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Donald Gary Young (July 11, 1949 – May 12, 2018) was an American businessman specializing in essential oils and pseudomedicine. He is the founder of Young Living, a Utah-based multi-level marketing company offering essential oils and other alternative medicine products.

Donald Gary Young
Donald Gary Young.jpg
Young in November 2010
Born(1949-07-11)July 11, 1949
DiedMay 12, 2018(2018-05-12) (aged 68)
ResidenceLehi, Utah
OccupationFormer CEO of Young Living, writer
Spouse(s)Donna Young (divorced)
Mary Young


Early life and educationEdit

Young was born on July 11, 1949 and went to high school in Challis, Idaho.[1] In his late teens, Young moved to Canada with the intention of homesteading in British Columbia.[2] At the age of 24, he suffered a near-fatal logging accident, and had to use a wheelchair for a time.[2][3] While rehabilitating, he studied alternative medicine, which eventually led him to use essential oils in an effort to relieve his pain.[2]


In the early 1980s, Young briefly studied therapeutic massage, although he did not complete a course of study.[4] In 1982, Young opened a clinic in Spokane, Washington, which offered unlicensed medical services, including childbirth. In early 1983 when Young was 33 years old, an undercover Washington State police officer approached Young about performing an underwater birth, as part of an effort to "police all registered professions".[5] Young offered to provide prenatal services, and treat the cancer of the officer's mother,[4] and was arrested for practicing medicine without a license, leading to a misdemeanor conviction.[5][6][7]

In 1986 while promoting himself as a naturopathic doctor,[4] Young was operating the Rosarita Beach Clinic in Tijuana, Mexico, offering "detoxification" for cancer and lupus using treatments whose efficacy was questioned in an investigative report by the Los Angeles Times.[8] To test the veracity of Young's clinical diagnosis, a reporter submitted cat and chicken blood to a clinic employee, who failed to determine that the samples were non-human, and further diagnosed that the "patient" had an aggressive form of cancer and liver disease.[4][8] A medical clinic in Chula Vista, California with which Young was involved was later ordered shut down by a judge, in 1988.[9]

Foundation of Young LivingEdit

In 1989, Young started cultivating plants in Spokane, Washington, and built two distillation units.[3] In 1993, he founded Young Living Essential Oils in Riverton, Utah.[10][3] Young later moved the company to Lehi, Utah, and focused on employing methods concerning the harvesting and extraction of essential oils. As of 2017, Young Living was reported to have become one of the largest vendors of essential oils in the United States with over three million customers.[11]

In 2014 while Young was chief executive officer (CEO) of Young Living, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned him and his company about illegally marketing products that had not been FDA approved as possible treatments or cures for Ebola virus,[12] and other conditions,[13] after they identified multiple instances of such claims being made by Young Living's distributors on social media and other websites.[14][13][15][16][13] In 2015, he stepped down as CEO with his wife assuming the role.[17]

Raindrop TechniqueEdit

Young developed and trademarked the Raindrop Technique, a controversial procedure that involved, among other things, the application of undiluted essential oils to a person's skin in order to cure conditions such as spinal curvature. Both the Aromatherapy Registration Council and the Alliance of International Aromatherapists made statements advising against the use of this technique, asserting that, in addition to making false health claims, the technique was "unsafe" and "poses risks to public health."[9]

Personal lifeEdit

In 1982, Gary and then-wife Donna Young attempted to give birth to their daughter in a whirlpool bath located in Young's "health club", but the child drowned during delivery.[18] While the death was ruled accidental, the county coroner's report stated that the child would likely have survived if a conventional delivery had been performed.[11] Young later remarried. His new wife, Mary, was both the author of his biography, published by Young Living, and succeeded her husband as CEO of the company in 2015.[17][11]

Young died on May 12, 2018, in Salt Lake City due to complications from a series of strokes.[19]


Young authored several self-published books on aromatherapy, health and superfoods. His published books are:

  • Young, D. Gary (2014). Ancient Einkorn Today's Staff of Life. Young Living. ISBN 978-0990510000.
  • Young, D. Gary (2010). The one gift. Orem, Utah: Wisdom. ISBN 978-0984595907.
  • Young, D. Gary (2011). Shutran's Ancient Apothecary. Life Science. ISBN 978-0983518341.
  • Young, Gary; Lawrence, Ronald Lawrence; Schreuder, Marc (2005). Discovery of the ultimate superfood : how the Ningxia Wolfberry and four other whole foods help combat heart disease, cancer, chronic fatigue, depression, diabetes and more. Orem, UT: Essential Science. ISBN 978-0943685441.
  • Young, D. Gary (2003). Raindrop technique. Essential Science Pub. ISBN 978-0943685366.
  • Young, D. Gary (2003). Essential oils integrative medical guide : building immunity, increasing longevity, and enhancing mental performance with therapeutic-grade essential oils (3rd print. ed.). Salem, UT: Essential Science Pub. ISBN 978-0943685342.
  • Young, D. Gary (2000). Pregnenolone : a radical new approach to health, longevity, and emotional well-being. Salem, UT: Essential Science Pub. ISBN 978-0943685281.
  • Young, D Gary (1999). The Truth Behind Growth Hormone: Its Promise and Its Peril; How to Safely Unlock the Benefits of Growth Hormone. Essential Science. ISBN 9780943685243.
  • Young, D. Gary (1999). Longevity secrets: How the Hunza people achieve unsurpassed longevity through diet : the missing link in modern nutrition. Essential Science Publishing. ISBN 978-0943685236.
  • Young, D. Gary (1996). Aromatherapy : the essential beginning (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City, UT: Essential Press Pub. ISBN 9780964818705.


  1. ^ "Obituary: D. Gary Young". St. Maries Gazette-Record. June 6, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c Gardner, Matt (August 9, 2014). "Therapeutic oils offer alternative approach to healing". Prince Albert Daily Herald. Archived from the original on July 22, 2015.
  3. ^ a b c Pitcock, Jennifer Workman (July 1, 2013). "Young Living Essential Oils: Growing by Returning to its Roots". Direct Selling News.
  4. ^ a b c d Clark, Doug (October 28, 1986). "Does he relieve people of pain or of their wallets?". Spokane Chronicle. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  5. ^ a b Prager, Mike (March 10, 1983). "Arrest result of attempt to police all professions". Spokesman-Review. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  6. ^ Prager, Mike (March 9, 1983). "Police arrest 'doctor'". The Spokane Chronicle. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  7. ^ Cox, Kate (October 3, 2017). "5 Things We've Learned About The Booming Essential Oils Business". Consumer Reports. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Hurst, John (October 23, 1987). "'Patient' Submits Blood (From Cat), Is Given Diagnosis". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved October 19, 2007.
  9. ^ a b London, William. "D. Gary Young (1949–2018), Diploma Mill Naturopath and Promoter of Essential Oils". CSICIP.ORG. Center for Inquiry. Retrieved 18 January 2019.
  10. ^ Gorrell, Mike (December 12, 2014). "Perks Offered to Create 1,600 Jobs". the Salt Lake Tribune.
  11. ^ a b c Monroe, Rachel (9 October 2017). "Something in the Air". The New Yorker. New York: Condé Nast. Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  12. ^ Ohlheiser, Abby (September 24, 2014). "FDA warns three companies against marketing their products as Ebola treatments or cures". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 26, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c Mitchell, LaTonya (September 22, 2014). "Warning Letter: Young Living". U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 19 October 2017.
  14. ^ "The Fine Line Between Essential Oils and Treating Disease". Pharmacy Times. February 3, 2015. Retrieved January 29, 2019.
  15. ^ Hanson, Kurt (September 25, 2014). "FDA sends warning to doTERRA and Young Living about oils". Daily Herald. Retrieved February 10, 2019.
  16. ^ Andrews, Natalie (October 3, 2014) "FDA cracks down on sellers touting Ebola treatments", Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  17. ^ a b "Mary Young Transitions to CEO of Young Living". Direct Selling News. June 29, 2015.
  18. ^ Mills, Judy (October 17, 1982). "Babies: Home-style birthing continues to generate controversy here". The Spokesman-Review. Retrieved September 10, 2015.
  19. ^ Ritchey, Julia (May 18, 2018). "At Lavender Farm In Juab County, Mourners Gather To Remember Young Living Founder". KUER.

External linksEdit