There are a lot of valid (and invalid) comments here and all I can testify to is my personal experience. I first want to mention the supposed email from doTERRA at the top of this post- if you can take out the email address and other “protected” information, you can easily take out the word “don’t” or add some other statements to imply that doTERRA sent that email to you. Nobody here really knows if it really came that way so it really isn’t proof, but is an interesting start to the conversation. Second, each representative is responsible for their providing accurate information with integrity. I am sorry for those who were lied to or had overeager consultants making wrong claims because they didn’t research properly or just lied to make a sale. However, I have run into a few car salesmen that lied through their teeth in order to sell me a car. It doesn’t mean I walk or ride a bike just because of that one experience. Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater!
A Clinical Aromatherapist IS a healthcare practitioner. They are trained in chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal). Taking them internally can have serious health effects if you don’t know what you are doing. Other countries have a culture of using EOs and therefore know how to use them appropriately and safely. We do not have that here. I’ve known several people who have listened to their Young Living or doTerra Reps and taken EOs internally and ended up with serious health problems.
First, their bottles didn’t come with the little plastic dripper caps that cover the mouth of the bottle (aka. orifice reducer), they just had a simple screw cap. Without the orifice reducers you either have to pour the oil out and make a mess or dip an eye dropper into the oil which can potentially contaminate the product if you’re not careful. Plus if oil gets into the little rubber bulb of the eye dropper it can get stuck in there and go bad, further contaminating the oil.
I want to thank you for writing this piece. As a newbie to oils, I appreciate the time, effort, and education. While for some time, I knew there were things to be gained from EOs, the MLM companies pushing them just didn’t sit right with me. They were expensive and only get cheaper once you become a distributor. Sounds kind of like a pyramid scheme to me.
“Therapeutic grade” is simply a marketing claim with no real independent meaning or value, and no credible third-party standards. However, the quality standards for authentication of essential oils have been long established by authoritative references. Our quality control team tests essential oils to the specifications published in The Essential Oils by Ernest Guenther, as well as Fenaroli's Handbook of Flavor Ingredients by George A. Burdock. These are the same standards used by major European distillers that are the primary suppliers of these oils to our industry.
In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have been used throughout history in many cultures for their medicinal and therapeutic benefits. Modern scientific study and trends towards more holistic approaches to wellness are driving a revival and new discovery of essential oil health applications.
I was diagnosed with ESOPHAGITiS!!! do you know what that is!? ULCERS all up and down your esophagus! After YEARS of prilosec and about 9 other pills prescribed by doctors, I was so sick of taking pills I was desparate enough to try ANYTHING. THANK GOD I TRIED YOUNG LIVING. I drink their oils internally (daily) along with their Ningxia Red and my chronic gut problems for YEARS are improving daily. Even my husband and children are now using this stuff due to the immediate difference they saw in me after I threw the prescribed meds away and replaced them with this stuff. Never swallowed something that harmed me yet and I already HAD the holes to start with and they are getting better and better, yet ZERO prescribed meds. I used to have chronic diahreea, chrnoic nausea, IBS and more. I was also diagnosed with leaky gut. ALL OF THESE PROBLEMS ARE GOING AWAY after my doctor (who is a TOP gastro specialist at the University of Michigan ha!) laughed at me when I told him I was giving up the prilosec and all the rest for distilled plant material. He told me I would be back on the meds in two weeks. That was MORE THAN A YEAR AGO AND I HAVE NEVER HAD TO GO FOR A RETURN VISIT WITH HIM SINCE. Burns your insides, what are you thinking???? Clearly you have never used Young Living. If you did, you would remove your ridiculous post.

I’m familiar with EO at one time I used YL the only problem with that is they were to expensive in my opinion. So I quit for awhile. I deal on a daily basis with fibromylgia,osteoarthritis and anxiety. Due to all this my doctor took me off of a sleeping pill said I was sleeping to much in the day plus I went to the library for a free class about sleeping patterns and I was told to get off the OTC sleeping meds. Wow want to talk about a withdraw plus the lack of sleep I was getting. I was like an owl still sleeping in the day up at night. I had to do something. My sister told me about piping rock that’s where she’d been getting her essential oils. So I got my Lavender and Bergamont and at reasonable prices.Their great I sleep well now.
~ I still worry a little about the internal and undiluted use of the oils but due to their purity I am less worried and have not seen or heard about any adverse events associated with these uses. doTERRA does encourage dilution for specific oils such as Wintergreen and Oregano and using the oils on the bottom of the feet, especially for children and the elderly or frail, since the skin is tougher there. Also, many of the people with doTERRA are very experienced using essential oils and because of this experience can say with a good deal of confidence that the oils are not dangerous to any particular group of people, including pregnant women and their babies. They also support valid scientific research on essential oils. I have checked their information with my professional aromatherapy texts and they are accurate.
Yes, of the 3 brands I am most comfortable using for therapeutic purposes the first is doTerra. Its testing exceeds everything else I’ve come across protecting against not just fillers and chemical extraction, but also against oxidation for potency levels. When air hits the oils for a period of time they oxidize slowly and if that happens they may be less quick and effective than if they had not had that time to oxidize. No other company tests the same number of times for this level of potency. I also love that the testing is done by a third party rather than in house testing.
I realize that it’s been a while since you posted this question, but hope this information helps anyway. My poor husband had the same problem with leg cramps. Took supplements for potassium and ate bananas and oranges like crazy. No difference. Heard then that the deficiency that causes these cramps is more likely related to magnesium, so he started taking a magnesium supplement. Still no difference.
PLEASE READ THESE ONLINE STORE TERMS AND CONDITIONS VERY CAREFULLY. THIS IS A LEGAL AGREEMENT (“AGREEMENT”) BETWEEN YOU AND ANCIENT BRANDS, LLC D/B/A ANCIENT NUTRITION (“COMPANY”). BY CLICKING ON THE “I ACCEPT” BUTTON AND COMPLETING YOUR ORDER OF ANCIENT NUTRITION, DR. AXE OR ANY OTHER PRODUCT OFFERED FOR SALE ON THE BELOW WEB SITE(S) (COLLECTIVELY, THE “PRODUCTS”), YOU ARE AGREEING TO BE BOUND BY, AND ARE BECOMING A PARTY TO, THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, DO NOT CLICK ON THE “I ACCEPT” BUTTON AND ABANDON YOUR PURCHASE OF PRODUCTS.
First, their bottles didn’t come with the little plastic dripper caps that cover the mouth of the bottle (aka. orifice reducer), they just had a simple screw cap. Without the orifice reducers you either have to pour the oil out and make a mess or dip an eye dropper into the oil which can potentially contaminate the product if you’re not careful. Plus if oil gets into the little rubber bulb of the eye dropper it can get stuck in there and go bad, further contaminating the oil.

The good news is that the guessing work will be gone in the next few years. Gary Young, founder of Young Living has been asked by the FDA to set up a standards for the United States. So it will not matter what the customer service or distributors say as we will be able to refer to the FDA classify the oil. This will make the true pure oils to stand up and be noticed but also for safety for our health to take the purest of the pure oils for our medicines!


I see a lot of comments on here that advise unsafe practices on ingesting essential oils and using them undiluted. Essential oils should never be ingested unless under the care of a doctor or naturopath. In France, only a doctor can prescribe injestion and in Britain they don’t advise it at all. There are many cases of individuals being harmed by this practice. Essential oils are highly concentrated and do not need to be ingested in order to be effective. Also, essential oils should not be used on children, or anyone else, undiluted. Peppermint oil, in particular, has been shown to slow breathing in infants and shouldn’t be used on or diffused around them. I suggest that anyone using essential oils educate themselves on their effectiveness and dangers. There are many great resources, including Dr. Tisserand’s book “Essential Oil Safety”. Education should go beyond that of what a particular company tells you or trains you to do.


Plant Therapy’s labels are a bit scarce in their information. They display the proper Latin names and the USDA Organic logo, but that’s it. Instead of including the country of origin and other important notes — which can be found on the website — they have a long description of what the oils could be used for and how to use it, followed by an FDA disclaimer so they won’t get in trouble.

You’ll find essential oils offered everywhere from gifts shops to large retailers, and, of course, online. You may want to start your search for essential oils with reputable companies such as DoTERRA, Young Living Essential Oils, Ancient Apothecary, Living Libations and Edens Garden. Keep in mind, essential oils break down over time, so check your expiration dates; you’ll want one that’s two to three years out from the time of purchase. Make sure you avoid these essential oil safety mistakes.


Thank you for the information you shared, it is great. Although, I am wondering why the company I am going through says you can consume their oils internally, and use it on your body as it is. Furthermore, I am informed that this company sells the purest form of oil out there. I found oils on Puritan’s Pride, and they say the oils there are 100 per cent pure. I certainly love their prices. I will be checking out the list you have above. I am new to this, so I need as much information as possible, and if you can help me with the above concerns, I will be so grateful. Thank you in advance.
NOW Foods runs an in-house full facility laboratory and utilizes third party testing only when necessary. They do put their oils through Gas Chromatography (GC) testing and Infrared Spectometry. A selection of their assortment are USDA certified organic essential oils, and their oils are natural and 100% pure. One jasmine blend is clearly labeled as synthetic, but it is the only one in their assortment and the reason is explained on NOW’s essential oils FAQ page here, basically justifying the synthetic scent due to the very high price of pure jasmine oil.
During distillation the plant material is placed upon a grid inside the still. Once inside, the still is sealed, and, depending upon the above methods, steam or water/steam slowly breaks through the plant material to remove its volatile constituents. These volatile constituents rise upward through a connecting pipe that leads them into a condenser. The condenser cools the rising vapor back into liquid form. The liquid is then collected in a vehicle below the condenser. Since water and essential oil do not mix, the essential oil will be found on the surface of the water where it is siphoned off. Occasionally an essential oil is heavier than water and is found on the bottom rather than the top, such as with clove essential oil.
PLEASE READ THESE ONLINE STORE TERMS AND CONDITIONS VERY CAREFULLY. THIS IS A LEGAL AGREEMENT (“AGREEMENT”) BETWEEN YOU AND ANCIENT BRANDS, LLC D/B/A ANCIENT NUTRITION (“COMPANY”). BY CLICKING ON THE “I ACCEPT” BUTTON AND COMPLETING YOUR ORDER OF ANCIENT NUTRITION, DR. AXE OR ANY OTHER PRODUCT OFFERED FOR SALE ON THE BELOW WEB SITE(S) (COLLECTIVELY, THE “PRODUCTS”), YOU ARE AGREEING TO BE BOUND BY, AND ARE BECOMING A PARTY TO, THIS AGREEMENT. IF YOU DO NOT AGREE TO THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, DO NOT CLICK ON THE “I ACCEPT” BUTTON AND ABANDON YOUR PURCHASE OF PRODUCTS.
The main reason I will not buy essential oils from any of the MLM companies is because they lead their customers to believe that when they say their product is “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade”, that means something of value in the essential oil and aromatherapy world. There were three shocking things that I learned to lead me to steer clear of these
To find a therapeutic grade essential oil you will need to know its latin name and find it back on the bottle. The bottle also needs to have the name and address of the aupplier and a batch number. It is really not advised to use less than therapeutic grade in any skin, beauty or healthcare products as you are so much more likely to get adverse effects.
After the solvent extraction process has been completed, the resulting absolute will have an extremely low concentration of solvent residue, approximately 5 to 10ppm (parts per million). The current European Union standards are for less than 10 parts per million solvent residues in a finished absolute.7 However, even with such a potentially small residue (less than .0001%), many aromatherapists disagree with the use of absolutes for individuals with a compromised immune system due to the potential effect of the residual pesticide.

…moms, well educated and seemingly rational moms, will believe anything. This isn’t a big deal if we are talking about sugar pills trying to cure crying that has no cause. However, I recently attended a dōTERRA “talk” (aka pressure to buy) about how essential oils can cure everything and anything, including one woman’s mother’s skin cancer. I didn’t want to offend this mom by calling her a quack, so I walked away spending 60 bucks on oils to be polite (this was the least amount I could spend and I used these oils to make my home smell nice, even though they were intended to solve all sorts of skin and digestive problems. I didn’t want to use them without knowing if they actually worked).
A reputable company will test the oil to meet the standard of the plant species. “Ideally, purchase your oil from a company or manufacturer who performs gas chromatography and mass spectrometry testing,” says Dr. Axe. This kind of testing measures the mass within the oil samples and identifies the compounds. Read the company’s website or call the customer service line to find out about its testing before you purchase the essentials oils.

I do have one BIG complaint about do-terra and it has nothing to do with the quality of their oils. They tell their young impressionable (and unlearned) people that their oils are so pure that they can be mixed with food, beverages, or put in capsules for anti-biotic use. Lets get two things straight here, “Antibiotic properties” are not the same as an “anti-biotic” and if you actually did ingest enough EO to actually do what they profess they can do, it would probably kill you as it would be so toxic.
Hi, danelle. I have a daughter name danielle, but anyway, I’m marilyn. I love your post. I am a EO user for 3 yrs now. Learning more and more about this world of EO’s and loving them. I too, suffer now with degenerative problems and excruciating pain at time. My question, did u have a daily routine and what oils were u using. I’m trying to get away from conventional meds unless extreme situations. EO’s are absolutely amazing! Thank you.
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You see with the rise in the popularity and increasing understanding of the effectiveness of the use of essential oils in aromatherapy, several large  direct and multi-level marketing (MLM) companies have moved into the field.  As with any company of this type, they have a very real need to differentiate themselves one from others in the field as well as from traditional businesses.
Among the crunchy set, essential oils have a reputation as catch-all solutions to major health problems. Have a fever? Rub peppermint oil on your feet. Suffering from shoddy memory? Put some rosemary oil in a diffuser. It doesn’t help that woo-woo bloggers are running around the internet touting the glory of essential oils in the same breath as some pretty paranoid fantasies ("This is what Big Pharma doesn’t want you to know!!!111").

Hi Robert – I know I’ve read that more than a few times in some of the main stream aromatherapy books and think I was told that in my aromatherapy classes – about the 2% thing. So, it is a perception that I myself also have and have, therefore, spent long hours trying to determine if my sources are selling me what they say they are and who my sources should be – long hours and dollars spent to attend conferences to rub elbows with those who should know. However, at that time in 2006, organic essential oils were not readily or at all available. I have also read and have been told by those who should know, that just because an oil is certified organic, there is still no guarantee that said essential oil is not adulterated or for that matter really organic. The argument that I was given was that no one stays around to make sure that the material actually placed into the still was the same that was grown in the organic soil. We live in a world of distrust and for good reason as we look around at the greed in high places. I know this doesn’t address your issues about your article but was and always will be interested in any discussion concerning what constitutes an unadulterated oil. That being said, I would think there are certain things to consider when purchasing an oil and the chances it may or may not be adulterated. Some oils are naturally inexpensive and there would be nothing gained by adulterating them. If you look at how many acres of a particular oil are said to have been grown for a particular year and for that same year there was a great more essential oil sold than could have been produced – then you know you probably have an issue. I know that you know far more about this issue than I do, but I would like to see more discussion concerning what things would throw up a red flag when purchasing an oil from a particular supplier. The internet is now so absolutely full of people selling essential oils and copying and pasting the same old information that it is a bit overwhelming. My concern is the same as other clinical aromatherapists and that is that people will try a particular oil, find that it doesn’t work because it is either adulterated or the person selling the oil really doesn’t have a clue which oil or chemotype should be used for a particular purpose, so the client then assumes that any and all claims made by the aromatherapy industry are false or vastly overstated. This is true in research studies that have been done as well. Is there an answer? I would like to see an article by someone as knowledgeable as yourself that gives you a list of possible red flags and things to consider when looking for suppliers, particularly bulk suppliers.


“Many aromatherapists have unfortunately become unwitting victims of a marketing ploy by essential oil traders that advertise ‘approved’ essential oils of ‘therapeutic grade. Let us be quite clear on this – there is no such thing as a ‘therapeutic grade essential oil, and no quality standards for the authentication of essential oils specifically exist in aromatherapy.”

The Cedarwood Essential Oil is widely used in commercial soaps, cosmetics, perfumes, and especially in men's colognes. Atlas Cederwood is the most popular variety and has a woody, sweet, scent that is very sharp. The Cedarwood (Chinese) Essential Oil generally has a lower cedrol content than the Atlas, hence it is used more for its fragrance. Also, try our other varieties: Himalayan, Texas, Virginian.

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