Update/TL;DR: There appears to be a great deal of fraud with DoTERRA that has gotten the FDA’s attention. In addition, the FTC warns MLMs with overpriced products may be a pyramid scheme.
Update 2: More than 5 years after I published this article, doTerra still has a compliance problem with their distributor network where they make false, misleading, and likely illegal claims. My opinion is that consumers should ignore the claims and the product.
You can pay ~$68 for 1.5 ounces (45ml) of DoTERRA lavender oil or spend the same amount for 16 ounces of NOW Lavender Oil. The NOW Lavender product is extremely well-reviewed showing that it is a quality product and not a cheap knock-off. Your money goes more than 10x further with the non-MLM/pyramid scheme version.
For a few years now people have asked me about doTERRA essential oils. The first was Candace who was a major contributor in the 6000+ comments of my MonaVie article. That was back in March of 2012. A few months after that someone by the name of Laura emailed me about the company.
In the last few months, I’ve received a couple more emails about essential oils from close friends who follow the blog. One was LisaRob a frequent commenter on my old LifeVantage Protandim article. Another was one of my favorite personal finance bloggers who sent me an email with the subject “The Wife got ripped off”. It turns out that in both these cases, they were talking about Young Living’s essential oils and not doTERRA’s.
I don’t want to unfairly lump the companies together, but there are clearly very obvious similarities such as the essential oils and the MLM structure which are increasingly becoming exposed as pyramid schemes in recent years. (Some examples include WSJ, Harper’s, and Forbes calling them out. And that’s not to begin to cover the Herbalife investigation from every regulator under the sun.)
With apologies to those asking about Young Living, I’ll focus on doTERRA today and leave Young Living for some time in the future. If you are interested in Young Living, I suggest reading this anyway, it’s most likely the same thing. It will be like learning about baseball by watching the Yankees instead of the Red Sox. They are different teams, but the game is still the same.
Let’s dig into doTERRA, shall we?
When Candace emailed me back in 2012, it was to tell me that she was recently made aware of this company and their products. In her research, she found that doTERRA was claiming that their products were certified as “therapeutic grade” by the FDA and that they show a seal with registered trademark CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) as proof. It’s brilliantly covered in this article that the CPTG trademark is one that doTERRA created and has nothing to do with the FDA at all.
That article even shows that doTERRA customer support is lying to people about the FDA giving them the label of CPTG. Quite clearly the FDA wouldn’t waste their time giving doTERRA a label that doTERRA invented. It would be like me register a trademark for World’s Best Blogger and then claiming that a consortium of Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook gave me that label. Sorry, but…
We can go a little further and review doTERRA’s FAQ on CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade):
Q: doTERRA’s essential oils are trademarked as “CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™”. What does this term mean, and what evidence is there to prove the efficacy and purity of your oils?
A: doTERRA’s essential oils are trademarked and registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office as CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade™. This term means that our essential oils will always maintain the highest quality standard in therapeutic grade essential oils for purity and efficacy.
It seems that over the years, they’ve switched the “certification” from the FDA to the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). However, the USPTO isn’t in the business of doing certification of essential oils… just like they aren’t in the business of determining who is the best blogger. McDonald’s has trademarked the “I’m Loving It” slogan, but it doesn’t mean that everyone actually loves McDonald’s. BMW has trademarked “The Ultimate Driving Experience”, but it doesn’t mean that the USPTO has declared the BMW’s driving experience to be beyond all others.
The trademarked term of CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade) is simply their marketing slogan designed to confuse consumers into thinking that it has been certified and that therapeutic grade essential oils exist. They don’t.
A research article here says the following:
CERTIFIED PURE THERAPEUTIC GRADE:
This is a relatively new trademark by a multi-level marketing company. It gives the appearance of being approved by some kind of higher authority and it has been said that the company states it is a FDA approved to use this label. According to Elston (2009), ‘This registered word mark has not been provided to them by the FDA as they claim and is meaningless in proving that an outside certifying body has declared or designated that DoTERRA’s essential oils are certified pure therapeutic grade. DoTERRA, LLC owns the right to exclusive use of the mark (however not the exclusive right to the actual words ‘Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade’ which is revealing). This seal or word mark is nothing more than a commercial trademark that they have registered and paid a fee for.”
This is really all I need to know to form the opinion that the company a scam. The definition of a scam is a “confidence trick.” This appears to be a confidence trick by doTERRA in creating and using a marketing term with the word “certified” in it when it hasn’t been certified by anyone and “therapeutic grade” when the FDA hasn’t approved it as being a therapy for anything.
I really shouldn’t go further, but there’s another reason why I wrote this article. I noticed that a blog I sometimes read called Pick the Brain published an article of: 3 Health Issues to Mitigate Using Essential Oils.
That title clued me in right away. This was another MLM with distributors illegally claiming that their dietary supplement can help with medical conditions without the FDA’s approval. Sure enough, if you look at the author’s (Heather Koenig’s) bio at the bottom and go to her website (EssentialOilsUS.com), she is a doTerra salesperson. You are looking at a cleverly designed advertisement.
If a product can help with a condition, it can be certified with the FDA just like calcium and vitamin D are for bone health. Alas, it doesn’t look like doTERRA has gone through the process which tells me they believe in their product to prove the claims.
The article on Pick the Brain was almost comical. The author suggested that essential oils can help with weight loss, but gave no reason why. There was no research presented. It was simply stated to be an alternative to popping pills. Well, carrying my lucky rabbit’s foot in my pocket is an alternative too… it’s just not a good one. There’s no scientific basis behind it… just like essential oils. The rest of the weight loss section was filler. There was no information about essential oils and their efficacy. Instead, it was about it taking patience and endurance to lose weight. Maybe the author should have written an article about that instead of essential oils.
Unfortunately, it only goes downhill from there as the author suggests that people treat mental conditions with essential oils. That’s the kind of advice that could lead to suicide… very irresponsible.
The clincher (do we need any more evidence?) is this article on Science-based Medicine on doTERRA. Dr. Harriet Hall covers in detail how the claims made on the website are vague… vague enough to not get them in trouble with the FDA. However, the claims are also specific enough to lead distributors to make illegal health claims. For example, “supporting a healthy insulin response” is likely to be stretched to “helps treat diabetes!” In fact, here is a website making that claim.
This leads to doTERRA’s message. They explicitly say on their website, “This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.” Their salesforce explicitly pitches the products to treat diseases.
In fact it is so insane that the FDA sent warning letters to both DoTERRA Essential Oils and Young Living Essential Oils on the same day: September 22, 2014.
As a side note, Dr. Harriet Hall’s article refers to the Young Living’s Essential Oils with information about its founder, Gary Young, and accounts of his fraud and extensive arrest record including how he “contributed to the death of his own child by performing an underwater delivery and holding the newborn infant underwater for an hour.” Once again, we’ll save that for a future article on Young Living if we get around to it (I have to be honest, it took me more than 2 years to get to this article).
It looks like doTERRA is one of the many MLM companies where they lead distributors to make illegal health claims. Once again we can apply the logic and science that shows No, the MLM Health Product Does Not Work. I invite doTERRA to prove me and Dr. Harriet Hall wrong by getting the products approved by the FDA for conditions like calcium and vitamin D are for bone health.
People in the comments have criticized me for not trying the products. This is a very flawed logic in health products for the reasons I cite this in this article. (There’s no point in rewriting all the logic here.) This Christmas I got this ZAQ Noor Essential Oil Diffuser and this NOW Foods Essential Oils 10-Oil Variety Pack Sampler – 1oz Each. I’ve tried them and they smell great and work just like the ZAQ diffuser company suggests. A few drops go a long, long way and each 1 oz bottle should last for 150 uses (20 drops are equal to 1ml… there are 30mls in an ounce… so the 600 drops equals 150 total 4-drop uses.) At $50 for the 10 bottles, I paid $5 an ounce for the 100% pure, well-reviewed NOW products that work great (yes I’m stressing the quality because it is a quality product).
It makes no sense to spend 5x more for 1/2 the product (15mls or a 1/2 ounce) for the DoTerra label. As a consumer advocate, I have to say that your money is best spent buying what you want from cheaper vendors where you get 10 times more product for your dollar.
Other Great Reading
There is good and bad in all companies and that includes MLM companies and DoTERRA is not a pyramid scheme! doTERRA would be most unhappy to hear about such presentations described Stef!
How ever I know their oils do help with so many illnesses and just recently at my dentist office the receptionist heard me talking to someone else about thenoils and she said I have to tell you I was very skeptical until my friend told how they had helped her. She went on to tell me that her friend had a serious blood disorder that was causing her red palettes to drop dangerously and her doctor was trying to treat with little success and suggested chemo! As she considered this treatment really not wanting to do something so strong with possible side effects, that when a friend suggested she try using doTERRA’s Frankincense she thought what have I to lose? Anyway she started using it was surprised that she was feeling better and at her next doctors appointment for blood work he was shock to see her blood better than it had been in a long time! He questioned her and when she told him what she was doing he said we’ll continue it’s working! And her blood work has continued to get better and better.
This receptionist has no reason to convince me about how good the oils are I use them, she was just excited to tell me how they had helped a friend in an amazing way!
I tell you doTERRA are onto something huge as the enter healthcare https://healthcare.doterra.com/, they are building their first medical center in Utah and will be building them all around the country and beyond eventually. Do you really think they would be doing this and spending millions if they didn’t know and have data that their oils have huge health benefits?
Lesley-Ann said, “There is good and bad in all companies and that includes MLM companies and DoTERRA is not a pyramid scheme!”
This line of rhetoric has been used a lot, and it all means absolutely nothing. What do you mean there is “good and bad”? Is this a matter of legality or whether employers and upper-management are nice? This statement is so bizarre and vague, and quite frankly, irrelevant to the topic of DoTERRA.
Simply saying all companies have “good and bad” as the qualifying reason DoTERRA is not a pyramid scheme also makes no sense. In fact, by your logic, considering DoTERRA is a company and inherently has “bad” in it, then it could be a pyramid scheme. Your statement actually works in reverse of its intention.
Lesley-Ann said, “How ever I know their oils do help with so many illnesses and just recently at my dentist office the receptionist heard me talking to someone else about thenoils and she said I have to tell you I was very skeptical until my friend told how they had helped her.”
No, no, no! You cannot claim your essential oils do anything to help medically with a condition. There are no quantifiable tests, such as clinical trials, in which they have determined that essential oils have healing properties. This is completely against the rules for DoTERRA and can be reported!
Lesley Ann said, “She went on to tell me that her friend had a serious blood disorder that was causing her red palettes to drop dangerously and her doctor was trying to treat with little success and suggested chemo! As she considered this treatment really not wanting to do something so strong with possible side effects, that when a friend suggested she try using doTERRA’s Frankincense she thought what have I to lose? Anyway she started using it was surprised that she was feeling better and at her next doctors appointment for blood work he was shock to see her blood better than it had been in a long time!”
I’ll let PubMed help with this, ” A small number of CAM therapies that were thought to be purely alternative approaches are now being used in cancer treatment—not as cures, but as complementary therapies that may help patients feel better and recover faster.”
Again, whether it is cancer or a “blood disease”, there is no evidence that CAM therapies work, and if you are trying to recommend them over known treatments, then you can and should be reported. This story is completely unacceptable to the guidelines of the FTC when it comes to marketing a product.
“Companies must support their advertising claims with solid proof. This is especially true for businesses that market food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, contact lenses, and other health-related products.”
Lesley-Ann said, “I tell you doTERRA are onto something huge as the enter healthcare https://healthcare.doterra.com/, they are building their first medical center in Utah and will be building them all around the country and beyond eventually.”
The website you linked is doTERRA propaganda nonsense, and it says nothing in regards to the claims you have made about someone’s blood disease going away because of essential oils. I sincerely hope people with serious conditions, such as blood diseases and cancer, do not get duped into going to these facilities thinking they have a cure. This will immediately get brought to court and shut down if people start dying because of this garbage.
Lesley-Ann said, “Do you really think they would be doing this and spending millions if they didn’t know and have data that their oils have huge health benefits?”
Yes, because their interest is in making money and not helping others. They don’t have “data that their oils have huge health benefits”, or you would have provided it. They don’t care about the people they hurt financially or potentially kill medically, because they are pathological narcissists with psychopathic tendencies. Anyone that thinks MLM has some kind of moral obligation to behave is completely oblivious to their history.
Bringing this full circle. LM’s article actually states he likes essential oils, and is focused more on the business part of DoTERRA. Your comment completely disregarded the focus of the article while being factually inaccurate, and criminally negligent. This is one of the biggest reasons, aside from MLM being a fraud, that MLM is so dangerous and needs to end.
Lazy Man says
That’s like saying there’s good and bad to jumping off a bridge. The bad could be that die. The good could be that you might feed some fish. Remember the FTC shook the entire entire MLM industry with these guidelines that heavily imply that they aren’t legit. I don’t know one MLM company that is compliant with those FTC guidelines. Let me know where DoTerra publicly states that they are.
Actually essential oils aren’t really shown to work with any illnesses that I’m aware of. In fact, the FDA warned them not to make such claims.
I found doTERRA’s Frankincense for $83 for 15ml (~1/2 ounce): https://store.do-essential-oils.com/products/doterra-frankincense-essential-oil-15ml. That’s on sale from the $93 price. Or you can get twice as much from the NOW brand: https://www.amazon.com/Now-Foods-Pure-Frankincense-Ounce/dp/B0014UEQQY?th=1 for under $16. So that’s about $8 for the same 15ml that the doTERRA person is selling theirs for. Hmmm, spend $83 or $8? It doesn’t seem like a tough decision to me.
The big question is why your friend didn’t recommend the MUCH cheaper, equivalent product.
If you think they have the data that their oils have huge health benefits, maybe you can share which medical journals their studies have been published in? I would love to read those studies. I don’t expect that doTerra’s healthcare will get very far off the ground. In fact, they seem to be saying that they recommend that you pay for insurance anyway. I suspect they won’t get very far. Do you really think they’d pin their hopes of opening up health clinics around the country lead by a Dr. with a practically blank LinkedIn page – https://www.linkedin.com/in/brannick-riggs-b18957119/?
Lazy Man says
This https://healthcare.doterra.com/ website will probably get DoTERRA a visit from the FTC, the FDA or both. They state a number of things that are true such as:
“- Despite spending more on healthcare than any other country, the average life expectancy in the U.S. is lagging behind all other high-income countries at 78.9
– The U.S. has the highest body mass index of any high-income country. More than one-third of U.S. adults suffer from obesity.
– Compared to 35 other high-income countries, Americans have spent more money on healthcare every year since 2000.
– The U.S. has the highest infant mortality rate of any high-income country.”
However, essential oils aren’t recognized as a solution for any of these problems. I couldn’t find any reputable sources showing studies that essential oils are an effective tool for weight loss. The obesity in the second point could explain the first one. Also, we pay more for healthcare because we subsidize other countries’ drugs prices. Here are some other reasons why the US pays more for health care. None of it has anything to do with essential oils. And adding overpriced essential oils is obviously not to going to change how the system works.
Finally, I really hope they aren’t suggesting essential oils for pregnant women or babies as an effective way to reduce infant mortality. There’s some research here and it appears that it’s largely a statistical problem and a poverty problem. I don’t think buying extremely essential oils is going to help with poverty. I think it’s mathematically shown to be the opposite.
Abigail Hall says
Lesley Ann your anecdotal story is one used by so many scam sites. I am in Australia and I have seen this same story used on websites selling Green tea, guarana drinks, Kombucha, and anything else that is the latest fad.
I posted on this site several months ago about the dangers of ingesting essential oils, and the even more disturbing practice of doterra consultants prescribing oils to ingest when they have had no training as an aromatherapist. And I have just come across this which echoes the sentiment I expressed in my last Post
I think it is important that you read this Lesley Ann, to perhaps save yourself from harming your own health, or worse, a lawsuit if you suggest to others to ingest an oil that you do not have adequate knowledge of its efficacy.
The health benefits of pure essential oils have been around for thousands of years. Frankincense oil has long been known for its restorative healing properties. It’s not only doTerra who supply this oil and any good quality Frankincense oil will have the same effects. DoTerra is just a brand and this article is more about the corrupt advertising they use then the products themselves and the exorbitant pricing attached to their products fuelled by their outrageous claims. They also promote dangerous use of their oils such as ingestion and anyone actually trained in the use of aromatherapy will advise against this. DoTerra sales reps are just that, they sell a product, they are not trained aromatherapists.
Lazy Man says
So thousands of years ago they had labs verifying the purity of essential oils? Was this in a certain level in the pyramids that I didn’t know about?
You could also argue that snake oil has long been known for it’s healing properties. The problem is that it isn’t.
And while this article is about a single brand of essential oils, it is also a brand that uses MLM as a sales method. Truth in Advertising found that 97% of the DSA’s MLM companies had illegal health claims. So if you are looking to sell a product that has “healing properties” step one should be “AVOID MLM!”
I absolutely love do terra essential oils. I wouldn’t go for anything less. I call it the natural healing oils.. I had pain and a little depressed for several months. I met a friend on Facebook who introduced me to doterra. I have also tried many other oils but has this is none like I have ever seen.. do terra is at its best! I tried a roll on franksence and lavender I just consistently rolled it on my feet at night time, I never felt better. I also had an enlarge spleen, I rubbed the frankense for a week on my side and it’s back to normal! Figure that one out? I was a skeptic like you. From my exp Do terra IS NOT A SCAM IT’S AMAZING! The biz opportunity is just a bonus! Absolutely love it feel amazing!
Lazy Man says
A brand of essential oils is not pain or depression medication. I don’t believe that any doctors have suggested rubbing oils for an enlarged spleen.
“Figure that one out?” Ummm, you are selling the business and using medical claims to do it. It’s the most common scam in MLM.
Stephanie said: “I absolutely love do terra essential oils. I wouldn’t go for anything less.”
Haha! There isn’t anything less. DoTerra is rock bottom BS. Some people like very strange things. This is akin to people who get off on genital self-mutilation.
Stephanie says: “I had pain and a little depressed for several months…I also had an enlarge spleen, I rubbed the frankense for a week on my side and it’s back to normal! Figure that one out?”
Ooo ooo! I know the answer! You’re an idiot and/or a liar (or an auto-bot judging by the infantile syntax)! BTW, WTF is “frankense”?
Stephanie says: “I was a skeptic like you.”
Haha! Skeptic doesn’t mean what you think it means. You’ve never been one.
Stephanie said: “Do terra IS NOT A SCAM IT’S AMAZING!”
No, it’s clearly and unequivocally a scam. There needs to be a new behavioral law – the IQ of a writer is inversely proportional to the degree to which they use the caps lock key.
Stephanie says: “The biz opportunity is just a bonus!”
Yeah! If by “bonus” you mean the 99% chance of losing a bunch of money, as well as getting a shitty, overpriced, misleadingly promoted, pyramid-scam-bait product.
Anne K says
Lesly my dear,
The same financial interests that Big Pharmaceutical companies have are the same doTERRA have. Both sides of the coin are the wrong side. I understand you are also on the same side of the coin since you make money from doTERRA and you will defend them with your life.
Unfortunately, Pharma, YL, doTERRA, Apple, Samsung, and most companies regardless of the industry will hype their products and overprice them to make more money, simple. That is the main reason to have a company, it is called capitalism. You, I and everybody benefits from it. The bad part is when these companies Young Living, Dotera and Big Pharmaceuticals stuff our throats with their products when we do not need them! Do you need to get a new cell phone every 6 months? NO. Will you cure cancer with Frankincense oil? NO (it takes more than just an oil and medicine from your doctor) even then both might not cure it.
doTERRA is a very crooked and nasty company just like YL and I have worked in HQ for many years at Pleasant Grove and have seen horrors, lies, backstabbing and even their Healing Hands Foundation is a sham!
I understand you take a paycheck from doTERRA but please be honest with yourself and open your eyes wide. doTERRA or FDA approved medicines cannot take care of all health problems.
Also, doTERRA does not have the top quality oils that you claim they are and there have been legal battles over those claims.
Essential oils are beneficial (YES!) as well as some pharmaceuticals “as long as they are being diagnosed and prescribed by honest and competent professionals, not just any distributor or doctor that takes a big cut from the sales of medicine or oils, you can not use essential oils for every single ailment ever and you cannot use pharmaceuticals for every single thing and remain hooked on them forever or it will cost you your life.
Welcome to the world of Capitalism.
By the way, none of these companies mentioned here support any world sustainability.
Anne K said: “Unfortunately, Pharma, YL, doTERRA, Apple, Samsung, and most companies regardless of the industry will hype their products and overprice them to make more money, simple. That is the main reason to have a company, it is called capitalism.”
That is what’s known as a false equivalency. Pharma and tech companies, like all companies, have a profit motive, obviously, but that’s where the similarity with MLM ends. MLM products are overpriced because they are used as bait to feed predatory pyramid schemes and the only way those schemes can operate is when the products are sold at multiples of 10x, 20x, or even 30x more than what they’re actually worth on the retail market. MLMs operate in closed-loop markets (i.e., selling to their own distributors) rather than attempting to compete in the open market (they couldn’t because they are not priced competitively), and they do not have any significant guardrails, at least not compared with Pharma, which is heavily regulated.
Anne K said: “doTERRA is a very crooked and nasty company just like YL and I have worked in HQ for many years at Pleasant Grove and have seen horrors, lies, backstabbing and even their Healing Hands Foundation is a sham!”
No doubt! Why not share the details? That sort of thing is exactly what people need to hear about, not false equivalencies comparing Pharma and snake-oil MLMs. Silence is complicity.
Anne K said: “doTERRA or FDA approved medicines cannot take care of all health problems.
Again, please avoid such false equivalencies. DoTerra’s products don’t cure nor effectively treat ANY health problems. FDA approved medicines most certainly do.
Anne K said: “Essential oils are beneficial (YES!) as well as some pharmaceuticals as long as they are being diagnosed and prescribed by honest and competent professionals.
That’s the third false equivalency. The benefits of essential oils are that they smell nice, at least according to some people. The benefits of pharmaceuticals are alleviation of pain, suffering, and death. It behooves no one to lump the two together. Essential oils are not “prescribed” and no “honest” or “competent” professional would offer up such products to alleviate health issues.
Anne K said: “you can not (sic) use essential oils for every single ailment ever and you cannot use pharmaceuticals for every single thing and remain hooked on them forever or it will cost you your life.
Correction – you cannot use essential oils for ANY ailment EVER (well, I suppose you could use them but they wouldn’t have any therapeutic benefits).
That’s the fourth time you’ve erroneously equated essential oils with FDA-approved medicines. I see no evidence that you know anything whatsoever about medicine so it would be best if you didn’t attempt to dispense medical advice. Yes, essential oils are BS, as are the MLMs that sell them. Stay in that wheelhouse and you’ll be OK.
Oh goodness I shared a story from a friend about her friend that is convinced the Frankincense helped with her disorder, I did NOT say it cured her and nor do I go around telling people that …. oil will cure them we say it can support their body.
I meant there is good and bad in all industries!
But boy i’m not going to get anywhere with either of you, because you are so closed minded it’s unbelievable and pathetic and even if there was evidence you wouldn’t believe it!
It’s ok I promise you doTERRA will have the last laugh mark my words! But I am not going to waste anymore of my time discussing this and in hindsight totally regret commenting.
Lazy Man says
Oh goodness. What you gave is what is called an implied health claim. You gave a story about a serious illness, suggested that doctors weren’t helping, and then implied that doTerra oils lead to an unexpectedly good result and that “it’s working.”
If you are a doTerra salesperson you seem to be breaking the FTC’s endorsement guidelines –
Yes, there’s good and bad in all industries just like there’s good and bad when people jump off a bridge. It’s not necessarily equal parts both.
I’m actually very open-minded when it comes to MLM scams as I showed back in 2009. I’m pretty sure I had the last laugh on MonaVie back then. Remember when every claimed that MonaVie cured cancer. Yep, they had their own doctors and their own clinical studies.
Maybe it’s worth studying history.
Lesley-Ann said, “Oh goodness I shared a story from a friend about her friend that is convinced the Frankincense helped with her disorder, I did NOT say it cured her and nor do I go around telling people that ….”
Are you seriously doubling down on your story about E.O.’s “helping” with a blood disorder? You previously stated, “Anyway she started using it was surprised that she was feeling better and at her next doctors appointment for blood work he was shock to see her blood better than it had been in a long time!” This is ridiculous, “worked” and “cured” are synonymous, and both terms cannot be used to when describing E.O.’s effectiveness for treatment. There are no studies that can quantifiably assert E.O.’s do anything medicinally to help with these types of disorders.
Also, it doesn’t matter whether you are the one the story is about, or if it came from a friend, or a doctor, or your pet goat. This is still an anecdotal message being told from a DoTERRA sales representative in an attempt to misguide consumers into believing E.O.’s do something that is not factually correct. This is still against the FTC’s guidelines for marketing, as LM pointed out, and should be reported. Honestly, you should know this as a representative of the company.
Lesley-Ann said, “I meant there is good and bad in all industries!”
Again, this statement means nothing. It is verbal fluff that is designed to mislead people and has nothing to do with the fact that DoTERRA has a bad business model and illegal health claims. The “bad” that DoTERRA has is not acceptable according to the FTC’s standards and should be punished.
Lesley-Ann said, “But boy i’m not going to get anywhere with either of you, because you are so closed minded it’s unbelievable and pathetic and even if there was evidence you wouldn’t believe it!”
It isn’t that we are “closed-minded”, but rather your failure to communicate your points effectively has left you distressed. You were told a bunch of thought-stopping rhetoric which has brainwashed you into believing company lies, and you came up with some ridiculous story that is both factually incorrect and dangerous. If anyone is “closed-minded” here, after reading what we have posted, with resources, it is you. You addressed none of the glaring issues we brought up with the health claims, and you still haven’t addressed why DoTERRA’s business model is flawed.
Also, by saying “even if there was evidence you wouldn’t believe it!”, further proves there isn’t actually any evidence. This is what elementary school kids do to try and deceive their peers into believing something without providing any substance. This is the same as someone trying to prove they are generous by saying, “But if I did win the lottery, I would buy everyone a nice car.” It means absolutely nothing, because the premise is based on a dream that doesn’t exist. This is incredibly misleading and again proves DoTERRA’s claims are BS.
Lesley-Ann said, “It’s ok I promise you doTERRA will have the last laugh mark my words!”
That is one promise you will never be able to keep. This also reiterates my previous point about how warped you have become with this DoTERRA propaganda and how you are actually the “closed-minded” actor here.
Lesley-Ann said, “But I am not going to waste anymore of my time discussing this and in hindsight totally regret commenting.”
I’m not sure what you were trying to prove with your comments in the first place? Were you hoping we would all say, “Wow Lesley-Ann, your story has made us all believers!”, or “Let’s all go sign up for DoTERRA now. Lesley-Ann really thwarted LM’s article!”. You made stupid badly formed arguments, with made-up claims, included some ridiculous propaganda DoTERRA article, and said nothing about how DoTERRA isn’t a pyramid scheme. Your comments are as valuable as a three dollar bill, and I will be reporting your claims.
Lazy Man says
Thanks Geoff for following up and reporting the claims. I’ve been pretty busy lately.
I did see the new episode of Adam Ruins Everything last night and that covered “Wellness.” I found it interesting that essential oils got a brief mention grouping them in crystals and magnets and other such quackery (if I remember the sentence correctly, because it went by quickly). The episode seemed to pitch “wellness” and “spa day” as the same thing. It makes me wonder if DoTerra’s healthcare clinics will essentially be glorified spas or whether they’ll have full sets of x-ray and MRI equipment and treat broken bones and medical things like that. I’m curious to find out.
No problem LM! I figure if I quote enough “distributors” here, for a long enough time, then maybe someone at the FTC will take notice. It certainly can’t hurt to add more information about these hooligans and their deceptions.
I really hope they don’t enter the medicinal space as a spa because it could be a very good front for peddling their never-ending chain recruitment nonsense. By creating a front business to launder their essential oils, I fear they will probably reap many ill-gotten gains that they would not otherwise have gotten. The spa industry, in my opinion, is a perfect vehicle for promoting untested and deregulated products, which is probably why DoTERRA would target it, while calling their locations “clinics”. The very idea of them building “clinics” for a CAM therapy is disgustingly misleading and will cause a tremendous amount of harm.
While a certain darker side of me feels there is a certain percentage of the population that is unreachable, it still pains me to see these companies utilize legal gray areas for their scams. I hope to help stop these criminal syndicates from continuing to grow their “businesses”.
SFC Getter said: “So what is the issue here? About the pyramid scheme or the claims that the company is making?”
Clearly, the answer is both, since pyramid schemes and illegal snake-oil claims are both terrible. Surprising you would even ask that question, since the answer is pretty obvious and has been spelled out in the article and coments.
SFC Getter said: “You give so much credit to the FDA.”
How so? Do you have even an inkling of how the FDA works? They are the government regulatory body tasked with enforcing laws in the US Code of Federal Regulations. Those laws require that in order to market products for medical use, they must be proven (in well-designed phase 3 clinical studies) to work. Those laws protect the consumer; for example against unscrupulous bastards that would sell you worthless dog piss as a cancer cure. That’s a good thing, is it not?
SFC Getter said: “What about the medicine they do approve that literally makes you feel worse?”
As opposed to figuratively making you feel worse??? Worse than dying? Side effects are a trade-off of for clinical efficacy. Marketers of products have to show that the benefits outweigh the risks. For the most part, the system works well. If the FDA didn’t exist, you’d have no protection whatsoever. That would be bad, would it not?
SFC Getter said: “I have completed multiple trainings for different Wellness options and I would much rather continue treating my family holistically than to give them medicine from a Dr. because it’s “FDA approved”.
“Wellness training”??? What exactly does that entail? Sounds pretty lightweight to me. If you get a serious illness, you’ll go for those FDA-approved treatments in a heartbeat. If you don’t, you could suffer and die as a result. It’s pretty foolish to think that the paltry “wellness training” you may have received is even remotely close to the training that an MD gets. You don’t know enough to know how little you really know.
SFC Getter said: “LM, you claim to be not close minded however that’s all I’m feeling and getting from your responses.”
That’s BS! Requiring reliable evidence is not being closed minded. You haven’t put any evidence of anything on the table. Lazy Man and other commentators here have laid out very compelling cases against DoTerra. If you can’t see that, then it is you who is being close-minded and dogmatic.
SFC Getter said: “You only mention DoTerra jacking up the price but have you ever looked at the prices for E.O at a Whole Foods or any other stores? It’s like the saying, you get what you pay for.”
Yes, they are much less expensive and don’t require participating in a pyramid scheme run by a bunch of ruthless exploitative assholes. A no-brainer for any sentient person. DoTerra is for naïve know-nothing deperados and the con artists who prey upon them. In MLMs, you never get what you pay for, because what you’re paying for is an inefficient pyramid scheme with stupidly high overhead (and BS fairy tales of miracle cures that are required to sell overpriced products to gullible rubes). It’s an inviolable rule of MLM that anything you purchase will be lower quality and/or grossly overpriced relative to the retail market.
It cured me And my breast tumor. I do not care about whether you are a believer or not. My experience with essential oils dates back to my ancestors. So your one sided opinions leaves a lot if research out. Do your homework better and stop repeating what the neighbor whispered in your ear that he heard. Take the tune to write an article about products that you have used and the ingrediebts that you have researched. Plants and aromatherapy have beeb aeound for years with plenty of proof to back it up. In my experience it has helped me w breast lumps, back pain, injuries, bee stinks, blood pressure issues, etc. I could go on and on and on. Yes i purchase and sell DoTerra as well as other oils harvested, distilled and sold at my local market. I have seen, tried, learned and helped many by using products thst you yourself have in your kitchen pantry and cook with everyday. So i find it ridiculous that you would trash a company in such a matter yet you are currently consuming such products and feeding them to your family.
Lazy Man says
I am happy that you had an experience with your ancestors. I don’t get to spend much time with mine.
C said: “It cured me And my breast tumor. I do not care about whether you are a believer or not.“
That’s good because no one in their right mind would believe a threadbare illegal miracle-cure claim made by a disembodied anonymous voice on the internet. Odd that you would bother posting that while at the same time saying that you don’t care if anyone believes you (and no objective reader would). if that’s the case, then why bother posting? Involuntary tic? OCD?
C said: “Do your homework better and stop repeating what the neighbor whispered in your ear that he heard.”
I did my homework thoroughly and it led me to the inescapable conclusion that DoTerra is a repulsive snakeoil pyramid scheme; but now there’s an idiot neighbor, of sorts, whispering in my ear about how their scam oils cure breast tumors (which I am only repeating to, again, highlight DoTerra’s illegal marketing).
C said: “Yes I…sell DoTerra”
So apparently, like all the rest of the desperate clods and liars who sell this garbage, you are an unethical lawbreaker who has no qualms about fraudulently/illegally promoting DoTerra products.
I came across this blog in a google search for another MLM to share details with someoneon the verge of being scammed. That post lead me here and I was so excited to see the sheeple argue about how great their MLM is but I see a wanna be replying rudely to every post like he or she is so important. No one can express a civilized, differing opinion without being attacked by your side kick who seems to just take pleasure in attacking people. I definately wont e linking to your articles posts after seeing your left over’s rude comments.
Maybe it’s time to send some pay to your sidekick so they can go outside and get some sunlight and interact with people instead of hiding in their mom’s basement looking for people to take out their frustration with their own failures in life on.
Lazy Man says
Anonymous, you should give this video a look – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MwGeOm8iI. Thanks.
Anonymous said, “No one can express a civilized, differing opinion without being attacked by your side kick who seems to just take pleasure in attacking people.”
How would you feel about someone offering a differing positive opinion about child molesting, murdering, stealing, drunk driving, etc.?
MLM-ing is a negative action unto its own like the above examples; and there is nothing to debate unless you are justifying a harmful act.
Sure there are a few people who get rewarded doing MLMing, but that is at the expense and financial harm of others.
To do MLMing people must commit at least one or more of these acts:
– Overpay for decent products
– Push inferior products
– Pimp Ponzis with fake products
– Take advantage of the needy
– Nag or alienate people especially friends and family
– Spend money
– and so much more
MLMers defending the above deserve a lambasting.
SFC Geter says
So what is the issue here? About the pyramid scheme or the claims that the company is making? I’m not a consultant for any company however I am an avid E.O user. You give so much credit to the FDA. What about the medicine they do approve that literally makes you feel worse? I have completed multiple trainings for different Wellness options and I would much rather continue treating my family holistically than to give them medicine from a Dr. because it’s “FDA approved”. Marijuana falls into that same category. Not approved but still being prescribed to treat patients in various ways. And no, I don’t use marijuana. LM, you claim to be not close minded however that’s all I’m feeling and getting from your responses. As the difference in pricing, NOW products are good for use in a diffuser however they’re not a great oil to use for topical use. You only mention DoTerra jacking up the price but have you ever looked at the prices for E.O at a Whole Foods or any other stores? It’s like the saying, you get what you pay for.
Lazy Man says
If you’ve read the article and the 400+ comments and can’t figure out the issue, I don’t think I can help you.
Hi there! This is a great read!
I do not believe in these types of structured businesses at all, I also don’t believe in raising the price for half the quality (I use NOW products as well). But I do believe there is such a thing as aromatherapy. I am not an aromatherapist and I don’t believe the majority of people selling DoTerra are either. Aromatherapy is very chemically complicated, since taste/smell/etc is all chemistry, and it takes years of schooling/study to guide someone properly with oils. Without that, people are ingesting undiluated oils because their YL or DoTerra rep says it’s okay (common sense should take over you would think?). There have been many articles about this. It is the lack of proper education and only worrying about making $$ that is a huge problem. I hope more people read this article and also educate themselves properly! mountain rose herbs is a great place to buy E.O.s and herbs, not these businesses !
I have a niece that’s a physical therapist and it amazes me how much she and her husband have fallen for this stuff. As you mention if you like the smell there’s nothing wrong with that and you should look for the least expensive source that has the quality you want. But all these other medical claims just seem bogus.
I was wondering how anyone could possibly be so blazingly ignorant as to the benefits of a legitimate multi-level marketing company. Then I scrolled down and saw this: (What an asshole)
“Please note that we may have a financial relationship with the companies mentioned on this site. We frequently review products or services that we have been given access to for free. However, we do not accept compensation in any form in exchange for positive reviews, and the reviews found on this site represent the opinions of the author.”
Lazy Man says
So a boiler-plate disclosure that the FTC recommends is a knock on me, right now?
Which MLM do you think is legitimate again? What benefits are you talking about?
Chris said: “I was wondering how anyone could possibly be so blazingly ignorant as to the benefits of a legitimate multi-level marketing company.”
Now you weren’t. You’re one of those bottom-feeding MLM sad-sack sociopaths who gets deflated when confronted with well-researched logical criticism, and because you can’t challenge any of it with reasonable counterarguments, you dodge the issues and resort to a pathetic ad hominem attack. MLM weasels are so transparent. DoTerra is BS from front to back and you know it.
Last year I attended a DoTerra ‘introduction’ or whatever its called. Having an interest in a healthier type of life style I went with an open mind, even though I’d already been using EO’s for many years. I have some recipes which are quite successful and others that are not at all. At any rate the moderator(?) went on about the product and then claimed to have cured her husband’s diabetes. I only questioned it mildly since I didn’t want to cause problems or ruin anyone else’s experience (after all, during these demonstration-type parties, you make up your own mind. Or do you?). I did purchase I believe 3 oils and can say I’ve noticed nothing extraordinary about the DT oils compared to the other brands I’d used (NOW, Aura Cacia, Tisserand, Wydmere). But I was put off from the moment she made the diabetes claim, although she failed to explain just how she did it. Others attending appeared a bit awed at the claim but, as I said, I wasn’t about to ruin their experience. I guess I now ‘belong’ to the one who sold me the oils? And I cannot purchase any DT oils without going through that person or someone else from the company (i.e. I cannot walk into a health food store and purchase them). Having a history of vertigo I had a really bad bout with it around the time I was to meet with my seller (provider?) so I cancelled the meeting. I was not really sure why I needed the meeting in the first place; if I asked for it fine, but was told my ‘gifts’ from the company would be given to me upon having this meeting. Back to my vertigo…..I need medical attention when it is as bad as it was. When I cancelled the meeting, the return text was an offer to sell me specific oils at expedited shipping for my problem. I don’t care to be under anyone’s thumb, so needless to say, am not a fan, but that is just my opinion based on experience.
I was one of the people interviewed before the FDA letter, because I was assaulted by an essential oil sales rep who grabbed my arm and forcibly put her oil on me after I told her I was allergic to that plant. I had a terrible reaction that almost sent me to the hospital. I also burned my skin from a peppermint oil sample given to me by a doTerra rep who claimed that all bad reactions were “detoxing”.
When I gave my interview in 2013, I had hoped that the essential oils MLMs would crack down on the dangerous claims of their reps after the FDA got involved. Not even two weeks ago, a doTerra rep gave me the same song and dance that I heard years ago, such as “doTerra is so pure it can’t cause reactions”. She used the same debunked arguments, that pure oils don’t have proteins, so can’t cause reactions. My allergist once told me that skin is protein, so there’s always something to react with, and that there were people allergic to air, sun, and water, so people can be allergic to pretty much anything. She also said that drinking essential oils would heal all my issues, though I personally know people who have ended up close to death due to those claims. I refuse to buy products from an MLM and I won’t hesitate to speak about my experiences to people who are considering buying from doTerra.
Before you claim that Doterras claims of purity are just a scheme maybe you should refer to an independent Dr that spends his time testing for purity of oils – including the very dangerous NOW brand. Even diffusing that is unsafe to your health! MLM aside purity of what we put into our bodies is most important. Go to George Pappas FB page and do some research – you’ll soon find that when it comes to purity, independent testing and safety only one company rises to the top. Shame on you for forming an uneducated opinion. Then again thats what opinions are – just ones persons (potentially uninformed) thoughts on something they may know nothing about. I know you can’t educate yourself on every topic so allow someone that spends their life doing it with no attachment to any company other then to safety and purity at the consumer level.
Lazy Man says
I’m not sure that I claimed that “Doterras claims of purity are just a scheme”, but I think consumers should know the marketing term and the difference between it having gone through a certified purification process.
What do you mean by “the very dangerous NOW brand?” I’ve put those oils in my diffuser for years and haven’t had a hint of danger. If you believe NOW’s brand is dangerous, you should stop commenting on my site and get a lawsuit filed. You’d help a lot more people that way.
If you are looking for purity, I suggest going with something that is certified organic. That aside, it’s probably best not to put essential oils inside your body at all. That’s my opinion, but perhaps you should consult a medical doctor.
I can’t recall any MLM company having “independent testing.” I’ve written about quite a few of them over the years. It seems like George Pappas is a bowler – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Pappas_(bowler). I’m not sure how researching his bowling techniques will advance this discussion.
I have never claimed to be an expert on everything… especially essential oils. I do have years of experience in looking at MLM. I have also referenced Dr. Harriet Hall who I presume can give you an informed medical opinion given that she’s a doctor. So there we go… we allowed someone who spends their life knowing about this stuff… and she seems to say that DoTerra is bunk.
I certainly don’t think (again my opinion) your anonymous opinion or some bowler’s opinion is better than Dr. Harriet Hall’s.
Having used essential oils myself for a couple years now, it is my opinion that they aren’t very exciting. It’s a coin flip whether I put them in the diffuser or use a scented candle. Your opinion may be different.
I think you meant Robert Pappas, dear. He is a scientist who also believes in other companies having good quality oils. He tests all of them himself just for the heck of it sometimes. Now brands I believe passed tests but YL did have fake oils. Regardless of the testing, the point is that MLM brands charge too much money and there are other companies out there that charge way less for an equivalent product or better. For instance, a lot of companies have certified organic oils which would surpass regular essential oils for the sheer fact of passing certification standard. I still agree with lazy man here because the prices are way too costly. Please do not see this as me arguing, I just wanted to help you know Roberts real name and clarify a little more on the subject at hand.
Steven Y says
I have worked for doTERRA and Young Living for many many years and held important positions within these two companies and all I have to say that since my contract with both about non- disclosure is expired. They are both ripping people off with their subpar products and treat their employees like disposable heroes, just to make sure they are able to pay the BIG GUYS: Themselves “doTERRA” and “Stockholders” Young living and their top close friends “former YL leaders” who have large pyramid scheme downlines.
Their overpriced products do not meet good quality standards and underpay their employees just to make a profit and pay out large amounts of money to the guys at the top of the pyramid. Basically you are paying for a paycheck not for quality. The HH foundation is another scam, a small amount goes to those in need to justify the program for IRS purposes. The harvester and the ones that work in the land are not being benefited from it at all, they are being tied down with unfair contracts.
EOs do work and I have seen it with my own eyes in this industry, but these 2 companies have destroyed the prestige of the amazing power of Botanical chemistry and medicine. My advice Find yourself another reliable and honest source because these 2 companies won’t last too long after the can of worms open up.
That rings true to me. MLMs are notorious for passing off poor quality products as premium grade. It’s the nature of the MLM beast — they grossly overcharge and under-deliver because they have high overheads due to the pyramid scheme commission payout , which typically eat up half or more or revenue/profits. They basically flog crap and rely on scandalous lies about their products being superior quality and miraculous cure-alls.
“When I Accidentally Got Involved in a Pyramid Scheme” – http://www.patheos.com/blogs/withoutacrystalball/2018/08/10176/
[Editor’s Note: The author posted the entire article here in the comments. I don’t mind small excerpts with relevant commentary, but I want to respect that author’s ownership of the article. If you are interested, there’s a link to read it above.]
Thanks so much for your informative and evidenced based article on doTerra. Hype and money can cause one to temporarily lose ones common sense.
I am an 18 year veteran of the natural skin care business. I create products with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial qualities. I also make bug repellant products. The aforementioned attributes are those most common to essential oils for topical application.
That being said I am tired of MLM representatives trying to convince me that my essential oils are of inferior quality. The bottom line is that an essential oil is either 100% pure or it is not.
Essential oils have strong and heady aromas. I find MLM oils to have strange sweet notes.
An MLM rep offered me a sample of Arborvitae (Thuja plicata) or the more common name (nick name) is Western Red-cedar among others. The MLM sample smelled like a bland oil produced from some sort of wood pulp. I do not think that the MLMs are aware that T. plicata is not a Cedar wood.
Thuja plicata is a species of Thuja , an evergreen coniferous tree in the cypress family, Cupressaceae, native to western North America. It is not a true cedar of the genus Cedrus.
This do terra oil IS a total scam, robbery- glad you’ve shed some light; the public need to know. Someone needs to contact the media who expose these scam artists (like W5 in Canada, or Marketplace, or CBC Radio) as it’s more than just ridiculously over-inflated prices for crap products.
There is a radical cult-like camaraderie among the sales people (one who tried to sell to me) who meet at their annual convention akin to the moonies (if anyone remembers the 70’s)
They seem to recruit lonely unemployed types, often depressed housewives looking for a sense of purpose & meaning, who will sign up for anything in desperation for some sort of validation, like the one in Edmonton Alberta who tried to sell her snake oils to me & claims she uses them for all that ails her kids, in place of actual prescription medications & opposed to Rx meds’; a mentality instilled at these conventions (There are very tragic stories, 2 out of Alberta, Canada over past few yrs, of similair nature, ended with young children dying because their hippie moms refused to provide any medical intervention but instead to treat their dying kids with oregano oil, etc…
James Osborne says
There are lots of new studies done on oregano now that you guys should read up on. Peer reviewed studies on sites like pubmed. Sure marketing pyramids are corrupt. But its well known now that certain herbs most definitely have health benefits, and can be taken internally. Thymol and carvacrol. look it up. Seems so ignorant to deny it.
Just because the fda doesn’t endorse it doesn’t mean it isnt true.
Lazy Man says
Just because it is in a study doesn’t make it true either. It is anything, but well known that certain herbs have specific benefits. Even one of the most studied things in the world, vitamin E, with tens of thousands of studies comes back inconclusive (https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/what-do-scientific-studies-show/ ). For years we thought vitamin D would be great for bones and now scientists think that that should be changed (source: https://www.webmd.com/osteoporosis/news/20181004/study-vitamin-d-supplements-dont-build-bone#1).
You particularly want to look at the first link (again: https://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/04/25/what-do-scientific-studies-show/) before citing studies as true.
The FDA is a much, much, much better source of identifying what has health benefits, though even they make mistakes at times.
Wow, I’ve been with doTERRA for over 4 years now and have only heard and seen and experienced the best of the best. I’ve tried other oils, and nothing compares. First, CPTG is not to trick anyone into believing anything. doTERRA’s leaders have spoken about how they felt they needed to give their customers some type of quality assurance that they are giving us the best possible product. The rigorous testing that our essential oils go through, and third party testing, have only proven that our oils are not only NOT adulterated, but that they are more effective than their competitors.
Did you hear about Roseman University’s secret study on doTERRA’s essential oils? The professors and students secretly bought doTERRA’s oils from the website, and then they bought the same oils from our competitors. When they used their GC/MS machines to break down each essential oils into it’s separate chemical constituents to test them for purity, efficacy and to try and replicate them…they couldn’t. They compared them with our competitors oils and their findings were that due to the nature of our growing, harvesting, distilling and testing, our oils have produced more results than our competitors….but EVEN MORE, that when our competitors’ oils were tested, they actually showed they were giving the opposite result of what is desired!! That’s pretty scary!
Roseman University wasn’t compensated for what they did, and they are not in doTERRA’s pocket, so this is great news for doTERRA. Here’s Roseman University’s blog about their research: http://www.roseman.edu/2018/10/03/roseman-university-researchers-study-doterra-essential-oils/
Also, when a MLM’s oils are a little bit more expensive, you are paying for the HIGH PURITY and quality that they are providing. You should see the amazing effort that goes into providing the best oils. AND, another reason the oils are a tad bit expensive is made up for in the TONS OF FREEBIES you get if you are a loyal customer. I’ve earned thousands of dollars of free supplements and oils over the past 4 years. I get a free Peppermint oil every year when I renew my account for $25, and I get so many other perks for partnering with them, that I hardly notice a dollar or two extra for each oil.
You certainly must have been burned by an MLM, or a representative with doTERRA, to have such nasty things to say about them, without actually knowing more about them. You should SEE with your own eyes the amazing work they are doing, and the MILLIONS of dollars they are spending to provide a better life for each other families/communities in these third world countries who harvest for us. It made just about all 35,000 of us cry at the recent doTERRA convention in September. We got to see with our eyes the videos of these people and the smiles on their faces and pure joy that they are experiencing now that they finally have running water, money to send their kids to actual school, actual homes to live in, etc.
I would look further into doTERRA and their philanthropic efforts, and their quality of oils, before putting anything like your blog out on the Interwebs for the world to see. Not that doTERRA needs anyone to stick up for them. They are a multi-billion dollar company, and the no. 1 in the world right now for a reason. And it’s not because they are tricking anyone. LOL It’s because PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING.
I hope you don’t judge everyone and everything as quickly as you did in this blog. :(
Lazy Man says
If you don’t think CPTG is designed to trick people then I have a bridge to sell you.
The Roseman thing looks like it is only a month or two old. And of course, “These observations were presented to d?TERRA and the company subsequently awarded $128,000 in grant funding to advance Roseman University’s research of ‘The Oil Effect.'” So again, buy a bridge if you don’t think they were compensated in the end.
Did they study at least 4 or 5 other brands of essential oils? What journals did they get their results published in? If you don’t have the answers to the question, I’ve got another bridge for you.
Nope, I haven’t been burned by an MLM or doTERRA. Like I wrote in the article, people had been asking me for years to look into it. There are 400+ comments and I try to respond quickly to things. Overall, I think I’ve spent a good deal of time on DoTERRA over the years rather than calling it “quickly” to judge.
You’re “Free” Peppermint oil for renewing isn’t free if you’re paying $25 to renew. The miracles people claim to experience by using these oils are nothing more than a placebo effect. Doterra is essentially the same as Scientology. Brainwashing people to make them think they’re making the world a better place. Pure rubbish.
The saying goes you can’t please everybody.
Couldn’t give a rats tail if others feel one way or another about the oils.
Truth is I have had various health concerns in the past which was heavily assisted by using doTERRA oils.
I was also a doubter at first. When I approached my GP about the results I’ve been having, he ordered me for blood tests to make sure it wasn’t just a placebo effect.
The blood test came back normal and his resulting remark was so dissaponting – “whatever you’re using is a fluke.” How unfortunate but eye opening. That was my turning point.
All you doubters, why bash something that is actually helping people. What difference does it make to you if they actually did pay off research labs for ‘independant’ Studies (which I strongly don’t believe they do unless it’s stated in the article.)
It is not like a tobacco company that preys off propaganda and compensating millions in research that proves smoking isn’t ‘so bad.’
DoTERRA and their philanthropic efforts, particularly in putting an end to child sex trafficking in third world countries are doing far more good than anything you naysayers can throw up.
Lazy Man says
It’s true that you can’t please everybody, but it’s become increasingly well-known that MLMs only please their gullible pack of distributors.
You should watch the 30 minute expose from John Oliver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MwGeOm8iI
Additionally, Truth in Advertising has shown for years now that almost every health-related MLM has distributors spreading illegal health claims:
For over 10 years, I’ve asked for anyone to give the name of their MD that can certify the claim to a brand of product and after dozens of times, the people making claims just ghosted the conversation.
Actually the tobacco industry uses the same tactics of MLM, so… http://mlmtheamericandreammadenightmare.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-tobacco-industry-uses-same-tactics.html
Nobody Special says
This was a VERY interesting read. Apart from your website, there’s quite a few that slam doTerra as being nothing more than a scam with over priced, over hyped (for the sales…?) and dangerous claims.
I suffer with a few ailments and have tried essential oils (not digested) for a number of years and all I found is that the various EO’s only made my house smell nice.
Its sad that others need to rip off sick people who are lookingfor anything to restore their life.
Yes I’ve seen that Video of John Oliver..had a great laugh out of it and couldn’t agree more with what he said. That is because he tore to shreds everything wrong with the industry and the exact reason why MLM is associated with ‘pyramid schemes,’ ‘cults’ and the like.
You will always get those sort of people. Such as the lady who anticipated their advocates will soon be telling their respective boss’s to f*** off, before jumping into their shiny new car on the way to the bank.
On that note. Oliver continued to single out your notorious MLM companys.
Everyone has a story about Herbalife.
I have had one experience with them and boy was it memorable….
I was invited to a Herbalife intro event years ago along with a friend that has a severe dairy intolerance.
When samples of the shake were passed around my friend politely declined strongly asserting that consuming any dairy product would make him very sick. The Herbalife advocate answer stunned us – “it’s natural you can drink it.”
We had to pick up our jaws off the floor.
We made a formal complaint of course and the advocate apologized, but that is the stupidity, danger and ignorance that many people in that company get away with. I know a few of the head headhonchos and let me tell you categorically, they are a get the sale at any cost type of company. If people give the MLM path a go, I am shocked anyone would consider them. Artificial products and limited opportunity. They are the only MLM company I have a proper issue with.
But I digress, doTERRA are EXTREMELY stringent on compliance and crack down on anyone making invalid or exaggerated health claims. So they have put out many resources such as those I have listed to help advocates go about things in the right manner.
Of course that doesn’t stop ALL doTERRA people from being compliant at times (cures this, treats that). However it usually comes from a powerful experience they have had with the oils and the need to help others, not about making a quick buck or two. None the less, doTERRA are working hard with the FDA on this.
As mentioned, I personally like to stay away from all the ra-ra events and hype. Often the culture of a company is a direct reflection on the owners values and ideologies. doTERRA ensure that although they are part of the direct-sales industry, the emphasis must always be on the product first and opportunity second. That is nonnegotiable to them. In fact an overwhelming majority join because of the products, not the business and they boast a retention rate very seldomly seen in the industry.
If you continue to call a spade a spade because all are the same, doTERRA sits inside the MLM bubble and therefore is exactly like John Oliver claims. Loud, unrelenting, detestable and egocentric.
Outside the box,the owners ensure it is and never will be like this. The product quality continues to rise and the opportunity hasn’t changed in years. There are many millions who order their products with no intention of making money from it because they are testimant that the oils have helped them in some minor or major way.
Lastly in a broader sense, let’s consider those that do choose MLM for a business.
Any person involved in sales let it be MLM or structured corporate job has has a role to sell the product or service. Difference is many people in MLM have no prior knowledge of what it entails to be a good sales person… so they just vomit it all out onto everybody.
You will always get that but some how, a few of these people do actually succeed in MLM. I guess due to persistence or simply having a large network.
It is very hard work and by no means a get rich quick scheme.
It’s often very average everyday people that makes tens of thousands a year and succeeds. That turns the people close to them very envious and a little bit resentful. Especially when they have rejected their pitch., That’s just the way the cookie crumbles but it is a very serious opportunity if you are with the right company and share a similar value system.
Lazy Man says
“Of course that doesn’t stop ALL doTERRA people from being compliant at times (cures this, treats that).”
You know what DOES stop those illegal claims… NOT BEING AN MLM. It’s not rocket science that when a product is priced extremely high that it requires extremely high claims.
When I first wrote asking why people were dumb enough to buy $45 bottles of MonaVie juice in 2007, it was largely because of the illegal health claims and also the the $100 pen pyramid scheme.
Please… MLM is NOT a business!!!
Ginny Edmunds says
There are over 4 million doTERRA users that would disagree with you. We love the oils. Of course we get help using them, we use them as instructed, and we use them internally. So we get results most of the time. Not always, there will always be some people who do not respond well to oils.
But I have done my research, and most oil companies are selling poor quality, diluted oils. So I will pay a bit more to get doTERRA purity. As someone with MCS, it is very important that I don’t try and go cheap.
And my team loves me for helping them use their oils properly. So many tried store brands with no success at all, and no help.
Lazy Man says
MLM companies don’t often disclose the rates of people leaving the MLM, but when they have it’s been around 40-70% per year, sometimes even more. So my challenge to any doTERRA fans is to count the millions who have left. Remember that MonaVie had a billion dollars in sales and I think a million distributors as well. It’s pretty much a bankrupt company now.
As I’ve said before, if you do your research, the oils are 100% pure and not diluted. If you believe they are, you should sue them for false advertising.
I certainly hope that MCS doesn’t qualify as a medical condition, because we certainly don’t want to see MLMs making more illegal health claims.
What is going on with the comments section of this post tonight? It feels like I had 10 people comment over the last two years, and suddenly it seems like 4 distributors come from nowhere in a span just a few hours.
You have completely missed the point on why they are priced the way they are.
Basic economics dictates supply and demand. I don’t disagree. doterra products are higher priced, even at wholesale member prices.
But the owners acknowledged very early on that the industry needed a shakeup and consumers have been fooled into buying what they thought were 100% natural products in the past. Really many were just fragrance.
The owners went to extreme lengths to ensure the highest quality eo’s in the world,, really revolutionising the industry and bridging the gap between food and allopathic medicine.
If people didn’t see value in the high price, they wouldn’t buy it. But doterra revenue continues to increase and the testing that is undertaken IMO justifies the prices they put up.
DoTERRA isn’t a business. People love the products and others want to get their own hands on them. The reason they continue to grow is because they never shortchange their product quality and they’ve built it sustainably and globally in all areas to make sure people have access to it.
If you can’t justify a few cents per drop that’s fine (therapeutic dose).
You can head to Walmart and buy a $4 bottle of frankincene. Just be sure not to smell too close, get on your skin or ingest.
Lazy Man says
I think you don’t understand how MLM pricing works. The distributors are the victims of these companies. They can price things at whatever they want because distributors are paying for the business opportunity.
The FTC covered this in detail here:
“When a product is tied to a business opportunity, experience teaches that the people buying it may well be motivated by reasons other than actual product demand. One of the more vivid examples of this comes from the BurnLounge case. The activities of the BurnLounge defendants included selling packages of music-related merchandise. Before the FTC brought its enforcement action, anyone who wanted to participate in the business opportunity was also required to buy a package.
After the FTC filed suit, charging that BurnLounge made deceptive income representations and paid compensation that was tied to recruitment rather than the sale of merchandise, the court entered a preliminary injunction that radically changed BurnLounge’s operations. Under the preliminary injunction, distributors could still buy BurnLounge products if they liked the merchandise, but they could no longer advance in the business opportunity. What happened to sales? In only two months, they plummeted from over $475,000 to less than $11,000. As it turned out, at most, only a small minority of sales had been motivated by actual fsproduct demand, whether internal or external.”
It’s so common that you can see it repeated in MLMs everywhere. People buy all sorts of creams, juices, oils, even $70 water.
From this WebMD article it seems like it would be best to just tell people not put ANY frankincene on their skin or ingest it – full stop… no need to mention brands.
Fair point Lazy man.
We are all victim to big corporations or company’s price offers. Doterra is a now a multi billion dollar corporation. But things are justifiable.
Hand to my heart I have tried and tested other products and found none came close to doTERRA. I can justify the amounts and I don’t think they are necessarily priced unfairly.
There’s a saying that people buy with emotion, then they justify that purchase with rationale.
If you drive a Camry, you won’t feel the same as in a C-class.
Why? It costs more to build that car with higher standard equipment and features, and the company can vouch the price tag for the overall quality.
Doterra, there is a real emotional attachment to the products because they have impacted lives sometimes dramatically and not just through the aroma.
Company’s will always sell products that way. Simon Sinek has a great Ted Talk on Apple about that.
Doterra have just done extremely well to justify their prices. Not really fair to discriminate their inflated prices because they are an MLM.
Lazy Man says
The difference is that companies compare in the fair market. MLM companies sell a business opportunity to distributors and do not compete in that fair market. You can’t just explain it away like, “We are all victim to big corporations or company’s price offers.”
MonaVie was a multi-billion dollar corporation as well… or at least that’s what they said without providing any audited numbers. It doesn’t surprise me that doTERRA would say the same thing. Herbalife can legitimately claim it, and they settled with with FTC paying hundreds of millions in fines and changing their business to not be a pyramid scheme.
You seem to be making the “the quality of the product is better” argument. Sorry, as I pointed out in the article, the other products are 100% pure. We MUST be able to agree that 100% pure is 100% pure, right? I mean you don’t have the opinion that doTERRA is 105% pure?
I can buy the argument that there’s real emotional attachment. Unfortunately people feel that when they pay more for something that it actually works better. It’s called the price placebo effect.
The difference is that you are trying to make it about medicine. We are talking about smells… and I think we can agree that smells are fine for all products. Trust me, I bought the Now brand that I cited in the article and they are great at 1/20th the price. Amazon reviews are tremendous, so you know I’m not alone.
Again, you go back to the $100 pen pyramid scheme and if doTERRA really wants to proving its pricing, the answer is to just drop the MLM scheme. Maybe if you’ve looked at dozens of dozens of MLMs as I have, you’d see the pattern a little easier.
Wow, We are truly prisoners of human nature. We are taking all of this personally and we are acting out from a position of defense and lack of knowledge. The name calling is counter productive. The lack of true knowledge of essential oils is staggering. The later makes it next to impossible to interpret publications such as the Roseman university research. A qualified, unbiased, reputable third party study does not report to any one subject of the study and then accept money from that subject.
Roseman University conducted a study of what is known as the “Entourage Effect” and not the “oil effect.” The Entourage is the study of an EO as a whole to discover its synergistic effects. This is a difficult task. In order to track active ingredients, isolation of the major constituents for study is still a necessity. The study showed that the EO as a whole produced better results than its individual constituents. The GC-MS is used to identify chemicals it does NOT separate chemicals. The effect that could not be duplicated with individual constituents was the entourage effect being studied and tested. What is scary is that the words “opposite effect” of competitors was never used in the study. There are no competitors in a scientific study.
By the way . . Essential oils are not true oils . . they are not fatty acids like olive, avocado, coconut, grape seed, sweet almond and other carrier oils. EOs were placed in this category simply because they are a hydrophobic substance)
The link is to an article and not a study. The article is biased, cherry picked and written on behalf of Doterra. The name Doterra has been inserted in strategic locations to create the illusion of what are actually false claims. All findings in a reputable study are reported in an unbiased manor with each subject being assigned a number and not a name. The drama created by a so called secret purchase of doterra is untrue and utterly ridiculous.
The article promotes Doterra over and over again. A study is never about promotion. It is about safety and efficacy. The very brief mention of “Others” in the article has also been inserted for effect. MLM Reps, unfortunately are uneducated. I do not blame the Reps I blame the MLMs that take advantage of them and count on the fact that they know little or nothing about EOs accept what is spoon fed to them by the MLMs. They count on the Reps eating up the bogus information. The Reps do not know what to ask for as proof of legitimacy. Again, do not blame the Reps, most joined the MLMs because of their interest in natural Ayurvedic medicine and got roped in to a cult.
Tests performed by MLMs are bunk until they provide the actual results to the public or even to their Reps. And when this happens I will be glad to eat my words. Reputable distillers and various middlemen and retailers make all testing and ‘Certificates of Analysis’ available to the public. Learn how to read a C of A. MLMs offer only rhetoric about tests and cartoon pictures of the distillation process. The difference in pricing for equal amounts from “competitors” is $40 to $50 or more per bottle. (Not $1. ) Reps are offered wholesale pricing at a rate of 25% off. True wholesale pricing is 50% off. This is very telling of the MLM mark ups. An 8oz bottle of the highest quality peppermint oil can be purchased for $20 to $30 +/-. And the same can be purchase direct from the distiller that retailers buy from at 50% less. An EO is either 100% natural or it is not . . no ifs ands or buts.
The MLMs and their Reps want us to believe that there is no other distiller on the face of this earth that is capable of producing a quality EO. What planet do they live on? Unfortunately, it is one where they don’t want to believe that they have been taken advantage of by the MLMs. Stop throwing away your money, trying to brainwash your friends and family and stop taking away the ability of others to have faith in an oil that they can afford. Where do those that cannot afford your inflated prices go to for help with in home supplemental treatment. You are as bad as the pharmaceutical companies. Herbal medicine is not meant to replace a doctors care it is meant to be used at home to help prevent exacerbation of a outbreak.
The only useful, unbiased information is acquired through a double blind, Phase 3 study. This level of scientific study is very rare for essential oils. This is because of the multiple constituents in each EO. Each level of study is grounded in a scientific fact finding endeavor when one chemical can be isolated for study so that the “active” ingredient is known. Scientists are discovering and endeavoring to study the synergy of the multiple constituents in EOs. Do your research. These studies can be found on the net and through other avenues. There are current and upcoming studies for Boswellia serrata. But, these synergistic studies are still in their infancy and there is decades of work to be done.
Clinical study test phases are as follows : Pre-clinical = Animal testing – efficacy and toxicity/ Phase 0 = bioavailabilty and half life of the drug/ Phase 1 = testing on healthy volunteers – safety and dosage levels/ Phase 2 = Human tests for efficacy and toxicity/ Phase 3 = efficacy and safety/ Phase 4 = post marketing surveillance
A good example is the widely used oil of Frankincense. (Boswellic Acid does not survive the distillation process.) IE: The Boswellia genus of plants in the Burseraceae family of which there are many different species. Some of their chemical constituents are similar in the nature and many are very unique in their natural chemical make up. Boswellia serrata is the oldest known of the Boswellia genus. Its major constituents are alpha Thujene and alpha Pinene. The aroma is strongly that of turpentine and pine and is a known anti-inflammatory. The major constituents of Boswellia papyrifera is octyl acetate and N-octanol and offers a strong aroma of citrus fruit. When using these very different Boswellia species for a topical antiseptic, topical painkiller or anti-inflammatory a single species should be tested one at a time in order to identify which is best for a client’s specific injury. MLMs combine 4 of these species together so that they smell like candy and promote them as edible. It is not necessary to process the oil through the liver and other organs. Provided you know what you are doing the oils are effective when used topically or introduced to the circulatory system through the lungs. (aromatherapy) I am not suggesting that some oils are not ingestible like orange and lemon and those that make a great flavoring for foods. Whether an oil is introduced to the body one way or another the oils are tonic to the body. Knowing which body system or organ that it acts on is important to your education. Examples: nervines, cardiac tonics, stomachics, hepatics, biliary tonics, diuretics, etc. Everyone must start somewhere. But, an accumulative knowledge of biology, chemistry, botany and the taxonomy of plants is necessary to protect yourself and your clients.
The Western Red-cedar (Thuja plicata) (major constituent – alpha thugene) that I mentioned in a previous post is a good example. This natural plant chemical is perfectly safe. It has been studied, tested and found to be useful as an antioxidant and antimicrobial constituent. The Eastern White-cedar (Thuja occidentalis) ( major constituent – Thujone) has also been studied and proven to be poisonous.
There is no essential oil that will cure depression, cancer, etc.. There are, however, chemicals in EOs that can support treatment. These are additional tools that clients can use at home or under the guidance of a professional. There are natural chemicals in EOs that make the cell walls in specific areas of the body more permeable to other medicinal chemicals.
Many turpenes (linalool, limonene, a-pinene, etc.) are currently being studied as possible catalysts to increase bio availability of medications. Turpenes are the most abundant chemicals found in plants and EOs. Turpenes are also being studied for their ability to increase white blood cells. This could be a good tool for those under going chemo.
Essential oils are produced in different chemo types. Rosemary for instance is available as a camphor chemo type ( plant grown in the shade) and a 1,8 Cineole chemo type ( plant grown in the sun) This difference in habitat forces the plant to create different natural chemicals to protect itself. Educate yourself on which chemo types you are offering your clients. There are Phase 3 studies available for review on the effects of 1,8 Cineole on short term memory.
If you did not make it to the end of this post there are serious doubts about your desire to know the truth and do your own research.
Proteins and Enzymes are very large molecules that cannot pass through the distillation process required to produce an essential oil. The range of molecular weights that can pass through distillation ranges up to 500 amu (“amu” stands for “atomic mass unit.”). Proteins and Enzymes have molecular weights that range well above 10,000 amu. Amylase, an enzyme necessary to digest sugar, has a molecular weight of around 45,000 amu. Proteins weigh considerably more than that. The heat of distillation breaks down proteins and enzymes so that they could not survive to be found in an essential oil.
Lazy Man says
[Sorry, I had written some of this before reading all of Carrie’s comment for context… and made some edits.]
Carrie, there’s a limit to how long a comment should be for the purposes of the discussion. It’s late, but in the morning I might have to take it down, so you can put it back up in smaller chunks that can actually be discussed usefully.
There is a lot of credibility lost the Roseman University. First, it’s a school that almost no one has ever heard of. Second, when you look it up, they used to be affiliated with Nevada, but changed names when their focus became more prominent Utah (just using the Wikipedia from the school). Their Utah campus is in South Jordan, Utah which happens to be where MonaVie was located. In fact, Utah has a ton of MLMs.
I guess another way to put it is… in the rest of the United States, hundreds of pharmacy schools have not cared to study or look at doTERRA. And certainly, if they weren’t paid they wouldn’t go the company’s pep rally.
This feels a lot like Youngevity’s Clemson “study” which blew up under investigation. Clemson essentially admitted it was not noteworthy science. Nerium through out the Princeton name as well with one of their products that they had to walk back, because it wasn’t endorsed.
This kind of thing is unfortunately not uncommon in the MLM world. It’s unlikely that 30,000 distributors in a stadium are going to demand which peer-reviewed journals it was published in and which other scientists are duplicating the results.
Finally, the “marketing” (I don’t believe it is science in my opinion) seemed to get the researchers $128,000 in grant money, which is going to be an obvious conflict of interest.
Abigail Hall says
The most comprehensive, unbiased, professional and SENSIBLE comment to date. Well done, and thank you so much Carrie for your insight and wisdom.
Good morning lazyman, I will not be offended if you take down my post. I think I have gotten it all out of my system.
Wow, the doLTerra bots are out in full force today. No coincidence I’m sure. All the same IP address or a coordinated effort from multiple IPs?
Blindingly stupid comments for an attempted takedown eh? Sounds just like the same old BS as with every other MLM we’ve ever discussed–the exact same weak generic drivel. They must all use the same objection handler guide–no doubt from some MLM propaganda factory in South Jordan, UT — aka snakeoil MLM mecca.
You might think that I am an old lady with nothing else to do but, in reality I am an old lady that should be doing so many other things besides this, just like the rest of you.
Please do not reply to this post with an argument unless you have read the entire article and looked up the words that you do not understand, along the way, and then read the article again. Although all of the garbage that this blog elicits is ludicrous you are creating great laughs and entertainment for Lazyman and pretty well wasting time. (Lazyman, this, of course, does not include you. Please read the article, when you get opportunity, and fire away) This is a freebee to all enthusiasts. However, from here, I implore you, please take the spoon out of your mouth and do the work. I know that my words are a bit rude but, they are direct and the best that this old lady has right now.
In my haste, I neglected to be specific in my attempt to explain the Entourage effect. In a nut shell it means Synergy. Or, the synergistic effects of a plant’s chemical constituents.
I also neglected specify what I wanted to see from the MLM Reps in regards to requesting proof of legitimacy. I would like for Reps to ask for Certificates of Analysis through the proper channels (not at a pep rally.) We already know that they are not going to be able to acquire proof of the legitimacy of any scientific clinical studies from the MLM. At the very least they can learn how to read them and begin to do their own research. Must reiterate the fact that the MLMs will not provide analysis reports but, this is a lesson in itself.
I think I may have reversed the rosemary in the shade verses sunlight information as well. Enthusiasts can look this up for themselves as well, it is an interesting read.
In combination therapy, synergy is said to occur when the combined effect is greater than the sum of the individual effects. An additive effect is observed with the combined effect which is equal to the sum of the individual effects. Indifference is observed when there is no interaction between one another. Antagonism is defined when the combined effect is less than when the two compounds are individually applied. The reversal of resistance is said to occur when a synergistic outcome is observed. As an example, one of the strategies employed was to screen against ?-lactamase producers and by mechanism-based inhibition of the active-site serine hydrolases for compounds that can antagonize the antibiotic-destroying hydrolases. Clavulanic acid (sulbactam or tazobactam) from a streptomycete in combination with amoxicillin was the outcome of this approach . However, the victory against bacterial resistance did not last long; the frequent use of clavulanic acid has led to the emergence of resistant variants like any other of its antibiotic ancestors . As resistant bacterial strains will eventually emerge in response to widespread use of a particular antibiotic and limit its lifetime, knowledge of the principal and specific resistance mechanisms provides scientists the insights into strategies for development of new therapeutics. In the past, when resistance to a ?-lactam antibiotic occurred, pharmaceutical scientists modified the periphery of the ?-lactam warhead to obtain a more effective variant and that was how the second- and third generation ?-lactams of both the penicillin and cephalosporin emerged.
Combination between conventional antimicrobial agents and essential oils is a new concept; a few examples are described (Table 22). Sometimes, essential oils have been found to be synergistic enhancers in that though they may not produce any significant inhibitory effects when used alone, but when they are used in combination with the standard drugs, the combination effect surpasses their individual performance and produces enhanced antimicrobial activity . Synergistic activity exerted using essential oils has been found to reduce the minimum effective dose of antibiotics in the treatment of infections. This reduces the adverse effects of the antibiotic. Most importantly, association of antibiotics with essential oils targeting resistant bacteria may have different mechanism of action and it may lead to new choices to overcome the onslaught of microbial resistance. Exploitation of essential oils in preventing bacterial resistance is believed to be more promising because essential oils are multi-component in nature compared to many conventional antimicrobials that only have a single target site.
Pelargonium graveolens essential oil was reported to reduce the minimum effective dose of norfloxacin against Bacillus cereus, Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus . Antibiotic modifying capacity of Lantana camara L. essential oil on amikacin against S. aureus and P. aeruginosa by gaseous contact was demonstrated by Sousa et al. (2012). The microorganisms were exposed to the volatile constituents by indirect contact during the disk diffusion test and the amikacin activity was reported to have increased by 65% . Rodrigues et al. (2009) reported that the essential oil of Croton zehntneri leaves is able to enhance the gentamicin activity by 42.8% against P. aeruginosa through gaseous contact suggesting that the oil possesses a potential to be used as an adjuvant in antibiotic therapy . These promising investigations indicate that the combination of essential oils with conventional antibiotics provides promising and significant potential for the development of novel therapeutics and treatment of infectious diseases caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms. There is a need for more studies concerning the molecular basis of synergistic interactions, in order to further understand the synergistic mechanism which is fundamental for this continuing search.
Lazy Man says
I’d focus on “These promising investigations indicate…. There is a need for more studies.” You can probably find hundreds of thousands of studies that are like this. They almost never go anywhere.
Unless you are a scientist trying to further this research, it isn’t worth your time to read it.
James Osborne says
Owned. Thanks Carrie.
Asks for science based evidence, receives it and scoffs it anyway. Hahahah
Way to stay open minded.
Corruption in the free trade market has blinded you from truth.
Lazy Man says
Don’t be so open-minded that your brain falls out.
This article is about MLMs, not the free trade market.
There’s some bad science out there. A good example explaining this is here: https://vitals.lifehacker.com/what-those-cornell-pizza-studies-teach-us-about-bad-sci-1823370508. You want to make sure that you aren’t cherry-picking one study to prove your point. If you have many different studies and systematic reviews, then you start have something useful. That’s a lesson you should take away here. It’s something that pretty much all scientists agree on.
Lazy Man has been fair with his comments. I’m happy to return to the subject of MLMs. Unfortunately, a blog forum can be something like a puppy chasing its tail. My initial thoughts were expressed in agreement that MLMs send Reps out into the public as an uneducated sales force. It does not matter how much assistance is afforded to them. Reps are creating an air of mistrust in a field that is new and complicated, in the realm of modern medicine. There is so much potential and so many people that could benefit. “Current discoveries from plants rely on bio activity and guided fractionation which led to isolation of many important anticancer drugs such as paclitaxel, camptothecin etc.”
It is the goal of the MLMs to make money, period. I do not include the Reps in this statement. However, Reps are trained to create an environment where all other EO sources are ineffective and dangerous as well. If I had a dollar for every time a Rep used the word “scary” to describe a competitor! They have no idea what they are saying or why, only that they have been taught to say it.
“Nature, the master of craftsman of molecules created almost an inexhaustible array of molecular entities. It stands as an infinite resource for drug development, novel chemo types, pharmacophores, and scaffolds for amplification into efficacious drugs for a multitude of disease indications and other valuable bio active agents. It has been well documented that natural isolated plant constituents played critical roles in modern drug development, especially for antibacterial and anti tumor agents.”
Most all EOs are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and effect cell regeneration and cell repair. (these constituents protect the plants in their environment) For us primates, use as a topical treatment is a good tool in your med kit. Used internally the anti-inflammatory effects are useful, however, the anti-bacterial effects destroy your gut flora and cause intestinal distress. Reps should never use or recommend internal consumption of their oils. They especially should not gulp them down with water as the MLMs recommend. Knowledge of creating bioavailability is necessary for proper use by professionals. An acid resistant capsule and the addition of a healthy fatty acid helps medications reach the intestines. Because there is so much competition in the gut for uptake to the blood stream other catalysts like black pepper oil are also useful. I am trying to shed light on just how much Reps do not know about their product. And how much the MLMs do not seem to care that they don’t know. Not enough to protect the public from miss use. Especially when Reps are so desperate to make this work for them. MLMs convince them that they have everything that they need and this could not be farther from the truth.
“The severity and inoperability of
her condition made using an additional therapy a
consideration. An oxidoreductase [plant lipoxygenases
(LOX)] inhibitor was applied (Boswellia serrata)
which has no known major side effects.
. . . She was immediately placed on a
LOX inhibitor. Following 10 weeks of therapy, the
patient was scheduled for a new CT since her CEA and
Ca 15–3 tumor markers had increased. The CT results
showed a complete disappearance of all signs of
metastases in her brain.”
Carrie said: “MLMs send Reps out into the public as an uneducated sales force.”
It’s a lot worse than that. It wouldn’t be so bad if they were merely uneducated, but in fact they are miseducated — their brains filled with mind boggling BS.
On another note, I hope no one is getting excited about a single case study published by someone who seems to be a quack.
That ain’t science.
Carrie said: “I’m happy to return to the subject of MLMs.”
Please do. I appreciate your enthusiasm; but the off-topic forays, not so much.
Carrie said: “Reps are creating an air of mistrust in a field that is new and complicated, in the realm of modern medicine.”
Reps create an air of mistrust most assuredly. But the “field” (cough) of essential oils is neither particularly complicated nor remotely connected to anything to do with the realm of modern medicine. essential oils (EOs) are the antithesis of modern medicine; they are a throwback to centuries past – a step backwards; and often marketed using eye-popping hyperbole and deceptive snakeoil pitches.
Carrie said: “There is so much potential and so many people that could benefit.
Whopping oversell! There is negligible potential, and likely no one (no patient at least; sellers perhaps) that would benefit, beyond enjoying the aroma of a tincture that smells nice.
Carrie said: “Current discoveries from plants rely on bio activity and guided fractionation which led to isolation of many important anticancer drugs such as paclitaxel, camptothecin etc.”
You do realize that this has nothing to do with EOs right? Again, this is the antithesis of EOs; i.e., those important drugs were developed by isolating the therapeutically useful chemical constituents from plants; not by using raw plant tinctures, which would have been utterly worthless.
Carrie said: “Nature, the master of craftsman of molecules created almost an inexhaustible array of molecular entities…natural isolated plant constituents played critical roles in modern drug development…”
Again see my previous comment. Modern drug development is the antithesis of smearing on (or, worse, ingesting) an EO.
Carrie said: “Most all EOs are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and effect cell regeneration and cell repair.”
That’s false and there is no evidence to support it, but even if it were true, it would apply to effects in a test tube — never in the human body. There are tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of compounds that have such effects in a test tube but either lack efficacy or are too toxic for clinical use. Gross oversimplification and highly misleading for LMs readers.
I appreciate your anti-MLM fervor but the misinformation about EOs not only doesn’t help further the discussion and muddy the waters, it’s misleading. Better to keep it simple, stay on topic, and avoid cutting and pasting large blocks of irrelevant text from other sources. A 1-line summary and a link would be better than huge swaths of white noise. Just focusing on DoTerra, rather than EOs in general, would be ideal, and much appreciated.
It was generous of you to use the words “seems to be” a quack
There is nothing fake about the study or the publication and it is conclusive.
The patient approved, a last effort to save her life, the use of a plant based chemical as treatment.
I sent the whole PDF to my contacts at UMAB and Microbiological Assoc.
“Reputable journal. N=1 in the study….. case study of one patient. After 4 years, no return of metastases and no side effects. This patient went on to develop bone metastases. The study makes it clear that LOX inhibitors have limited use for bone metastases. Phase 1 studies are active at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston for Boswellia serrata in the treatment patients with ductal breast carcinoma in situ, stage I-III breast cancer, or stage I-III colon cancer that are undergoing surgery.”
Essential oils while not true fatty acids (oils) are also not a tincture. Tinctures are herbs soaked in alcohol to extract the chemical constituents. Most all EOs (chemical constituents) are extracted by steam distillation. The chemical constituents in the plants and the essential oils are the same chemicals. They are not smeared on the skin, they are added to a fatty acid IE: coconut oil, olive oil or sweet almond oil, etc for application.
“those important drugs were developed by isolating the therapeutically useful chemical constituents from plants; not by using raw plant tinctures, . . .”
You tried to make your point but, made mine instead.
30% of modern drug development begins with the isolation of plant chemicals. The reason that modern medicine is isolating individual plant constituents is so that the active ingredient is known. Essential oils contain an array of natural chemical constituents from the plant and the study of the ‘synergy effect’ is new. I question whether or not you understand phytochemistry or the chemical building blocks of an aroma. Or, the role of flavonoids in medicine. Flavonoids, found in essential oils, once absorbed, influence many biological functions including protein synthesis, cell proliferation and angiogenesis, making them beneficial in a various human disorders.
Progress is made by sharing and offering assistance not by vilification. Lazyman makes an excellent point when trying to bring awareness to Reps. They should inquire through proper channels in the MLM as to who will be responsible for attorney fees and damages when they finally harm themselves or someone else. We know the answer to that question.
Carrie said: “There is nothing fake about the study or the publication and it is conclusive.”
First, no one said it was fake, so your guilty of inventing a straw man. Not cool.
Secondly, a single isolated case report, by a lone quack, with an N of 1 is “conclusive”??? How absurd. Better check your dictionary; conclusive doesn’t mean what you think it does. Claiming to reverse multiple brain metastases (“complete disappearance”) with a hitherto unknown treatment is an extraordinary claim to say the least — and extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
Far from extraordinary or conclusive, this case report is utterly worthless and should be given no consideration whatsoever until and unless the findings are validated in high quality controlled clinical trials — and the chances of that ever happening are somewhere between unimaginably slim and none. The overwhelming majority of experimental compounds fail during that intervening R&D process so there’s no reason to think that this has a hope in hell of being a legitimate therapy.
Case reports like that are at the very bottom of the hierarchy of scientific evidence. This particularly dopey 2-page report didn’t even specify the route of administration; it merely says that Boswellia serrata was “applied” at a dose of 3 x 800 mg/day. Does that mean topically applied, and if so, on what part of the body? Ingested orally? Injected IV or ICV? No one in their right mind would believe that applying this topically would reverse multiple brain metastases. That’s F-ing moronic. The route of administration is critical fundamental information and yet was overlooked entirely. Calling that shoddy would be a gross understatement.
The report doesn’t mention the supplier/manufacturer, or the concentration or any other details about the formulation. The reporting is so ridiculously threadbare and amateurish that it boggles the imagination.
The author isn’t even an oncologist and would have no business, nor a single F-ing clue about, managing cancers or brain metastases. Painfully ridiculous!
The layperson might not be able to see it, but to the trained eye it’s like reading a stale comic strip. It’s an insult to the intelligence of any reasonably sound scientist/medical doctor.
Carrie said: “You tried to make your point but, made mine instead.”
Laughably false. The point that I was making is that isolating individual compounds from plants to make therapeutic drugs is the antithesis of slapping raw plant extracts on one’s skin (or worse, ingesting them). You seem to completely miss the purpose and significance of the isolation process.
Isolating plant alkaloids for potential drug development is also a very old practice, not cutting edge, and has been increasingly supplanted by a variety of far newer technologies for guided/rational drug design – far over your head.
I appreciate that you stand against MLMs and DoTerra (for good reason) but your insistence on portraying EOs as a cutting-edge medical breakthrough is not doing anyone any favors. EOs are not included in clinical practice guidelines for any medical condition or clinical practice specialty anywhere – because there is no evidence or reason to think that they are efficacious/safe/cost-effective for treating anything. There are no breakthroughs on the horizon for EOs so you might want to tamp down your enthusiasm and expectations. If you’re plugging them for anything other than smelling nice, you’re doing a grave disservice.
Now maybe you can get back to DoTerra instead of all this grandstanding about fake BS pseudo-medicine.
Vogel, sweetheart, I did not say that you used the word fake.
I made a statement, based on my belief, not a quote.
Why do people fall for this stuff? do Terra conferences make claims that their oil can help or cure almost everything! How gullible are all the people buying these oils?
Do they smell nice? Yes some of them do.
Do they cure or help with any medical/psychological conditions? No. No more than any other placebo. Who knows, I suppose if the placebo actually fools you into thinking it helps, I guess a having a positive attitude could help you!
MLM scams always claim that they are selling you the best stuff and have YOUR best interest in mind. Really??
People get real. If there was ANY prof that such oils helped anyone at all it would be all over the front of medical journals. But they do publish based on hype, they require actual substantiated studies that provide real prof.
So after the ridiculously pathetic “study” you trotted out as “conclusive” got soundly eviscerated, your only response is to dispute the strawman you invented about whether or not the study was “fake” (which you did in fact do).
The “study” is obviously a POS; that it ever got published anywhere (i.e., a low-tier, open-source, pay-to-publish, journal, unsurprisingly) is an affront to science and medicine, given the glaring deficiencies (to the point of absurdity) I pointed out previously.
To call the lone author, Dana Flavin, a quack is overly generous. After having done some research on her background, “shameless parasite” would seem more apropos. Flavin, who has no specialty training or US certification – certainly no oncology background – has built a shady barebones pseudo-practice offering quack treatments for desperate people with chronic intractable diseases. Appallingly, she runs her fraudulent grift by offering 1-hour consultations for $700 OVER THE PHONE! The internet is also rife with completely farfetched claims about her having miraculously cured various cancers and other chronic disease with “natural cures”.
Flavin’s main website (collmed.org), is run out of a PO Box in Rowayton, CT and has an anonymously registered URL/IP address. Sketchy to say the least!
In 2008, she submitted a medical use patent application for a Boswellia supplement, a clear and critical conflict of interest that she failed to disclose in her case study publication. In other words, it’s abundantly clear why she published that laughably threadbare BS case study – self-enrichment.
The case study in question is 11 years old and was never followed up or replicated. Astonishing considering the miraculous claim to have made multiple brain metastases “disappear” with an herbal extract. In the acknowledgements section of the case report, Flavin give “special thanks” to “Dr. Ursula Jacobs for her continued assistance in therapy”. Turns out Jacobs is as much of a quack/parasite as Flavin, offering disproven therapies like intestinal cleansing and detox for cancer patients out of a sketchy “clinic” in Munich. She also happens to be Flavin’s “assistant”, as indicated on her website (listed suspiciously as merely “Denise J” — how professional!).
The case study report lists a correspondence address in Greenwich, CT (24 Midwood Dr), under the name of a dubious research organization called the “Foundation for Collaborative Medicine and Research” (aka CollMed). Turns out that the address is a private residence and the “foundation” seems to be nothing more than a tax dodge, paying for Flavin’s rent, utilities, cable, phone, car lease, travel, and a nice slush fund of $30K for alleged “research” in 2008 (the last year of filing for the foundation). The $700 fee she collects for phone consultations is funneled through her “foundation” as a donation. Pathetic! Red flags everywhere.
Flavin has peppered the internet with self-adulatory BS videos and writing promoting her foundation and quack remedies. In one particularly galling and ironic example she says “most cancer research is a fraud”, which is certainly true in her case (e.g.. publishing BS case reports promoting a product in which she has an undisclosed financial interest, taking IRS deductions to fund dubious so-called “research”, having no specialized training or business in treating cancer patients, etc.).
Carrie, it’s bad enough that you would even attempt to misinform LMs readers by presenting this shit-bag deceptive study here, but claiming that it is “conclusive” and evidence of the cutting-edge miraculous properties of essential oils is pretty much unforgivable. Nonetheless, you should still apologize profusely and take a cold hard look in the mirror. Get your shit together and repent! Maybe you’re just a hopelessly gullible myope, but an equally likely scenario is that you are Flavin, or maybe Jacobs, doing a little self-promotion? Seems like a pretty reasonable guess.
SFC Geter says
Well, since I couldn’t reply direct to you I’ll just post my one comment. I don’t need assistance. Your article is all over the place. That’s my point. What are you complaining about? Essential oils work for many different ailments. To discredit them based on the practice of a couple companies is widely ignorant. So again, what exactly are you upset about? A pyramid scheme?? Are you aware that (many) psychiatrist will advise patients on the use of Essential Oils? I came across your article but I’m failing to see exactly your point. As far as your 400 comments…same thing. Some are complaining about a pyramid scheme, they do work, they don’t. All over the place.
Lazy Man says
Well thanks for your opinion about my article. I’m not sure I’ve seen any legit medical resource say that essential oils work for ailments. I have a bunch and they smell okay.
You might want to start here: https://www.lazymanandmoney.com/no-your-mlm-health-product-does-not-work/
John Oliver covered MLMs well too: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6MwGeOm8iI
SFC Geter: “Your article is all over the place. That’s my point. What are you complaining about? Essential oils work for many different ailments.”
The case against DoTerra has been well laid out. The case against EOs is that they haven’t been conclusively shown to treat any ailment ever, but nonetheless, people who market the products mislead consumers by telling them otherwise. For instance Carrie, who tried to deceive people into thinking that frankincense extract cured metastatic brain tumors. Do you not see the danger in telling people that bogus BS can cure them of cancer; of steering people away from treatments that have been proven to work in lieu of BS? You’re entitled to make whatever poor decisions you want to make about your own health and disease treatment, but the minute you start trying to convince grandma that she should give you her social security money instead of undergoing treatment that works and can save her life, we’ve got a problem. Such people should be held in contempt. They come in two forms: ignoramuses who bought the BS hook line and sinker and don’t know any better, and con artists who know better but don’t care about hurting people to make a buck. No one should ever listen to either of them.
SFC Geter: “To discredit them based on the practice of a couple companies is widely ignorant.”
No, you are wildly ignorant. We rightly condemn those companies based on overwhelming evidence of their shitty products and unscrupulous predatory business practices. We separately discredit EOs because idiots and con artists make hyperbolic claims about them that are unsubstantiated/directly refuted and exploitative.
SFC Geter “So again, what exactly are you upset about? A pyramid scheme?? Are you aware that (many) psychiatrist will advise patients on the use of Essential Oils?”
Well, yes, pyramid schemes bother me. They should bother you too. I wasn’t aware that any psychiatrists were advising patients on EOs. Is that how you found out about them? You might try putting some evidence on the table so we can appraise it, instead of just getting indignant and making vague claims. On the other hand, this is an article about DoTerra, so maybe you should focus on that.
SFC Geter: “I came across your article but I’m failing to see exactly your point. As far as your 400 comments…same thing. Some are complaining about a pyramid scheme, they do work, they don’t. All over the place.”
Lazy Man has made enough of an effort to make it easy for you to see the point Everyone else seems to have no problem getting the picture. If you still don’t get it, that’s a problem on your part. Maybe you can get your shrink explain it to you.
I am amazed that with more than 430 comments on this thread that people are still arguing the point on here. Or more accurately, missing the point. Its pretty black and white isn’t it?
Lazyman and Vogel have presented some pretty solid evidence based facts to consider, and doTerra (yeah I know, it’s doTERRA) naysayers continue to disagree but have no evidence to support it.
As an aromatherapist I would say, in my own personal experience, that EOs may have some efficacy for some people with mild ailments – such as headache, malaise, dizziness, mild shock, sadness, insect bites and scratches (lavender is a great antibacterial) etc, but may not work for many people. You do not have to ingest oils for effect (heaven forbid!). It can be applied anywhere on the body as the oil absorbs easily, or it can be sniffed under the nose or put it in a diffuser. EOs smell great and certain smells resonate with different individuals, invoking a feeling of calmness or well-being. We are talking mild ailments here, and talking about A FEELING, not a CURE for a disease.
EOs HAVE NOT had any conclusive research or results proving that they can cure chronic disease. They can’t. Doterra advocates make all sorts of incredible claims about the oils they sell, and they sell them without consequence or responsibility. I am an aromatherapist with several decades of study under my belt and although I do believe some oils can have an effect on some people’s health, I do not treat people with chronic disease, I ASSIST people with chronic disease. I use aromatherapy treatment as an adjunct to conventional medical treatment. In my field of study I have read countless reports regarding the efficacy of essential oils, and countless exaggerated claims regarding EOs effectiveness in treating disease, but I am yet to find any reliable, or genuine empirical research supporting these claims. It is also interesting to note that very few of these “research studies” have actually been conducted by anyone with a qualification in aromatherapy which entails four years of full time study (including chemistry). Many of these articles and ‘studies’ have appeared in the past three years, written on online blogs almost exclusively by Essential Oils Educators (Silver Leaders), which is just a fancy name for an MLM doTerra consultant who is sitting weightily on top of a crowd of ambitious and susceptible souls, dangling a heavy silver rope above the throng with the promise that in time they will reach it, and she will pull them up to the top of the pyramid. The Silver Leader passionately implores those below to ‘network’ more, call on friends and family and encourage them to nurture themselves at monthly Yummy Mummy Life Wellness afternoons full of luscious oils and divine chocolate cakes made with too many drops of essential peppermint oil. But I digress.
I have had breast cancer, had my boobs chopped off, and opted for allopathic/conventional treatment in conjunction with aromatherapy. I wanted to live! I knew that EOs were not going to cure my cancer. Because of my profession I had my share of detractors who declared that I was fraudulent and that I must have been living a lie for the past 20 years. They argued that if I can’t have faith in my field of study, how can my patients have faith in me. However, through their misinformation and lack of education of aromatherapy, they were completely missing the point of aromatherapy.
During my cancer treatment I certainly did not ingest any essential oil (I have made my point on this in another post in this thread). I used EOs as an adjunct to my treatment, as a sedating calmative, applied both topically (on my stomach) and in an oil diffuser to promote a feeling of well-being and positivity. EOs may offer a placebo for many people, and that is certainly a beneficial result regardless.
I now re neg on my comment to Carrie
“October 26, 2018 at 3:58 am
The most comprehensive, unbiased, professional and SENSIBLE comment to date. Well done, and thank you so much Carrie for your insight and wisdom”.
Carrie certainly presented a lot of knowledge in her first post, and a degree of balance in the argument. However, her subsequent posts have left me a little gobsmacked.
If EOs were miracle oils there would be no tumors, no cancer, no chronic disease or mental illness. However, chronic and terminal disease continues to exist, and if essential oils did what the ill-informed claim they do, then the world would be a healthier and happier place and I would be a multi-millionaire instead of an impecunious aromatherapist. Pretty elementary really.
I cringe when I read comments stating that MDs and the FDA are conspirators who are not educated in natural healing and know nothing about disease and suffering. People who make these comments are demonstrating that they are perhaps ignorant of modern medicine. There are many health professionals who continue to conform to the old rule/old school of medicine, but there are countless more progressive medics who embrace both conventional medicine and natural healing as an adjunct to a treatment plan. If you want to be treated by such a health professional you do not have to go very far to find one – at least not in Australia. Carrie I am disappointed that you cited and linked the case study that involved a ‘patient’ (I use the term with disdain) of Dana Flavin, who makes wild claims and charges a small mortgage for several phone consultations – dispensing treatment plans without actually being with the client. But that’s a whole other story, and Vogel covered that admirably.
Anyway, I am getting off track. The point is:
1. doTerra is definitely an MLM
2. doTerra sell essential oils that are more than three times as much as the French pure organic oils that I use in my practice. I can purchase 20mls of 100% Pure Clary Sage Oil for $29.00 from my supplier in France, whereas my friend who is a doTerra devotee tries to sell me only 15mls of 100% Pure Clary Sage Oil for ……… wait for it …….. for $89. That’s 5mls less and $60 more than my oil, which is the same grade, same quality, same oil. I mean, 100% pure is 100% pure – you cannot claim that doTerra is more pure than 100%. I could get it cheaper, but I like this brand of oil. Which leads me to my next point.
3. If you want to pay an exorbitant price for on an oil that you think is helping you, do it. BUT don’t try to sell it to anyone, make claims about the oils efficacy that you cannot substantiate without empirical evidence, and do not under any circumstances present anecdotal stories of oils curing chronic disease. That is simply irresponsible and at worst, dangerous.
4. If you are content to buy the expensive doTerra oil for your personal use and not on-sell it, then good for you. I have not ever experienced this. I have at least 3 doTerra wellness advocates visit my practice every week trying to convince me to buy their precious overpriced stuff to onsell to my clients.
In summary, doTerra have scammed a nation … naye, a world … of deluded ‘wellness advocates’ keen to sell overpriced oils to … well, anyone with deep enough pockets and the naivety to believe that Frankincense will cure their terminal cancer.
Jeepers, I have been lost in a Carrie-induced wave of chatter. ‘Nuff said.
And hey! Lazyman….maybe this thread is also ‘Nuff said?
Abigail, unlike Carrie’s chatter, your post was right on point, ethically responsible, and just brilliant. I don’t disagree with a single word. Sorry to hear about your past health issues and wish you all the best.
I am interested in what you have to say about Dana Flavin.
A family member of mine is currently paying out for Flavin’s expensive consultations and supplements that you described above. I was sceptical of Flavin’s claims hence my googling her and finding this post.
My family member is vulnerable, desperate and easy prey. Family member has terminal cancer so doctors have told her that the only treatments available are palliative. Family member is therefore inclined to turn to ‘alternative’ doctors such as Flavin who promise to reverse her cancer.
Family member does not view Flavin sceptically. Instead, views her as the only hope. And views the doctors sceptically since they offer no long-term hope.
Hard to have a rational conversation about this topic with them given the emotions and stakes involved.
Not sure how to progress with the situation. Any suggestions or advice would be most welcome.
Lazy Man says
I wrote this article a long time ago. If you are referring to me, I don’t remember the name Dana Flavin any more if I ever wrote or mentioned him/her.
Well, idiot me was scammed and the scammer continues to imply that doTerra EO can help with anything causing illness. Now I know why doTerra sales people have private groups in Facebook.
The guy that scammed me also has his partner spruik the “wonderness of doTerra” who allegedly is a qualified doctor who became disillusioned with the medical industry and works as a holistic doctor instead…selling doTerra products on Facebook to women (and men) who are looking for help.
They rave about how great the oils are…from exotic locations, worldwide. The trips overseas are obviously paid for through commission’s earnt as the guy only runs healing sessions for work using then selling doTerra products to these people and then encourages others to join doTerra as a means to earn an income. Plus the consultation fees charged for a “medical checkup” by his trained doctor partner….
I have a suspicion that those seeking “Enlightenment” or relief from personal issues and health problems find themselves in the biggest scam known in the modern age of health products. Silver bullets don’t exist people, but, those looking to fleece you do. I have spent thousands trying to treat my problem and got absolutely nowhere.
At least my bedroom and house smell nice though…”you need diffusers throughout your house.”
I feel like a real moron now…
The insanity in these comments from Doterra/MLM supporters and their cult like following has been enough to make me run for the hills.
Mandy Williamson says
Hi, thanks for the great article. A good friend has bought into Do Terra and is calling herself a Wellness Advocate. Straight away, my bullshit detector started tingling as she was talking like a Do Terra cult member. She LOVES the company, yada, yada, yada. I still bought some oils as I was really hoping I was wrong and that they were just really good quality oils. Now that I have started looking more deeply into it, it’s not hard to see that it’s all a cynical marketing scam. I don’t want her to get in too deep and really feel like I owe her to speak up about what I truly think about Do Terra. There is one thing that is at odds though…I think we would all agree that the Do Terra business model has dubious ethics but then why would CHOICE Humanitarian (who seem to do really good work) chose to link with a company like Do Terra?
To me this is so weird. How can a company rely on scamming people into buying an unnecessary product and then do good by communities in need? Is this maybe a new business model? The Robin Hood model?
Mandy Williamson said: “I think we would all agree that the Do Terra business model has dubious ethics but then why would CHOICE Humanitarian (who seem to do really good work) chose to link with a company like Do Terra? To me this is so weird. How can a company rely on scamming people into buying an unnecessary product and then do good by communities in need? Is this maybe a new business model? The Robin Hood model?”
Great questions. No it’s not new (or original) at all. You’d be hard pressed to find a single MLM that doesn’t have some kind of side charity hustle going on. The two most notorious examples that spring to mind are Monavie’s MORE Project and the Juice Plus Children’s Research Foundation (which never actually did any legitimate research).
In every case, these organizations are not independent but rather controlled directly by the MLM company and/or its executives and family members. The most obvious motivation for setting up these non-profits is taxpayer subsidized advertising and the fake halo effect that their alleged charitable activities create. Essentially, they are intended to provide some degree of moral camouflage for morally indefensible predatory MLM scams. They leverage pictures of sad little waifs from underdeveloped countries to pose a false dilemma to the skeptical consumer; namely, “how could we be a scam if we’re nice enough to help orphans”, etc. I am yet to see an example where the activities of the charity weren’t grossly exaggerated; e.g., when you crack the books and look at their IRS990 forms, you’ll typically see that they don’t take in or spend much money at all financing programs, or they use the funds to subsidize product giveaways, publicity/advertising, and personal enrichment (slush fund).
A classic example was DoTerra’s announcement that their Healing Hands Foundation was to provide disaster relief to victims of Hurricane Harvey back in 2012, when in actuality, all they were doing was sending out free product samples and milking the stunt for publicity. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DoTerra#Response_to_natural_disasters
Pretty sad when you think about it, given that the last thing someone needs after being struck by a hurricane is a bag of DoTerra essential oil samples. For the company though, it’s a great scam. They get to pretend to be heroic on the taxpayer’s dime, giving away products that cost them next to nothing to make and then taking a nice big fat tax write-off.
Another classic example was the “charity” (Traffic Jam/World Orphans) that one of [redacted MLM]’s early cofounders, Paul Myhill, setup out of his home in Castle Rock, Co. I dug through the IRS990 filings years ago and from what I could see, the main purpose of the charity was to give Myhill a taxpayer subsidized salary and pay off his mortgage. You never heard any of that coming from Myhill though—just pictures of doe-eyed orphans and a bunch of blather about how his organization was fighting to feed orphans and end child slavery. Total crock of BS.
A scam charity affiliated with Yevo (43 For Kids), another MLM that Myhill was associated with (until it tanked after about a year), is also an illustrative example
It’s often the case that the MLM company’s themselves provide little if any direct support for the charities and instead siphon off the funding from their own distributors, through their contributions of money and/or time. In essence, it is like an added tax on their distributors because they are expected and pressured to donate. That adds insult to injury given how poorly compensated their distributors are in the first place.
The bottom line is that what little good, if any, these shady organizations may offer is far out shadowed by the harm that the MLMs inflict. Expect that in every case, the charity’s actual contributions to the betterment of society are grossly exaggerated and ruthlessly leveraged.
Editor’s note: The name of the particular MLM has been redacted due to the agreement here
If DoTerra weren’t an MLM structure, would you still have beef with them?
I’m not affiliated in anyway but I do hear great things about what they’re doing and you don’t seem to concede any of those points in your pursuit to tear them down.
Lazy Man says
If DoTerra wasn’t an MLM scheme, I’d probably be okay with them – presuming their other marketing was deceptive either.
The reason I’d be okay with them is that they’d have to price their products with what the market will bare. The FTC explained through an example of Burnlounge here of how people were paying money for the product to be part of what they perceived to be a business opportunity. Once that was taken away, there was almost zero interest in the actual product at the price it was offered.
Specifically, “In only two months, [sales] plummeted from over $475,000 to less than $11,000.” There’s a lot more, but that’s the punch line.
A similar thing happened with Vemma juice and energy drink when the FTC cracked down on their scheme as an example to the “industry.” You might be able to still buy Vemma, but not too many people were interested in selling it without the scheme and the business is barely a fraction of what it was before.
A similar thing happened with MonaVie juice when the scheme was taking away. Turns out there was no interest in buying $45 juice (just like Vemma). In MonaVie and Vemma’s case, illegal health claims were made by distributors as an attempt to justify the price.
I presume that if DoTerra didn’t have an MLM structure like the above examples, we’d see a similar pattern. As I tried to point out, there are pure oils for a fraction of the money, so there’s no logical reason why people would choose to pay 10x more, which is the kind of crazy price mark-up of the juices above. Thus, I believe, that without the MLM, they might not be in business.
I “had a beef” (to use your words) with Vemma and MonaVie, but it’s hard to continue that beef now that I’ve been proven correct. It’s just a shame that consumers were bilked out of hundreds of millions of dollars. I just want to help consumers think about getting a good value for their dollar, which has been a core concept of this personal finance website for 13 years.
You might say, “Why doesn’t the FTC crack down on this MLM?” The problem is that they have to start with a fresh lawsuit that can take a decade and millions of taxpayers’ money as explained in this Bloomberg article. I agree with the government experts and have that same opinion.
As with that last sentence, all my writing in this comment and website is my opinion. You are welcome to form your own. I hope the links and information I have provided are useful to you.
Finally, I’d like to offer a challenge to DoTERRA. Simply get rid of the multi-level aspect of the compensation plan that is associated with recruiting and pyramid schemes and pay a straight commission on sales. There is a simple way to employ commission sales people that avoids all the common questions people have of whether MLMs are pyramid schemes. It is my opinion that a reputable company wouldn’t want to be associated with such things and voluntarily change.
I don’t recall any great things they are doing. Maybe you could refresh my memory with some examples. Maybe you “hear” great things about what they are doing because it’s coming from a distributor trying to make a sale. I’d like to “read more in medical journals” about great things than “hear” them.
I’m not really a believer in essential oils treating real conditions. I’m pragmatic and study within the health care field. However, I’ve found some research I’d like to share, and certainly ask to be critiqued be others.
There’s been some research into compounds found within oregano oil that disrupt biofilms, and possibly serve as an alternative to antibiotic resistance. Granted much more research needs to be done, but it’s as close as I could find to some legitimate studies that may support actual scientific findings. Also included in the below links is the role biofilms play in urinary tract infections, particularly in women. Granted a connection can’t definitively be made that “if oregano oil compounds can disrupt biofilms then they can cure urinary tract infections (particularly those that appear antibiotic resistant).” Of course that cannot be proven without more research, but it does make one wonder if it could be connected. We need research that specifically can prove oregano oil effectively disrupts biofilms, and can do so with the biofilms in the GU system resulting in effective treatment of UTI’s. That research doesn’t exist.
I look forward to more and more medically and scientifically sound research into the “what” and “how” of essential oils. Cause if it works I’d like to know, likewise if it doesn’t! As far as corrupt companies and consumer practice (which I believe this article is more about) I can’t comment, but did want to post some interesting links :)
Lazy Man says
One of the best articles to read on this topic is What Do Scientific-Studies Show.
It covers a more broad topic of how scientific studies change all the time. For example, there are probably over 10,000 studies on vitamin D, and there’s very little consensus. You may have read recently that a new study suggested that eggs are, once again, bad for you. They were bad, then good, then bad.
So the most important part of this discussion is that essential oils aren’t studied nearly as much as vitamin D or eggs. I looked at the three studies very quickly (mostly the headlines) and didn’t see anything that was worthy of discussion. If we get to a point that there’s a significant number and a large number of people involved like with the vitamin D studies, maybe some kind of discussion can be had in the medical community that leads to a consensus that we, the consumers, can rely on.
In the meantime, it’s probably best that we leave the oregano to our spaghetti sauce (or anything else that you want to taste awesome).
Traci Barr says
So…….the history of our modern pharmacuetical industry is not snake oil sales? Plant based healing is quackery but petroleum by-product healing is the savior of mankind? Do you actually kbow what pharmacuetical medication is? It is a synthetic molecules that mock what is found in nature. You can’t patent anything that is found in nature, so why do the studies? Not a great business model to promote something you can’t capitalize on. If you think that the oils are so useless, then why are you spending any money to use them? It makes no difference which oil you buy if it’s just for the smell. Just buy a Glade plug in. Hospitals here in the North East have begun using essential oils with their patients. Hhhmmm… Such quacks. Not to mention that BLue Cross now gives an allowance for doTERRA’s essential oils on their insurance plans. So glad to have read your well-informed review of a product you have never tried. Sounds super-reliable. Everyone should listen to someone who has absolutely no research into the science behind what he is reviewing. Nice…
Lazy Man says
Yes, I think we can easily say that our modern pharmaceutical industry has a three phase clinical trial system with proper controls and blinding in place that scientifically show efficacy and safety.
There are about tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of studies done on vitamin D and I think that’s a natural product that can’t be patented. And what about all the other vitamins and minerals. I guess all those researchers just make mistake after mistake researching things that can’t be patented because they haven’t talked to you first.
The Glade plug-in might have been a better investment. However, it’s hard to say, as I’ve gotten a lot of smelling time over the oils I got.
I live in the northeast, which hospitals are buying doTerra oils and where can I verify this? Tell me more about this medical regimen.
I couldn’t find any primary source information of Blue Cross covering doTerra oils, but I did find this Reddit thread that seems to suggest that EMPLOYERS sponsor a wellness card that is separate from insurance. That reddit thread does have a link to the Blue Cross card, but I don’t see doTerra mentioned.
I’m not sure how you’d like me to try doTerra’s oils – you just said that I should get a Glade plug in instead.
I’ve never tried jumping off a bridge either. My advice about not jumping off a bridge could still be considered considering what we all know about how gravity works. Yes, I’ve done some research in this area. If you’ve read the article and all the comments you’d be informed about all that research.
It’s funny, but you don’t seem to suggest ANY point that I made in the article was incorrect. You just talked around all the points made instead of addressing any of the topics. Hmmm, doesn’t sound super-reliable.
Traci Barr said: “So…….the history of our modern pharmaceutical industry is not snake oil sales?”
Correct, it is not. Conversely, the history of MLM is heavily steeped in snakeoil sales. The vast majority of current MLM member companies in the Direct Selling Association’s roster are purveyors of snakeoil lotions and potions.
Traci Barr said: “Plant based healing is quackery but petroleum by-product healing is the savior of mankind?”
I have no idea what “petroleum by-product healing” is supposed to mean. If you think that what Pharma sells is nothing but petroleum byproducts, you’re just painfully ignorant about pharmaceuticals.
Traci Barr said: “Do you actually know what pharmacuetical (sic) medication is?”
Yes, but you clearly don’t; you can’t even spell it correctly. You think it equates to petroleum byproducts, which as I already pointed out, is a false and painfully dumb assertion.
Traci Barr said: “It is a synthetic molecules that mock what is found in nature. You can’t patent anything that is found in nature, so why do the studies?”
The word you were groping for is “mimic”, not “mock”. You’re also just plain wrong about patents. One can in fact patent things that are “found in nature”, and Pharma companies do patent and study such formulations. Premarin (pregnant mare’s urine) and omega-3 supplements (Lovaza) come immediately to mind among hundreds of examples.
Both are no less “natural” than DT’s essential oils. In fact, patenting “natural” products is so easy that even skeezy MLM companies like Monavie have done it.
Extracting alkaloids from plants (i.e., natural products”) has been a standard practice in drug development for eons. The big difference with respect to essential oils is that pharmaceuticals have been proven (through phase 3 clinical trials) to be effective for treating diseases, whereas essential oils, have not been proven to do anything except, at best, simply smell nice.
Traci Barr said: “Not a great business model to promote something you can’t capitalize on.”
Except everything you said in support of that argument was laughably wrong, so…next.
Traci Barr said: “Hospitals here in the North East have begun using essential oils with their patients.”
Liar! Typical MLM BS. You won’t even attempt to provide a scintilla of evidence to back it up because you know it’s a lie.
Traci Barr said: “Not to mention that BLue Cross now gives an allowance for doTERRA’s essential oils on their insurance plans.”
Another barefaced lie that you know you can’t back up.
Traci Barr said: “So glad to have read your well-informed review of a product you have never tried.”
Snark to boot? Everything you have stated is false. That anyone would ever buy anything from such an ignorant, strident, pernicious a-hole is beyond comprehension.
Traci Barr said: “Everyone should listen to someone who has absolutely no research into the science behind what he is reviewing. Nice…”
Speaking of which, your “research” equates to BS so nonsensical that it beggars the imagination. Let’s do a quick recap of your claims:
All pharmaceuticals are petroleum byproducts – FALSE
All pharmaceuticals are synthetic – FALSE
“Natural” products cannot be patented – FALSE
Hospitals in northeastern U.S. use essential oils on patients – FALSE
Blue Cross insurance plans specifically cover DoTerra essential oils – FALSE
You have proven once again why MLM hucksters are among the most detested people on earth.
Skeptical Skeptic says
I would say a lot of the products doTerra puts out work because you want them to work. It’s a placebo effect. Now, do I think all their products are complete garbage? No, not at all. But that being said a lot of what they claim their oils to help do nothing. I have a severe neurological)immune disease and I’m willing to try everything if it can help. I used the oils and they didn’t do much at all (and I really wanted to believe that they would help).
As for trials, you can’t just say “,here, spend your money on this product, and just trust me that it works.” That’s not how science and medicine works. Now, with that being said I do agree that there are plant/natural based things on this planet that should be better researched. Nature is amazing and can help in so many ways (someone brought up vitamin D, a natural thing, but they also brought up that it’s been well researched which is important). If the product you push is so good it would certainly stand up to FDA trials. In fact, it is so good that it doesn’t even need the trials so, obviously, it should fly through those trials incredibly quickly and without even the slightest hiccup. Though, since the company doesn’t want to go through the medical/science based route a very large part of me thinks that they (doTerra) knows it won’t get through said trials/testing.
But hey, some of those oils smell nice so they’ve got that going for them. Still very pricey for a nice scent that I can get elsewhere for cheaper, though.
But hey, if the medical community comes out and says that the product actually works, then I am willing to eat my hat and say I was wrong.
Lazy Man says
And we are still waiting for FDA medical trials on the 1000+ of MLM claims from dozens of MLMs documented by Truth in Advertising.
Skeptical Skeptic said: “Though, since the company doesn’t want to go through the medical/science based route a very large part of me thinks that they (doTerra) knows it won’t get through said trials/testing.”
Of course they know that their products won’t stand up to scientific scrutiny, just like every company in the history of MLM has known that their products are medicinally worthless. Their business model revolves around finding suckers and desperados, encouraging them to lie and violate federal regulations, and squeezing them for every last cent they can get out of them. They are selling fake medicine that they know full well is bogus. The predatory and fraudulent nature of these businesses is stomach turning.
Lynette Taylor says
I am a therapeutic massage therapist, as is my husband. We are each paying towards the $15,000 in student loan debt that we put out towards said education and licensure. I also am certified as an herbalist/aromatherpist. We have been IPCs for both DOTERRA and Young Living until we realized the scams they were perpetrating. However, while I am asking for something entirely different than the quality of their essential oils, my question DOES have to do with both companies. By the way, I also prefer the NOW brand and a few other much lower cost companies out there. Why pay A LOT MORE for something that there are better priced options for? And, while I will say that EOs are very beneficial, knowing how to use them PROPERLY is key to helping people use them. I have read MANY articles and talked to MANY people who were hurt by an overzealous IPC just trying to level up in the company. My friend lost her 5-year-old who had the stomach flu because Grandma gave him peppermint while she was babysitting him, and he is far from the only tragic loss of life I have seen from improperly administered EOs.
So, like I said, we paid a lot of money to get top quality educations and licenses for. DOTERRA and Young Living both teach massage techniques called Raindrop MASSAGE, Reflexology, and other types of massage. These cost roughly $150 per 4-hour class. The individuals who teach the classes are rarely licensed in massage therapy. I am angry because Utah is literally flooded with people charging to teach and/or give sessions without licenses as massage therapists, without having city, county, or state licenses, without paying taxes, etc., etc., etc. I have contacted the Department of Public Licenses (AKA DOPL) about how to shut this down. I am angry because I can turn individual people in, but there is nothing that can be done to require the two companies to regulate their programs. Are you aware of any agency who can help me hold these companies accountable?
Ginny Edmunds says
You better see what a third party testing agency has said about the different essential oils based on their testing. Watch out for fakes.
Clearly showing adulteration in those cheap essential oils. doTERRA passed with flying colors, And since I get 60% off my oils from doTERRA, I am happy as a clam.
Lazy Man says
I wouldn’t put any weight behind that article or that report for a few reasons. For one, the reviewers make it clear that they seem to only get paid when you buy from their review. They also say that they’ll reorder the list based on what might be the most profitable program. So it would be little surprise that DoTerra would be at the top of the list with the absurdly priced products likely to earn a big commission.
Second, the “research” comes from Aromatic Plant Research Center (APRC), which is pitched as an independent lab. However, the lab is based in Utah, the epicenter of MLM. In fact the APRC is in the same city as Young Living – Lehi, Utah. According to my Google Maps search, that’s 8 miles away from the where doTerra is based out of – Pleasant Grove, Utah. APRC admits that doTerra is their client – the only client they say they are allowed to disclose as of the time of the comment on that page.
On another comment on that page, someone asks which other 2 companies also passed their tests as “pure” and APRC response was:
“APRC Response: Hello Sarah. This was actually a project that doTERRA contracted us to do. As they contracted us to do this research, the results are the property of doTERRA, and due to client confidentiality, we are unable to disclose those results.”
I don’t think that’s independent by anyone’s definition.
You could go a little further and see that the CEO of APRC has a history with Xango, and MLM juice company out of Lehi Utah according to his LinkedIn page.
Any wise consumer would throw this review in the trash where it belongs.
Lazy Man said: “Any wise consumer would throw this review in the trash where it belongs.”
Clearly! Yet disturbingly, we have this DoTerra troll Ginny trying to deceive people into believing that this is somehow compelling evidence in DoTerra’s favor. It seems that these parasites can’t tell the truth about anything ever. The company should be pulverized into dust and scattered into the wind.
L Wong says
My problem is primarily with doTERRA and their business practices. I have purchased thousands of dollars’ worth of product just to get “LRP points” to be able to gain addition product. From a letter dated 8/8/19 they have restricted my ability to use those LRP points because they claim I am selling doTERRA items on eBay. These are items that I personally purchased for ye own use and no longer need. When you purchase a product and no longer need it and sell it to someone else PRIVATELY doTERRA considers that against their rules. In fact, they violate my rights as a consumer to sell whatever I please. There is NO specific rule against my selling to private parties. However, when people purchase oils and VENMO or PAYPAL the money, that in itself is an online purchase. eBay as well as Amazon sell thousands of doTERRA products online yet they still continue to sell. The problem I have is that they ban me from my account therefore I am not able to purchase anything yet they use my credit card for a recently LRP order. They banned me then turned around and used my credit card which is unauthorized. How is that legal!? That Multi Leveled Marketing thing is a scam to get you to buy hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of oils then turns around and tells you, you cannot sell what you don’t use. I am a US citizen with rights of free speech and the ability to sell items I purchase myself yet doTERRA will cut you off and hold your money hostage. Where is that legal to do. I have complained to the BBB and am in the process of going to the Utah Attorney General for help. I officially resign as their “Wellness Advocate” and want others to know (like it says in this thread) you don’t have to pay 5x times the amount for oils you can buy at other places. This is fraudulent and gouging what doTERRA is doing. Don’t be fooled and don’t let them hold your money and credit card hostage
Marjorie Scott says
I got 3rd degree mouth burns from ingesting oils, as recommended by DoTERRA. Them my appendix ruptured and it was noted as being excessively oily. Will never use again.
Lazy Man says
I’m so sorry for you. I wouldn’t ingest essential oils. I don’t think I’ve heard of them being advocated by any legitimate medical doctor, which is probably a great sign to take a pass.
You may recall that I dug into Flavin’s background in 2018. It wasn’t pretty, to say the least.