One More Time: There Are No FDA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade Essential Oils, Part I
I thought we had cleared up this misconception years ago, however, it seems there are a number of essential oil purveyors claiming to carry essential oils that are specifically certified as therapeutic grade by the FDA and show this seal below as proof. You can visit to msinsight.dk to have chat with better therapist. Don’t be fooled. They are not telling the truth. For non-surgical methods of pain management, only visit trusted regenerative medicine clinics like QC Kinetix.
Sometimes, we need someone to tell us which is the best, for healthy tips, feel free to read more at this website.
This last trademark has been registered (as a word mark) by DoTERRA Holdings, LLC, 370 W. Center Street, Orem, UT 84057. Filed on March 4, 2009, published for opposition on July 1, 2009 and official registration granted on October 6, 2009. This registration has the disclaimer, “No claim is made to the exclusive right to use ‘certified pure therapeutic grade’ apart from the mark as shown.
According to an article by crb direct, a third trademark has been registered (as a word mark) CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade also by DoTERRA Holdings, LLC, 370 W. Center Street, Orem, UT 84057. Filed on March 4, 2009, published for opposition on July 14, 2009 and official registration granted on September 29, 2009. This registration also has the disclaimer, “No claim is made to the exclusive right to use ‘certified pure therapeutic grade’ apart from the mark as shown”. There is a long list of products shown to be associated with this word mark.
A second trademark has been registered (as a word mark) CPTG also by DoTERRA Holdings, LLC, 370 W. Center Street, Orem, UT 84057. Filed on March 31, 2008, published for opposition on June 10, 2008 and official registration granted on May 9, 2009.
A first trademark has been registered (as a word mark) CPTG also by DoTERRA Holdings, LLC, 1145 South 800 East, Ste. 134, Orem, UT 84057. Filed on March 31, 2008, published for opposition on June 10, 2008 and official registration granted on May 9, 2009. Under the trademark registration, they show application to the following products: Essential oils; Essential oils for household use; Essential oils for personal use; Lavender oil; olive oil; Massage oil; Massage oils; Natural essential oils; Aromatherapy oils; Bath oils; Body oils; Cosmetic oils; Cosmetic oils for the epidermis; Essential oils for flavoring beverages; Essential oils for food flavorings; Essential oils for use in manufacturing of gelcaps and other dietary supplements like lumaslim for weight loss; Essential oils for use in the manufacture of scented products; Oils for cleaning purposes; Oils for toiletry purposes; Skin and body topical lotions, creams and oils for cosmetic use; Food flavorings prepared from essential oils; Oils for perfumes and scents; Peppermint oil; Perfume oils; Tanning oils.
DoTERRA, LLC is yet another multi-level marketing natural products company based in Utah who has applied through the U.S. Patent Office to “own” (exclusive use) a registered word mark. 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. However, DoTERRA is purposefully misinforming potential customers and down liners by email by claiming FDA approval and that the FDA has provided them with the label that they, themselves registered and own. The FDA does NOT certify the quality of essential oils by therapeutic grade and they do not provide a certifying label as claimed. Following is an email from DoTERRA sent to a potential customer:
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: d?TERRA Member Service <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 5:01 PM
To: Recipient Name and Email Removed for Privacy
Dear Recipient Name Removed for Privacy,
We apologize if one of our consultants has mislead you in anyway (sic). All of our oils are FDA approved as being Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG). DoTERRA’s, CPTG essential oils are 100% pure natural aromatic compounds carefully extracted from plants. They do not contain fillers or artificial ingredients that would dilute their active qualities and are free of contaminants such as pesticides or other chemical residues. All of our products are taken through a series of tests including AFNOR and ISO standards for purity, and all of our manufactures must maintain a GMP certification. Therefore, we are passing government regulations. The FDA has provided us with the label of CPTG. We hope we have resolved your concern.
doTERRA International, LLC
370 West Center Street
Orem, Ut 84057
Clearly this company is misleading people by claiming that they have a designation and approval provided to them by the FDA that in my expert opinion simply does not exist. Stay tuned for part II of this series which will focus on FDA regulations that actually apply to essential oils and the part III will provide you with questions to ask a supplier that will ascertain their knowledge of essential oils and expertise in the industry.
We at Samara Botane and many others in the essential oil trade have are dismayed about the misrepresentation of facts surrounding essential oils that occurs here in the United States, especially within the multi-level marketing industry. We encourage people to diligently research any essential oil company before choosing them as a supplier.
Samara Botane/Nature Intelligence
Please feel free to repost this entire message in its entirety, unedited, on your blog as well as social media outlets and newsgroups.
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My name is Mark Wolfert. I am General Counsel for d?TERRA. I appreciate this opportunity to clarify some misunderstandings.
d?TERRA does not claim that the FDA, AFNOR or ISO has certified, registered or somehow approved its essential oils. Although AFNOR and the ISO have monograph standards for certain plant extracts in different industries, it is my understanding that they do not have standards for grades of essential oils. In fact, there are no current regulatory standards for the use of the descriptor “therapeutic grade” in the industry. Anyone can use the term to describe their essential oils regardless of their purity or potency.
“CPTG®” and “CPTG – Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®” are terms that d?TERRA has trademarked. As such, the words shown together are registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), meaning the words in that phrase are registered, not the oils. Another example is Visa Card’s registered trademark: “Bring Home the Gold.” No one should mistake d?TERRA’s registered intellectual property right as somehow a registration of the essential oils.
As set forth in instructional materials for d?TERRA’s distributor’s:
“d?TERRA’s CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade® quality standard is more rigorous, yet very different in nature and function than the ISO monographs for aromatic extracts. This statement, however, should not be interpreted that AFNOR or the ISO has a standard for “therapeutic grade” essential oils or that any essential oil product has AFNOR or ISO certification or approval. They do not certify brands nor do they grade essential oils as therapeutic, grade-A, premium, etc. The ISO monographs for essential oils are not comparable nor serve the same quality control function as the d?TERRA CPTG standard.”
….continuing with d?TERRA’s official statement:
“Please do not promulgate any claims involving AFNOR and ISO standards for essential oil quality grades–there are none. And please take the opportunity to educate your friends and customers about AFNOR and ISO when you are asked the question if d?TERRA oils meet their standards for quality grades.”
“The absence of regulatory standards regarding the use of the terms ‘essential oil’ and ‘therapeutic grade’ are the very reason for developing a higher standard of quality control we have branded CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. Although there are good essential oils available to consumers, many products claiming to be essential oils often are not pure aromatic extracts and often contain fillers and non-aromatic compounds. The d?TERRA name and CPTG registered trademark represent our guarantee of 100% pure essential oil extracts and accurate product labeling.”
….the end of the statement says:
“Part of our mission at d?TERRA is to be a leader and educator in the essential oil industry. We look forward to working with other responsible industry leaders and standard setting bodies to establish high standards for products labeled as pure essential oils. In the mean time, the d?TERRA name and CPTG registered trademark will continue to reflect our unyielding effort to provide you with the safest, purest, and most potent essential oil products available to consumers today.”
I hope this helps to clarify doTERRA’s official position on the matter. In summary, d?TERRA has not and does not claim any certification, registration or approval of its essential oils by the FDA, AFNOR, ISO, or any other regulatory body. We do believe that the CTPG standard supports d?TERRA’s effort to bring to market only the most pure essential oils.
Mark A. Wolfert
Mr. Wolfert, perhaps we need to clarify proper accuracy of the English language. “All of our oils are FDA approved as being Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade (CPTG).”, quoting from the email sent directly from firstname.lastname@example.org, clearly refutes your attempt to ascertain that DoTerra is NOT making false claims. If the company is truly remiss and wants to clarify, they should put a disclaimer and apology on their website. They should stop using the misleading certification standard altogether if they wish to regain credibility. Anytime the word “certified” is used, it is assumed that the proclaimed certification comes from a government agency (i.e., FDA) or officially recognized independent body. It is absurd to think that a company can certify themselves, although we see this absurdity, generally amongst multi-level marketing companies especially those dealing in essential oils. To use the word “certified” in DoTerra’s registered mark is a branding of their oils which appears to convey intentionally misleading information about certification processes. You state that DoTerra also does not claim AFNOR or ISO certification. Most in the essential oil trade regard AFNOR (Association French Normalization Organization Regulation) standards regarding essential oils as relatively useless and applying to oils produced in France. Additionally, there is no such thing as AFNOR essential oil certification. ISO (International Standards Organization) also does not certify, but has an essential oil technical committee (TC 54) who will be meeting in China this year to continue their work of, “development of specific monographs for quality standardization of every essential oil; standardization of analytical methods to control essential oils quality; requirements for transport, labelling and marking; nomenclature, botanical names, etc., and revision work.” You will see that acting as a certification body is also not in their purview. Neither organization uses the term “therapeutic” in their monographs or standards for essential oils.
Additionally, Dr. David K. Hill, D.C., prominently featured on the DoTerra website, and who is identified as “a pioneering expert and dynamic leader in the field of integrative medicine with international acknowledgements (sic). His lecture, research and practice, incorporate Eastern and Western medical practices with emphasis on the use of essential oils. Dr. Hill has authored and published a number of very successful books, pamphlets and brochures and is a popular guest for radio and television. He maintains a high level profile in his field of expertise and is routinely invited to teach and work with other experts in academia, research and medical disciplines.” Strange, if you Google Dr. David K. Hill, D.C. Utah, you won’t find academic articles or information about his work with other experts and international lectures. In fact, what is most prominent is that he is named in a legal complaint in the District Court of Utah in 2005 when Dr. Hill was the managing director of the Young Life Clinic. This lawsuit was settled for an undisclosed sum. At the time of filing, Young moved his clinic to Ecuador, the assumption being to avoid prosecution. You can see this document at http://www.casewatch.org/mal/younglife.shtml.
DoTerra states that it is aiming to be “a leader in the essential oil industry . . . looking forward to working with other responsible industry leaders and standard setting bodies to establish high standards for products labeled as pure essential oils.” There are long established entities working towards publishing accurate monographs and identifying compositional standards that would apply to essential oils. What DoTerra should be more concerned with are recommendations of “direct” (which is presumed to be undiluted) skin application and “internal” use of essential oils that might not have G.R.A.S. designation. If they were spending more time on safe usage and less on misleading certification standards, they would stand a better chance of working with “responsible” industry leaders.
Thanks for stopping by, Mr. Wolfert, it has been my pleasure to respond.
Thank you, Marcia!!! A friend asked me just this morning about the “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” oils she had seen, and my first question was “Certified by whom?” Mr. Wolfert may be correct in saying that the phrase is trademarked, and not to be interpreted that the OILS are certified by anyone, but the so-called “average user” is not going to know that. They are going to assume, wrongfully, that SOME official body has certified that DoTerra has the world’s most perfect oils. Somewhere on TV I saw the phrase “puffery”… Shame on any organization who has to stoop to such deliberately misleading marketing tactics to sell their product. Obviously the truth isn’t enough, some folks have to embellish and mislead.
The sad thing is, there are people who will fall for the puffery.
Well said, Marcia. I sell essential oils and I am so tired of people with their “therapeutic grade” and purity labels when they have absolutely no evidence of a sort. Recently, I was on Facebook where a gentleman leveled that he buys from only one source because all the essential oils in stores are adultrated. Hate to say this, but many people don’t bother checking things out. They hear the right lingo and they put doctors and other so-called professionals. Having had so many people I know try to suck me into one MLM scheme or another, I know well their basic set up. They patent these phrases and whatnot, but actually, the emphasis is on bringing people in, not quality. Anyone can slap a patented label on an oil, but I sincerely doubt that they’ve done any kind of real research into the oils they sell. Sounds like they’re trying to elbow in on Young Living territory. Most people who set up MLMs are about money, they amble from one idea to the next. The get a few know-it-alls to back them up, if they’re that lucky, and they sucker people in with making money. I have a friend suckered into this Juice Plus stuff and the fluff she spouts about it. Anything to sell a product. When you research most of their claims they’re chocked full of misstatements, fabrications and outright lies. They haven’t done nearly the amount of research they claimed to have, they just put a lot of money into making the videos and charts. I’m sick of it all.
Some are even showing that DoTERRA is an off shoot of Young Living essential oils. And we all know how bad they are. I also want to thank you Marcia for putting this info out there. It is much needed.
I love the essential oils that I have been using. Yes, I bought them from doTerra, and have really liked them. The gal I got them from didn’t once claim FDA approval – just a high quality grade that they certify internally
You state: “We encourage people to diligently research any essential oil company before choosing them as a supplier”
I’m interested in knowing more about that. When you are looking at a supplier, what do you look for? Do you have a checklist that you apply when evaluating the supplier you want to use? I would be interested to learn that so I can make informed decisions of my own.
I’m surprised at how judgemental people get over MLMs, they are just people doing business like anyone else. They aren’t really any different then your insurance agents or mortgage brokers – all of which get paid for the value they offer in products and services, and by building teams.
Anyway, understanding your process for evaluating an essential oil provider would be great to know.
Thanks for your comments. The claims were on the DoTerra company website, as stated above, whether your distributor made such claims to you herself. It is still a misleading statement by the company itself, as I said and others commenting on this blog post. The criticism is not aimed at mlm’s specifically, however, when mlm companies teach their distributors erroneous information, it travels down the chain and is harder to correct later on. I believe all people should independently investigate for themselves, not depend on one company or teacher. The fact that so much misinformation abounds is irritating to those who have formally studied aromatherapy, using chemistry and science, not anecdotal or religious information, which most often is subjective and not based in fact. My next blog post will focus on how to evaluate a supplier of essential oils. Watch for it.
Could you please point me in the direction of the blog post regarding how to evaluate a supplier of essential oils (as mentioned in the 8/21/10 blog).
P.S. What brand of essential oils do you use?
I personally have used essential oils as a massage therapist for over 22 years, and have used oils from many companies… Young Living, Aura Cacia, organic, no-name oils that I’ve purchased from various websites, and most recently Doterra. It doesn’t matter if a company is an MLM, mom and pop, corporation or anything else for that matter….what matters is whether or not their product is GOOD!
Marcia, I don’t know if you’ve ever used Doterra’s oils before, but as an experienced user I can tell you FIRST HAND that their products are awesome. There will always be people who say negative things about companies for whatever reason, but it’s important to experience things for yourself.
I have no intention to sell these oils and have nothing to gain by this comment. I am only speaking from my personal experience, and I happen to love their oils. It’s all my clients want me to use anymore! I think that pretty much speaks for itself.
As for Doterra being an “off shoot” of Young Living, that statement is quite misleading. I was troubled by that when I read it and so I called my doterra consultant who told me that some of the owners were in fact with Young Living, but chose to leave YoungLiving for “ethical” reasons….maybe that lawsuit you pointed out was part of that reason!!! And as for whether or not someone is truly an “expert” or not doesn’t necessarily mean that they are blasted all over the internet. My local homeopath IS VERY WELL KNOWN but he does not have a computer, or a website, or an email address. Yet his practice is booming through word-of-mouth and people seek him from all over the globe. I have read several books by Dr. Hill and have found him to be very informative, and his expertise is evident in his writings.
Before we are so quick to judge, I think it would be good to have ALL the facts! You know what they say, a fool judges a matter before hearing BOTH SIDES!
Finally, if the company’s products are sold through independent sales people, then there will always be some kind of misinformation. Maybe the person who replied to your email was new. People make mistakes! We are human! We need to give people a little more room for human error and not be so quick to judge. Not sure why you are so against this company, or their products., You should really try them, the proof is in the pudding!
massage therapist, Ypsilanti, MI
P.S. A friend of mine shared some of your products with me as a gift…they are lovely, and I especially love the Cleane herbal bath. I must say that I am a bit disappointed in your approach to bashing other companies…
Thank You for your work to clear the air. How is one to decide on an essential oil company except to go by research, word of mouth and/or gut feeling? Especially when one company tries to pull the wool over your eyes. Who knew do terra and young living were one in the same.
Great article. I try telling this to people and they don’t believe me. They swear doTerra is at the top of the industry as far as quality goes.
Re: MLM, the business model isn’t the problem. It’s the parent company and their ethics. There are very ethical MLM companies selling all kinds of products that educate their people well and encourage their people to educate themselves. Unfortunately, there are also a lot of MLM companies that give the whole industry a bad name. All MLM really is, is selling directly to the customers. If the parent company is ethical it will expect it’s representatives to be ethical as well.
If you have a bad retail experience you don’t throw out the whole industry. The same applies to direct sales. There are just as many unethical companies in the retail industry. So let’s put the blame where it goes…to the parent company, not the business model.
I am interested in AJ’s question. I became interested in essential oils and tried a less expensive brand off the internet and bought a book on them. In seems to be a very difficult thing to learn the truth about and quite complicated. I’m aiming for simplicity in my life. I need it.
I know 2 people who are part of the MLM’s, one YL and one DoTERRA. Through their websites I have learned of all this controversy and need to research. You did not answer AJ’s question. How much research is needed to feel qualified to use essential oils effectively and safely and get the most for your money. Should I take a course on them or are there on-line tutorials that are honest?
I apologize for not responding to the new comments on this post from 2009 and hadn’t realized they had been submitted. Obviously this subject has come up again and people are searching the net looking for answers. Tim, I’ve been working on that blog post; it’s languishing as other priorities have pushed it further down the to-do pile. Tammy, you are right that it is complicated and not an easy task to simplify for the person who has not studied . . . both aromatherapy and the aspects surrounding the essential oil trade. I will get it closer to the top of the list now that I see how desirable this information might be to many of you. Karen, I’m glad you enjoyed our products. My intent is not to “bash” any one company, but I will continue to interject facts as I know them that might be helpful to those I believe are being misled. Danika, you make a very good point that the MLM business model is not necessarily the culprit itself when it comes to unethical business practices. I happen to believe it isn’t the best business model, but that’s another discussion . . . thanks to all of you for taking the time to share your thoughts.
Marcia, I have enjoyed the comments on this site. I would also like to state that I have been doing research on the subject of Doterra’s purity. I have found that they don’t state that their oils are certified therapuetic by the FDA. They state they are certified pure, that is why the C&P is highlighted. Each and every batch is tested and certified pure by 2 independent labs. I also have sampled many other “pure essential oils” and found them all to be more oily and less impactful than doterra’s oils. My concern is that since essential oils are transdermal and most “pure essential oils” on the market today are in reality impure. People all over the world are being inadvertantly poisoned by the toxins in those oils. Doterra appears to have taken every effort to be transparent in their business practices and their oils are the most potent that I have experienced. I have not found that Doterra is trying to hide anything or deceive anyone. I am curious that if you feel so strongly the other way, why don’t you set up a meeting to talk to the owners of Doterra and compare their oils. Thank you again for providing this blog.
well my encounter with a doterra sales rep was very interesting, and she informed me (me being qualified and acredited clinical aromatherapist) that doterra were the purest essential oils on the world and they are so pure you dont have to use as much as other companies essential oils and that they are pure theraputic grade essential oils for internal use!!!!!! well that is illegal here in australia unless you hold an advanced diploma in aromatic medicine, i asked her what training she had to make such a dangrous statement and she said she was a sales rep. i find with most MLM compaines like YL and doterra that none of their sales reps have any form of training in aromatherapy or clinical aromatherapy to make the clams and statements they do.
im glad that some one is finally saying something, and the TGA here in australia have been informed of their practices.
I met some people from doterra and liked their oils. I am a trained aromatherapist, and worked as one for 10 years. I liked the idea of the blended oils, because I feel many people buy the single oils and then really don’t know what to do with them.
Anyway I started to buy them and telling other people about them. One of my major concerns was the internal injestion of essential oils. Although they take E.O.s in Europe, they are given by practionioners who are educated about their various properties, and therefore understand the complexity of the oils, but also the individual reactions one might have to them. I did mention this to an American doterra person when someone came for a seminar in April, and was fobbed off with an excuse.
I went to a seminar on Friday with Dr David K Hill, who was demonstrating his Aromatouch technique. I learnt the Aromatherapy massage as created by Marguerite Maury in the 1970’s, as my Aromatherapy tutor was one of her students in London. There was nothing signicantly different, apart from the oils that were to be used at every stage. One of the blends called Deep Blue ( which does seems to work) contains Wintergreen Camphor, Peppermint, Blue Tansy, and Osmanthus.The other oil to be used was On Guard which contains Wintergreen, Clove Bud, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus and Rosemary. one of the questions asked was” is it safe to be used on a pregnant women?” Dr Hill answered “yes’, and said he would even use these oils in the first trimester. Now I know I may be a little bit rusty, but aren’t oils such as Wintergreen Camphor, Blue Tansy, Osmanthus, Clove Cinnamon,Peppermint, and Rosemary all contraindicated in pregnancy? That statement made me feel uncomfortable.
Someone in the audience then asked him about his connected to YL. He was clearly thrown by the question, and said in the end that he wanted to move onto other toipcs but that he had left the company, because he did not like what they were doing. He also told a few stories concerning patients of his that had cancer, including a man called John that was given two weeks to live, and how he had felt so sad that as a doctor John would have been one of his first patients that would die. Until someone in the audience mention that ‘John’ was also the man in his book that miraclously recovered. This seemd to jog Dr. Hill’s memory, and he said yes that the man had no signs of cancer and was cured. Ummm….
There was another story too, accompanied by tears, how his own son was diagnosed with Leukemia, and he had cured him by using essential oils. By this stage I was ready to walk out.
I reseached and found the verdict as has been mentioned above in Casewatch,
which leads me to believe that Dr. Hill was involved in a situation that nearly killed someone. I also found that, although we were lead to belive that Dr. Hill was a general medical practitioner, he is or was a chriopractor.
I feel very sad that many people are being duped by people who are exploiting the wants of good people to make this world a better place. However, I am afraid that there may be some people who have not been educated in the safe practice and application of E.O’s, which may lead to someone getting ill, or worse still losing a baby. This in turn just leads to the belief that aromatherapy is hocus pocus which is detrimental to the profession as a whole. It is a shame that people who are affliated with the correct authorites and who are making headway with scientific based research in the main stream may be damaged in the longterm but those who are out to make a buck.
If the product is good, tha’ts fine, but a little knowledge is a dangerous thing”.
I live in Australia and am currently studying full-time for my Diploma of Aromatherapy. Originally, it was Young Living Oils that initiated my love of essential oils and this lead to me to study. My diploma course is fully accredited and recognised by both government and health insurance organisations and obviously has no affiliation with any particular essential oil company.
The more I learn in my studies, the more some essential oil companies disturb me with their selling and ‘education’ practises. They seem to think that anyone can be an ‘Aromatherapist’ to prescribe what and how they like despite the fact that there are conditions that are contra-indicated to certain essential oils etc.
It seems to me that these companies almost disregard Aromatherapists as being unimportant and unnecessary in their global quest for financial gain and profit. I find this situation crazy as Aromatherapists are the only people truly trained in using Essential Oils!!! Aromatherapists can do so much more for people than what these companies sell, we personalise and individualise our treatments and products 100%. Some companies publish books on aromatherapy, however, it is only promoting their products – people are missing out on variety of other oils that are available!
I remember ringing one of these companies with a question regarding one of their blends, the person answering the phone said that they were ‘sales’ people and didn’t have the capacity to answer any questions relating to contra-indications. How can a company sell blends with big claims, then not be able to provide assistance over the phone? I’m sure the blend was excellent, however, at that time I wanted extra details and could not be provided with the information I wanted. That was the day I decided to become the professional myself and find other essential oil suppliers. Honestly, at first I was still a little hesitant (the warnings about not being able to ‘trust’ other suppliers), but I have found other suppliers who have beautiful therapeutic oils. I still like big company essential oils, however, they aren’t my first option any more.
I liked Jacquie’s line about a little knowledge is a dangerous thing – well said.
These days Aromatherapists are trained using the French philosophy for treatment as well as the more gentle English ways – there is something to help us all.
Just an add on to my comment.
I have been researching online and found out that doterra appear to have their oils manufactured by a company called Genlight, in Taiwan. Cannot say if the oils are blended, or where they come from.
Furthermore, doterra has connections to the LDS, with seven of their executives being members of thethe church. Considering their followers normally pay a tithe to the church, I expect that some profits of doterra will be going back into the LDS, whose doctrines I do not, and will not support.
I feel annoyed that once again, aromatherapy is the way to make quick money, on the backs of people who take aromatherapy seriously, and have spent time and money to truly understand this ancient art of medicine. If doterra cannot be trusted to be honest about their background and their oils, how are the public to know what they are truly using?
I have enjoyed using their oils, but I will be more circumspect in future.
Well, I have just read this whole thread of comments–very interesting.
I can understand many of the feelings and comments expressed because I am a Registered Aromatherapist through the Aromatherapy Registration Council (November 2010). I also spent 4 years earning a Master’s Diploma in Aromatherapy from the American College of Healthcare Sciences (January 2011). Over the course of my aromatherapy schooling I spent a year studying and learning how to do organoleptic testing on 40 different essential oils to determine quality and purity. It is difficult to do, but one learns over time what a good quality oil smells, tastes, and feels like. Even after a year of formal education and 14 years of experience using many brands of essential oils at home, it still seemed daunting and time-consuming to source essential oils that I would feel confident in using for myself and clients.
Organoleptic testing by a seasoned professional and the Gas Chromatography (GC) and Mass Spectrometry (MS) tests provide a means of knowing if an essential oil is pure of all contaminants and adulterants and meets the accepted standard for that oil to be considered therapeutic. Every essential oil has a unique content and range of chemical constituents which gives it active properties. If it falls within the standard for that particular oil then one can assume it will not only be effective but that it will act on the body in a predictable manner (no surprises). Because, separate batches of the same oil from the same source can be different depending on numerous factors: harvesting time, when distilled, distillation temperature, storage to name a few–each batch can vary in quality. Just because you get a good batch of oil from a supplier doesn’t mean that the next one will be as good. Most companies do not do this testing because of cost but I have seen an increase in companies stating that they test their oils, but do not say what standard they use, how they test, and what that really means.
I was introduced to doTERRA a couple years ago. As an aromatherapist with a strong aversion to MLMs, and particularly essential oil MLMs, I had many questions, doubts, and hesitations. But, I bought a few, started using them, asked questions, did research into their sourcing, and listened to people who knew the owners to glean what I could about their integrity and purpose. I worried about their encouragement of internal and undiluted use of the essential oils since I had learned that this was not acceptable, except by someone qualified to determine proper use.
My findings and conclusions:
~ doTERRA offers the best essential oils I have ever used. They are pure, effective, and beautiful. I have peace of mind in recommending them and more time to help people since I do not need to spend time assuring quality.
~ doTERRA essential oils are not produced in Taiwan as Jacquie states. Genlight just resells doTERRA products and similar products. doTERRA oils are produced in numerous locales where the botanical source has traditionally been grown–such as Frankincense from Oman, Lavender from France, Peppermint from Oregon. They are sourced from very reputable growers and distillers who are experts and know their business. Yet, every batch of oil they send to doTERRA is tested numerous times in independent labs (not in-house) to assure purity and potency and is sent back if it does not meet the accepted standard for that particular oil.
~ It’s true that there is no official standard established for essential oils but there is certainly an accepted standard that can be found in professional aromatherapy texts. I personally do not think “government” when I hear the word “certified”. I think of something being guaranteed or meeting a particular standard.
~ doTERRA does not, and never has to my knowledge, made any official statement that their oils are FDA approved. The email quoted must have been written by someone who didn’t understand or had heard something untrue. I heard some things going around initially from consultants that didn’t sound right but they have been corrected and my observation has been that doTERRA goes to great lengths to educate their consultants. Obviously, they can’t control what every person associated with them says. It would be amazing if every employee of every company gave you accurate information, every time you contacted them. Also, due to the nature of essential oils and the fact that none of them, from any company, are FDA approved, no one can make any claims as to their effectiveness for particular conditions or how to use them. That would be considered prescribing and treating illness, which is restricted to health care professionals. doTERRA does not publish or sell a book on the use of their essential oils but someone else has. It’s called “Modern Essentials” from Aroma Tools.
~ The executives/owners have integrity and many years of experience and their ultimate goal is to provide the highest quality essential oils possible to their consumers. Their goal is not to make enormous amounts of money. If they are self-serving in any way it was in creating a company to source and sell the purest oils possible for their own personal use and for their families. Yes, many of them worked for Young Living at some point but they all left of their own volition for personal reasons. Later, after doing other things, they got together and decided they wanted essential oils that were “guaranteed” to be pure because they loved using essential oils and wanted to provide a trusted source for themselves and everyone else.
~ The MLM structure was chosen to get these pure and potent oils to as many people as possible. Also, to provide the opportunity to everyday people to make a living selling a viable high-quality product, if they desired and put forth the effort.
~ Price of oils–doTERRA could charge a lot more for the quality of oils they are selling but their prices are good, especially the wholesale prices, compared to other oils I was using, which were of good quality. The reason, again, being to make them available to as many people as possible.
~ 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.
~ They are a for-profit company. They do have to make a profit or there would no longer be a company. Money is not evil. The misuse of money is evil. doTERRA started the Healing Hands foundation that offers micro loans to people in need so they can start or grow their businesses to the point that they are self-sufficient and able to provide for their families and send their children to school.
~ Yes, many of the executives/owners are LDS (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, the “Mormons”). They probably do pay tithing on their income if they are faithful members of their church. Do you agree with what every executive who runs every company does with the money he/she earns from the products you purchase? Many, if not most, large corporations donate money to causes they are interested in or benefit them. Do you agree with all of those causes? Enough said.
~ It is the nature of many people to lash out at things that feel threatening to them and/or their livelihood, even if those things are good.
~ Lastly, too little knowledge can also be dangerous, or at least, detrimental. Before criticizing one should know the facts so as not to do injustice to themselves and the criticized.
Sorry for the length. I wanted this to be helpful and relevant. I hope it is.
For more information about doTERRA go to http://edenoils.com or for the same basic info in a somewhat less user-friendly format go to doterra.com.
I have a blog on which I have started posting about essential oil use and links to resources to be more self-sufficient: http://thriveforlife.wordpress.com
Thanks for your time.
I completely disagree with the information given by Jacquie – it is based on her biased opinion only and not accurate in any way.
I completely agree whole-heartedly with the information given by Jennifer. She has done her homework and given very acurate information. Thank you for sharing!
I know this last person was going to use your righteous criticism of this company as the doorway to not only defend it, but to advertise the product and leave her information. Never fails!!!!
Since Jennifer admitted herself that she has “a strong aversion to MLMs, and particularly essential oil MLMs”, I wonder if she actually ever really looked into Young Living oils? However, once she was convinced that doTerra oils were good, she became a distributor for them, which, in my opinion, nearly negates any other personal opinion, as one who sells a product can hardly be objective can they?
I myself have to wonder about a company who will register a trademark of “Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade” for no other reason than to imply that they have been certified in some way. Not knowing anything else at all about the company, that alone would make me suspicious. The unsuspecting public will take them at their word, when that particular word is meaningless, since they “certified” themselves. If their oils were as good as they say, why wouldn’t they just allow 3rd parties to prove it for them, instead of stooping to questionable marketing?
We see through your gimmicks doterra. It’s just a matter of time before you’re in the shadows of this industry.
This great information provided by all. I don’t believe the originator of this blog is stating the oils are good or bad, but stating that FDA has them approved. I have been purchasing essential oils from several companies, and before I do I find out if there are additives, water downed (yes someone told me they water down their oil to make it go further). In my research, there is NO FDA approval for internal or external use. All my companies have a disclaimer stating same whether in oils, bath salts or incense. There are standards the FDA puts out, but not ‘approvals’.
Holy COW!, resistance is futile, they’ve invaded your blog!!!
If others, like me, were just surfing around learning about oils in order to expand your knowledge and practice of health and healing; and you waltzed into this one. Whew-what a treat. Here’s how I read it:
You call them on the marketing.
_lawyer “clears that up”.
You say “Nice try AttorneyVanBeethoven” (or similar, i forgot), but I ain’t backing up.
_the company clams up
Some open-minded individuals applaud your work.
_the mind-melded-pieces-of-the-MLM-system-in-question-emerge and begin to gently assure us, post after post after post, that Duterra is a-okay, and not only that-but that Duterra oils are the only thing that satisfies them and their clients. They practically assure us by implication that _everyone_ else is selling adulterated, meaningless, and worthless oils.
My first inclination is to snip those–but any attempt at that is tantamount to censorship/misrepresentation. Even though only 50 words of each mouthpiece would clearly indicate their prejudice, it’s best to let them stand and do what they did here.
They clearly have me looking for a way to dodge the Duterra CPTO MLM monster mash that I’d prematurely committed myself to attending. Dammit man.
Thank you so much for your efforts in posting this information and maintaining your blog.
I decided to look into this more since I attended a local sales presentation just a couple of days ago about doTERRA. Their prices seemed high but they seemed like they might be high quality so I decided to go home, research, and ask some of my local practitioners such as my naturopath what they thought.
I especially wanted to research what the sales rep claimed about the FDA approval. She absolutely said that they had some sort of FDA approval for internal use – theraputic grade. I have it right here in my notes. I was skeptical… I also raised my hand and asked about allergies and reactions and internal use. Since I am a doula and have been told by aromatherapists that unless I become certified I really shouldn’t be using aromatherapy I was interested in their view on this. The sales rep said she had no idea about possible reactions and since their products were pure then there shouldn’t be any reactions and they can absolutely be used internally where indicated. In fact during the presentation she encouraged us all to try several things internally and wiped almost every other oil on our skin.
I have a feeling they might have high quality products but I’m just a bit nervous now since their sales reps seem to be uneducated and their marketing schemes seem deceptive. So I will not be buying their products.
I could tell you that I am experienced with essential oils for 7 years or I could be a first time user… if it makes me any more or less credible. Either way, I spent my last 6 weeks deliberating between Young Living and doTERRA essential oils. I looked up as much as I could take in on both companies. I attended each of their classes and took the “Pepsi Challenge” smelling and applying each company’s oils. First, I started with each company’s Lemon essential oils. Closed my eyes, shuffled them between my hands and smelled each. Without knowing which one was in either hand, I noticed the first one smelled good. Ok, it was definitely a lemon aroma. Then, I smell the second one. It too, smelled great. I liked them both, at first. As I went back to smell the first one again, I could tell something wasn’t quite as fresh as the one I smelled a second before. It had a little more of a pungent aroma. As if it were not as clean as the second. Maybe even a weaker or diluted feel. Maybe as if it were not as pure as the second. Upon opening my eyes, I saw the first one was Young Living’s product and the second was doTERRA’s. It was clear to me which one I liked better. So, I tried it with a few more oils from both companies. I did the same with each Lavender, Thieves/On Guard, Peppermint, and Frankincense. One after another, it was consistently doTERRA’s oils I honestly felt had a better, more cleaner, more purer smelling aroma.
The thing that grinds my gears about this is, with enough digging, you can read up on all the stupid politics involved and why each executive left Young Living and went to doTERRA. Fine, if that’s something you need to know, so be it. They had their reasons. DONE! People leave their work to do their own thing every day! You can find all kinds of stuff on Gary Young’s background and Dr. David Hill. There, obviously, is a lot of animosity between these two companies. Mostly, in my opinion, YL people seem the need to viciously defend and debunk what doTERRA is doing. So, if that’s what they need to to in order to generate sales, you can find out about it. You will find it all over the internet. Which, basically, is what this blog is all about. Personally, I just want to know who’s oil is the best. Who’s works the best. My nose told me that! And seeing results first hand is what will tell me the truth! Everything I have ever read on doTERRA’s sites says “is not intended to treat, proscribe, diagnose any disease, illness, or injured condition of the body”. There are full disclaimers everywhere. “This or that oil may help with these symptoms.” Everybody is different and will react differently to each oil. Which is why they list several different oils for each symptom.
I, myself, am TIRED of seeing pharmaceutical commercials and ads EVERYWHERE I look. I am TIRED of hearing the laundry list of side effects that they have on our bodies. I am TIRED of seeing the lawyer’s commercials that follow a pharmaceutical commercial saying “if you or any body you know that has taken this drug or that drug and has died or become seriously ill because of them, call the office!” I WANT A NATURAL REMEDY for what ails me. So, that is the reason I decided to give essential oils a fair shot. Can we just get past all the BS and work together on this??? “Your profits are taking away from my profits” is what this is all really about! Find what works best for you and stick to it. We live in such an over medicated society these days and we need instant gratification. I decided that doTERRA’s essential oils are the best on the market for me and my clients. My nose can tell the difference. Maybe you should test them for yourself and make your own conclusions.
Whether an oil is organic or FDA certified makes no real differnece. There are no real standards. Organic grown produce only has to be 95% organic, according to the FDA. I usually buy more products that the FDA has NOT approved. To me, I question the FDA and other government agencies more than I question a corporation trying to make the best product on the planet.
My neighbor recommended DoTerra to me and had her sales representative friend present me with their products. It looked, sounded, and smelled great! I filled the paperwork out and a few hours later she called me because I had failed to provide my ss# (which I had intentionally left blank.) I never followed up with her or looked into it further, but it caught me off guard! Is this normal or standard?
What many companies mean by Therapeutic grade essential oils is backed by science and not just made up. These oils go through a testing process called GCC for short. That will tell you every chemical part that makes up the oil. So when you have a pure EO, it only has certain chemicals, many distillers have dirt, weeds and many other items in the distilling process which ends up in the EO. When these oils are run throught a GCC test, the test shows there are new chemical parts in the oil that shouldn’t be in the EO. These oils are not pure, so came along the saying “Therapeutic Grade” meaning a pure EO. Without doing a GCC test you have no clue what level of purity your EO is. Also, many suppliers also cut the EO with carrier oils and therefore made other suppliers to come up with a new term “Therapeutic Grade” to make a clear distinction between all the different oils on the market. EO’s are like cars, not all cars are built to the same quality and EO’s are not all grown, distilled and diluted to the same quality. Just because there is one company pushing FDA certificate doesn’t mean the meaning “Therapeutic Grade” is not true. You need to learn what to except as truth or not. Just like this blogs article, anyone can say anything and with a little following people believe and you have hundreds of people believing it is not true and it is true.
It is not true there is a FDA reregistration. But I see many small companies claiming to be a certificate FDA facility. That statement is very misleading on what it means, when it comes to manufacturing company and companies wholesaling ingredients people tend to believe it means something.
If you look it up it means they took 5 mins and registered their company with the FDA so they can be on a watch list and nothing else. It cost nothing other than 5 minutes to fill out contact information.
So there are many things out there and you shouldn’t believe on person saying there is no such thing a therapeutic. It is just people with agenda, just because there are a couple of bad companies doesn’t mean everyone does it or is lying.
This blog is like a 1st grade teacher, when one kid acts up you take away the playtime for everyone.
Wait up and use your brains and determine it is a few people and you shouldn’t put everyone in the same bucket.
THANK YOU…..that’s all I can say about this article….I look forward to part two…..please keep me abreast of this information. As an herbalist; I’m hit all the time on oils and what to use them for. Doterra’s claims of ingesting oils is a dangerous practice.
“My nose told me that!” Here’s the thing…something that “smells best” is probably more likely to be synthetic!
“There are no real standards. Organic grown produce only has to be 95% organic, according to the FDA. I usually buy more products that the FDA has NOT approved.”
I hope you consider doing a bit more research – the FDA has nothing to do with organic standards, nor does the FDA approve products such as essential oils. That is part of the issue – companies are lying when they sell products and claim they are “FDA Approved”.
The only products the FDA approves are drugs.
F.Y.I. – the USDA is the governmental agency that sets standards for organic labeling in the USA…not the FDA.
This whole topic and the comments are just wild! I actually had to chuckle. I recently became a certified aromatherapist, and enjoy giving treatments, with good results (I myself even feel good after giving a treatment). I won’t even say what oils I use because I see it’s a no-win situation here (I will say that I don’t sell any oils). Anyone who claims expertise and prefers either Young Living or doTERRA is bashed then for using/buying what they like (why wouldn’t you buy/sell/use what you think works?) Anyone who points out the flaws in MLM or the “certification” process is bashed (but no government certification even exists, and MLM is just another business technique). Anyone supporting either doTERRA or Young Living against each other is bashed (lot of mystery about THAT one!). Anyone who shares any opinion at all is quickly rounded upon, haha! Well, it seems the bottom line is this: in our culture, we have all been more or less steeped in the allopathic, scientific model of medicine. We want mathematical, statistical and replicable proofs of any and every method or product used for health. That just can’t happen with the use of essential oils. What did people do before the “scientific method”? They learned what worked by trial and error, observation and sharing of information. They didn’t die off; they managed to stay healthy enough to continue to populate the world, that’s for sure. The greatest boon to the allopathic medical field was (re) learning about bacteria (and very reluctantly at that). The “scientific” method and allopathic medicine has been responsible for a lot of pain, suffering, and deaths, but we don’t hear much about that because they are the ones in charge right now. “Natural” or “alternative” healing is giving them a run for their money because people are becoming more aware of the flaws in the scientific, allopathic, FDA approved, graded and statistically “proven” methods of medical practice. We will never be able to get government backing of alternative treatments like EO’s, because their most basic components are non-replicative ingredients. For instance, every batch of EO’s can come from plants in different areas, during different seasons, etc., which will STILL produce effective, but not replicable batches. The very definition of “natural” includes something that hasn’t been “scientifically” modified and manipulated to the point where it is just like every other “batch.” But people have been using EO’s for thousands of years with positive effects. And if you’re going to complain about money-grubbing, consider the fact that health care in the US is 17% of the national GDP! The allopathic medicine industry needs SICK people, so consider that when you feel the need to demand FDA approval for anything. FDA approval is no guarantee of safety-just do a little research on the interesting history of drugs and health/surgical products that are now being bombarded with lawsuits, have been responsible for deaths, have had to be recalled or have mysteriously NOT been pulled when actual approval has never been completed. I personally question exactly what their approval means-pay offs, pressure from Big Pharma, political/business favors? And don’t tell me it doesn’t happen! Providers of alternative treatments don’t need sick people because much of their practice involves health MAINTENANCE. So, FDA supporters, give it a rest. Supporters of holistic, natural, etc. treatments, don’t bother trying to win over the “scientific” minded people because you are wasting your time, unless one of them shows up at your door needing your help (which you know does happen). The argument is often actually an emotional/cultural/ego thing. Follow whatever path gets you where you’re going. Sometimes we find that our paths cross and we need each other.
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!
doTERRA nor its representatives that I have interacted with have ever claimed any FDA certification. They clearly state that CPTG is a certification created by doTERRA to describe their testing and quality control process, which far exceeds all other industry standards. This makes sense to me since if you are a photographer, farmer, artist, chef, or anything other career you would use advertising or word of mouth to identify why you are the best at what you do and why people should give you their money rather than giving it to Bob Competitor up the street. I also know that when a competitor arises on the scene of a previously monopolized market there are always bitter and hateful words exchanged. Nobody wants to lose money and market share, especially when they are the only one providing that service or product.
I can tell you that I have a lot of allergies, and I thought it was to the oils themselves. When I tried doTERRA’s oils, I found that I did not react to them the way I had before. That showed me that I was not reacting to the oils themselves, but the contaminants in the oils. I, too, found that the oils were more “pure” smelling, or cleaner, than other oils. I did not purchase their “kids” but took samples to try on my own family. I repeatedly found their oils to meet or exceed their claims and indications. So, doTERRA may make big claims, but in my experience they back it up.
I compare it to Muhammed Ali- he was an egomaniac and ran his mouth, but he could back it up. A lot of people liked him, and a lot of people hated him, but the “proof was in the pudding”, so to speak. So, close your mouths, open your noses and your minds, and decide for yourself, but let’s keep it mature and intelligent.
MLM companies simply need your SS# for reimbursement/tax reporting purposes the same as would your employer. Should you prefer not to ever sell the product, there are options to purchase the products without supplying the SS#.
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