Are Essential Oils a Drug or an Unapproved Drug?

As an independent product consultant and wellness advocate for essential oils, I’m not allowed to say certain things about essential oils. No matter how truthful, factual, and scientific I say it. I’m not allowed, by the FDA, to tell you the wellness benefits of essential oils. But for some reason, Cheerios can tell you how beneficial their cereal is. The FDA’s Warning Letter Database is full of ‘warnings’ to companies for some good reasons and some ludicrous reasons. You may recall the accusation they made against Diamond Walnuts for being ‘unapproved drugs’. As a result of Diamond not removing their labeling, they ended up needing to dish out $2.6 million dollars to consumers as compensation. I buy Diamond brand walnuts and I didn’t want a dime of that money. It doesn’t seem fair at all, that a government agency can force a company to not indicate the proven health benefits of their foods or products. Today’s question is, are essential oils a drug or an unapproved drug?

essential oils unapproved drugs

Though Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine by thy food’, some agencies don’t want people making those claims when selling foods and supplements.  The Mayo Clinic can tell us the health benefits of food, but food and supplement suppliers can’t. The difference is that the Mayo Clinic isn’t selling those foods.

I’ve looked over my blog and I must be doing a pretty good job with how I present information, because I can’t find an article that states the scientific facts that support essential oil benefits to your wellness routine while asking you to buy essential oils from me. In fact, I don’t sell essential oils directly. I don’t have a surplus of essential oils in my house, I don’t offer receipts, I don’t take payments, and I don’t deliver products. If you ask me how you can get essential oils at a wholesale discount, I would explain that in a private conversation over the phone, Skype, or in person.

I do have essential oils in my healing hutch, my medicine cabinet, my kitchen, my laundry room, and in my bedroom. I even carry some in my purse. I just don’t have a shelf stocked with bottles for resale.

I use essential oils as supplements, but I also found that essential oils could be used in other ways (for personal use of course). I don’t administer essential oils to people as if it’s a medicinal alternative, even though the National Library of Medicine has articles about essential oils being used as complimentary health care.

Are you practicing medicine illegally?

Did you know that if you direct people to use essential oils as a medicine, that you’re essentially practicing medicine without a license? But the FDA says essential oils aren’t a drug unless approved. And since they aren’t an approved drug then you would be administering an unapproved drug without a license.

Wait, I thought essential oils aren’t drugs. *scratches head*

But then again, doctors aren’t allowed to administer essential oils either. Oh that’s right, because essential oils aren’t really drugs. Only doctors can give you drugs. In fact, they can even sell them to you, sort of. They can tell you what drugs you need to take and give you permission to buy them with a piece of paper called a prescription. They can even inform you of which OTC drugs to get at Walgreens or CVS. They can do this because they aren’t selling OTC drugs to you and they don’t profit from making those recommendations (well, they aren’t supposed to anyway). That would be bribery and we all know doctors aren’t supposed to accept bribery in order to recommend and use pharmaceutical products (like GlaxoSmithKline did).

Let’s set the record straight, essential oils are not drugs. They’re not even unapproved drugs, because they aren’t drugs to begin with. Essential oils are a botanical and as such they are classified as supplements. If you happen to discover a gazillion ways essential oils can be used that go beyond being a supplement then that’s your freedom to use them as you see fit. Some people use them on their skin, in homemade soaps and lotions, and even in homemade cleaning products. Baking soda is a food, but we all know the multiple benefits of using baking soda in other ways from toothpaste to beauty regimes. Sugar is also a food, but can also be used in other ways.

Let me make sure I understand correctly.

  • Essential oils aren’t drugs.
  • Essential oils aren’t unapproved drugs (see previous statement).
  • Essential oils are a botanical.
  • Essential oils are supplements.
  • Essential oils can be used in other ways.
  • Essential oils can be used as complimentary support for wellness.
  • Essential oils are being studied by physicians and scientists.
  • Essential oils can’t be patented.
  • Essential oils can be purchased without a prescription.
  • Essential oils have been proven to be effective in numerous ways to benefit mankind.
  • The National Cancer Institute can tell you how essential oils support cancer patients(government site).
  • I’m not allowed to tell you essential oils can cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent any illness or disease.
  • The National Library of Medicine lists ways essential oils are being tested to cure, treat, mitigate, and prevent illness and disease.
  • I’m not allowed to say essential oils are therapeutic.
  • Aromatherapy is an unregulated field.
  • Aromatherapy is a permitted field.
  • Aromatherapists use essential oils.
  • The FDA doesn’t approve essential oils.
  • The FDA can disapprove how we market essential oils.
  • The FDA doesn’t approve supplements.
  • The FDA can disapprove of how supplements are marketed.
  • The FDA is limited on what they can approve of, but they can disapprove of anything they want.

These poor botanicals, they’re wanted by millions of people world wide but don’t make the government or pharmaceutical companies any money at all.

Essential oils have multiple uses, though are only legally permitted to be marketed as supplements (though they aren’t approved).

Ok, I *think* I understand. Do you?

*These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA, though they might disapprove of them anyway.

 

*Disclaimer: As an Wellness Advocate I provide my personal opinion and experiences with essential oils, and am not endorsed by dōTERRA Corporate. None of what I testify of has been evaluated by the FDA, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a registered medical professional and I encourage you to discuss your health concerns with your own doctor. I simply share resources and tools to raise consumer awareness. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer here

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Photo hosting, photo sharing, stock photos, Family Friendly Photo Community on Pix-O-Sphere

doTERRA, Young Living, and all Supplement Companies Censored by the FDA?

A few days ago the natural remedy community received a firm smack on the hand by the FDA when they sent warning letters to doTERRA, Young Living, and Natural Solutions Foundation. The common thread among these three warnings was a claim regarding the Ebola virus. Some essential oil enthusiasts claim to be censored and feel their freedom of speech has been violated. Is this really a case of censorship?

censorship essential oils FDA

There are two agencies which hold the responsibility of making sure all American companies are held accountable for how they label and market their products, the FDA and the FTC. In addition to this, the Ebola virus has a patent, which means no one can make a claim about Ebola unless they want to make waves with the inventors and owners.

Two of these three companies are Multi-level marketing companies with independent reps who market the products. While doTERRA’s corporate publications are in compliance, some independent reps have blogs that weren’t. doTERRA had already been working with those bloggers to bring their sites into compliance, as all essential oil advocates should do as well.

“Yesterday we received an advisory letter from the FDA. It addressed the way a select few Wellness Advocates have been marketing essential oils online. Because dōTERRA products are natural products and are not registered with the FDA as drugs, we are restricted on the health claims that can be made for marketing purposes. We recognize essential oils have profound health benefits, but it is important we not make claims that would position our products as drugs. For example, recommending an essential oil to cure a particular disease would be considered a drug claim. dōTERRA does not claim our products cure or treat the Ebola virus or any other disease.

dōTERRA works closely with you, our Wellness Advocates, to ensure marketing materials are compliant. Please understand the FDA is not suggesting dōTERRA is making claims in our marketing materials or labeling. Rather, they are encouraging us to make Wellness Advocates aware they should not make drug claims when marketing dōTERRA products.

In our normal course of compliance auditing practices, we had already identified and resolved some of the online marketing materials referenced in the FDA letter.”
See the Warning letter to doTERRA here.

Young Living also has reps with social media platforms that are not in compliance, as specified in the warning letters. See the Warning Letter to Young Living here.

peppermint essential oil

From what I have observed in the blogosphere, this seems to be a communication gap for bloggers and the FDA letters are there to serve us as well as our consumers. I don’t think these bloggers intended to deceive their readers or consumers. Many times it’s a thin rope to walk as we express how beneficial essential oils are for our wellness, coupled with personal testimonies of wholeness. This is an area of marketing that we all could use some brushing up on.
Many bloggers don’t understand the verbiage limitations for home remedies and supplements. Between the FDA and the FTC, their jobs are to make sure the marketing of products fit their intended usage.

Essential oils are not classified as drugs; therefore they should not be marketed as such. If we use verbiage traditionally used for treating diseases then that would make essential oils a drug. If essential oils were a drug, then we would not have the freedom to purchase them without a prescription. It is in the best interest of us consumers, to keep essential oils free from being held hostage by pharmaceutical companies in hopes that a physician decides to accept bribes to prescribe them.

I’m not sure this is a case of censorship as much as it is a reminder to market products based on their legal classification. When we represent products that we profit from, we have to be extra careful in how we describe them. If we weren’t in a position to profit, then our testimonials wouldn’t have the same guidelines issued to us by both the FDA and FTC.

Are essential oils unapproved drugs, as the FDA letters seem to indicate?

Technically, yes.
Essentially, no.

According to the FDA, if you sell and market a product intended to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease then it’s a drug. An unapproved drug automatically becomes an “illegal drug”. However, essential oils are not really drugs, they are botanicals under the listing of supplements. Essential oils are classified under foods as a dietary supplement.

eo bottles

When a blogger misrepresents an essential oil as a cure for a disease, then that blogger portrays essential oils as a drug. When this happens the FDA is required to step in and request a correction. So when you see the FDA state that oregano, peppermint, or vetiver essential oils are unapproved drugs, you need to see it in context of the manner in which the blogger explained those essential oils along with the reason the FDA issues the warnings.

When essential oils are described as remedies for diseases, then they are portrayed as a drug (without approval). It doesn’t necessarily make an essential oil a drug (or even an illegal drug). Though, the FDA says it does make it an illegal drug. Go figure.

Now, if I choose to take 3 drops of oregano oil (diluted of course) to ease my flu symptoms, I’m essentially taking an “illegal drug”. Do you see how convoluted these laws can become? If I choose to take oregano essential oil internally for the flu, that should be my personal choice and I should have the freedom to do so. It’s a matter of understanding context and having a clearer understanding of the classifications of these products. Perhaps the FDA can brush up on context and our Constitutional freedom. In the mean time, I won’t advertise oregano essential oil as a product that combats the flu.

  • Essential oils are not intended to cure, mitigate, treat, or prevent a disease.
  • Essential oils are supplements intended to support our body’s functions.

When our bodies are at optimal health, then the body naturally combats invaders that intend to harm us.

According to the FDA, a drug is:

“intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease in man or other animals” source

Furthermore, they describe a supplement as:

A “dietary ingredient” may be one, or any combination, of the following substances:
• a vitamin
• a mineral
• an herb or other botanical
• an amino acid
• a dietary substance for use by people to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake
• a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, or extract
Dietary supplements may be found in many forms such as tablets, capsules, softgels, gelcaps, liquids, or powders. Some dietary supplements can help ensure that you get an adequate dietary intake of essential nutrients; others may help you reduce your risk of disease.
source

The FDA does not approve dietary supplements. source

The FDA recently updated one of their pages just the other day (prior to these letters being issued), in regards to aromatherapy and essential oils. source

One thing they included, which seems like a grey area to me, is this;

“If a product is intended for a therapeutic use, such as treating or preventing disease, or to affect the structure or function of the body, it’s a drug. For example, claims that a product will relieve colic, ease pain, relax muscles, treat depression or anxiety, or help you sleep are drug claims.”

The part that concerns me here is ‘ease pain, relax muscles’ and ‘help you sleep’. This is where laws become a tangled mess and here’s why. Ice can ease pain and a hot bath can relax muscles. Are ice and hot water a drug then? A glass of warm milk helps me sleep; does that mean milk is a drug? If I use chamomile tea bags on my sunburn does that mean it’s a drug? Surely, the FDA won’t force milk, ice, hot water, and tea into a drug classification requiring a physician’s prescription before we can get our hands on them.

alyssum

While the FDA has a huge job to do in order to classify products and police blogs, Pinterest, and Twitter about what we use for home remedies, their legal jargon can become quite extreme.

So, what’s a blogger to do? Well, we need to use caution in how we describe home remedies, essential oils, milk, ice, or tea for that matter. Don’t portray these items as drugs that cure, treat, mitigate, or prevent diseases. If you use tea bags on your sunburn and want to talk about it, be sure you’re not selling the tea by directing people to your Amazon affiliate links. If you use warm milk to help you sleep, don’t link to an affiliate that sells milk.

While companies and their marketing reps are limited in what they say, consumers should have the freedom to say whatever they want.

In the meantime, check out the gazillion studies published on the government’s PubMed site that prove the amazing benefits of essential oils.

Did you know there was a Bill introduced to Congress that would support our FREEDOM to teach the truth about the scientific facts about supplements (including essential oils)? Unfortunately, the Bill died. WE the People need to get it back in Congress!

Read more about what YOU can do to protect this freedom!

*Disclaimer: As an Wellness Advocate I provide my personal opinion and experiences with essential oils, and am not endorsed by dōTERRA Corporate. None of what I testify of has been evaluated by the FDA, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a registered medical professional and I encourage you to discuss your health concerns with your own doctor. I simply share resources and tools to raise consumer awareness. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer here

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Photo hosting, photo sharing, stock photos, Family Friendly Photo Community on Pix-O-Sphere

Intuitive Uses for Essential Oils

I felt especially drawn to Wild Orange essential oil for quite some time and it didn’t matter why, I love it’s vibrant citrus aroma. Then I noticed, during that time, I was also drawn to Carnelian and orange colors in general. Carnelian is an orange stone and in Feng Shui it’s used to increase energy, joy, and protection. Do you ever feel drawn to a specific color like that? Colors have a mystical sort of power that draws us in to learn more about ourselves, if we allow them to.  The power of the color of Orange is a strong empowering color, draws things/people to itself, and promotes energy. Interestingly enough, essential oils have the same intuitive influence in our lives.  Intuitive uses for essential oils is an insightful way to support your spiritual and emotional journey to wellness.

 

use essential oils to improve your intuition

use essential oils to improve your intuition

So just what is intuition?

Intuition is that still small voice that nudges you to move towards your highest good. It can guide you to avoid accidents, avoid toxic relationships, and pursue a career path that aligns with your true desires. Your intuition can lead you to be understanding, reach out to people at just the ‘right time’, and teach you how to listen to your body.

When I was a little girl, I was in the front seat of my mother’s black El Dorado Cadillac. We were at the stop light, in front of the cross walk. There was no cross traffic at this very moment and she happened to glance into the rear view mirror. She reached over my chest and said, “Hold on!”. She punched the gas and ran the red light, swerving to the right side and stopped next to the curb. I saw another car speed through the intersection, driving wildly. Had she not seen that car coming in the mirror, we would have been hit.

My daughter, at the age of about seven years old, came into contact with a young teen in our neighborhood. She instantly felt the need to put up a wall between her and him. She felt uncomfortable around him and even detested hearing his name. Several years later, it was discovered that he had been taking advantage of one of her friends, a young girl who had been babysitting for he and his wife.

A woman I once knew seemed to have a steady relationship with her husband, but she confessed that she felt something wasn’t right. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but her inner nudging was leading her to be suspicious. As it turned out, he was addicted to drugs and running around with a loaded weapon in his possession.

When I was drawn to Wild Orange essential oil, the Carnelian stone, and the color of orange, I took some time to get to know each of these things in my life. My intuition was nudging me to dig deeper into what I truly desired and throughout this process I came to write and publish my first book. I needed energy and ambition to develop what was truly lingering in my deepest desires. I developed a joy for writing my story and in the process I had a lot of healing in my soul for past experiences that kept haunting me.

These are four powerful examples of how our intuition works in our lives.

What’s even more exciting is we can tap into that intuition, strengthen it, and tune our own ears to listen better.

Then it’s up to us to respond to our intuition and that takes faith, patience, and a keen awareness of how it works with us to improve our lives.

The more we listen to our intuition, the more we can learn from it. Oftentimes, people hear or feel that nudge, but dismiss it only to regret it later.

Learning to use essential oils, intuitively, takes practice too. In upcoming articles, I will begin to share how to use each essential oil in ways that can improve your intuitive connection and see mystical manifestations flourish before your eyes. These natural and potent substances can take you through an investigative journey through your past, uncover hidden blocks that hinder your success, and nurture the goodness and joy you deserve.

You can subscribe in the right side bar and when you do, you’ll need to confirm the link that is sent to your inbox. Once you confirm, you’ll get my free gifts to you.

{photo source}

Do you have an example of how your intuition has helped you?

*Disclaimer: As an Wellness Advocate I provide my personal opinion and experiences with essential oils, and am not endorsed by dōTERRA Corporate. None of what I testify of has been evaluated by the FDA, nor is it intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. I am not a registered medical professional and I encourage you to discuss your health concerns with your own doctor. I simply share resources and tools to raise consumer awareness. This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclaimer here

I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com

Photo hosting, photo sharing, stock photos, Family Friendly Photo Community on Pix-O-Sphere