Update: Because I have terminated my relationship with the company from which I was labeled as a “distributor,” I can put my posts back up. The company wanted this post removed, but I decided to choose to educate and not be bullied.
With great regret, I must remove the testimonials of our family’s use of essential oils from the blog.
Despite the fact that our family has seen “health support” while using alternative therapies, the FDA is placing a tight muzzle on what I can say. (Even that sentence was edited to be more FDA-friendly.)
They say that personal testimonies are not legal. I must have scientific proof. Can you imagine? Have a “scientist” – who is probably paid by a big pharmaceutical company that wants nothing but to make more money by pushing pills and vaccines – give approval of my little blog post?
I can twist my words and be vague but I would rather remove the posts than to not be 100% honest and forthcoming.
All I can say is “…dietary supplements can play a role in supporting, affecting, and maintaining overall wellness and specific body structures and functions.” Blah.
Yes, I think people should not be allowed to make claims without evidence and I also know that you cannot believe everything you read on the internet. I am just sad that I cannot share what has worked for us.
I apologize for any inconvenience this causes you.
If you would like to purchase, you can still visit my essential oils online store. I am sorry that the information is very vague.
Frequently asked questions
WOW. Just in the 24 hours since posting this, the questions and outrage has come fast and furiously. Here are some of the frequently asked questions:
Why did you use essential oils?
I cannot say specifically without being in violation of the FDA. But I can say that truly, I was the BIGGEST skeptic when it came to essential oils, but our family went from being extremely ill for six months straight (I cannot name the illnesses) to only going to the doctor three times in two years.
So, the FDA is telling you that you cannot share your personal experiences? This is one of the scariest things I have ever heard.
I can only share what is proved by scientist. I cannot mention specifically an ailment or what I used for the ailment.
How did you find this out? An e-mail?
Yes. The FDA contacted the company I was working with and that company contacted me through email with an official letter attached and then an official letter in the mail.
Can’t you say something like “your results or lack there of may vary” and be okay?
In all of my posts, I said that I am not a doctor, just a mom telling your what our family did and that these claims were not supported by the FDA. They said that is not good enough. That saying what worked for us was a “disease claim” and was a violation.
How did they even find out?
The FDA has a group of monitors referred to in the letter as “regulators.”
Can you tell me which oil to use for (insert specific ailment here)?
I cannot mention specific treatments or ailments but I can refer you to the resource guide I personally use to know which to use for what problem and how to apply essential oils.
Reference Guide for Essential Oils Soft Cover 2013
That book can be hard to find. A smaller book by the same author is also highly recommended although I have not personally used it. Looks to be a smaller version of the book I have.
Quick Reference Guide for Essential Oils 2013
I am no longer allowed to keep my online essential oil store but the product descriptions are regulated by the FDA and seem very vague. I recommend investing in one of the guides before purchasing.
Please don’t apologize! Those of us that already know the benefits of essential oils aren’t ever going to be offended by you! Now, the FDA, on the other hand, is another story! 😉
Alec Duncan says
Oh, poor diddums, the big meanies! They’ve censored her! No, you have not been censored, Penny: you have been told to comply with the law – how can you complain about that? It’s not as if the law in the US on alternative medicine (or as I prefer to call it, not really medicine at all) is very strict; matter of fact, the whole US alternative medicine field is an unregulated wild west cowboy scenario, and it’s the laughing stock of most countries. You can get away with selling almost any worthless nostrum if you stick within the guidelines and don’t make unsupported claims about its efficacy or safety. If you can’t even stick to the incredibly lax regulatory system, you deserve everything you get.
*meaning the FDA is offensive…not that you offended them! Lol!!!
Savanah Fahrney-Day says
Grrr! The FDA really honks me off!
Melissa Barger says
Don’t apologize. The only reason behind it is monies and the pharmaceutical companies would loose monies because with medication comes MORE problems which only feeds more monies into the pharmaceutical companies. I love my essential oils. We’ve been using them on our daughter with crohns for a year now and amazing results. I have LOTS of other friends that are using essential oils for a variety of things and LOVE THEM and LOVE the results and NO side effects.
Couldn’t someone ask you in an email, where it is ‘private’, questions about ailments and treatments for them?
I honestly do not know if this would be acceptable or not. 🙁
Brittany @ Equipping Godly Women says
I can understand why you can’t say that xyz “cures” a certain ailment for everyone. But I don’t think that means you have to be overly vague either. Can’t you say “We used this essential oil, and all of our symptoms cleared up in 3 days?” That’s fact. Or “We use this essential oil because we have seen xyz improvements when we have used it?” All of the examples they gave that you can’t say are all very definitive. I think you should be able to relate your experiences still, without claiming “XYZ oil cures this ailment”
Paid Shill says
LOL correlation is not causation. Thus why you must provide scientific evidence.
If you started drinking Mercury and 3 days later your ailments cleared up, but 2 weeks later you were dead. You would be claiming that drinking Mercury cured you. But in reality it did nothing
That’s why studies have to be conduct to prove that it’s not just a coincidence and that whatever it is you’re doing is having an actual effect and it’s positive.
Dawn @ The Momma Knows says
Wow. They are really going hard after…what? Competition? This is crazy. It does make me wonder, though, how this affects naturopathic and homeopathic doctors. They make similar recommendations for patients (albeit verballly, which may be their way around it?) Well the FDA will be hard pressed to prevent people from checking out books from the libraries, but even those may disappear from the shelves. Would they go so far as to force bookstores to pull books with this information? It just seems like it could snowball.
It seems like the government is only interested in keeping a certain lobby group happy. It’s not just essential oils. Anything deemed alternative is being scrutinized. I think the status quo is getting bucked. Those who make their money off keeping people unhealthy are beginning to squirm.
Seriously. I wish people would wake up and realize that their government quit being a government “For the People” a long time ago…
Justa Guy says
“Anything deemed alternative is scrutinized”
So, you mean, they demand proof of these claims that “alternative practitioners” make?
You know who else they make prove that their treatments work? Drug companies.
The difference is that the science supports medicine, not magic nice-smelling oils. If they work so well, why aren’t there legitimate studies done?
How about turning it on it’s head and say ‘beware possible side affects may include..’
I find it ridiculous given that you clearly state you are not a doctor, they are not FDA approved, all the disclaimers are there. We have news networks allowed to spout complete scientific garbage when it comes to climate science but you can’t put your own opinion? Absurd.
Beth Vaughan says
‘Big Pharm’ what a crock. The alternative theapy business, and make no mistake it is a business is a multi billion industry. They have a much higher mark up, turnover and profit than any ‘big pharm’. Their overheads are minuscule compared to a company which makes medicine that actually works.
The snake oil makers don’t have to spend millions on research and evidence that their product actually work. This post will never see the light of day as it has actual sense and accuracy. You believers of these charlatan remedies have turned medicine into a religion and react to any criticism as if it is blasphemy. $54 million of public money was wasted on the alternative therapy when people can’t access real medical help. You should be ashamed of yourselves for the harm you are causing,
John McCormick says
Big Alterna has more power over the government than Big Pharma, Big Alterna is the one that got politicians to make it illegal for the FDA to test Big Alterna’s products for safety let alone test them to see if they work. Big Pharma has to prove that it’s products are safe, and that they work. See The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994, explained at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dietary_Supplement_Health_and_Education_Act_of_1994
Why is this so hard to understand?
You have no data of effectiveness or safety, so you have no proof that what you’re selling does anything at all, yet you think you can make medical claims and sell medical products like that?
“But it worked for me!” is worthless. That’s an anecdote. Hearsay. Not proof at all.
This is not persecution, it’s consumer protection. You should feel thoroughly ashamed for thinking that you can skip all of the important process of clinically testing a product and jump directly to making money off of people.
The FDA exists to protect innocent consumers from people like you who prey on innocent people who need real healthcare. You may not have gone into this maliciously, but ignorance is not an excuse either, and you’re now being chastised because you were trying to do something that is illegal because it is harmful to people.
Actually, Simmer… I included links to scientists from my posts, like the 2001 study by Dr. Terry Friedman who found that smelling vetiver essential oil improved the performance of children with ADD and ADHD by 100 percent, but even that post was pinpointed as problematic.
Can you provide a link to the study?
How do you not understand that it’s because you’re SELLING this stuff? You can post all the personal anecdotes you want but the minute you sell the items in question, you cannot make unsubstantiated claims. You really don’t understand this???
I’m also disturbed by the fact that there are advertising “tracking” programs running on this site, as well as redirect scripts that keep opening the app store.
Karen, the advertising agency that monitors the ads on this site do use interest-based ad selection, as most websites do. However, the codes are also constantly monitored to guard against an malicious intent. Not sure what this has to do with the content of this post but I want to put any concerns you might have to rest.
I love how “big pharma” is always trashed for making a profit, yet you can’t go to any alt medicine website without being bombarded with ads. Also take your local doctor who is “a shill for big pharma” and compare the size of his house to dr mercolas. Now tell me who is in it for the money
You are on to something! We need a community of scientists who are interested in alternative medicine. Start a crowd funded payroll for our own studies.
You make unsubstantiated claims based upon anecdotes and give medical and health advise without supporting evidence and background.
How about scientifically evaluating your claims. Have others who are experts in their field reevaluate your evidence.
As I mentioned previously, I included links to scientific studies from my posts, but the FDA required further modification.
Have you actually read the studies that you were asked to remove? They tested the essential oil on four people!!! FOUR PEOPLE!!
From this the doctor recommended the use of a particular oil for treatment. When a new drug is released do you think they have tested it’s effect on a sample of 4 people or do you think they conduct more extensive research.
This is not a scientific study however you dress it up. This is why it is worthless rubbish and you were asked to remove it.
I despair at times. Claims must be backed up by evidence. Evidence is not any old tat you find on the internet.
I’m sorry Chris but you are mistaken. In just ONE study, there were 16 control patients and 18 who were treated. The study was repeated multiple times. You can read the documentation from the initial study here: http://files.meetup.com/1481956/ADHD%20Research%20by%20Dr.%20Terry%20Friedmann.pdf
Aside from the study by Dr. Friedmann, there are additional medical studies noted in this document. Yes, the document is compiled by the Apothecary Society but the studies are noted on the NCBI: http://apothecarysociety.com/files/85%20Scientific%20Research%20Studies%20of%20Essential%20Oils.pdf
Sounds to me you’re more concerned about selling your product and your own ego than the health of others. If you truly care about helping others, first and foremost you would do the proper research, unbiased, to not risk spreading false information. It’s quite obvious you’ve fallen into the naturalistic fallacy, where by everything natural is good.
There are species of plants that produce cyanide compounds naturally, for one. Nature can be dangerous just as it can be beneficial with respect or lack thereof. If you truly care about people’s well being, you wouldn’t have the time to rant about the law coming after your business.
Folks, please take note she complains about Big Pharma money and provides a link to her products. Boiron, a major natural supplement company boasts around 5 billion profit annually. 13% goes towards research, 21% marketing. Pfzier, makers of Viagra the data is reversed with 21% on research vs. 13% on marketing. Now, I don’t know about you, but I’m trusting the folks whose main priority is making sure things work. Feel free to check the data, it’s there on their websites.
Chances are my words will fall on empty ears. The brain is fickle, and as humans we need things to hold on to when confronted with worry, ergo alternative medicine seems like an option when medical bills are huge, fear of impending death, etc…I’ve been there. But I’m not about to give anecdotal evidence because that’s what this type of business relies on to make money vs. proof.
I ask you this, if alternative medicine is the way, then why not other alternatives? How about an alternative pilot to fly your plane? An alternative contractor to fix your home? An alternative account to do your taxes, etc…. it’s disturbing how fear can morph into one adopting into this herd mentality.
Please be careful, and FYI, if you didn’t hear, a few months ago homeopathic products were recalled having been found to contain penicillin (http://www.wired.co.uk/news/archive/2014-03/25/homeopathy-contains-medicine), so thanks FDA – had this not been caught, and someone has an allergy, this could have been deadly, and only caught after the fact had we not someone to monitor.
It’s so easy to fear the “big guys”, but that’s when the little mice sneak in for the cheese. I won’t tell you what to think, I’ll leave that to people like her, I will ask that you perhaps research on cognitive dissonance for starters, because one thing I can say for certain, is the mind play tricks based on beliefs/perception, knowledge is the cure to sorting through all this.
Alternatively, disregard all I’ve said, if it’s in your nature to never consider that maybe just maybe, you’ve been fooled. It’s never fun to feel taken, but it’s humbling, and good training in self-awareness. The day science shows me peer-reviewed data, herbal companies pay attention to using proper herbs and plants (*cough* St.Johns Wort tea for one), I’ll be the first to say, wow, I’ll be damned, this stuff is safe. Until then, I study botany and herbs as a hobby, and keep a healthy respect for nature, and not falling into things that take advantage of people vulnerability.
If anyone cares to amuse me, I’d like to know if a naturopath/homeopath has ever advised someone to STOP taking something or a treatment due to health risks? I know my GP has, and not once has pushed pills on me. But again, that’s my anecdotal evidence, and surely won’t meet your standards/paranoia I imagine.
Peace be with you.
Your comment intrigues me slightly because it is obvious that you are not a reader of this blog, have no idea the lifestyle I live, nor the fact that I have made a grand total of $126 through essential oil sales in two years. Money is definitely not the root of my motivation, but thanks so much for stopping by.