Here’s Why I DON’T Sell Essential Oils on my Website

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

This is going to be an article that ticks people off – and some of those people will be my own readers. I’m sorry for offending you, but it’s got to be said. I don’t sell essential oils on my website and it’s for a very good reason.

It’s because there are so many people out there recommending them who have no idea what they’re talking about. And then, in turn, people who have no idea what they’re doing use those products, often to their detriment.

They got a kit for $200 (or whatever the price is now) that contained a book that told them what all these magical concoctions will do for you.  After reading the book, they know exactly what you need to purchase and dab into your belly button to heal your issues. Many of these distributors are recommending essential oils often in place of prescription medication or therapy by a practitioner who has invested tens of thousands of dollars into years of education.

Hey, I love natural remedies, but I also know there’s a time and a place for doctors and pharmaceuticals, too. Even though I know of a couple of bloggers that make – are you sitting down – over half a million dollars per year selling essential oils in an MLM – you’re not going to see me doing it.

I’m missing out big-time on that income but I can’t do it in good conscience.  I don’t want to encourage someone “downstream” who doesn’t know what they’re talking about to get involved in becoming an essential oil evangelist who gives terrible advice.

So, if I’m writing up a piece on making cleaning products or shower bombs, I might have an affiliate link that’ll earn me 50 cents, but I’m not ever going to join a company that encourages irresponsible recommendations.

I’m absolutely not saying that all the websites out there making money from essential oils are bad or that they don’t know what they’re talking about. A lot of these site owners are very knowledgeable.

But the purpose of an MLM (multi-level marketing) company is for the seller to get people under her to also sell products (from which she gets a cut.) And anyone who can cough up the cost of the starter kit can sell them. There’s no test, there’s no resume required, and nobody has to provide references. Literally anyone can be out there dispensing medical advice because they got a kit and a book.

There are absolutely legitimate uses for essential oils.

Before I get further into rant mode, let me say that there are absolutely some legitimate uses for essential oils.

Take clove oil, for example. A drop of it on an aching tooth can quickly relieve pain in many cases. When my daughter had her wisdom teeth out and ended up with dry socket, an excruciating complication that sometimes occurs when lower teeth are removed, the surgeon’s office packed the sockets with gauze inundated with clove oil.

But at the same time, when it’s used too often or at too high a concentration, it can cause damage to teeth, gums, and the skin inside your mouth. Clove oil at a too-high concentration can cause seizures and liver damage when used on children, and what’s more, if you take anticoagulant or antiplatelet medications, it can be contraindicated because it also slows clotting. Did your essential oil distributor warn you of these potential issues when she sold you your bottle of clove oil?

Tea tree oil is another fabulous product. Cosmetologists use it, diluted with a carrier oil, to soothe delicate skin after waxing and a spritz of it on the hair is said to be a deterrent to head lice. We have it in our home for a variety of uses, but we know it needs to be diluted before being applied directly to the skin and that for sensitive people, it can also cause itching, burning, and redness.

Eucalyptus oil is soothing to breathe in for a congested person. Many bugs have an aversion to certain scents. Some migraine sufferers swear by the application of peppermint oil. The smell of a specific scent can cause positive or negative mental reactions in people, maybe because of good or bad memory connected to that scent.

I use essential oils to scent my homemade cleaning products and my homemade bath products because I don’t want a bunch of artificial fragrances in my home.

I’m not saying that essential oils are inherently bad. Not at all. I have my own collection of them that I administer carefully and after great research. I know some people who I deeply respect whose advice I would take when it comes to these products.

Here’s my issue with essential oils.

My problem is the gosh-darned MLMs. Now, please note that not every person who sells via an MLM is a crackpot. Some of my good friends sell essential oils and made it their life’s mission to learn everything they could. I would absolutely trust their advice.

But then there are those others.

When you join an MLM, you get your kit, you get your book, you experiment on your family members, and boom. You’re an expert and you indirectly get money for doling out your advice and pushing oils on folks.

Your friend’s son has asthma? In your magical book, you have the answer. They need to buy 6 oils and put them in a diffuser they run round the clock. But, perhaps you don’t know this could also kill the cat that sleeps in his room.

There’s a deadly virus going around? Your company issues a memo explaining what oils to sell to people to “fight it off.” You haven’t done your own research, you don’t know what medications the people you’re selling to are on, and you don’t know the contraindications, but by golly, you made a whole bunch of money.

Disclaimer: Some people who sell through MLMs do research and have a background in health. Just because they sell through an MLM doesn’t mean they’re quacks. But it also doesn’t mean they’re experts. Personal anecdotes are not quantitative proof that this particular combo of oils works miracles. If you are a pal of mine, you can rest assured I’m probably not talking about you, but about the thousands of people who think that they’re you.

It’s important to also know that most of these companies are selling the exact same oils with different labels.  Hence, Company A is really not superior to Company B. They just might have better advertising.

What got me so fired up?

I saw an article on the Daily Mail. (Yeah, I know it’s a tabloid, but it’s my guilty pleasure after a long day reading depressing news.) Anyhoo, when I read this article, I saw all sorts of stuff that really made me angry.

This photo is from a guidebook distributed by an MLM essential oil company. I’m not naming names but you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding it if you want to search.

What the bleepity bleep, right?

Apply essential oil WHERE THE ABUSE TOOK PLACE?  That’s what it recommends for sexual abuse. It recommends putting essential oil on a mucous membrane without any talk of dilution with a carrier oil. NOTE: This stuff does not go on anyone’s hoo-haw. Never put an essential oil on a mucous membrane. Just don’t do it.

I posted this on my Facebook account asking if anyone knew more about it and a couple of experienced and talented practitioners had some insight. While it reads as though you should immediately go anoint yourself with Joy and Forgiveness after your husband beats you, these recommendations are used to work through your feelings after you’ve safely left the relationship.

And people I trust had some good things to say about this and since I haven’t lived the same experiences, I will just have to believe that oils, combined with therapy, can truly help some people during the aftermath of abuse. It really makes sense from a psychological standpoint that a product like this could enhance feelings of safety if the therapy is done correctly.

People on social media said I was taking it out of context, which is true. But when I got some context, my opinion was not improved.

HOWEVER.

However, that isn’t what the book said. The oils were used this way by my friends because they are sensible and did other research. They combined them with other therapies, as opposed to just using oils and hoping for the best. But shouldn’t the book say stuff like “after you’ve gotten away from your abuser” and “after you have received medical care and therapy?”

But it doesn’t. There are multiple versions of this horrific advice.

Note that at the footer it says whether the oils should be used aromatically, topically, or internally. Please also note that you should never put undiluted essential oil directly on your skin and most should not be taken internally.

There’s this version, too.

And it actually gets worse than this.

This stuff above is not even the worst advice some of these distributors dispense. Some of the advice can literally get you (or your innocent child) killed.

Am I saying to never use essential oils?

Of course not. They can be a fantastic addition to your home remedy kit and they can help you have a great-smelling home without toxic artificial fragrances.

Here’s what I’m saying.

Be very careful from whom you get your information. If it ever crossed your mind that person wasn’t too bright, for the love of puppies, don’t take medical advice from them. Always double and triple check the advice and not just on sites that also pimp essential oils from the same multi-level marketing corporation. A lot of the distributors went to a party, bought an oil they found helpful, and then went all in. They bought the kit, read the books, and went to the conventions. This does not mean they are now magically qualified to advise you on health conditions.

Don’t stop taking prescription medications because your EO distributor told you it would be fine. Look, I dislike Big Pharma as much as the next organic blogger, but I also don’t think you should, I don’t know, stop taking insulin because the person who got her medical training at an essential oil convention told you it would be just fine. If the oils are helping, this is wonderful. Make an appointment with your doctor and get the appropriate bloodwork to make sure that reducing or stopping your medication is a good idea.

Note this standard advice. And run like a mofo away from anyone who says otherwise. No undiluted oils on your skin, no mucous membranes.

Don’t take essential oils orally. Unless you are under the care of a highly qualified, well-educated herbalist – and even then, be cautious – do not consumer essential oils. They’re highly concentrated volatile compounds. So concentrated that one drop in a glass of water might be the equivalent of 50 cups of herbal tea.

Don’t rely solely on essential oils to treat something that might kill you. If you have cancer, an MRSA infection, diabetes, Ebola, or some other deadly condition that isn’t currently coming to mine, use your noggin. Get actual medical advice from an actual doctor, and if it’s cool, use essential oils as a supplementary part of your recovery.

Make sure you aren’t using essential oils that are contraindicated with your medication. If you are taking other medications, be sure that the essential oils you are using don’t conflict with them. Some might cancel them out while others might increase the strength of them. Be careful and if you’re in doubt, ask a pharmacist or a medical professional.

Don’t use essential oils on or around your pets. Don’t use a diffuser in the house if you have pets.

These oils are potentially toxic to dogs.

  • Clove
  • Geranium,
  • Tea Tree,
  • Garlic
  • Thyme,
  • Wintergreen
  • Juniper
  • Anise
  • Cinnamon,
  • Pennyroyal,
  • Citrus ( d-limonene)
  • Ylang Ylang,
  • Yarrow,
  • Sweet Birch,
  • Piner
  • Peppermint

These oils are potentially toxic to cats.

  • Wintergreen
  • Sweet birch
  • Citrus (d-limonene)
  • Pine
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Peppermint
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Pennyroyal
  • Clove
  • Eucalyptus
  • Tea tree

Be as careful with essential oils as you are with any drug.

Just because it’s natural, doesn’t mean it’s safe. Please use caution and get advice from someone who legitimately knows what they’re doing. If you’re looking for good advice without the MLM, go here.

Sometimes you need help that an essential oil cannot provide. Anyone who says otherwise is either delusional, willfully ignorant, or just wants your money.

Don’t think any of this stuff will resolve your issues if you are still in a bad situation.

If you are being abused in any way, get out of that situation safely. Find help from a friend or family member or call this number: 1−800−799−7233. When you are in a place you can trust, report the abuser. If you are a child, talk to a safe adult or call this number: 1-800-4 A CHILD. You don’t deserve that and an essential oil will not solve your problem.

...If you are feeling suicidal, please get help. Talk to someone who can understand where you’re coming from. If there’s nobody in your life who can understand, call 1-800-273-8255. Those people WILL understand and they will be able to help. An essential oil will not heal your depression if it is this deep.

What do you think?

I know I’ve ruffled feathers, killed sacred cows, and probably made my way through the whole barnyard of ticking people off. Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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    • It is a very good article. Daisy Luther is making it clear that never letting loose of your common sense is of the essence.

  • Don’t worry about what others think about this post. Trolls are everywhere these days and their opinions are irrelevent. I appreciate the heads up on potential risks with essential oils.

  • Thank you for posting this. I feel EO’s are dangerous, and they’re not in my house. Plus those little bottles are a pain in the butt to open!

    • Julie C, I have a little bottle of Eucalyptus oil I keep open all the time. No need for a diffuser. The oil evaporates very slowly, and it cleans the air in the room of pernicious germs (a French physician, Dr. Valnet) wrote a book about essential oil in the 50’s in which he explained how a little vial of Lavender oil, put in a corner of a hospital room where there was some air movement, would notably lower the air in that room of unhealthy germs after 2 hours, and totally clean it after 24 hrs – zero germs.

      I chose Eucalyptus oil rather than Lavender because Eucalyptus is particularly good for your respiratory organs, it will help and stimulate your breathing (I needed this particularly for many years). Additionally, when I feel a need for it, I take a few drops into the palms of my hands and massage the oil broadly into my skin on breast, throat and/or arms.

      I will however never apply the oil of lemon or cinnamon directly on the skin. You just have to know what you are doing (but then, this is really important, as this article also tries to explain).

  • Daisy,I found your article quite in line with an experience I had a few years ago. A friend of mine came over for a visit with his family. His wife was a fledgling essential oil enthusiast and was promoting it to our family. Their young son threw a stick for the dog and inadvertently hit his father right in the forehead with the stick. His wife enthusiastically and confidently got out her essential oils and applied them to the injured area. Long story short, the essential oils sealed the cut, not allowing it to drain properly and caused it to get infected so severely that it required a 2 day stay in hospital with an antibiotic intervenes drip to successfully fight the severe infection. I think your experience and your article is exactly on point in regards to essential oils.

    • However that may be, it is still surprising that an infection would follow after an application of essential oil , as they practically all (if not all) have typically strong antiseptic properties. Do you by chance know what essential oil(s) she was using, or if there was anything else she did – maybe after applying the essential oil?

  • I got snookered into one of those MLM deals. And as a licensed medical professional, was astounded by some of the claims and recommendations ‘suggested’ by the company. And talk about lack of education. I still use EO’s but am no longer affiliated with any company. I do my own research, I buy oils from multiple reputable sources. I do not ingest oils and advise against it. Thank you for an enlightening article Daisy. Don’t let the trolls bother you.

  • Tea tree oil is another fabulous product. Cosmetologists use it, diluted with a carrier oil, to soothe delicate skin after waxing and a spritz of it on the hair is said to be a deterrent to head lice. We have it in our home for a variety of uses, but we know it needs to be diluted before being applied directly to the skin and that for sensitive people, it can also cause itching, burning, and redness.

    What carrier oil do you use??

    • I’m not a cosmetologist but I believe it’s generally something like avocado or fractionated coconut oil.

      • I am not a cosmetologist either, but I started using essential oils more than 30 years ago and have some experience with it (apart from reading up on them quite a bit). IMHO you could simply use virgin olive oil but very little of it, just a few drops to dilute the few drops of essential oil in it. If you massage this into your skin (normally over a rather large area), it will let the essential oil slowly diffuse into your skin from where it spreads into the bloodstream (EO’s normally can diffuse through the skin in minutes or even seconds). It should just be natural virgin oil, not chemically treated in any way.

        It goes without saying, if you have any allergy or other skin problem you should use precaution where needed, maybe consult a doctor I suppose.

  • Here Here Daisy! It’s articles like this that have attracted me to you and The Organic Prepper for years. Call it as it is, and give all the information so that people can make the most informed decisions for themselves. You may loose 3-4 followers because your narrative doesn’t fall in line with their agenda, but you solidify relationships with people like me and attract several more because you employ honesty and integrity.

  • Oh thank you a million times over! I have been an herbalist using both herbs, tinctures, infused oils & essential oils in my practice for over 30 years. I had a small herb shop for several years & still see a few clients in my home from time to time. No one buys an essential oil until I am convinced they understand what they are doing with it! The worst thing that has happened to holistic healing is big corporations that are just as fixated on the almighty dollar as big pharma. Three very popular pyramid scheme companies charge outrageous prices with the only instructions available those their vendors have heard at meetings. Please, people, listen to Daisy!

  • I think you give some good advice! I did belong to an MLM, but to me and my husband, it seemed it was more about the sell, how many oils you could by, and how many people you could get signed on below you. My gut instinct about the oil uses, number of drops (which in many recipes were way too high, and used too many oils), and what I was sharing might not be the best information led me to actually find out the best resources and start taking the coursework to become a certified aromatherapist. I definitely don’t recommend ingesting oils, unless like you say, do it under the strict supervision of an herbalist or a clinical aromatherapist who is experienced.
    I like the information you share with us. Keep us the good work!

  • Believe it or not , you have not ruffled my feathers! In fact, you have given me/us some VERY valuable information! I am considering oils myself, so I am pleased to run across good information. As you say, study well what you are learning. Thank you .

  • Good for you, Daisy. I never saw an MLM that was trustworthy. From Amway to Scientology, pyramid schemes only serve the top echelon and fleece the rest.

  • I am not a distributor of any oils, but when I saw that the first oil had a name like SARA, I figured it was a blended oil. It seems like many blends often have a carrier oil mixed in with them. This one has sweet almond oil as the first listed oil in the ingredients. That’s something for people to look at when they use different oil blends.

    • Was it Ravensara? Ravensara is a plant and a genuine essential oil. Watch out with blends. Essential oils should be natural and not chemically altered in any way. No need to say, synthetical essential oils do not have the same properties as the natural ones do.

  • You are doing a great job? You are giving information that will help people. There’s nothing wrong with that. Your thinking of others which many people don’t do these days. Your bravery for letting us know what’s really going on is unbelievable. Please don’t stop. So many of us depend on you. Praying for you everyday.

  • I love essential oils for very specific things. I never use any unless I’m using a carrier oil. I don’t know all about them, so I’m going to be very careful with them. I really appreciate the heads up about their negative effects on pets. I really liked this post for all of the common sense in it. Common sense seems to be very rare these days. Keep up the good work.

  • Great article! Thanks so much for putting this out to your readers. There is another piece of information they need to know. NOT ALL ESSENTIAL OILS ARE THE SAME!!!! Most of the MLM essential oils cannot prove provinence. Most have been purchased on the mass market and with some of the more expensive oils there is sometimes some adulteration. Some companies add another oil or chemical to the oils that changes the way they interact with your body. ALWAYS buy your oils from a reputable company (of which there are very few) that can trace the origin of their oils. There are several labels for oils of which you need to be aware. Organic, natural, therapeutic grade, etc. DO NOT mean they are the best out there. The best out there are known as genuine and authentic, plant derived, preferably organic or wild crafted, unadulterated essential oils. Please, if you (your audience) are really interested in essential oils, read the following article: https://aromaticstudies.com/the-quality-of-essential-oils/. You will be very surprised by what Jade Shutes has to say about essential oils. And the best place to buy your oils in the US? Originalswissaromatics.com. They purchase from the grower/producer and sell directly to the public. Ok. Now I’m off MY high horse!

  • Great article! Just wondering though what your opinion is on using Lavender EO undiluted on skin. It’s my understanding that Lavender EO is the only essential oil that can safely be used in that way (for its antibacterial properties). What do you think Daisy?

    • I don’t use any oils without a carrier. I know that lots of people do use lavender but I would rather err on the side of caution. You could use clear alcohol (like vodka) as the carrier to make an antibacterial product. Shake well every time you use it.

  • Thank you Daisy for a well-timed reminder and caution for the organic set.

    Found EOs when I was going through a very difficult time in caregiving. Not enough sleep, anxiety, angry, etc. They really worked! But like most who responded here, the MLM was NOT for me. After much research, found a small time company that does their homework with all the proper red flags.

    My concern is the multitude of people who have gotten on the EO bandwagon and how much of the plant world it takes to fill the growing demand. As a prepper I think that someday the convenience of readymade EOs is going to vanish. So, it seemed that growing useful herbs in my own garden was a more efficient way to go long term with herbal resources — as Linda above has done. Got a library going and lots of seeds sprouting this year. Even if I never use something, it seems right to have it because life is full of contingencies.

  • Excellent article Daisy. Those who ignore this do so at their own peril. I have a friend who almost lost her dog diffusing a MLM blend. So make sure you know what oils are in your blends.

  • Totally agree!! Great article.. I have some EO products, but mostly I don’t know what to do with them and all I have read so far is anecdotal stories of how they work. I am studying, however, for myself. And, I NEVER buy from an MLM company. (Also, don’t sell EO on my website for the same reasons.)

    Thanks, Daisy!

  • I agree with most everything you said. I am a member of one of those MLM companies, and I do encourage my team to learn as much as possible and to always tell people to be careful with the oils as they are very potent. I appreciate your info about oils and pets also. Most people don’t realize what they have in their hands. I encourage everyone who uses oils to do their research. Understand what they are using. Definitely do not stop taking your medication without checking with your doctor. Listen to your body too. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it!

  • Thank you for this. When I got really sick, 12 years ago, I was using essential oils trying to cure myself. But there’s no oil that treats hypovolemia and dysautonomia. It’s been a struggle to find an allopathic doctor who knows what this is, and I have to be on a heart failure medication because I put off treatment for so long.

  • Daisy,
    I just wanted to say thank you for writing this article, I have to admit I was hesitant to read it at first because I use essential oils for allot of aspects in mine and my family’s life but as you mentioned I’m very careful. So many people out there are unsuspecting or uneducated and because of that end up doing more harm than good. I wish the industry could be more regulated, for these natural yet powerful oils. I often wonder if we all banned together if we could find a way to make it happen lol

  • You should also be careful with supplements as well. True story, after the birth of my first child I had trouble nursing and had a very low milk supply. The lactation specialists AT THE HOSPITAL told me to take fenugreek. Fenugreek is a spice used in Indian cooking. Sounds safe right? Recommend by a health care professional right? What they didn’t know, I didn’t know, even my doctor didn’t know was that fenugreek blocks whatever else you are taking, including antibiotics. My C section became infected. I went three rounds of different antibiotics including Ciprofloxacin which is supposed to kill just about anything. Not only did I have to pump and dump nothing worked. Eventually about 6 weeks later I just happened to be sharing my experience at a conference for lactation specialists. After explaining everything I was going through the woman running the event, an expert on all things breast feeding, told me this little known fact. As soon as I stopped taking the fenugreek the antibiotics worked and the infection cleared up. Moral of the story, even people who should know don’t always know everything about what they are recommending.

  • Very well written and very sage advice. I am learning slowly about EOs and one of the first things I did was find a book that has which EOs are contraindicated with what medications. People may think thats crazy but ya know, grapefruit is a no no with certain medications and so is ginger.

  • A dose of common sense. Those posts you showed looks like an introduction to the occult. I was planning to make some sprays with the oils listed and now I’ll look into something else because of the pet issue. Plus that statement about how many cups of tea one drop could potentially make puts things in perspective. Personally none of those oils worked out for getting rid of a headache, just coffee and/or headache medicine. I wish I could get the tumeric to work for that because I get them a lot……

  • Daisy:

    Just wanted to say thanks for your excellent blog and your news site. You are doing a great service for a lot of people.

  • I almost killed my cat using essential oils and a diffuser. I had no idea. He started puking every night out of the blue and something just told me to look it up online and I was basically killing him, very slowly. I stopped using the diffuser and no more puking. I hate to think what would have happened if I hadn’t realized it. I love him and would never intentionally hurt him. And yes putting essential oils on your skin directly can damage your skin too.

  • Ms Luther i have been a Prepper all my Teenage and adult life simple reason i go camping and two i live in Commiefornia and I prepare for Earthquakes and fire and flood TDS , as a child my best and oldest friend,HIS parents were involved with the Camp Fires girls and well being a male i was always prepared around girls ,with that said two oils you should advertise and can believe in with all your Heart are safe for mankind for If They were A Gift to Jesus Christ from very Wise Men and the Bible tells me so Frankincense and Myrrh there use’s are Legendary and should be on the top of any oil list .These oils would be a great topic for you to research and write about .feeling free to write me and i can give you some first hand real world apps that i was so happy to have them in my Camping Box and round the house .

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