria and will revitalize the essential oils industry through doTERRA’s Co-Impact Sourcing® approach, becoming a significant force for facilitating sustainable, diversified development in Bulgaria.