Essential Oils Scam: NOT a Medical Treatment

Standard

Social media has been exploding over the last year with claims that essential oils have cured all sorts of diseases and illnesses. Obviously, this is a total scam. Even worse, essential oils are being pushed through multi-level marketing (also a scam) with companies such as doTERRA and Young Living.

What is the real story about essential oils and multi-level marketing? As our friend Lazy Man has said: No, Your MLM Health Product Doesn’t “Work.” (This most definitely includes Medifast, Herbalife, Xyngular, Isagenix, Usana, and any other MLM with a “health product.”) 

Essential oils are the oil of particular plants, and can come from the flowers, leaves, roots, bark, or peels of plants. They are called “essential” because they contain the “essence of” the plant’s fragrance, but not because they are essential for any health needs. Essential oils have been used for years in aromatherapy, household cleaning products, and some personal care products.  They smell good, which can be relaxing and can also enhance different cleaning processes. They may also help moisturize skin, assist in the treatment of conditions such as acne, and enhance the appearance of skin.

The controversy about essential oils relates to their supposed medicinal properties. Some claim they have antioxidants, antrimicrobials, and anti-inflammatories. I don’t doubt that essential oils may have some of these properties on a small scale. But essential oils most certainly do not heal broken bones. While the oils can help with minor burns, they definitely do not heal serious burns. They don’t cure autism, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, or any other potentially serious illnesses. Some of the advice being offered by pretend doctors and pretend scientists can be downright dangerous. (And essential oils shouldn’t be ingested EVER or used without diluting them first.)

Harriet Hall, MD, who we have quoted here before, takes doTerra to task for its unsupported claims about essential oils:

They say modern science is validating “the numerous health and wellness benefits of essential oils” but they don’t identify those benefits or offer any evidence. No clinical studies are cited, and there is no research section on their website.

[snip]

The published evidence is sparse to nonexistent. There are clinical studies to support a few of the recommended uses, but they are generally poorly designed, uncontrolled, and unconvincing. Research is difficult, because patients can’t be blinded to the odors, and mental associations and relaxation could account for most of the observed effects.

And Dr. Hall points us to some really interesting information about D. Gary Young, the founder of Young Living. Be careful who you trust. Dr. Hall writes:

I first heard of essential oils years ago in connection with Gary Young, described on Quackwatch as “an uneducated huckster with a track record of arrests for health fraud.” Gary Young and his Essential Oils are still in business despite the devastating critique that has long been featured on Quackwatch. The record of misdeeds there makes for painful reading. Among other things, he practiced medicine without a license, was arrested repeatedly, did bogus lab tests, and contributed to the death of his own child by performing an underwater delivery and holding the newborn infant underwater for an hour. His judgment about medical matters is obviously not very trustworthy.

I did some very brief research on these claims, and found additional information on Mr. Young in this article and this article, both by Eva Briggs, MD.

Roy Benaroch, MD (yes, an actual doctor!) writes about essential oils:

Is there any reason to think there are broad health benefits from essential oils, as a group? Many of them smell good, and I imagine that used in a sort of aroma therapy they might be relaxing to people who like the smell of lemon, cedarwood, patchouli, or hyssop. But statements referring to essential oils collectively as having near-magical health benefits are just plain silly.

[snip]

Some essential oils probably do offer health benefits, but many can be harmful if used incorrectly; and since selling these is intertwined with questionable business practices, it’s unlikely that Kayla is going to get reliable or balanced health information from local distributors. Don’t waste your money or endanger your health—stay away from the multilevel marketing of essential oils.

In order to make the products look legitimate (or look like they’re superior to other products out there), MLM companies are prone to lying, exaggeration, and misleading. One such example is doTERRA’s claim that their products are Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade. What does CPTG mean? Absolutely nothing. It’s a phrase that doTERRA made up and got a trademark on. In essence, doTERRA is saying “our essential oils are high quality because we say they are.”

It is common for the representatives of multi-level marketing companies to make all sorts of false claims about the healing properties of their products. These essential oil companies are no different, and the Food and Drug Administration has taken notice. Young Living received a warning letter from the FDA last year, telling the company that representatives are not permitted to make drug claims about the products.  doTERRA also received a warning letter from the FDA last year, pointing out that the essential oils “…are not generally recognized as safe and effective for use under the conditions prescribed, recommended, or suggested in their labeling.”

Both product lines were falsely pushed to cure or prevent ebola:

The website www.theoilessentials.com reportedly wrote “[T]he Ebola virus cannot survive in the presence of a therapeutic grade Cinnamon Bark and Oregano essential oil.” 

The website www.essentialsurvival.org wrote “Thieves [a proprietary Young Living blend] oil can be . . . applied topically on the skin to help the body fight off infection . . . If Ebola was going around in my area . . . I would apply it to my feet and armpits 2x/day or more and take it in capsules at least 2x/day for preventive purposes,” and “If I were exposed to Ebola or had reason to believe I could be sick with it, I would use some of these oils every 10 minutes for a few hours, then cut back to every hour for the rest of the first day. Then I would use them every 2 waking hours of the day for at least a week, or longer if it was known I was sick.”

A doTerra distributor wrote “Many Essential Oils are highly Anti-viral. I list here a few of them those (sic) oils that could help prevent your contracting the Ebola virus . . ..” on a Twitter account credited to “MrsSkinnyMedic.”

There were also claims that doTERRA and Young Living essential oils cured all sorts of other illnesses, such as “…Parkinson’s disease, autism, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, insomnia, heart disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dementia, and multiple sclerosis,” according to the FDA letter.

Here’s the bottom line: Essential oils do not cure illnesses or medical conditions. They possibly make people feel better, and may have a minimal effect on very minor skin conditions. But that’s it. Essential oils won’t heal your cancer, broken bones, migraines, dimentia, fybromyalgia, autism or anything else. And if used incorrectly, essential oils can be dangerous.

188 thoughts on “Essential Oils Scam: NOT a Medical Treatment

  1. Interesting article! It is good to know that the essential oils are not universal medicine which could help you with every single disease. I use essential oils to make my own cleaning detergents and that is all. I do not believe that they could cure disease but they can calm the symptoms. Thanks a lot for the interesting article! Dalston Carpet Cleaners Ltd.

  2. I just recently got some jojoba oil and decided to make a few roller bottles of jojoba and essential oils. it is so much easier to apply thieves to my spine and bottom of my feet to help protect me during the cold and flu season.

  3. DaveK

    >”It is common for the representatives of multi-level marketing companies to make all sorts of false claims […]”

    Perhaps we should call them “misrepresentatives” in future?

  4. Jane Doe

    I signed up for dotarra oils. I love the products however there treatment towards wholesalers is awful. 1. If you do not change your cart every month they automatically ship last months items to you. 2. It is impossible for anyone to completely delete all the items in your cart meaning they are bound and determined to force you to buy every month at least 1 item. 3. They control the credit card you give them to sign up. So they make it impossible to skip a month or two of buying.
    If they do not listen to me monday I am calling my bank and saying my card was stolen so I dont get charged dotarra products anymore.

  5. Janet Smith

    The medical pharmaceutical industry have made all sorts of false claims about psychotropic drugs and they have all but killed me. Who are these doctors accusing people of false claims??

  6. Pearl

    There are scams in all industries but these doctors who gave opinions were just trying to give consumers a wake up call from this blinded universal hype on essential oils. Essential oils may smell good and sooth our moods but the truth is, they are not medicine and have often fallen nothing more than a money making tool. Hence thanks for this great article!

  7. a

    So many people like yourself write blogs like this. I personally love doterra oils, they have changed my life, doterra clearly tells people straight forward they dont “cure” diseases. They help bring your body into balance. If you do your research youll find that out and youll find out how amazing they are if youve ever experienced them! 🙂

  8. Tracy Coenen

    Essential oils do not cure cancer. At best, aromatherapy may help people feel less sick when receiving chemotherapy. But the oils do absolutely nothing to take away the cancer.

  9. Lane Simonian

    Aromatherapy suffers from many misconceptions. One of them is that it is the smell that is producing some placebo type effect when it is the compounds behind the smell that is producing a real effect. Some compounds in essential oils are stimulants (such as eugenol, carvacrol, thymol, geraniol, and menthol) and others are relaxants such as linalool. In addition, eugenol is a very powerful antioxidant.

    In the case of Alzheimer’s disease, scientists keep working on ways to deliver chemicals through the nose to the brain, but aromatherapy already does this. Jimbo and colleagues in Japan saw significant improvements in cognition related to personal orientation when diffusing rosemary (eugenol) and lemon (geraniol) essential oils in the morning and lavender and orange essential oils (linalool) in the evening for 28 days. A longer period (months and years), direct inhalation, and other essential oils may produce even better results.

  10. EDDIE WULFF

    What has the satin drugs done for us? Look who is talking – doctors – who swear an oath to make people feel well from their sickness. I have seen the same people in the prescription line picking up drugs for the past 10-15 years for the same illness. Where are the cures? You are the same people. Money making is more important than curing people from anything. Creation from God is definitely beneficial to our health than man made concoction. Give us a little teaching of good and the truth, we are tied of the devil’s philosophies. Are you scared of the competition-the money making race? Or is your money pipeline running slow or going dry?

  11. C.S.

    In the interest of full and immediate disclosure, I will let you know that I use YL oils. To say they “don’t work” is laughable at best. That comes from my personal application/experience/usage which far outweighs your bitter diatribe above. (Seriously, you sound super grumpy, have some wine.) Fact is, I am now not on 3 prescription meds (2 pills and a nose spray) specifically for my allergies. Allergy testing done by an allergist revealed that I’m allergic to basically everything which explains my headaches, runny nose, burning eyes, and sneezing (not kidding) 30 times before breakfast. Those symptoms were only mildly controlled by, as I said, 3 prescription drugs. So, yes, I laughed out loud, literally, when someone said “Try this.” But they work, so that’s that. My husband is off of his Nexium for heartburn because he’s incorporated an oil named DiGize that has removed the need for the “purple pill.” He’s been using Nexium or a prescription drug equivalent for many, many years now. (His father’s heartburn was so bad that the acid burned a hole in his esophagus and he lay on the bathroom floor bleeding everywhere waiting for an ambulance.) So it runs in his family, and it’s horrid. He has not been able to function without that pill for longer than I’ve been married to him. (Not now, though, of course.)
    In the end though, while you will get some exaggerated claims from those interested in making a buck, and super-exaggerated claims with no real medical backing (pesky humans) you’re lumping the real, the true, and the applicable into those hokey testimonies. Don’t like oils? That’s totally fine. Don’t believe my stories, also fine. My issue with you, madam, is the mean-spirited report full of easily destructed lies you are putting out as truth. Those who give a crap will do their research. Those who don’t will read your blog as truth and that will be that. For example, a little digging can show that Gary’s child died because the cord was wrapped around her neck. How horrible a person you must be to try and use such a loss to further your “professional” claims. A little digging on you shows you “moderate” and remove comments you deem as too close for comfort, and your claims of success as an investigator are HYSTERICAL. You may want to find a new job.

  12. Irene Eder

    Essential oils are nowhere near as bad as most of the drugs that doctors prescribe like candy. I am all but dead from their #%^*((&^& drugs. pancreas thyroid gland digestion etc etc all but destroyed. weight piled on with insulin. went from 80 Kilos to 113 Kilos in a few weeks . I would like to swear at you for being so stupid but I will just say Raspberry.

  13. Tracy Coenen

    No, C.S., essential oils did not cure your allergies.

    No, Irene Eder, essential oils did not help you lose weight.

    LOL

  14. Essential oils are super concentrated volatile oils which the plants use as a defense against being eaten. A poison, of sorts. So hundreds of pounds of plant material to make an ounce of oil. Kills gut flora and disrupts hormone and endocrine systems. One drop on a cotton ball in a room is great aromatherapy.

    Disturbing to hear these being used on children and women in hospitals now…

    Selling a product? Don’t believe a word.

  15. C

    Tracey Coenen your comeback to C.S. And Irene Elder was amazing. Maybe it will work for me…let’s try, NO I’m not drowning in a sh!tload of debt. Let me check and see if my debt is gone……nope still there so just saying NO doesn’t make it true!
    I’ve heard of a lot of people who have benefited from essential oils for many health problems, doesn’t mean that drugs aren’t needed as well this doesn’t need to be a black and white thing here but I think that avoiding drugs and using them as a last resort is a good thing don’t you think, and just a reminder the “alternative” health industry is not the new cat on the block, it’s been around for thousands of years. It’s modern medicine that is the new fad. As for multi level marketing, it’s also been done for ages, it used to be the only way to market things.

  16. Tracy Coenen

    C – The problem with your attempted analogy is that it is a false analogy. Essential oils have been proven SCIENTIFICALLY to not cure allergies and not cure obesity. That’s the case because of SCIENCE, not because of what I say.

  17. Michelle

    Who are you paid by Tracy?
    You certainly are spreading a lot of misinformation concerning essential oils.
    You certainly do NOT KNOW what you are speaking about. Essential oils have saved my life and that of many people I know, and again by creating balance YES balance in the body.
    It appears as though you need to smell a little Lavender, relax and open your mind.
    Read the thousands of valid research studies essential oils on http://www.pubmed.org.
    I have done so for years
    Educate yourself.

  18. Tracy Coenen

    Michelle – No one pays me to write articles on my blog. I am paid by my clients to perform fraud investigations. It is laughable that you say essential oils saved your life. No, they did not. Yes, I’ve read the studies, and there is zero proof that essential oils cure illnesses. They might make you feel better temporarily, but they don’t cure what ails you.

  19. lorin

    I take issue with the sweeping generalization that EOs don’t work for medicinal purposes and at best are just fragrant at times.

    While, agreed that the MLMs in this industry with misleading jargon have thrown the benefits of EOs in question, there are scientific findings that support the medicinal benefits of EOs. In particular, frankincense has been proven and not disputed in it’s success at causing apoptosis in cancer cells.

    You “bottom line” simply is not true. There are plenty of findings on pubmed to successfully dispute your claim.

    It is unfortunate, that there are the MLMs that have so many questionable claims and it is more even more unfortunate that there are articles such as these, that have not looked at the medical findings and also make false claims.

    And frankly, I am not going to take a doctor’s word just because he/she holds that title. Just because they don’t have a solid knowledge of EOs doesn’t mean that they don’t work.

    EOs do work, I know two people who terminal cancer who reversed their health after they incorporated EOs in their medical regime.

  20. honeybadger

    Tracey – you are a mean spirted individual. There is an oil, Lavender, that will calm you but it won’t cure your mean and spiteful attitude. Maybe you should seek out an MD for your anger issues.

  21. Tracy Coenen

    Lorin – What you have said about frankincense is not true. There are some studies in which it was used in animals. There are no conclusive studies regarding its effectiveness in treating cancer in humans.

    Further, what you claim is on Pubmed is simply not there. There are articles about essential oils, there are no scientific studies that prove that essential oils cure illnesses. Aromatherapy has some benefits and makes some people feel better. Essential oils can aid very minor skin conditions. That’s it. Essential oils do not cure any illnesses, however.

    No matter how many times you repeat the talking points your MLM upline gave you, they will not magically become true. Please stop spreading misinformation.

  22. D. Taylor

    Tracy,

    Where are the studies that you claim prove without a doubt that essential oils have no effect on the body? I am very curious to read the studies you have. As for the essential oils and aromatherapy they are used the world over. Asians for example use herbs and such to align their ying and yang. But of course I don’t expect you to believe in that sort of hokum and voodoo either. For that matter where do you think modern prescription drugs came from. Oh right a scientist in a lab snapped their fingers and poof aspirin came into existence out of no where. (For those who don’t know aspirin was originally derived from a plant and once scientist understood what compound in that plant had the effect they were looking for, then they lab created that compound, because it was cheaper for them and then they could call it a drug and patent it.)
    As for the allergies and weight, neither of those people said that the oils cured them of anything. The allergy sufferer said they no longer needed to use prescriptions to control the symptoms of allergies. To me that means they are using something that supports the healthy function of their body.
    The Internet is full of information, but remember that not everything you read is true, do your own research and vet where the information is coming from. Go to a University library and check out the textbooks on aromatherapy and the research papers and make your own decision on whether you want to try them or not.
    It is unfortunate that some people make claims that are misleading about healing. Your body does the healing, you are just tasked with providing it the tools it needs through proper nutrition, exercise, stress reduction and in general healthy living. I use oils because they help me by letting me use something natural instead of pumping chemicals into my body. I bet you think that a Big Mac is just as nutritionally valuable as fresh fruits and veggies, because of course there is no research to prove that fruits and veggies do anything for our bodies, just look at the life expectancy in the 1800’s where they grew their own food and didn’t have modern medicine. They died so much younger than us today. My great grandmother died the day before her 94th birthday and she was active to the last with not even a fraction of the ailments of today. So obviously not proof that lifestyle makes any difference on your health.

  23. Tracy Coenen

    Awwwww, Honeybadger – I’m sorry that the truth upsets you so much. The truth isn’t mean and neither am I. Despite name calling from people like you, I am going to keep telling the truth. 🙂

  24. Tracy Coenen

    D. Taylor – I didn’t say essential oils “have no effect on the body.” I said they don’t cure illnesses. And you’re asking the wrong question. You’re asking for studies that prove that essential oils don’t cure illnesses. The real question is whether there are studies that prove essential oils DO cure illnesses. And the answer is NO.

  25. Jo C

    Tracy, like you I am a realist, sadly there are people who believe everything they hear and this is only because “they want to” which is the definition of an idealist. And its not just with this essential oil issue, its the same in politics or food and even religion. Crazy stuff everywhere. I appreciate the research you’ve done on this subject.

  26. Jane

    I make a spray out of lavender oil to use as room deodorizer, but that’s about it. The oil I use is not from any of the high price MLM folks. I get a very high quality oil for half the price or better, and that is a fact. I am also a microbiologist, and I can tell you that if you have a systemic infection or other serious infection, you’d better be headed toward the big time antibiotics. To not do so can be seriously life threatening, and there comes a point when it’s even too late for antibiotics to get you out of it.

  27. Amy

    The “C” word cannot be used by any doctor, pharmacist, herbalist, or anyone selling vitamins or mlm’s. So you will never, ever, ever find a study that says something “cures” some illness. The insurance companies have that word taken care of. Forget cure.. Reduce symptoms, put into remission, magically disappeared any of those will work and essential oils have helped with that. And yes, you can lose weight with essential oils I have seen it. Aromatherapy and some of the digestive oils help heal the body while keeping you from feeling hungry. Lavender helps with stress so if you’re a stress eater it relaxes you. And so it is, Tracy. Try it and stop being such a closed minded egotistical know it all.

  28. Dody

    I grew up in the “modern medical” world. My mom was a nurse for forty years. I was conventional minded but fortunately never closed minded. I learned of therapeutic essential oils while living in Utah near Young Livings lavender farm. I too found them a bit odd at first. How could they actually work?! I decided to give them a try…. It has now been 14 years and I use an array of oils in my home, on my family and myself and even my pets. I have not used a prescription or over the counter drug since beginning with them. My health and my family’s health is better than ever.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but I ask those of you who are so against the effectiveness of oils to just give one a try. Oils are mentioned hundreds of times in the Bible. They were placed here on earth for our bodies to use for healing. Or are you afraid we might be right about therapeutic oils and then all your fuss will just be egg on your faces?

  29. Cynthia

    Carvacrol inhibits proliferation and induces apoptosis in human colon cancer cells.
    Fan K1, Li X, Cao Y, Qi H, Li L, Zhang Q, Sun H.
    Author information
    Abstract
    Colon cancer is one of the most common malignancies worldwide and has a high mortality rate. Carvacrol is a major component of oregano and thyme essential oils and shows antitumor properties. Here, we investigated the effects of carvacrol on the proliferation and apoptosis of two human colon cancer cell lines, HCT116 and LoVo, and studied the molecular mechanisms of its antitumor properties. We found that carvacrol inhibited the proliferation and migration of the two colon cancer cell lines in a concentration-dependent manner. Cell invasion was suppressed after carvacrol treatment by decreasing the expression of matrix metalloprotease-2 (MMP-2) and MMP-9. Carvacrol treatment also caused cell cycle arrest in the G2/M phase and decreased cyclin B1 expression. Finally, carvacrol induced cell apoptosis in a dose-dependent manner. At the molecular level, carvacrol downregulated the expression of Bcl-2 and induced the phosphorylation of the extracellular-regulated protein kinase and protein kinase B (p-Akt). In parallel, carvacrol upregulated the expression of Bax and c-Jun N-terminal kinase. These results indicate that carvacrol might induce apoptosis in colon cancer cells through the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway and the MAPK and PI3K/Akt signaling pathways. Together, our results suggest that carvacrol may have therapeutic potential for the prevention and treatment of colon cancer.

    Taken from the pubmed article….clearly states that “carvacrol may have therapeutic potential”

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=essential+oils+and+cancer.

    I’d say that looks pretty convincing…and I neither sell nor use the oils!!!

  30. Tracy Coenen

    Looks pretty convincing? Exactly NOTHING was proven in regard to essential oils and cancer. The article stated quite clearly MAY and POTENTIAL. That’s a whole lot different than “it cures cancer.” Because it doesn’t cure cancer. Not even close.

  31. G

    Wow!… I don’t think there is a need for anyone using essential oils to post here and keep this annoyance going. It would only be fuel in her raging fire.
    This lady has been so blinded, only PRAYER can help her and her followers.
    But then again, it might be a waste of time, unless there is a “scientific study” that shows/proofs PRAYERS WORK for anything…

  32. E.R.

    OMG this is something else, the lovely Tracy woman just puts a smile on my face. Let her believe in what she wants, at the end she will be the one who will have complications from meds, acne, minor burns, mood swings and a body full of toxins.

    Peace

    Ohh and as she says ‘ I am paid by my clients to perform fraud investigations’, I believe it is all clear that she is paid by some ‘not fraudulent’ meds producers who are scared of losing profits.

  33. Tracy Coenen

    I wish there was some “meds producers” who were paying me to blog! I am quite healthy, thank you very much. If essential oils make you happy, have at it. Just don’t lie to people by telling them that essential oils cure illnesses.

  34. John Cygnus

    You do realize that there are 100’s of FDA approved pharmaceuticals and medical procedures that hurt, maim and kill people, every single day, right? This is the health system you’re defending? You’re worried about essential oils?

    A PhD does not make someone a god on topics of health and wellness. You put far too much faith in the words and “studies” of people who benefit from discrediting the efficacy of alternative therapies.

    If someone takes an oil and it works for them, who are you to tell them it doesn’t? Why call essential oils a “scam?”

    BTW: there are currently no known Western cures for cancer, fibromyalgia, diabetes or MS. Don’t forget to mention that while you throw something as minimally invasive as an oil under the bus.

    You’ve got some serious learning to do.

  35. Harpomega

    Tracy…you said cure obesity…that is funny.Obesity…a disease? Just stop eating like crap. It’s not a disease. It’s a poor lifestyle choice fueled by ignorance and lack of self control. You keep harping on essential oils not curing anything. News flash…prescription medications don’t cure anything either. The money is not in the cure. They are mostly maintenance medications you must be on for life and carry horrible side effects. Many are used in the wrong people (like antidepressants). Everyone must educate themselves and be their own advocate. People use essential oils for many reasons…to prevent things like colds (no different than the AirBorne) and help ease the aches and pains and symptoms of some diseases. I don’t care for MML either but you can buy this stuff at whole foods. It’s been around forever. Get over it. People are just way more into organic methods these days. Look at the big movement toward avoiding GMO’s. These labels were not on foods 10yrs ago. Things are changing. People are moving away from the McDonalds, pills and fast fix mentality in general. We have learned that the old ways are often the best. Make and grow your own food. Prevent illness to avoid having to treat it. Those sorts of things. I think Kraft Mac and Cheese has done way more damage to the health of Americans vs. essential oils. And if someone finds an essential oil that works for them and blogs about it…how is that a lie? Now go home and stop responding. You are a fool!

  36. Tracy Coenen

    It is a lie when people say that essential oils cure illnesses. Read more carefully…. I’ve said that if they make people feel good, they should go for it. They just shouldn’t falsely claim that the oils cure their medical problems, because they don’t. The oils also don’t prevent illnesses. (And don’t get me started on the GMO labeling nonsense…)

  37. Tracy – as a former newspaper consumer columnist, I just want to say thanks. Please keep doing what you do in this blog. There’s no convincing the “true believers” until after they’ve been sufficiently burned, but maybe your exposition of facts will turn some folks away from MLM and snake oil.

  38. Mydumbsistersellsdoterra

    Oils and herbs have been in use for thousands of years. What happened when people with cancer, ebola, MS, etc., used essential oils? THEY DIED. that’s what happened, THEY DIED. End of story.

  39. Iloveoils

    I have used essential oils for over a year, and in that time I’ve been able to gather my own testimonies of how they have worked for me. One of the testimonies includes eluding having to have surgery to remove cancer that had shown up on two tests but after taking essential oils orally my doctors were not able to find anything when they went in to remove and biopsy the polyps. My doctors couldnt explain to me why it suddenly just “went away” and had other doctors look to verify what he was seeing. You can blog all you want and say all you want but, no one will convince me otherwise. I feel sorry for people like you, who feed into the nonsense that the world feeds us about man made drugs. Yes I do believe essential oils help with lots of things and I think it’s wrong of you to try and convince people, who they have helped, that it’s all in our heads. I know thats not exactly your words, but that’s how you make people feel when you say this.

  40. Tracy Coenen

    I will say it: IT’S ALL IN YOUR HEAD. Essential oils did not cure your cancer. Praying doesn’t cure cancer. “Energy work” doesn’t cure cancer. It is reckless of you to tell people that essential oils cured your cancer. But obviously, I can’t stop you from saying that.

  41. Jonathan

    Any “medicine” that you have to “believe in” for it to work, is not medicine. It’s a placebo. And IF it is a placebo, then said placebo can be substituted for any other placebo. And if THAT is true, then there is no point in purchasing overly priced snakes oil when you can just play pretend with random items laying around in your house. Right now I declare that this soda pop cures cancer. Hey, I already paid for it, and it was pretty cheap. If you’re going to live in a fantasy land devoid of evidence and rational thought, then at least save some money while doing so.

  42. Jonathan

    Thank you so much for writing this article, Tracy. I have some family members who have become creepily obsessed with essential oils over the past 6 months, and they are constantly trying to hawk their wares to family and friends to supplement their dwindling income (which is how most of these scam artists hook people in to their “business”). They “organically” bring it up in every conversation that they can. They have become quite aggressive and manipulative in trying to sell/convert people to their miracle cure, and it has caused me to lose some respect for them. I have to be on constant alert over what I talk about because I am thinking of certain keywords of mine that THEY might try to use to “naturally” bring up the magical powers of essential oils and try to sell me/convert me to their junk.

    They will also “casually” mention using essential oils for one reason or another on their facebook pages, acting like they are just sharing the information as though they were posting a funny picture or something. Those posts almost always have zero “likes”, because everyone knows what they’re doing and it’s not clever at all. They’re also using the Biblical angle. “Oh, these have been used since Biblical times”, which is a terrible logical argument. The past does not automatically = the best way to do things. In fact, the opposite is true most of the time. Science is a constantly moving study and implementation. Unless they are saying, and some of them are, that everything humans need to know is in the Bible and it is our job to somehow eek out the secret wisdom hidden within over time, which is an extremely unscientific (and dangerous) way of looking at the world.

    LOL, sorry for the rant. I just wish they would stop trying to sell us their crap/convert us to their pipe dream. I’m going to use this article for when I inevitably lose my patience with them. 🙂

  43. Wendy Darling

    I’ve tried them. I spent more than $300 on bottles and sets because the presenter was a GREAT sales person. NONE of the oils worked. I’ve mixed them, I’ve diffused them, I’ve digested them, and rubbed the crap out of my skin with them. Nothing. It smells fantastic though! In order not to waste the money I’ve spent, I continued to diffuse them for fragrance purposes rather than medicinal. It made me happier that way. It was hell trying to get my account cancelled! It got to the point where I needed to get my bank involved. If it works on people, that’s great, but the fact that they really insisted on making me stay with the program was what really got me thinking they’ve got some sort of scam going on.

    It’s a “no” for me on EO.

  44. Brenda wilson

    Well, Tracy, please go look at all of the research being done around the world on Essential Oils. If you cannot find any, you are looking in the wrong place. no, essential oils don’t heal you, they promote a healthier body so your BODY heals itself. so, please tell me, I heard this and would like for you to research this….. the FDA stated that only pharmaceutical drugs can heal you. if this statement is true, how would you respond to that statement? thank you…. from a person who has been tremendously helped by natural means.

  45. Tracy Coenen

    Brenda – I’ve looked at the research and according what you’ve written here, you agree with me. Essential oils do not cure any illnesses.

    As for the FDA, they never said that only pharmaceutical drugs can heal you. You’ve been lied to about that. Sorry.

  46. Jerry

    You can believe what you want. All I know is that peppermint oil has helped me a lot with migraine headaches and sinus headaches. It has definitely taking the edge off of them in a short amount of time usually around 30 minutes to an hour. It won’t hurt to try for that. Breathe some in and put around the headache area where the pain is just don’t get in your eyes.

  47. V

    DOTERRA is a scam. Oils rubbed or ingested and your cured from whatever ailment you may have. My sister in law got my mom to use some of these oils and when my mother told her doctor he said please don’t use those they can sometimes have bad interactions with certain prescription medications. But my mom already spent a few hundred dollars on a bunch of oil it never helped her with anything and could actually be quite harmful. They do smell good but they certainly don’t cure any illness. Vicks Vapor rub works just as good to clear my nose and it’s only 3 or 4$ !!

  48. Linda

    I use Young Living Essential oils and I love the results, my 3 yo sleeps at night with Peace and Calming blend, my Peppermint oil gives me a pick me up in the afternoons, and I love drinking Citrus Fresh blend in my water, and I use Thieves Spray to keep me well, I could go on and on, but don’t have time.

  49. iam not sure who to believe here just read all of you and iam sure you all have your own reasons for believeing what you say iam getting ready to try the oils iam a migraine sufferer for 20 yrs and i have done everything under the sun so i have nothing to lose at this point but i do believe in prayer so i will be back to let you all know how it goes all i can say at this point is to each their own god bless

  50. N

    As a prosecutor who was once assigned to white collar pyramid scheme type crimes, I thank you for this post. It’s interesting to see the personal attacks on you from many of the commenters here. None of them appear to be scientists or doctors who are shocked at your conclusion that medical studies fail to support the marketing gimmick behind essential oils (that they cure illnesses). Many of them do, however, seem to be people who have plonked down a sum of money because they bought into said gimmick, and they are personally offended that you’re criticiIng that decision.

    MLMs are a notoriously bad business method from a profit-making perspective. And if the product that an MLM is touting has no medicinal value, that MLM is being dishonest as well (if not worse). The FDA letters you posted links to above say it all.

  51. robert ramirez

    I got tired of trimming my toenails so I used essential oils. Now I don’t have to trim them – they stay perfectly trimmed!!

  52. The ancient Egyptians were doing successful brain surgery. They expertly set fractures as well. I’m sure that when they did these things they went to their local pharmacy to get a pill produced by big pyramid pharma with side effects up to and including a quick trip to the afterlife. No way they could have used some sort of natural medicine. Oh sorry if it’s not made by “Big Pyramid Pharma” it’s not medicine it’s just plants with no possible medicinal purpose. Trust us. Believe us when we tell you that there is no natural cure for cancer or any other disease. It takes millions of your tax dollars to develope a medicine that won’t quite cure your problems but won’t quite kill you “or only a small percentage of you” either. You need a pill that you will need to take the rest of your life. There would be no money in a cure and if you could grow your own medicine, well, that’s just stupid. You can’t convince my best friend who’s daughter had a grade 4 glioblastoma so bad that make a wish was sending them to Disney the next day after diagnosis, that natural treatments don’t work. Their genetic work up listed her as unreceptive to the chemo. Radiation was just supposed to possibly shrink it for surgery. A study in Japan and Spain showed that thc/cbd opened the receptors to allow medications to be more effective and other studies show it kills cancer cells so with a suppository of about a gram a day of “hash” (this way you don’t get the high because most of the blood had already passed the liver) and the tumor didn’t shrink its completely gone. There is a fluid filled hole in her brain now but it’s gone on the first follow up scan. The doctor said he would check with the radiologist because he didn’t believe it. He did say try anything in the beginning. The woman who makes it said that was her 5th clean scan that week. She does mix in frankincense with it as well. I just know that kid should be dead and she’s not. The doctor didn’t expect a clean scan and got one. They did use conventional medicines along with unconventional (natural) and got an unprecedented result. Her DNA said chemo wouldn’t work. Radiation doesn’t vaporize a tumor that size. But trust Big Pyramid Pharma when we tell you there are no natural cures for anything. There has never been medicinal use of oils and plants anytime in history and anything else anyone tells you is a scammer.

  53. Tracy Coenen

    John – You’ve missed the point completely. No one is saying that “natural” treatments don’t work. What I am saying is that ESSENTIAL OILS are not a medical treatment. The fact that the oils don’t cure illnesses is not related to big pharma in any way. It is just a fact. There is no proven cure from essential oils. Period.

  54. Janice Rowe.

    my Daughter is now involved with Doterra oils,I am a little worried that it could be a scam, she was once a strong supporter of Lifemax and then Genesis Pure, both these companies received very bad reviews and she has now focused her attention,time and money(which she has little of) on Doterra,..she is a single Mother and trying to make a large amount of money to survive,my advice to her was,find a job that pays more than your present job,or find a casual job on week ends to help!..I am really concerned,she was promised the World through the afore mentioned MLMs..alas no returns of any significance at all,she had attended conferences,seminars all at a huge cost to her,and she also had to purchase bundles of reading matter to hand out to any prospective members!…and the products were so expensive!..

  55. Blessed

    I’d definitely use natural products from plants over chemical big pharma products anytime. The world has been fed loads of lies from these companies as well as physicians. Products more in line with nature make more sense to me, it would be good to see people get back to the basics and avoid chemicals at all costs. No matter, we are surrounded by toxins in our air, land, water. BTW, I certainly, would not trust anyone who calls themself lazyman. Maybe if Lazyman used the products consistently he would have more energy and rename himself energized man. LOL.

  56. Brooke

    So many of these comments are unbelievable. It is so painfully obvious which arguments have been brainwashed into the EO cult by their uplines. You all say the same thing. None of these comebacks are original.

    1. Stating that some prescription medicines do not work or are not good for people does not mean that essential oils will cure your physical ailments.

    2. Just because the author of this post has discovered and is alerting the public to (what I call) the Amway of holistic healing does not mean she is angry or mean spirited. If you take it that way, it is because you are brainwashed and/or angry that you fell for a scam.

    3. If essential oils really did work over the “years and years” they’ve been used, I guarantee you that big pharma would have already clamped down on the industry and taken it over for themselves. The fact that you have access to it without any kind of regulation should tell you something.

    4. Not that this is relevant but yeah, there are side effects with most medications… But in my many years of experience, they work 99% of the time. Rubbing oil on my feet has never cured anything.

    It breaks my heart that these MLM scams always come out of the woodwork during hard economic times to take what little bits of money people have left. Stop trying to defend these companies. They certainly won’t be there to pick you up off the floor when you fall on your financial face!!

  57. Brooke

    I would like to add to the discussion about “toxins” and “antioxidants.”

    This is all garbage and it is used by salespeople to make a living off of the uninformed. Your body was born equipped with a liver for a reason. Your liver filters toxins from your body. Essential oils do not. In fact, they are metabolized by your liver, making your liver’s job harder than it has to be.

    Please do not fall for this scam.

  58. Mary

    BAHAHAHA!!!! I saw a registered nurse on facebook claim it cures cancer, asthma, arthritis, Blah blah blah. All because she was trying to sell it. Then about a month later on there talking about how sick and depressed she is? Well…… Take those ESSENTIAL OILS PRINCESS! She should be fired!!!!!!! Keep blowing your money. This must be gods way of thinning out the herd of gullibles. This is a fantastic article. Of course you are going to be defensive of the truth after you have spent $300. OUCH! HUH?

  59. Serena ameni

    I met a doterra consultant today at an event. I’ve always loved certain oils simply for their scent and I started talking to her. Having recently taken an anatomy and physiology class, I asked her what was the physiological method by which the oils worked. Rubbing it on my feet would mean it gets absorbed by the most superficial skin layer and my mind couldn’t figure out the physiology from there as to how it removed “toxins”. She could not answer my question. Also, as someone else stayed, our own bodies and organs are designed to remove and filter “toxins.” I’d like to have a definitive definition from these people about exactly what items are “toxins” that they are referring to. Finally, MLM is simply a way to pretend exclusivity and an excuse to charge double or triple the price of products that can be obtained outside these “home parties” scams. The jewelry ones are the worst. They claim to be higher quality than you can get in stores but they are made in the same factories in China as the jewelry in Walmart. Plus, I resent people who only invite me over to hock their latest scam product. Bah!

  60. S

    Pfft.

    I’ll happily slosh a bit of peppermint e.o. neat across my tummy if I have cramps or wind pain, or a bit of the same with lavender eo on my scalp if I’ve got a headache, or let a few drops of either fall upon my fingers when I burn them cooking.

    I don’t know about the ridiculous claims being made – either from those trying to flog essential oils or the medical profession, which is really just staffed with professional puppets for the drug industry.

    I think it’s best to use your own common sense and do your own research, avoiding any ‘info’ that speaks in ‘absolute’ terms and seeks to breath hell fire and brimstone of fear on anything outside of itself.

  61. Sandy

    Talk about a closed mind, Tracy. It seems to me you are no better than some of the MLM scammers. YOU GET PAID FOR WRITING THIS STUFF…YES? You are making claims that, frankly, you can’t be prove either. You are no better than the overzealous marketers who are making over the top claims. Let’s face it, you really don’t know.

    Okay, so let’s carry on taking medication after medication that does nothing but cover up medical illnesses and, in a lot of cases, kills people…are you kidding me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These pharmaceutical medicines are killing people…it’s time we wake up.

    My point here is…WHY WOULD WE NOT OPEN OUR MINDS TO THE POSSIBLITY THAT ESSENTIAL OILS COULD MAKE A DIFFERENCE IN PEOPLES WELLNESS. Why are we not welcoming, with open arms, another options to ‘over the counter’ drugs…WHY!

    I think, if you are really an advocate for the people, you should write an article on how pharmaceutical medicines are killing people…now that’s a real issue. I haven’t heard of an essential oil killing someone!

    Yes, I agree that there are overzealous marketers making over the top claims but can we, PLEASE, just open ourselves up to some of the healing possibilities of essential oils.

    I cannot believe, for the life of me, why an educated person like yourself would be so short minded…I guess it comes down to feeding the family!

  62. Marin Hall

    It appears you need to educate yourself Tracy on alternative medicine, Oncologist won’t even treat their own family members with chemo! Big Pharm is all about money and death, millions of patients die each year from drugs and their side effects. If your really doing great research you should know the history of Bayer and Auschwitz! As well as the 12th Tribunal of WW2, I encourage you to watch the “Truth About Cancer series! That’s great education and research.

  63. Marie

    The three wise men brought……Frankincense & Myrr to the Christ Child. They must be good for something. I don’t use ‘oils’ so don’t know anything about them, but am on 5/6 kinds of prescription meds….and they are too expensive and I have gained weight for the first time in my life. Medicine isn’t always the right way to go either.

  64. Notbuyingwhatyou'reselling

    So what I’m to understand is that using EO when you have an ailment doesn’t do anything but smell good. The people who make claims that their cancer is now gone and so are their headaches and multiple other issues by using these essential oils, are mistaken. “It’s all in their head”. I guess then that they were “cured” by mind over matter then? Wow, if it’s just mind over matter then why did my friend die from chemo that he BELIEVED would cure him? I guess he didn’t believe enough. Make sure you believe with your heart and soul that your cancer can go away or your ailments will just vanish, otherwise you just have to live/die with them. So sorry. Oh and when someone says something works for them, who are you Tracy to say it didn’t? Were you there? Are you a microbe in their body spying on every process to report confirmation that this is just quakery! Ok. I’ll just listen to you because you say so.

  65. Tracy Coenen

    No, Sandy, I don’t get paid to write articles here. I do it as a public service. The issue is not whether I have an open mind or not. The issue is that essential oils do not cure illnesses, period. I’m not advocating taking medications or not taking medications. All I’m saying is that essential oils do not cure illnesses and that is backed up by hard science. End of story.

  66. Tracy Coenen

    Marin – This article is not about pharma, nor is it about alternative medicine. It is about essential oils. That’s it. And your claim that oncologists won’t treat family members with chemo is unsupported and just plain foolish.

  67. Axe man

    Do you know that the pharmaceutical companies started.. after world market was shut down. To synthetically make the natural compounds that come from essentials oils. Then they keep latrine to get the drugs they have now. The results of using e.o s in my house are beyond my words of how they have helped. Yes you still need doctors. The cure word should not be used for anything everyone s body is different and takes different kind of chemistry to help the body do its battle with anything. You find what works for you. There will and always be two sides of the story one filled with b.s. and the other the truth. You decide

  68. kat

    trace sorry you need to do more research and get the facts before you start telling people that these oils are a scam!

  69. Dan

    Think of it like this. If you like the way something smells or feels and someone offers to sell it to you for an agreed upon price, that is a fair transaction and no scam. If, on the other hand, someone tells you that some good-smelling substance is transforming your cells or your body in some way, and that claim has not been proven, then they are misinforming you, and if you pay for that substance on the basis of those claims, that is indeed tomfoolery. Does this make sense so far?

    So, to get right to the heart of the matter, do essential oils impact cells? Do they change your body chemistry somehow? If so, that can be observed, tested, and proven scientifically. Where are those tests? Where are those results?

    There are at this time no proven results that essential oils do anything more than smell nice, right? Therefore, anyone who claims otherwise is doing a disservice.

    To those who truly believe that a drop of oil somehow eliminated an allergy or eradicated a tumor, I understand that you had a serious health issue and felt disappointed that your doctors seemed unable to help without surgery, pills, etc. I am sincerely glad that you feel better, but please don’t believe that oil extracts impacted your condition. It just does not hold up in labs. If it did, DoTerra would certainly be patenting the compound, pushing it through FDA approvals, and working towards becoming the next multi-billion dollar pharma concern, a la Pfizer, Merck, etc. etc.

  70. tara

    DoTerra and YL are both scams. Companies set up to make a profit. Some of you are blind.
    I use EO’s, but get them from a non-mlm company. I NEVER ingest them, and I know they’re not going to cure me of anything- but they do have some use for topical and aromatherapy uses. I know it seems enticing when you see it all over Instagram, but it’s all a bunch of smoke and mirrors.

  71. Cassandra

    What do you think if the studies done in Germany regarding peppermint oil used on headaches and digestive issues? I had read the German Health commission has made peppermint oil a treatment for IBS? Just curious on your thoughts……I have issues with the FDA being the go to for what is good and right for me to use only because they don’t limit the usage of SO MANY “ingredients” for products in the US while other countries have outlawed them. I honestly am interested because I have only found bloggers (no disrespect) that speak negatively for oils and their uses. All my other research shows they are greatly beneficial. While I do not believe they will CURE a disorder or disease I do think they can help a person. Which I know you have stated the same above…. Knowing the carcinogenic products that are still allowed in the US I just find it hard to believe whether the FDA is against or for something that it means I should think the same.

  72. David

    Prayer does work, oils do help. Relying on a government agency like the FDA to be the end all is crazy. The approve cigarettes?

  73. Tracy Coenen

    No David, the FDA does not approve cigarettes. The FDA isn’t everything. It is but one piece of the puzzle, and an imperfect piece at that. But regardless of whether you love or hate the FDA, essential oils do not cure illnesses. End of story.

  74. Lola

    I believe that essential oils can be an effective addition to our lives, particularly in the areas of skin care, emotional wellbeing and muscular pain relief. As a professional remedial massage therapist and aromatherapist, I have had great results combining these two modalities. I also visit an aged care facility in my work and find the low dilution blends have an uplifting and beneficial effect for the residents.
    Aromatherapy does not cure diseases. It is a fabulous complementary therapy that can help people enormously.
    People should not ingest or use oils neat – this is a MLM ploy for people to buy more oils! You can can cause all sorts of issues from overworking your liver to burns and allergic reactions…
    The problem with M LMs is that the reps have no officially recognised training and therefore keep giving potentially dangerous advice. Remember if you give ‘advice’ that goes wrong, it will be you who gets sued not the MLM. Professionals have malpractice insurance, MLM reps aren’t elligible as they aren’t qualified!
    On closing, it is only the MLMs that actively encourage ingestion, nobody else from the international aromatherapy world.

  75. Phil Barnhart

    Lola, most gourment kitchens are well-supplied with essential oils. Your local craft store has a good supply of LorAnn food grade essential oils. If you enjoy limoncello, you’ve had a pretty big dose. Cumin, black pepper, peppermint are all commonly used in gourmet cooking, often at concentrations you might be surprised at. Why? Many are safe at what you might find to be pretty high levels. Four altoids = 1 Peppermint Patty = 1 drop of Peppermint essential oil. A nice tall glass of Italian-styple lemonade has the equivelent of 2 drops of cold-pressed lemon oil per 12 ounces. A non-aromatherapy scientific study on common essential oils and internal issues would be helpful to support your statement.

  76. Lola

    Yes the food and perfume industry are big users of essential and many many of our everyday food and drink contain many essential oils including the humble can of coke! However, the difference between food grade oils and clinical essential oils is enormous.

    Firstly, we are not comparing apples with apples so to speak. The oils used in our foods are usually the lowest quality oil as they contain additives and the chemical constituents are ‘manipulated’ to replicate a consistent taste and cost. Food manufacturers aren’t interested in therapeutic outcomes.

    Clinical grade essential oils are pure and extremely concentrated, coming from one plant species type and are not adulterated. There will always be the botanical name, citrus limon, lavendula augustifolia would be on the label for example.

    So pure essentials are very potent and concentrated, unlike the food grade varieties. People really shouldn’t ingest pure essential oils for chronic or every day wellness as they are too strong and it is really a ‘sledgehammer’ approach.

    If you put peppermint essential oil drops (Mentha peperita) in a glass of water, that is the equivalent of around 27 cups of peppermint tea! You don’t need to do that… The same goes for lemon essential oil, a squeeze of lemon in water is just as good and a bite of ginger is better than the essential oil for every day health habits.

    Taking oils internally is not more effective than inhalation or when used topically or massaged (with appropriate dilution). Gargling with essential oil mouthwashes isn’t considered ingestion.

    Remember aromatherapy works with herbal medicine, so consult with a professional rather than relying on the MLMs…

  77. I found this page while hunting for some info on essential oils. My conclusion, FWIW, is will these cure cancer, broken bones, etc. Ummmm…no. Will they cure whatever virus/bacteria going around around that I have picked up because I work in a hospital (I am a nurse)…also no. Will they help the symptoms…actually yeah. Just like the scent of certain things (bleach, etc) gives me sinus congestion, the scent of some of these oils makes that stop. A lot of people fail to realize that even taking a Sudafed will not cure your head cold, it will just help the symptoms. The actual virus/bacteria has just got to run its course (in the case of bacterial infection, perhaps a run of antibiotics, judiciously prescribed.). even a lot of “Big Pharma” drugs are meant to merely control symptoms, NOT cure. My protonix does not eliminate the excess acid that makes my gut want to eat itself, but does neutralize it so that I don’t develop a gut resembling swiss cheese. I put essential oils in the same box as chiropractic. That is helpful in some things and not in others but definitely not a cure all panacea “for everything that ails ya.” And they do smell quite good, I might add…

  78. CATT

    What a bunch of horse manure! I have used EO’s off and on for decades! There is nothing wrong with using natural means for health. Herbal treatments, tinctures and essential oils are well established ways of treatment for disease and have been used for thousands of years. It’s only since the Rockefellers have dipped their infected fingers into medical society that everything has gone downhill. The “new guy” on the block, “Alopathic Pharmacopoeia”, is and has always been the dangerous option.

  79. CG

    I use Young Living essential oils, but I never thought of them as curing anything, just reliving symptoms like you say. I have never heard anything about them curing anything. For instance, if I have a cold, adding eucalyptus to my bath helps me to breathe better. I don’t want to take nasty over the counter toxic crap for my cold symptoms. It’s not curing my cold, and neither is the EO, but it’s relieving it. I think many EO users get this, they just like taking a wholesome approach to their health. Doctors will prescribe anything to anyone for any reason, and a lot of what they prescribe only relives symptoms and never gets to the root of the ailment. Some prescription drugs do things like lower blood pressure, so the patient never has to actually change their behavior (the root of the problem)–they can still eat fast food and smoke cigs–and they can just pop a pill. This almost seems like a silly post. Who said they will heal people? They help people feel good.

  80. Tracy Coenen

    No, Catt, essential oils are NOT “well established ways of treatment for disease.” In fact, they don’t cure any diseases. It is simply superstition that makes people like you think they cure diseases.

  81. Tracy Coenen

    CG – There are LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of people out there promoting essential oils as cures to diseases and all sorts of ailments. Most notably, the multi-level marketing pushers who are with DoTerra and Young Living are the ones promoting the false information that essential oils can cure whatever ails you. That’s why I published this article.

  82. L

    It’s simply people believing in natural oils as a means to feeling better internally. Of course, no scientific “cure” of diseases or cancer will ever be released and the FDA will never announce the truth because healthcare would be solved and doctors would not be needed. Obviously, the doctors ideas of “medicine” aren’t doing a lick of good when no breakthrough of anything has occurred. NOT TO MENTION:: every medicine has atleast 5-60 side effects, So who’s to say “your” way is better than an oil. I’ve yet to throw up, get nauseated, diarrhea, or breakouts on any oil. If I get the same results in an oil as a pill, why would I deal with those nasty side effects.

  83. Tracy Coenen

    Healthcare would be solved??? Oh goodness. Yes, the government and big pharma are conspiring to keep us sick. They don’t want us to know that essential oils cure everything. You’re crazy!

  84. Lane Simonian

    I have noticed that you have conflated the term cure with treatments. Essential oils likely do not cure any disease but they may help provide effective treatments for a series of conditions such as improving sleep, reducing inflammation (sinuses, for instance), lessening anxiety, and improving cognition.

    Essential oils are highly concentrated chemicals from plants that can be inhaled into the brain via aromatherapy. They should not be taken internally because they can damage the liver and it is unclear how much of these oils when mixed with a carrier oil can enter into the body via massage. So most of the conditions for which essential oils may provide some relief involve the nose or the brain.

    Medical researchers keep trying to find methods to deliver drugs through the nose. That is what aromatherapy already does. A number of the constituents in essential oils act as anti-oxidants and partly via this mechanism can help increase certain neurotransmitters in the brain including those needed for short-term memory, mood, sleep, and alertness.

    Aromatherapy is not a new age pseudoscience. It is based on the interactions of various chemical constituents of essential oils with various receptors and enzymes in the brain. It potentially provides effective treatments (not cures) for a series of conditions and diseases of the brain.

  85. Tracy Coenen

    Lane – Where are the scientific studies that prove that sniffing perfume is an “effective treatment” for anything? At best it makes people feel better emotionally. But sniffing perfume doesn’t treat anything. Administering medication through inhalants is not the same as sniffing perfume. The medication may go in through the nose, but it is actual medication that has been scientifically proven to treat and improve illnesses.

    So I challenge you to show us scientific studies (real, double blind clinical trials) that provide any sort of proof that essential oils are an effective treatment for illnesses.

  86. Lane Simonian

    It is difficult to provide double blinded studies for aromatherapy since a person can usually tell when they are receiving is a synthetic perfume rather than an essential oil. So there are only a few double-blinded studies for aromatherapy. Here is a short (and incomplete list) of clinical trials for aromatherapy for the treatment of various diseases.

    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1479-8301.2009.00299.x/full

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3203283/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24829772

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22517298

    In regards to the potential effects of particular essential oil components see:

    http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/ben/cbc/2006/00000002/00000001/art00005

    http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2013/681304/

    What is missing is large-scale trials to back up the findings from small-scale trials. It takes money to do this, however, and neither the vast swath of the scientific community who believes this is a scam nor mass marketing essential oil companies who are happy to make money off of unsubstantiated claims (without investing more money to try to investigate these claims) are willing to do so.

  87. Tracy Coenen

    Lane – These studies support the POSSIBILITY that essential oils can be helpful in some medical instances. They all were done with very small samples of people. Also, I think there is a problem with the “placebo” groups because it is pretty obvious that you are in the placebo group when you are smelling paraffin and not lavender. There is not a conspiracy to not do larger studies on essential oils.

    This article is helpful: http://skeptoid.com/blog/2013/02/02/essential-oils-a-perfect-example-of-alternative-medicine-exaggeration/

  88. Aku Ankka

    I am shocked and appalled by the fact that, in western nations with top-tier universities and cutting-edge scientific development, people still completely fail to understand some key points and terms of biology like bioavailability – it gets worse when someone is trying to tell you that rubbing oil on your skin or eating something is comparable to taking a highly purified substance intravenously. A very basic concept that is easy to grasp yet one which superstitious and deeply religious people seem to not undestand.

    Then there’s THAT person who says something-or-other cures cancer as if cancer was a single, cellular-level disease that always acts, progresses and reacts in the same way – completely ignoring cancer types, individual differences, bioavailability, difference of in vivo / in vitro studies, quality of scientific studies etc.

    There’s also the “storyteller” type who comes up with imaginary terms like “balance of body” and “natural something-or-other” and who cannot even define the meaning of these imaginary terms to themselves – a very sad fact.

    There’s also a very distressing opinion that when something has been “scientifically studied”, the results are 100% correct in EVERY SITUATION despite the researchers not controlling for several things, having a sample size of 10 people (!) or doing in-vitro studies (= lab study outside biological or environmental context). In other words, coming up with flawed logical explanations like “if a highly purified substance kills cancer cells in a test tube…then I can completely cure every type of cancer if I spread oil on myself and eat a fruit that doesn’t even contain enough of the substance to have any effect”. Complete blindness to quality or nature of scientific studies and complete ignorance on part of actually utilizing these results in conversations.

    The worst part is that you actually have to fight with these people who have absolutely no idea what they are talking about and when you give an explanation like “oh, you’ve misunderstood it, the oil didn’t make your body work more efficiently, your body did it by itself, the oil didn’t even get into your bloodstream”, they attack you personally and try to attack your authority/credibility by things like “you’re being paid by Big Pharma” (despite the fact that I work in engineering field) or “you’re such a hostile person” which is a weird counter-argument to any kind of scientific information.

  89. Joan A Trahan

    AKU ANKAA. You have described flawed logic precisely. It seems to run rampant in threads of this type. Your analysis is logical and fair minded. I think people believe what they want to believe until they have a compelling reason to change their minds. Tthey usually go with their gut feelings though and their personal hands on experience. Hope springs eternal, which explains the placebo effect IMHO. Hope is a good thing.

  90. Julie

    I personally work with essential oils. I buy from 3 very reputable different companies. No MLM!! That is what I use for my small business. I make personal and home care products with them. Sure, Lavender essential oil can be relaxing. Lemongrass essential oil is energizing. Tea Tree (and Lavender) has anti-microbial properties. The reason why I use essential oils only for scenting my products is because Fragrant oils are man made and it is not possible to know what was used to make them. So yes, I use the common natural ingredients in all my recipes. And this is the way to make sure of what is being used to make such products. Also, essential oils make my products smell great!

    BUT! When people ask me about the properties of each of my scents, I DO tell people that the oils I choose are mainly for their scent! I say “mainly for their scent” because another reason why I choose some essential oils is because they are great sellers. I am not an aromatherapist and I don’t pretend to be one. When some of my regular clients want to buy some essential oils from me, I make sure they know that I’m not an aromatherapist nor am I a doctor. If they want to buy E.O.s from me, it is to put in a diffuser, make a pot pourri, or put a few drops in their laundry. If they are looking for a cure of anything, they can go see someone else. Also, I make sure that they understand that I am absolutely against using any essential oil neat (undiluted for those who don’t know about the term), and they should NEVER be used internally.

    For those who want to buy my soaps made with Lemongrass or Rose Geranium in order to repel mosquitoes and other biting insects, I always tell them that soap is meant to be rinsed off. I would be very surprised if it would work. I do make a bug spray which works great, and many travel from quite far to get it. Especially people that have young children and don’t want to use DEET. It actually does work great, but it does not last for a full day. It does need to be reapplied every couple of hours. But for people that will travel in regions where there is malaria, I tell them that they can still use what I make, but it is still a good idea to also have 100% with them. Why? DEET can be poisonous, but to use it for a few days in the jungle it’s fine… Better than dealing with malaria in the long run!

    For those who think that Essential oils are the ONLY answer, and especially those who think that there is only ONE (or 2) essential oil producer that can make quality essential oils, I suggest that next time you or your kids have to go to the dentist for a cavity or to the doctor to have stitches done, bring your bottle of Lavender and hold your kid down while the procedure is being done and see if you still prefer an oil instead of a local anaesthetic. Or don’t call 911 when a loved one has a heart attack and use whatever oils you have and see if it is better than modern medicine. Do you really think that there is ONLY 1 company that can make essential oils? Really? All the other companies make low quality oils? Common!

  91. Tim

    I believe the mind is the strongest part of the body, and if a product can provide placebo effects I feel it can also promote healing of the body. The only real case where essential oils may work for me is stress relief. An example would be If I believe that they provide stress relief, I will let it relieve my stresses and thus allow my body to regain health (stress makes me feel sick, thus not eating properly, both making me break out in acne).

    Sometimes knowing too much can dimmish any effects of products like these, ignorance is key in my opinion. People like myself will choose to believe that they have effects not scientifically understood at this point, but that can be a factor towards healing (tricking the mind/placebo). If I were a scientist, I bet it’d wreck it for me.

  92. Tracy Coenen

    Tim – “Effects not scientifically understood” is another way of saying effects that cannot be scientifically proven because they do not exist.

  93. Patti Kuck

    I will personally remember the name Tracey Coenen – as a name to avoid. I look to blogs to give me both sides of an issue, not to continually respond against scientific evidence. I read this blog looking for a specific company, and instead found a blog-writer unwilling to investigate scientific evidence. I hope others who read this don’t just look at one source when making decisions, investigate all evidence. Just because someone shouts, it doesn’t mean they speak the truth. Essential oils have been successful for many purposes for thousands of years

  94. Tracy Coenen

    Patti – Do you promise to never contact me? Totally a dream come true for me. That aside, you can look for whatever you want in blogs. I never promise to give “both sides” of an issue, only to give the truth. And the truth is that essential oils don’t cure any illnesses, and there is no scientific proof that they cure any illnesses. End of story. If you can provide real, scientific studies that prove that any illnesses were cured by essential oils, please do so right now. (Hint: You can’t because there aren’t.)

  95. Miriam

    Tracey, you ask for people to stop lying about being cured by essential oils. But isn’t everyone entitled to their own experience? There are lots of miraculous healings and unexplained events that take place in this world without a study. Just by looking at a baby forming inside a uterus is amazing. For me they’re a definite answer to heal my pain away. Stop being so judgmental and allow people to cherish their own experiences with essential oils even if you don’t agree. They’re not lying. It’s real. After all they’re the ones using them, and you haven’t.

  96. Nathan

    I’m not even certain how I ended up on this blog. That aside, it never ceases to amaze me how gullible people can be and how passionate they can get when they talk themselves into believing something. Reading all these comments of people defending what amounts to snake oil is quality entertainment.

    Maybe I’ll check out your other blog posts in the morning with hopes of finding a nice pro-GMO writeup or how fluoride in our water isn’t actually so the government can do whatever it is conspiracy theorists say fluoride is supposed to really do!

  97. Tracy Coenen

    Miriam – They are not “entitled to their own experience” when it is a lie. It is a lie to say that essential oils cured anything like cancer, autism, migraines, diabetes, etc. Yes, a baby growing in a uterus is amazing and is scientifically valid. Essential oils as treatments for any illnesses is simply a farce, and I will continue to call people out for these lies… especially because these lies can be so dangerous (other people go off their meds, stop actual treatments, etc.).

  98. Gloria
  99. Tracy Coenen

    Gloria – This is exactly the kind of nonsense that I refuse to promote. Essential oils do not cure cancer, and we won’t have anyone contacting you about the fantasy that they do.

  100. Cher Epp

    I never respond to anything on the internet but I have to this time! Thank-you Tracy for your research and great insight and honesty regarding this issue. My daughter is heavily involved in Young Living (in fact, just qualified for a trip to Hawaii) but I still have reservations about this MLM. I too think it is dangerous to ingest something that you know nothing about. I also know that using anything, including an oil, that has not been proven medically is just plain stupid. I am concerned over the fact that many “cures” are being claimed by these oils. I also think that the “testing system” used by my daughter uses the placing of your hand on a screen which then tells you which problems your body has and which oils to use for these problems. This does not make sense and sounds very quacky to me. In an effort to support our daughter we have purchased some items that should help with my husband’s arthritis but none worked at all and one oil made him very ill (he literally had trouble breathing!) Again, Tracy, thank-you for this blog, you have reinforced many of my own misgivings about these products and brought up many new ways to look at the sale of these oils.

  101. rykart

    Hi Tracey,

    My ex-wife and I are still very close, but some time ago she got wrapped up in doterra and to an absolutely maniacal extent. A very curious, interesting, well-travelled, worldly individual has almost been turned into a zombie by this cult. Every conversation is diverted to a discussion of essential oils and their healing properties. I made the serious mistake of telling her recently that I’ve been prescribed a statin due to very high cholesterol. Now I can’t get her to stop insisting this or that essential oil safely cures high cholesterol.

    Reading the reports of others here, which so closely mirror my own experience with a bright, formerly critical individual have left me to wonder what on earth goes on at these seminars, summits and so forth. It appears that they are not only engaged in scamming people out of their money for phony miracle cures, but in a potent form of brain-washing. Someone really needs to investigate this aspect of the business. They somehow successfully get people to completely abandon their critical faculties.

    Incidentally, the investigative TV program on PBS called Frontline JUST did an amazing segment on the supplement industry. It’s amazing what these people are allowed to get away with in a totally unregulated industry. It turns out most of the fish oil people take to promote heart health is likely doing just the opposite, due to the presence of what are called “oxidized lipids.” That was just one example of the many presented. I’m trying to figure out a way to diplomatically get her away from these people without hurting her feelings and just generating resentment. They really have their hooks in her.

    For what it’s worth, I believe the pharmaceutical companies would get away with such monumental abuses to earn a fast buck if they could. Fortunately, they are pretty tightly regulated and the punishment for seriously screwing up is severe. Even so, we need tighter regulations and a better way of addressing conflicts of interest. It’s becoming harder and harder for consumers to know what is safe, dangerous, helpful, useless, etc and mainstream medicine is not immune. For example, some have suggested that the mammography industry funds studies to (surprise!) fuel an increased use of cancer screening, perhaps beyond what is actually medically advisable. In short, business and medicine are not good bedfellows, but it’s a system we’re stuck with for the foreseeable future.

  102. Marilyn

    Excellent article.
    Some years ago, the nurse where my husband works was telling him about this fellow she went to who did a test on her and prescribed essential oils. She was just over the moon on how well they helped her. My husband the skeptic decided to put his scepticism aside and go for a consultation. The fellow put a clip on his ear and toe (I think it was) attached to a box and fiddled with the dials. He told my husband there was something wrong with his liver and wrote out an order for something and handed it to him to give to the girl at the desk. When it was ready the girl handed him a paper bag and said that will be 400 hundred dollars. To which my husband replied for that? She said “well you can’t put a price on your heath” To which my husband replied “well you did” and left.
    Thank you for writing this article. I know someone who has a business using these oils and I was wondering what it was all about.

  103. Cara

    First of all, almost every business is an MLM, including the FDA. Some businesses just have their business models more spelled out for people to learn about. There is a HUGE difference in running a business like an MLM vs a pyramid scheme. Second, the FDA refuses to study essential oils because they can’t patent a natural product, and, therefore refuse to put up the money for studies because they wouldn’t be able to profit from it. With so many people putting out the word of their experiences with essential oils, the FDA stands to lose a lot of money within the MLM they are running. Too bad the FDA refuses to put an honest, detailed explanation of how they run their MLM on their website. Believe me, it would shock many people. Third, there are many studies that are going on in eastern countries, who are far ahead of us in health studies. Apparently the work “cure” should be removed from all vocabulary everywhere and should be illegal for everyone to say. My son has suffered from migraines for 10 years. He has always been able to feel one coming on and has tried numerous medicines, all of which have had a list of horrible possible side effects, approved by the FDA. Even after taking the medicines, he would end up in bed for one or more days, not being able to tolerate light or sound. The first time he felt one and used an essential oil, the migraine was gone in 15 minutes. Since he has started using the oil for migraines, about 1.5 years ago, he has not had to spend 1 day in bed for this issue. Previously he would spend 15-20 days a year in bed for migraines. I refuse to use the word “cure” but what would you call this? And, “lie” would not be the word to use either. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. I also have another son and a husband who have had to constantly be on medicine, for years, for their separate stomach issues. Since using the oils they have not had to take the medicines, which have horrible possible side effects. What would you call this as well? Again, not a “cure” but also not a “lie.”

  104. Tracy Coenen

    Cara – You are completely wrong. The FDA is not an MLM. Your saying that basically negates anything you have to say on anything because it’s obviously that you are so silly and/or uninformed. The FDA is not required to study any treatment. However, those who DO claim that essential oils cure things should be more than happy to participate in actual clinical trials that could validate their claims. The reason that they don’t is because their claims are nonsense. No, essential oils didn’t take away your son’s migraines and they didn’t cure stomach problems. However, if your family members are happy thinking they did, so be it. Just don’t run around telling lies about the pretend cures.

  105. MB

    In the end it really is just your opinion, studies or not. Unless you have done the actual studies, you are taking another person’s word for it. So many times studies have been wrong. Good luck spreading “your truth”

  106. Cara

    I NEVER said anything “cures” anything nor would I. I don’t know how you can say no essential oils didn’t take away or that they didn’t “cure” stomach problems (I have never said they cured stomach problems not would I ever). You don’t live here daily and haven’t been through the suffering with them like I have and now there is no suffering. It’s outrageous that you would tell people no that they are wrong when you aren’t there. That makes no sense at all. The simple fact is that my family members used to require medicine, as prescribed by a doctor, which caused them side effects and, now, per the doctor, for some reason, which, according to you, has absolutely nothing to do with essential oils, they do not require medicine for their ailments. The only thing they do different us use essential oils. Any of the 3 of my family members would be happy to participate in a clinical study. I didn’t say the FDA is “required” to perform studies. It’s just interesting that, when certain groups of people insist that something chemical is helping them and the FDA can profit from it, they definitely jump on a study. So, let’s take migraines just as an example. I personally know many people who suffer from migraines and say they find relief from (not cure because nobody in the whole world should ever use that word) essential oils. In fact, there are many people all over the world who say that. Now, why in the world would the FDA not study this idea, because, anytime people insist they are finding relief, it only starts as an idea. The only reason they won’t study it is because it would never benefit their MLM. In fact, the FDA stands to lost a ton of money in the MLM that they are running if people share ideas of essential oils possibly causing relief from ailments (not cure because nothing ever in the whole world can ever promise to cure anything once and for all). My household, alone, no longer has to spend the $1,000.00’s a year to help my family members with their ailments, so they are losing money from us. If you would like me to explain the FDA’s MLM, I would be glad to. I’ve spent many hours on the phone with them, talking to doctors, doing research and realize exactly how they are harming Americans on many levels. For you to discredit every story of everyone, and say people are lying and things aren’t true when you weren’t there, says a lot more about you and not the people with the stories.

  107. Tracy Coenen

    Cara – Again, the fact that you call the FDA and MLM means you have no credibility whatsoever. You either don’t know what an MLM is (in which case you should not speak about it) or you are deliberately misrepresenting what the FDA is (in which case you should not speak about it). You can’t even name any products that the FDA “can profit from” and therefore “jump on a study.” None.

    You CAN say “cure” when there is actual scientific proof that a particular treatment cures something. In your situation, that is not the case. As for the migraines and stomach issues: They either never existed to begin with, they existed at a level much lower than the sufferers disclosed, the sufferers are currently experiencing something called the placebo effect (i.e. they want to believe they are better), or using essential oils makes them happy. Choose which one you like, but sniffing oils or rubbing oils on the skin didn’t fix a stomach and didn’t take away bonafide migraine headaches which occur in the brain.

  108. MB

    Tracy, so what I get from all these comments, for the most part, it bothers you that people say essential oils cure. That is fine, but that still doesn’t make essential oils a scam. doTERRA wellnes advocates are adviced not to make medical claims, whether essential oils got them from point A to point B (not using the word “cured” ;-)) due to the fact that they are not FDA regulated, but even then doesn’t make essential oils a scam. They are real, they do have therapeutic benefits and your opinion won’t change these facts.Sorry.

  109. Tracy Coenen

    Having “therapeutic benefits” (i.e. making people happier) is not the same as being a real medical treatment. That’s the bottom line. Essential oils are a medical treatment for almost NOTHING. Of course, the pushers of these oils say you can’t make medical claims because that would be against the law. But they know the vast majority of pushers are making medical claims, and they honestly don’t care because they benefit financially from those claims. Bottom line: essential oils are a medical treatment for almost nothing. Therefore, medically speaking, they are a scam. That’s not an opinion, that’s a scientific fact.

  110. Candice

    What I have found out is that people who use and/or distribute EOs scare me a little bit. I do use essential oils. But, I use them to diffuse because they smell good and I do think they help me feel better. I know they relax me. Is it “mind over matter?” Who knows, I guess it could be but as long as it works Im going to keep doing it. I also use them to mix a few drops with some shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil and vitamin E and I have a wonderful smell good body butter that is so moisturizing.Again, I plan to keep on making that because it is better than what I can buy and over all it’s cost effective. No way, am I mixing up my own brew, like I’m a chemist in their lab, and then putting these oils all mixed together inside capsules and taking that stuff internally. NO WAY AM I GOING TO INGEST EOs. I also feel a need to say that while some of you are trashing the medical profession you maybe ought to take a few minutes to consider their extensive education and experience before you just write them off for someone like Gary Young who holds no type license (medical or otherwise)..Doctors have 4 years of college, 4 years of med school, a year of intership and 2-4 more years as a resident and if they do a fellowship that’s a couple more years you can add. I have been on websites where people with no medical background whatsoever absolutely do try to give medical advise with using EOs..”Oh your 2 year old has a bad cold well just give her 2 drops of this and 3 drops each of these 3 oils. Put them in her bottle and she will be fine, and people are doing it!!!! What the hell is wrong with people that they will ask just a group of people who they don’t even know how to treat their childs illnesses….Don’t try to deny this happens all the time on FB, because I can definitely promise you it does.

  111. Wayne W

    Essential Oils are, to me, a bunch of snake oils and anyone connected with Young Living and/or DoTera are totally brainwashed!

  112. Lane Simonian

    While waiting in a physician assistant’s office, I saw a poster for a clinical trial using peppermint to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome. As it turns out, it was one of several trials indicating that peppermint oil in a capsule [which may limit side effects] is a safe and effective short-term treatment for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24100754

    Again we are talking about a treatment not a cure. The quality of the clinical trials indicating that essential oils may treat various diseases varies widely, but this does not automatically negate positive results. It only means that larger-scale trials are needed to confirm or refute initial results. Essential oils are not much different than medicines–they contain chemical compounds that are anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories and since many unresolved or poorly resolved diseases are caused by oxidation and/or inflammation essential oils may in some cases provide effective treatment options.

  113. Tracy Coenen

    Lane – What you’re talking about is quite different than the products referred to in this article. This article is about the oils that are inhaled and applied to the skin, which is the common use of essential oils. People are generally not supposed to ingest the oils, as it can be very dangerous if you don’t know what dose to use. The study you’re talking about is regarding ingested oils… which should only be done under doctor’s supervision.

  114. Lane Simonian

    I agree with this. Essential oils should not be ingested except under a doctor’s supervision. They can potentially cause kidney and liver damage. The long term effectiveness and safety of peppermint oil in capsule form for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome has not been evaluated.

    Maybe you are saying that not all essential oils are a scam; only oils that are used in massage or inhalation.

    The effectiveness of massage oils may be in question due to how much of the compounds are actually absorbed by this route into the bloodstream. With inhalation aromatherapy, the compounds are inhaled nearly directly into the hippocampus via the nose. Potentially, they act as antioxidants to increase blood flow and to partially restore neurotransmitters needed for short-term memory, sleep, mood, alertness, and social recognition. As such they may eventually prove useful in the treatment of a series of neurological diseases.

    I don’t ascribe to the idea that essential oils can be used to treat everything, but I also don’t ascribe to the idea that essential oils treat nothing. Both positions are not supported by the evidence and in that sense both are equally unscientific.

  115. Sal Cecala USMC

    Something everyone should understand is you cannot fight the corporate medical community into agreement here. Keep in mind Pharmaceutical companies cannot patent anything that occurs in nature and most drugs are chemically made compounds based on compounds that occur in nature tweaked to be more potent and effective on a chemical basis. Modern western medicine wants you to pay for for their product and will fight to the death (of their bottom line) to shun natural products, as there is no profit in them for the shareholders. MLM is and always has been a scam, but you have a choice of who’s pocket gets your dollars and big pharma cannot tolerate loss of consumers. Will the oils cure major diseases? Probably not but any doctor work their salt would say if something makes you feel better and is not harmful, by all means use it. and Tracy be honest here-Most medical studies are financially backed by the industry that benefits the most from the results.

    I am a 100% Disabled Veteran who for over 20 years was hooked on Rx opiates for back pain and knee pain. Since becoming sober almost 2 years ago; the VA cannot prescribe me opiates, and the high levels of ibuprofen was causing liver damage and perforations in my bowel. So now they have me on more natural remedies for pain- I use Capsaicin, wintergreen and lemongrass oils (the lemongrass kills the bengay smell- nothing else) with an inversion table, and my day to day pain went from a constant 7-8 to a 2-3. I’m not doped up and have a more productive life. And there is research proving that aromatics and meditation do trigger endorphins. way cheaper and healthier than Xanax. The real key is eating- proper nutrition (packaged and processed foods cause many ailments we have) good sleep, exercise, and meditation go a long way. So if the oils make you feel better go for it- just be careful as some if not used correctly will harm you. “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” penned by the man who’s oath every doctor takes.

  116. Helen Kington

    I agree don’t just dive in, if you are interested in essential oils seek out a certified Aromatherapiest, some oils are dangerous and you should know what your options are. Now I believe essential oils are amazing and have amazing helpful qualities. They are a great natural alternative.

  117. Tracy Coenen

    “Certified aromatherapist”???? LOL. No, they are not an “alternative” to actual treatments for illnesses and diseases. That’s the whole point. They might make you feel better emotionally, but they don’t treat or cure anything.

  118. Mary Elizabeth

    Tracey, thanks for your sanity and your level-headed responses. The antagonism and emotional vehemence, along with the junk science, in the responses to your post sadden me.

    I was present at a “Young Living Oils” talk by a woman high up on the food chain of the company. She shared very convincing anecdotes to try to lure in more distributors. The claims that were made, however, were troubling.

    We seem to be reentering an age of massive superstition. One cannot dispute hard science.

    People’s belief systems are powerful, however. While there is no scientific documentation of any cures of serious disease that can be attributed to essential oils, there has been a LOT of study of the power of suggestion and the placebo effect. In the late 1700s, Franz Anton Mesmer (from whom we got the word “mesmerize”) used to magnetize glasses of water and trees, and people drinking the water or hugging the trees would sometimes be healed quite miraculously. Curiously, healing occurred even when the glass of water was switched to a glass of plain water, or the person was directed to hug the wrong tree! Benjamin Franklin was one of the first people to investigate this and attributed the cures to the power of suggestion.

    Thank you for your clear thinking and your willingness to undertake these studies.

  119. Pepizka

    Essential oils saved my life. On my way home from buying my first round of oils I crashed my truck into a huge oak. My truck exploded into flames and aside from multiple broken bones and internal injuries I had 3rd degree burns all over my body. -This is where it gets interesting.- the essential oils actually pulled my corpse from the burning heap and put out the fire. Then over the next two days my skin went from having 3rd degree burns to goddes like skin. All of my broken bones were healed as well as my severe internal injuries. My HIV was cured too. Essential oils are made from God’s tears for the ill.

  120. curt

    Wow! Long replies. I couldn’t read them all and can only comment on my recent experience. Long story short: I like the aspect of essential oils and aromatherapy, really like the smell of aromatherapy. Essential Oils for poison Ivy do not work, any mixture of essential oils don’t work.Topical or aromatherapy. Mother natures cure does not work on mother natures simple affliction! Today, 12 days trying every one of my beautiful wifes concoctions(including internet recipes) of essential oils to cure poison ivy we finally agreed to letting me see a DR.. 12 hours later with 1 shot, my symptoms are improving. I still look horrible, but no more itching or severe soreness, everything is drying up. I have 25 days left of popping mass quantities of Prednisone, but pretty sure it will get better.
    Hindsight. I should have went to the DR., or gotten poison ivy over the counter meds from the start. Lesson learned.

  121. Simon Zammit

    I don’t even know if essential oils should even really be referred to as “essential”. In the words of Robert Pappas (essential oils expert), many of them are the “excrement of the plant”. Because the distillation process requires temperatures of between 140–212 degrees, there is of course no life in these oils. So I don’t understand why some people claim they can be the essence or lifeblood of the plant.

    I doubt the scientific community has done enough research to determine the effects on the human body of long-term use. For this reason I don’t use them. There can be side effects with essential oils too, just as with conventional drugs. http://www.atlanticinstitute.com/blog/2015/1/7/top-10-worst-injuries-part-1

    Essential oils are not simply harmless natural products; they can be harmful if used wrongly.

  122. Simon Zammit

    How do we define the word “natural”? It is often used loosely when people promote their products. Really, they mean “relatively natural”, because the definition of natural is “existing in or produced by nature: not artificial”(http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/natural). If we go into nature, do we find the sometimes strong and overpowering scent of essential oils? No we don’t. And even if a diffuser is used or the oils are diluted, the smells found in nature cannot be emulated exactly. At least from the perspective of their scent, I question how natural we should regard them as being. Compare the smell of the truly natural essential oils emitted from trees in a rain forest to the smell of a room where there is an essential oil in diffuser. Which would be more beneficial to health to smell?

    As an example of the degree of naturalness of essential oils, let’s take lavender essential oil. The chemical component concentrations in lavender essential oil are quite different to the ones in the original lavender plant or its flowers. Through steam distillation, the lavender flowers are dramatically changed and we are left with an essential oil – a concentrate and what you could call a “volatile oil”. But even after this process, it’s still described as a “natural” essential oil. Steam distillation was invented in around the 11th century (http://www.aromaticplantproject.com/articles_archive/Distillation.html). So how about aromatic oils used long before then in biblical times? Wouldn’t they have been more natural? (According to Robert Pappas (essential oils expert) there were no essential oils used in biblical times, thus my use of the word “aromatic”. https://essentialoils.org/news/eo_myths)

    People sometimes take lavender oil internally. But wouldn’t it be more natural to eat lavender flowers? It would be weird to do but wouldn’t it be relatively more natural and be at lower concentrations of essential oil? And you’d get smaller amounts of linalool (a chemical component in lavender essential oil) and be more certain to avoid any potential side effects from it such as sedation, skill allergies and eye irritation (http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/cgi-bin/sis/search/a?dbs+hsdb:@[email protected]+645). And if someone likes the smell of lavender wouldn’t it be more natural to bring a lavender plant into the house and smell that?

    I believe use of the word “natural” can be misleading in describing a product which has undergone some sort of processing (such as steam distillation), as essential oils have. Many processed foods are known to be harmful to health. Shouldn’t essential oils be regarded with similar or even greater suspicion?

  123. Travis

    It never ceases to amaze me that people want to argue superstition with science even in this day and age. I mean, in the OLD days and ancient times, you can understand why superstition ruled and snake oil salesman were common etc. But we live in the information age and every advancement of any kind of significance from technology to medicine to fossil fuels to green fuels to psychological advances etc etc etc… Its all because of science. Science kicks ass and people don’t want to deal with that. just that fact people believe in their religious dogma in this life and times and the silly stories and myths they are built on. Mind boggling. What’s worse, is it makes supposed ‘innocent people’ unwitting participants in scams.

    As Isaac Asimov said “the saddest aspect of life today is that science is gathering knowledge faster than society is gathering wisdom…

  124. Fred Williams

    Im a former hr director for yl. Gary is mentally ill. Mary runs the business as garys temper and irrational behavior was pushing people away. He’s charismatic but so was Jim jones. The product comes in barrels from who knows where (a broker from nyc). Gary wpuld fire people on a whim. One employee committed suicide shortly thereafter. Gary has cluster b personality disorder (look it up.) if the pharma companies saw something of value they could synthesize components patent sell. I would love to tell you about a fight gary got in and the cops were called. Or when he took an axe to the door or when the ececutive group in a meeting were asked to pray whether we should fire someone. The guy is a liar and a nut. Mlm’s are for the gullible and stupid. Its marketing dummies.

  125. Sylvie Henry

    Very informative, thank you. Should I be at all worried that, on the left hand margin of my screen, an ad for “Miracle” [yes, that is the name of the product] Essential Oils just appeared? I don’t mean to be facetious – really, I agree with everything written here.

  126. Tracy Coenen

    Sylvie – Google serves up ads based on the content of the page. So yes, my pages about MLM scams often show ads for MLM scams. 🙁

  127. Benjamin

    I would consider myself a “skeptic” insofar as some of the claims made by people about essential oils seem too good to be true. My wife recently purchased some essential oils from doterra, but I made sure that we only got ones that didn’t have a replaceable function (i.e. I don’t want to cure indigestion with an oil – I should just eat better). So we got a couple of things that will hopefully help my wife’s eczema and folliculitis (sp?) after various prescription creams and antibiotics (from a dermatologist) did not do the trick. We just placed the order, so I am doing some more research while we wait for them to come in the mail – because I am naturally suspect of the claims.

    There’s a lot of negativity on this comment board (from both sides), which is a shame, because it’s really not personal.

    I would like to make a couple of comments, but they are more related to what has been said in the “comments” than what was in the article. The article was somewhat balanced, but as the comments wandered afield, I noticed a few things.

    You’ll notice that at the bottom of every page of the doterra catalog there’s a note that the FDA has not evaluated their medical claims and many of the “benefits” begin with “may” or “promotes” – not “cures.” I agree with Tracy that the salespeople often make wildly misleading claims. But when you listen to commercials for prescription drugs – especially ones for depression – you often hear the phrase “[insert drug name here] is thought to…..” or “[drug] is believed to…” followed by some medical jargon. Or even, “[drug] may…” Granted, these drugs have gone through testing that demonstrates scientifically that there is a definite link between taking the drug and the desired effect. But how the drug actually interacts with the body is often merely conjecture from the scientists that developed it. That vocabulary of “thought to” and “may” sounds awfully similar to how doterra presents the benefits of essential oils in their catalog (which is the official word – not the testimonies of money-hungry salespeople on facebook or in my neighbor’s living room). If the science behind the effect is a little fuzzy, the FDA might still be willing to certify the effect. That’s very unsettling to me, and doesn’t feel all that different from what doterra is doing.

    The makers of DT or YL or any other oil are contending that they have observed an effect from the use of essential oils – even if they can’t explain the exact science behind it. It is up to the scientific community to then investigate that claim. That’s why Mythbusters was a fun show and why your blog exists and why some scientists spend their time debunking myths rather than trying to observe new things. That is all a legitimate and necessary part of the scientific community.

    Example: Skechers made claims about their shape-up shoes that were then debunked. It was stupid for Skechers to mislead people. People paid money for those. It was a shame.

    If DT or YL tried to pay a researcher to do the studies, I suspect that blogs like this would assume that they were 100% fraudulent. You can’t have it both ways. Drug companies pay billions for independent research and even then, sometimes mistakes are made and drugs are pulled from the shelves. Even when the FDA is involved, it is an ugly and mistake-prone system based on our limited ability to understand the human body and the universe we live in. Can essential oil companies go on making claims for the next 50 years without any science? Of course not, at some point there needs to be evidence. They should pay to have studies done and also skeptical scientists will do the work of trying to confirm or debunk the claims. That’s how this system operates.

    Tracy, I would respectfully disagree with one of your earlier comments that science does not have to prove that essential oils do not work. That’s a weird double negative; here’s the quote from above: “And you’re asking the wrong question. You’re asking for studies that prove that essential oils don’t cure illnesses. The real question is whether there are studies that prove essential oils DO cure illnesses. And the answer is NO.”

    But you’re making a definitive claim – “they don’t cure anything” – without providing studies that PROVE that they don’t cure anything.

    I appreciate that your article demonstrates some balance – you don’t claim that essential oils are entirely useless. But for you to claim definitively that they don’t cure anything requires the same burden of evidence as facebook wackos claiming that they DO cure something. The scientific method cuts both ways. I, for one, have ordered some oils in HOPES that they will work after the conventional medications did not. And if they work, I can either assume it was coincidence (I think that’s what Tracy would do) or I can allow myself to extrapolate cause and effect that the oils did what was claimed of them. That little miniature study will be all the proof I need. But don’t worry, I won’t go raving on facebook about it 🙂

  128. Tracy Coenen

    Benjamin- How would one do a study that proves essential oils don’t cure anything? Simple. You can’t. Which is why there have to be studies proving that they DO cure something, and there are no such studies. No, I wouldn’t say that a study by an essential oils company is inherently fraudulent. Although I have seen studies done by MLMs that were worthless but appeared to support their claims, I don’t automatically assume all studies sponsored by MLMs will be fraudulent.

  129. Benjamin

    The point that I’m making is that if there aren’t studies done that disprove the claims of essential oils then at best you can call their claims “unevaluated.” If I were to say that I could cure cancer by merely looking at someone you could say that I was lying….but until you take me to the oncology ward and let me do my thing, neither one of us will have “proof” and it will be your word against mine. Probably 100% of reasonable people would agree with you before we tested my claims. I might even be institutionalized for being delusional. But you also couldn’t “prove” that I can’t cure cancer until you do the actual experiment and give me a chance with a cancer patient. Or you could also go back to people that I have “cured” and disprove that it occurred because of me. Either way would offer you solid evidence to back up your claim. Even when your claim seems 100% self-evident, it must have scientific evidence to support it.

    Take the Skechers example again. Here was a company that was marketing shoes to have a certain effect without any proof of that. It wasn’t until someone did a study on the effects of the shape-up shoes that the claims of Skechers were disproven. Scientists may have had doubts before then and probably many of them voiced their doubts, but it wasn’t disproved just because a scientist or a doctor made the opposing claim that it didn’t work. It was disproved by a study. That’s called the scientific method. A claim is made. The claim is investigated. The claim is found to be either true or false.

    If you were to argue that it is immoral for DT and YL to market their products a certain way without being evaluated by FDA, I would tend to agree with you. But that’s why the FDA (and governmental regulation in general) exists, because companies tend to make immoral choices until the government comes along and punishes them. But you’re not making a moral argument. In the article and in your comments, you are making a scientific argument based on the testimony of a couple of doctors, without listing any studies that demonstrate that the claims of DT and YL have been disproved. Until those studies happen at reputable labs and universities, it will be anecdotal evidence on both sides. I agree with you that I do not believe that essential oils cure cancer or dementia and whatever else. I’m critiquing your method, not your conclusions.

    Of course I will grant you that an independent doctor (like you cite in the article) would hopefully be less biased than a company trying to make money from their product. But the doterra catalogs don’t say “these statements have been disproved by science and the FDA” – they say “these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.” Anyone is entitled to their skepticism, but claiming skepticism to be fact without proof is the same fallacy as claiming that essential oils cure cancer without proof.

  130. Kurt Becker

    Benjamin
    One fool can make more claims, than ten wise men can disprove.
    if a claim contradicts established scientific knowledge, it does not require an additional study to call the claim false.
    The essential oil issue is actually much worse than described here. I do not want to add to the discussion of health benefits, but rather suggesting that many of the oils are NOT extracted from the plant but are made chemically in a lab. Others are heavily diluted or are blends of other ingredients.
    I would not say this unless I had some bad experience… I am very familiar with the smell of Valerian… this is an old folk remedy used as a mild sleep-aid. Actually the smell is not pleasant to all people. What I got was some amateurish imitation smelling slightly like camphor but NOT valerian.
    Also I bought some Sandal-wood “essential oil”… which must have been diluted 100 times or more. I worked in India (Madras) many years back and the smell of Sandal-wood you never forget.
    Anyway $10 for a 1oz bottle should have been a hint. Real natural concentrated essential oils are extremely expensive.

  131. Michelle St Clair

    Essential oils that you from these MLM companies are not therapeutic grade oils. They are not even high quality oils. My education and passion led me on an eye opening path many many years ago.

    Any true aromatherapist will tell you it is a complimentary modality to Western medicine. Not a replacement for.

    I am a Certified Aromatherapist with a Master’s Apprenticeship Degree in Herbal and Aromatic studies. True use of the essential oils is definitely not a scam. These MLM companies however are. What they are professionals at is marketing and saw an opportunity to apply that marketing expertise. Sadly their distributors are destructively undertrained or completely lied to in efforts to make a buck.

    I will attempt a crash course here in Aromatic medicine.

    1.) Therapeutic essential oils come from 1st and 2nd distillation runs from plant material being extracted from. Anything beyond that may smell the same but is nothing more than perfume grade.

    2.) Essential oil quality cones from a combination of factors. Soil composition, climate, altitude, harvesting, storing and extraction methods.
    A. I know at least one of the MLM companies claim most of their oils are farmed right here in the USA. Well that sounds patriotic but will not produce the best quality oils.

    3.) Essential oils have a shelf life. Many as short as 6 months. None over a year. (For therapeutic value.)

    4.) Common factors that reduce the value of the oils. Heat, light and air. Those 3 factors damage the therapeutic value of an oil. With large MLM companies, they may have stock sitting on warehouse shelves for who knows how long. And I’m pretty sure they are brightly lit.

    5.) Internal consumption of an Essential oil is NOT RECOMMEND.

    6.) TRUE ESSENTIAL OILS ARE FAR MORE POTENT THAN ANY DRIED HERB YOU WOULD CONSUME.

    7.) TRUE ESSENTIAL OILS carry with them contraindications. Meaning some are toxic to certain people for varying reasons. Medical conditions, medications, age of person using the oils, and so on. These MLM companies don’t train their people because the oils they offer aren’t therapeutic.

    8.) Education is key. I have given essential oil safety lectures to college students since 1999. I am living proof they do work and work well IF you know what you are doing and are using good quality oils.

    All the essential oils I use cone from all over the world and can be traced by a batch number to their origin to the specific batch it came from. Most companies won’t be able to do that.

    I hope this information was useful. It makes me sad to know that so may people are jaded because of the companies out there that jumped on the bandwagon of dollar signs instead of the one that truly helps other people.

    Quality oils are not cheap but the ones carrying quality oils will not have pretty labels on the bottles and will stay a small company to honor the fragility and integrity of the inventory they offer their client. True aromatherapists will actually take the time to get to know their clients. They will have extensive education in Aromatics and herbs linked back to approved institutions by NAHA (National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy).

    You wouldn’t go see a doctor that practices by way of home parties so don’t expect real aromatherapists and products from one. Lol

  132. My daughter-in-law is heavily into the YL oils. She sells them and uses them for virtually everything. She also has had my 2 grandsons “tested” for food allergies by placing their hands on a machine. They are on a very restricted bizarre diet because she claims they have extensive allergies. She has removed them from school and home schools them so they are very isolated. They are rarely allowed out of her sight (or control). Last week, one of my grandsons complained of severe stomach ache, had vomiting and hallucinations. She thought he was “constipated”. When the hallucinations began, she finally got scared and took him to the ER. He was diagnosed with a ruptured appendix. Her response? She wished she would have realized it was his appendix instead of constipation because she would have rubbed his belly with oregano oil and that would have prevented his appendix from rupturing. She is going to kill one of these children with this insanity. I am at my wits end and am going to confront my son, but he has been brainwashed by her. I think my only recourse may be Child Protective Services. All you people who believe in this crap are seriously deluded.

  133. Pam

    Donna I just sat through a YL presentation and the snake oil sales lady said her kids have asthma and they no longer have to do breathing treatments. When they feel an attack coming on they take a big ol’ whiff of some oil blend their mom conjured up and like magic the attack halts. My jaw dropped. I can’t believe this woman’s recklessness for her own children’s lives. I was going to buy some oils for aroma sake…but after that I refused to support this company or that woman. It angers me that people are falling for this crap. Good luck with your situation.

  134. Gary

    I heard on the radio a few weeks ago that England (I believe) stopped funding holistic medicine through their government health insurance because it has proven not to be effective. I think essential oils are “holistic” voodoo too. I am also sure that sometimes essential oils can work for some people in limited ways because the oils are made of something that just happens to have a benefit. But, what are the side effects?! I’m equally sure That some oils some are dangerous drugs that can be VERY harmful to people.
    Overall I feel they are a waste of time, energy, money and worse are dangerously imposed on the unsuspectingly gullible and they inflict supposed – but not proven or scientifically tested or proven or validated – claims of miraculous healing effects. Horse feathers!
    A current personal example: Today my mentally-challenged brother-in-law has a sudden onset of very painful gout and is being treated by his family with DoTerra oils. He is in terrible pain and NEEDS antibiotics but they are risking his health with these fools-tools. Its truly unfortunate because they really believe they’re helping him. However, I’m absolutely certain that within a few days he will be at the real doctor’s office for help with his by then, even more-severe case of gout due to non-treatment. Poor man! He has no say in what happens to him. He’s like a child who’s parents treat their little trusting children with unproven “miracle concoctions”. I don’t wish these “do-gooders” ill, but somebody is going really hurt a child or a gullible/desperate person with these unknown brews that are flamboyantly and intensely marketed by greedy self-serving get-rich-quick hucksters.
    By the way, I tried some DoTerra for skin itchiness, headaches, etc. at the behest of a family member. Nothing happened except I wasted their money for very expensive oil (I wouldn’t pay for it so they gave it me to try). So, I’m not speaking without trying it. I am however embarrassed though that I was foolish enough to use something that is completely untested.
    I say, if its the real deal then get real verification through testing that it should have. If that doesn’t exist don’t tell me its really great and they don’t have proof because there’s some sort of conspiracy in the medical and pharmaceutical world to keep us sick and using medicines to enrich evil doctors and “big pharma” or something like that. I recall that Laetrile ran this same scam and killed a lot of cancer victims decades ago. Will we never learn!?

  135. Tara

    The problem is not the oils themselves but how they are marketed I own some and they work very well for me but I don’t expect them to CURE anything that’s what a doctor and medicine is for. They just make it easier to deal with some minor problems that I have that don’t warren a Dr. visit. And that’s how they should be treated as a supplement to REAL medicine. Young Living is awful browsed their site and holy crap the woo-woo is strong with them then they charge out the nose for the crap Doterra as well.

  136. Tracy, I think you should try these oils yourself to create a better research statement. You said essential oils do not cure diseases or illnesses but may help with other things? Someone mentioned help with headaches and you said, “keep telling yourself that”. I would not call a headache an illness or disease per say….
    I will say I had a very chronic tension headache for over a month and decided to try the oil in lavender. I began to use it and felt nothing? I was told to re apply a few days because it happens over time? I didn’t really pay attention to it but just would randomly re apply if I noticed the bottle sitting there…anyways over about 5-6 day period I woke up and realized the headache was finally gone. I did not really have faith in anything happening but out of no where I realized it really worked!
    My point is just try it… Then maybe instead of assuming these oils are for the birds you would have an actual standing reason against comments.
    I took you’re statements very ignorant to be so close minded about this topic.
    Are you also a believer that THC does not cure cancer because of thr FDA not approving it lol
    All Medications besides synthetics are made from natural plants and herbs etc so why would it be so hard to believe an oil form can not help in some miracle way?
    You are made from the universe, gods, whatever you believe in and so are those essential oils…

  137. Tracy Coenen

    Believer – I believe that THC does not cure cancer because…. THC actually does not cure cancer. Simple!

  138. Holly

    This Tracy sure is something else. I guess sometimes it takes personal experience to realize how evil Big Pharma is, and until that eye-opening day, people like herself simply cannot understand the point of view of those who opt for natural treatments. TREATMENTS, not cures. Is Tracy delusional, too? Because I have never, not once, heard anyone claim EOs CURE anything. That Ebola reference? They thought it might help. Not cure. She’s too tick-minded to realize some people may have gone through so much hell from western profit-oriented drugs that they would rather die that resort to that stuff again? That’s what you’re defending, Tracy. A money-grubbing industry that does NOT care about us and who’s drugs kill people everyday. When was the last time an essential oil killed someone?

    You need to get a life. There are bigger things to troll about Or maybe you should visit a doctor who’ll start you on a daily dose of your favorite Pharmaceuticals, such as benzodiazepines, and then after a few months experience for yourself the absolute living hell and damage these can cause. Oh, but at least they don’t claim to “cure” anything, so that’s all that matters, right? Ylur ignorance, I swear to God.

  139. John Smith

    Bahahaha! Ahhhh the march of dumb-dumbs continues unabtaed…. ‘science is hard and I don’t understand, magic oils will help, you are just close-minded science man’ …. blah blah blah…. oh the march of dumb-dumbs continues.

  140. All Natural Anxiety Remedies

    Yeah I do believe that essential oils cannot cure chronic diseases but they are very helpful to stay away a number of diseases. It is better to stay safe before you get affected by any disease.

  141. These comments are incredible. I should go start an MLM and take tens of millions of dollars from gullible hacks like you! Thank you Tracy. I live in the MLM capital of the world here in Utah. 10 years ago it was Tahitian Noni and Xango for the antioxidants. Then people caught on to the fact that a cheap jar of pomegranate juice is just as good and 1/10th the price. Before that it was Amway and Nuskin….

  142. I’ve never liked the hype surrounding EO. People can never be certain their getting the real deal anyway, the market seems to be red hot for it and that’s a problem. Keyboard doctors have only to mention the magic words “Cancer and Cure” and than promote where to buy it. That alone should ring alarm bells. I used to make my own years ago and just stayed with Lavender, Rosemary and Oregano. Not hard to do and from experience the quality of the oil has to come from the right type of plant and have quality soil to begin with. I only ever used it as a mixture in soap and snuff around the house. Really worked well and does wonders for the skin and hair. As a cure for anything serious forget it. Go to a doctor first. I only keep fresh herbs today and eat them raw as well as in tea’s on a daily basis. Works well and food never tasted better. When people purchase stuff on the internet such as pills, extracts and oils I really do shudder to think what’s actually in it , and I would bet that half the stuff is not what they say it is…. and people in real need believe this rubbish. Take home message… If you can’t see it being made than don’t buy it.

  143. hummmm…..I’m a massage therapist and I was planning on signing up for do terra because well massage therapist use essential oils all the time in our work. Theres no start-up fee like most M-L-M’s (well depends on how you sign-up, it may be $35 but thats similar to buying a cosco card every year for the whole sale price). I thought it would be really neat to let my customers pick oils that could assist (not cure) whatever ailment they have. Then I could massage them (diluted) with those oils and if they wish they could buy them. I mean even if it does nothing my saying is do no harm and whats the harm in using an oil that may work (unless of corse it causes a rash or something but I’ve never had that problem with oils)?
    They haven’t proven it one way or the other so to say it doesn’t work I think is silly. Especially when lots of people are living proof, whether its a placebo effect or not. It makes people feel better, right, so it works, right? Honestly more research just needs to be done and it just hasn’t happened yet.
    I see an Ayurvedic doctor regularly and I asked her about these oils (which you might not believe in her practice but she’s very smart either way). She told me the one I was given by the do terra distributor fine for me to use but just had me change how I was using a few of them (my distributor used this hand scanner to tell me what oils to use which I was skeptical about but it knew my ailments before I even told her about them). The same with my doctor, she was able to tell what was going wrong with me way before I started telling her my symptoms I really think you should just ask your doctor if they’re safe for you to use. I’m sure an MD might not think it’ll help as much as their prescription but as long as it don’t hurt you I say try it. Wost thing to happen is you stay on your medication right? And best case senerio you might feel better. I think it’s worth a try.

  144. Tracy Coenen

    Brandy – The fact that you think a HAND SCANNER is diagnosing illnesses is clear evidence that you’re a fool. Essential oils are fine if you think they make you happy. If you expect them to cure illnesses, you’re going to be disappointed.

  145. John

    Tracy, love your work. I hope you can keep up the good fight. It’s frightening to realise just how many ignorant and gullible people there are out there.

  146. David Haggerty

    I can’t believe how many idiots there are in this world. Any of you that think essential oils do anything but smell good are dumb asses! You are so gullible and have been suckered again. You probably invested in Amway too!

  147. Jim Bob

    Tracy, you are a fool! These essential oils work! I lost a leg in Vietnam and was just hobbling my way through life until I found out the power of essential oils. I slathered some on my stub every day for a week and, low and behold, my leg grew back! Now, I’m running 5K marathons on a daily basis. I was also scheduled to receive a lung transplant, but didn’t have a matched donor, so I wondered if essential oils would help me in that regard. I mixed a few drops of this and that and, to my amazement, a fully functional adult lung grew out of it! I’m now breathing with that lung. Essential oils saved my life more than once! You’re so rude and condescending to put people down like this! Who pays you?! On a final note, as a distributor, I’ve managed to make a residual income of $85,000/month!

  148. THC does not cure cancer? THC is not therapeutic? Why does the US government have a patent on cannabis cures? https://sites.google.com/site/6630507/ Let me personally introduce you to someone who said F#@$K chemotherapy and getting sick all the time and being cooked alive to using THC cannaboid oil, which activates the endocannabinoid system. Are you saying that Berkley, John Hopkins, and Mayo are lying about their studies. I think you work the pharmacutical companies that push drugs that kill. Doing a basic internet search can reveal real studies. http://wakingtimesmedia.com/20-medical-studies-show-cannabis-can-potentially-cure-cancer/ I think your talking out your butt to put it nicely. Unless you have been there, suffered, and found something that actually worked, shut up!

  149. DT

    I find it funny that when my grandmother was told by the Dr to “continue what you’re doing because it’s helping and the drugs that I have prescribed are not!”

  150. BR

    I find it funny that DoTerra and Young Living are the only two companies that are focused on in this article. They are two of the most fraudulent companies in the essential oil business. Their oils have been tested and found to have been adulterated with synthetics and other crap. It’s no wonder they are claiming that essential oils don’t have medicinal properties, when these companies are the choices they picked to focus on. Their oils are FAKE! If you do your research you’ll find that DoTerra is a spawn of Young Living after multiple executives and salespersons left YL. So essentially, they are the same bunch of frauds and scammers. Go and find a trustworthy company out there, then I’m sure you’ll be able to reap the many benefits of essential oils. Most medicine is derived from mother nature, so what makes you think there isn’t a natural way to cure illnesses and conditions.

    Just my $0.02.

  151. Jill

    Hi Tracy

    Your article was succinct and well researched. The comments from readers that attacked your personality, gender and intelligence were disgusting and those readers should be ashamed of themselves.

  152. Dawn

    Doterra is using toxic chemicals in their products. They use Carrageenan in their supplements and numerous toxic ingredients in their Deep Blue Rub, Spa Lotions and all the rest. Read the labels.
    They are harming consumers.

  153. Clancy

    Hey guys I’m a trained aromatherapist, but I do not practise formally any more.

    Well.. there is plenty of good in essential oils… they help with stuff like nausea, minor burns, excema (sometimes) skin care, and an aromatherapy massage is a wonderfully relaxing treat. A good regular massage with certain E.O’s can bring down anxiety levels in some people. Used with massage they can be very helpful with psychological issues.

    However, I would be very hesitant to credit E.O’s with the management of major disease, there are not enough peer reviewed scientific studies to make such claims, and I’m horrified to hear people say they can be used to treat cancer.

    E.O’s have their place and they can work as minor bactericidal and anti viral agents but we should neither put the world on their shoulders nor throw the baby out with the bathwater….its a shame MLM companies (being a entirely hinky phenomena) have latched on to these simple remedies and exploited & overblown them…I guess it was just a matter of time.

    In summary, nothing wrong with essential oils, they can be very helpful for a range of minor ailments, skin care and household cleaning…but they are not the holy grail and there is no real evidence as yet that they have a role in treating major disease.

  154. Matt Evans

    I agree with your assessment of essential oils (or any other MLM product for that matter). But something that I found strange was that as I am reading your blog page that is exposing the scam of essential oils, I noticed that the blog host has placed two advertisements on that same page for, you guessed it, essential oils.

  155. Matt Evans

    Well, after posting my previous comment and refreshing the page, the essential oil ads were replaced with two for Comcast instead.

  156. Tracy Coenen

    Matt – Google ads are sent to the site based on the text on the page, which is why they will send ads about essential oils to this page. Not much I can do about it.

  157. Terri Evans

    I was trying to explain to a friend why her essential oils were, essentially, snake oil and i came across this blog. I am CRACKING UP at these comments! Oh Tracy I feel as though we were meant to be friends. You’re so mean-spirited for saying their make believe cure doesn’t work! LOL … have any of their prayers changed your temperament?

  158. Cherry Harman

    Could you please let me know how to put this on facebook. Some of my friends are using these and trying to get me to think about using them.

  159. Marsha

    Keep up your hard work! I am so glad to see someone exposing the false claims the EO industry is making. My sister is wrapped up in YL and I can barely have a conversation with her anymore. We are both nurses but it’s as if she checked her brain at the door when it comes to these oils! Even said they would help me with my thyroid problems. Clearly that’s a medical claim which can’t be backed up. I got the same song and dance about oils being mentioned in the Bible over a thousand times (playing on the fact that I’m a spiritual person). She truly believes there are clinical studies to support the efficacy of EO as treatment for headache, allergies, even cancer. I asked her to do her own research instead of believing the company line. I doubt that will happen. She even believes deodorant with aluminum is linked to breast cancer and said her radiation oncologist said it does. There is no medical, scientific research to support that claim. I sincerely hope this is a fad and will do my best to continue to show her and others that all these claims are dangerous lies. And yes, please don’t get me started on the absolutely ridiculous claims about GMO’s and organically grown! I’m not only a nurse, my first degree was in biology. Oh wow! What a crazy world!

  160. Connie Zellars

    I just read this blog, my goodness Tracy, you sure do pick and choose who you respond to don’t you? I noticed several moving stories containing some pretty remarkable results where you failed to engage THAT author. Perhaps overlooking those stories was simply an oversight on your part although, I doubt it. You seem to have some overwhelming need to convince people that these oils are tantamount to snake oil. You encourage them to be wary of the sales pitch. One can only assume you have devoted so much of your time and talents as an investigator because you want to help people, after all it is two years later and you are still droning on. What I don’t understand is why be mean? We get it, you don’t believe in the oils, its hokey and ridiculous and potentially harmful… but why go out of your way to shame people, or make them seem small by LOLing their experiences? Seems to me, you are pretending to use the blog as a platform to help inform people but really its a not so cleverly disguised opportunity to hurt them. Maybe your time would be better spent researching ways to be kind, ways to use your words to encourage and lift people up. Maybe its time to be done with this particular topic and focus on a way to truly make a difference.

  161. Tracy Coenen

    Yes, Connie, I will continue to laugh at people who make laughable false claims. I can’t help myself! You’re right though, essential oils ARE snake oil. I have stated that they may make people feel a little better, maybe from the scent, maybe from the idea that they might help, maybe from something else… and they MIGHT decrease some symptoms (maybe for real, maybe placebo effect)… but they don’t CURE any illnesses.

    No, this blog isn’t a platform to hurt anyone. No one has to read. No one has to write comments. Anyone who doesn’t want my two cents shouldn’t write a comment here.

  162. Connie Zellars

    Just wondering why your two cents has to shame a large portion of your readers. But, I will take you at your word, you just can’t help yourself. You must not see that at least some of the stories are authentic and therefore are probably extremely personal to the one sharing. You must not realize that while people will always disagree they do not always have to belittle the other side. You must not know that laughing at someones story, even on your own blog post, doesn’t make you seem right, it makes you seem mean. You must not understand that your voice is not the most important just because you started the conversation. As ridiculous as it may seem now, I read your blog because I was seeking information and insight. I see now, I will not find any here.

  163. Tracy Coenen

    It doesn’t shame “a large portion” of my readers. It *may* shame a handful of people who are promoting the false idea that essential oils cure illnesses. And I’m not so concerned about them because they are lying when they say that they have been cured by essential oils. Most of my readers don’t believe in the snake oil stuff.

  164. mark roach

    I recently found out that I have COPD, I never smoked a day in my life but I have been in painting for 30 plus years. At 53 I find myself looking for a new career and struggling for my next breath. The doctors started me on inhalers and my breathing improves for which I am thankful, someone talked me into EO i have been using them for almost a month, while not using my inhalers. I do not know about science, medicine or EO but what I do know is i defiantly feel worse than i did before i started the EO. I appreciate Tracy and her desire for truth and i also respect the opinions of those that swear by EO, but for me, my experience is I like breathing and for now inhalers work best . Thank you. May everyone discover the truth, in love. God bless.

Leave a Reply