Which Essential Oils Company is Best? Are Multi-Level Marketing Oils Worth It? – Part 5

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The big names in Essential Oils are Young Living and doTERRA--but they'll set you back quite a few bucks. Are they worth it? Come find out what I think about that...it gets pretty dicey in the comment area--you've been warned :)!

If you’ve been thinking about, or already are using, essential oils, at one time or another you’ve likely wondered if you should be part of Young Living, doTERRA, or some other multi-level marketing (MLM) company to get “the best essential oils” at a discount.

Today let’s talk about these MLM companies up close to see the pros and cons of joining–and whether or not what they have to say is really true.

The Best Essential Oil Series continues.

The 3 “Heavy Hitters” in the MLM essential oils business are:

Young Living
doTERRA, with
Be Young having somewhat of a presence as well.

Now–I’m all about saving money.  So of course when I can either buy something at retail, or get the same things for 25-35% off (typical MLM rep discount), then you can bet I’m going to check into it.

Well, I’ve been an MLM rep for a number of different companies, including YL and doTERRA (DT), so here are my thoughts about MLMs–mainly regarding the oils companies, but some of my thoughts extend to other MLMs as well.  I did some research into BeYoung but chose not to become a rep of their company.

Multi-Level Marketing Dilemma – Young Living and doTERRA

Positives of the oil MLMs

1.  Education / Resources

I really like the support available with both YL and doTERRA.  I didn’t avail myself of all of it, but of what I did, I found doTERRA’s support network to be stronger.  Both companies had websites with treatment and/or testimonial resources available (actually, the most valuable resources were not but together by the companies, but by outside sources–likely reps high up in the business).  Smaller companies don’t have such opportunities, typically.  That being said, there are some negatives even to these resources and their recommendations (see internal usage below).

2.  Money Making Opportunity

Of course, you can save money by becoming a rep, but you can also make money when you share the products, and opportunity, with others.  I think, when done right,  MLMs are fine.  Reps are basically paid salespeople who get rewarded for sharing products with others.

Negatives of Oil MLMs

1.  Misleading marketing practices

(CPTG, Certified Therapeutic Grade, E.O.B.B.D.)

All 3 of the Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) essential oils leaders claim that they have a corner on “therapeutic grade,” but their names for it are different.

- Young Living calls their oils “Young Living Therapeutic Grade”
- doTERRA– “CPTG”
- BeYoung : “E.O.B.B.D.”  This certification appears to have roots in Europe, but some claims about it on the internet are not accurate and/or aren’t that meaningful.  After reading the details of E.O.B.B.D., I believe that any good oils company should be doing all of this.  And the “smart guys” in the industry can fool these GC/MS tests. Yes, that’s true. They know what the tests are looking for and they know how to get around it. Just like the athletes can fool the doping tests.

The gist of it is this:  YL, DT, and BY all say that only their oils are good enough for you to use because of the testing that they have done.

But the reality is this:  It looks like they’re all about the same–except that YL tests their own oils.

The YL and doTERRA names are basically terms made up so that they can have a label to put on their oils (except with Be Young, which actually is using an already determined standard).

2.  Pressure to buy more than you need

Like I said, I love saving money.  So every month, when I had the opportunity to get a freebie or earn 10-30% credit toward future orders, I felt the urge to buy.  And typically I did.  Get rep pricing without signing up!)

3. Possible Dangerous Recommendations

I am not up on the practices of Be Young, but I know YL and doTERRA both have a heavy emphasis on internal use of essential oils.  I wasn’t too concerned about this at first, but as I’ve learned more I have gotten more worried about this.

Both recommend internal use of oils liberally, with doTERRA even having a Slim and Sassy blend that they recommend taking internally numerous time per day, for a long period of time, in order to aid weight loss.  There are protocols on the internet recommending internal use of grapefruit oils by YL reps in order to lose weight.

I’ve used oils internally and felt that they were helpful (though the Slim and Sassy did nothing for me :-(), but I have been doing some re-thinking about this.  Oils are super potent.   It takes about 16 pounds of peppermint leaves to make 1 ounce of peppermint oil.  Wow.  (Source)

You really need to recognize that, when you use oils, you are using something super strong.  The owner of one oil company told me that, when using oils internally, especially “hot oils” like:

- oregano
- cinnamon
- clove
- citrus oils

you need to make sure to supplement with probiotics also because the hot oils destroy not only bad bacteria, but also the good. Makes sense to me.

A number of folks in the oils industry have suggested that the reason YL and doTERRA recommend so much internal usage of oils is to drive up usage and drive up sales.  I don’t know their motivation, but that would make perfect sense.

4.  Savings Not What They Seem

When I signed up with YL and then later, with doTERRA, I was really excited to get about

- 30% off retail prices
- freebies each month (with a qualifying order) and
- credit toward future purchases, provided you keep ordering monthly.  YL gives you 1 month off each year, but doTERRA has no such grace period.

Well, when it came time to cash in my points, I got a little surprise from doTERRA (guess I should have read the fine print).  There are fees for using your points.  $3 per $100 used.

YL takes $1-$4 off of each check–for “maintenance” to “figure out your commission” (quote from a CSR)–just to send you your earnings .  doTERRA charges $1.95 for each check cut.

I don’t mean to be too sarcastic here, but that would sure be nice to earn $1.95 for cutting a check.   I don’t see why there should be a fee to “figure out your commission.”  Doesn’t software do that?

Then, each year, doTERRA charges an annual fee ($25) to be a rep, but they send you a bottle of peppermint oil.  Again, I don’t mean to be too harsh, but remember my concerns about their peppermint oil?  I’m just not sure how much it’s worth.

Finally, everyone knows that a good bit of the pricing of MLM products go toward rewarding “top reps” with trips to Hawaii, etc.  One company told me that the percentage of their pricing that goes toward commissions and rewards is 40%.  :-(.

5.  Privacy Issues

Some people don’t want to give out their SS# to become a rep.  The companies need these to file taxes with the IRS.  I understand concerns about keeping your SS# private.  One alternative is to get a Tax ID # from your state. (Update: One reader shared there is a way to get a discount from doTERRA without your SS#)

6.  Over-the-Top Devotion

I’ve been pretty disappointed with the response of some readers to Part 4 of this Best Essential Oils series.  There’ve been numerous attacks on my character, both here, on Facebook sites, and elsewhere. (Check out Part 4 to see comments and my responses.)

I’d really hoped to finish this series earlier this week, but responding to these attacks has taken a lot of time.

I’ve been accused of:

- seeking to tear down doTERRA
- profit-seeking (some said the motive behind this series will be clear when I share the “winner.”)
- analysis totally lacking in science, being based only on “smell tests”

I assure you–none of this is true and this brings up my final concern about these MLMs.

I am NOT anti-MLM.  In fact, I’m a rep for Lilla Rose (see my Lilla Rose Review) and one other company that I am evaluating right now.  {UPDATE:  I am still with this company and LOVE them. Totally not pushy and “over the top” quality products. You can read about their probiotic here.}

But having devotion to a company that results in attacks of this sort taints the reputation of all MLMs and their reps.  It’s frankly uncalled for.

I started checking out various oils companies because I didn’t want to recommend any company without fairly checking out the competitors.  I felt it would be a disservice to my family and to my readers.

I chose the oils company that I will recommend next week because I believe it’s a solid oils company with unwavering commitment to quality and purity.  As with everything on my blog, if I can make money appropriately from my recommendations, I will do it.  This is standard blogging practice.

There are things on my blog that I recommend that I don’t make any money from–but I recommend them because I believe in them (See my Heavy Metal Toxicity post).

I can’t promise I’ll always be right, but I can promise you that I will do my best, within reason (I do have a family with health conditions, and we homeschool and eat all whole foods) to get the best information to you and correct myself whenever I’m wrong.

So–are the MLM oils worth it?  I don’t think they are terrible products, necessarily, but I do think that you can get a better “bang for your essential oils buck.”  Stick with this bargain and quality-hunting mama– I hope to share early next week!

More Posts in the Best Essential Oils Series:

- Which Essential Oils Company is Best? – Part 1
- Best Essential Oils – What a Good Oils Company Should Have – Part 2
Which Essential Oils Company is Best – Troubles with the Oils Industry – Part 3
- Young Living vs. doTERRA – Part 4
Distillation, Bias, Vomit and More Concerns – Part 6
-Announcing “the Best” Essential Oils Company – Part 7

So–what do you think?

The information here is for entertainment purposes only. Please consult a medical professional before changing your diet, exercise program, or before trying any natural remedies.
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  1. Kathleen M says:

    Ha! After reading your #4, and reading a lot of the comments, I felt horrible for you. I have been nervous for you and still am. The attacks are, like you said, Not needed! I commend you on your honesty and your OPINIONS. If I didn’t, I simply would not come to your blog. May I say… “Thank you Adrienne for your honesty and your well wishes for all that read your words. I appreciate all the work you have put in to helping your family and others.”

  2. Thank you for the leg-work you have been doing to provide the information on essential oils. I really appreciate your hard work. I’m not likely to switch from where I purchase my oils to a mlm but I’m grateful to have the information.

  3. I appreciate what you’ve been doing. This is something I have been curious about, but haven’t had the time to do the research you’re doing. I’ve been following closely. Ignore the haters. You’re providing a valuable service.

  4. Jennifer in PA says:

    Keep up the good work. I SO much agree with you over not using these oils internally. JEssie Hawkins of Vintage Remedies and J&M Botanicals says the same thing very strongly. It needs to be heard and I think the internal use is a dangerous practice no matter whose brand you use. Looking forward to your conclusion.

    • I was so glad to hear it. Honestly, it was hard for me at first because I was really excited to use oils internally to lose weight. I am not huge by any means, but that extra bit that plagues me–well, I’d like to be done with it. Oh well. Back to biking and weights :). The body just doesn’t respond as well as you get a little older :).

      • Adrienne, you don’t have to use oils internally to lose weight. Many people have success applying them topically to their “problem areas.” They probably won’t do much to curb your appetite if not taken internally, but there are still benefits. :)

  5. I do purchase my oils from a MLM, but I am not about to slander anyone for their opinions. Opinions are like noses…everyone has one. I do appreciate the time you take to research and write out what you think. It does help others develop their own opinion and causes them to research things themselves. Thanks for all you do!

  6. Thanks for the good work! MLM companies get a bad rap, but I don’t think they should. It’s a shame we, as consumers do pay more due to the nature of the biz, but it’s nice to be rewarded.

  7. I would love to see more details on your decision on Mountain Rose Herbs. I haven’t seen you go into detail about them like you have the others.

    Thanks for your hard work!

  8. I had in the past been involved in ELEVEN different MLM’s, ranging from nutrition to cosmetics to financial services, and lost money EVERY time! I would caution anyone considering joining an MLM that 99% of the people who join any of them will lose money. Check http://mlm-thetruth.com/
    Now, if there is an MLM that makes a product you happen to like, be sure to check E-Bay and Craigslist. There are always people getting out of these companies that are seeking to get rid of their inventory, and you can get products for way less.

    • Or…you could check my store page for oils, right :-)?

      • What’s the difference in using oils from an MLM, tell our friends what we are using, and getting a bit of an “advertising” paycheck for it….and YOU choosing oils to use, sharing with your friends/followers what you are using, and then getting some kind of credit selling them at your store page? NOTHING. No difference at all.

        • Thanks Melissa. You are exactly right, except I was told I could make $8000 per month w/ doTERRA and I assure you I am NOT doing that now :).

          • Hello, I stumbled across your blog because I was researching for KIS essential oils ( found nothing but where I can buy it so far). I have been reading your posts about this subject with interest because a) I have done many MLMs and b) I have used homeopathic medicine all my life since I am half German and in Germany one usually goes to the Apothecary /pharmacy to ask for recommendations before going to t the doctor and the Apothecary smells like my oils box.
            I first became aware of essential oils for use with calming animals – I am a horse trainer and breeder- I learnt about one Dr from England who produced flower essences and they were recommended and did nothing for my particular problem horse ( the first I could not work with in 40 years ) , then I found an animal communication clinic and thought I would give that a try to broaden my education – it was there that I was introduced to YL oils. I was given one that was recommended for calming.- NO effect. That horse went to work for the Amish . Then a friend invited me to a class on essential oils and frankly learning about the science all made sense. That was almost 3 years ago. That friend now DOES earn about $8000 per month BUT the difference is she didn’t get into it to earn money , she got into it to share the good news and she was committed to educating people.
            The reason I was researching KIS oils is because I was just at the home of a young mother with 2 sick children that she has not had vaccinated . I was asked to go there because she wanted to learn about essential oils and when I arrived she poured out her bag of oils from many different companies and sources. She had no clue what was safe or not, what was pure or not on the other hand I had no qualms of rubbing the ones I had brought with me on her 1 year old with coconut oil to dilute because I have the education and I know the science. I didn’t get into the Essential oils with doTerra to make money , I purchased them for myself and just like I used to purchase other vitamins , supplements and off the counter meds , these oils that have replaced all of those spending dollars are simply part of my budget which is healthier for them AND I am healthier too.
            I am 45 and had some hearing loss, I just gave it up to getting older until I got Bronchitis and had to treat that aggressively for 3 rounds which is when I started learning more about sinuses etc . It turned out I had a deep seated sinus infection with none of the normal symptoms- the bronchitis was a progression of that infection that must have been slowly spreading for at least 3 years. I had been seeing a doc and he never found it. Well the side effect of my battle with bronchitis was that I was better educated about my body and sinuses , the oils AND I regained my hearing:) The other side effect is that as I share my good news with my friends and let them decide for themselves, I now earn enough that I get my family’s oils for free. There is noting wrong with that. The only product I carry in my home is product I use. Unlike other MLMs I do not have to carry un necessary stuff on hand or lug around in multiple trips in out of someone’s home for a ‘party’. In part one, I noticed your said that to save money with doTerra you have to spend about $100 per month and that is INCORECT – you may have already made the correction, The ONLY investment you have to do to earn wholesale 25% discount privileges – like buying a Cosco membership is $35 for the 1st year, $25 after that if you only buy one bottle of oil in that year then it is a waste but there is no other commitment. The $100 per month spending is if you are at the point that you find yourself naturally wanting to share what good stuff you have found with other people that you would like to earn a commission and it is basically a business investment that you get back plus it is on product that you use anyway. I would rather invest in products for myself , my family and farm animals that I know are pure enough to be used in the scientific community and have all the education resources that the company offers at my finger tips than be like the mother I went to visit this week having spent $$$ on a bag full of oils that I have no idea how to use, am on my own trying to learn and have NO idea really what is in those bottles really and if they are at all safe because they are not regulated. In the mean time when this mother told me that her YL friend told her that doTerra’s oils burn, I happily took out my Oregano and dropped a drop on my wrist after letting her smell it ,for her to watch the reaction on my own skin. Why was I comfortable doing this? Because I know my oils and I know how my own body reacts to them ( every one has different sensitivities) and I trust what I know because it is backed up with science that I have seen. Sorry you were encouraged to join doTerra to make money that is flat the wrong reason to join.
            As for the MLM side. Anyone who produces a product will never sell it unless they get the word out about it. They can do this in basically one of 3 ways, pay big advertising bucks for TV and other traditional adds, infomercials, put the product on the shelves and hope for the best or use the good old grape vine- which essentially is what I see an MLM as being. All of these marketing tools necessarily involve cost . Tell me would you ever get the full benefit of a 100% pure therapeutic grade essential oil like Lavender if you just bought it off the shelf because it smelt nice? Not without education. Would you spend $20 on a tiny bottle of lavender unless you knew it’s potency and purity just for the smell ? Not likely. Does marketing essential oils via TV adds or infomercials makes sense to you ? Not to me – you have to experience them. Frankly I would much rather the company spend it’s advertising dollars by giving them to me as I share what I have learn’t with others and on educating me so I can share with more people.

            • Thanks for commenting. Just to clarify, I never said one had to spend any amt of $ on the MLM oils more than the mandatory, but many figure out how much the oils cost based on the freebies they can get and that incentivizes them to buy more and more to effectively get a discount. That is what I meant.

              As for the $, that is not why I was encouraged to get into doTERRA. But along the way I was encouraged that I could make $8,000 or more per month. I am not happy w the lack of consistency in answers about their quality, and have read other things about there being vanillin in their peppermint….these things give me pause. Or more than pause.

              I have nothing inherent against MLMs. I am working with 2 of them right now and I love them. But I wasn’t happy w/ the marketing practices and more w/ doTERRA and YL. So I left. I hope that clears things up. Thanks!

            • I agree with you Christine! I have recently been introduced to doTerra. I had started using other essential oil brands found in the local health food store. doTerra oils are wonderful and everyone that I have met, that has used them has had remarkable results. I use them on a daily basis. I tell other people about them because they really work and I want to share good things with other people. I don’t care about making money, I just want to share something good with everyone so that they can be healthy. The people at doTerra are very open and up front about their oils. They are so willing to share because they want to share the good news with everyone. And yes people can make big money, I know of one individual who made $35,000 last month from selling them. They are not greedy people. They are not out to make a lot of money. They make money because they have a wonderful product that they love to share and know with honesty that the doTerra product works.

  9. I haven’t read all your comments, but I did search for “Mountain Rose Herbs” and see where you mention they are not recommended to ingest internally. Could it be they are aware of the dangers of over-doing it, like you are mentioning here in this post?

  10. Thank you for all of your work!
    Please don’t let all of the negative comments get to you.
    This is YOUR BLOG and YOUR OPINIONS…if anyone doesn’t agree they can do the research and write about it on their blog.
    Thank you again.

    • Thanks, Marie. Like I’ve said before, I am not sure why other bloggers who have said negative things about doTERRA didn’t get this kind of flack. Maybe because I am picking a company? I haven’t figured that out yet. The one I mentioned specifically has almost 3 times the subscribers that I do.

  11. A certain company known for gadgetry decided to sue Consumer Reports over its review of their air purifier. No details of how the analysis was wrong, no suggestions on how to make it better, they just did not want CR to be able to publish information that might negatively affect their sales.

    I flat out refuse to buy anything from that company now.

    That’s how I view the people who insult and try to tear down people who are doing valid reviews of their products. I tend to think they must be trying to hide something if they’re going to fight someone’s opinion and tests that hard. Who knows if the MLM essential oils are better than what I can buy otherwise, but I’m not going to buy from any company whose representatives can’t be civil.

    • Well, to the reps defense, the ladies whom I signed up under have not been lacking in civility and I did talk with one of them about internal use of oils and she was concerned about overuse as well. So it is not that all reps are that way. Just some. How can someone sue about a negative review like that?

      • I guess the only reps I ever heard about the ones who tick people off!

        People can sue for anything. I looked – that company is now bankrupt (Sharper Image).

        • Yeah, but a company needs to think they can win. I just saw the info about the suit. They lost. Because the court couldn’t figure out how the findings were wrong or how malice was involved. Very interesting.

  12. Hi Adrienne, Good posting. One testimonial I have about amounts is, my 87 yera old mom developed a cough when on a UTI medication (found out laster from a chemist that the med lays a person open to respiratory infections while killing bacteria in urinary tract)
    Her MD said use over the counter remedies to alleviate mucus, and cough. None worked. Of course, we used health food store products first. The only thing that worked, was 4 drops Thieves from YL four times a day in applesauce. From Thursday to Thursday, her cough went from low in the lungs, and worked up and out. My sister came on the first Thursday and was in tears hearing mom, then the next Thursday, she was healthy again. It was amazing. Sometime using enough does help move through the healing process to get to the other side. One drop, even four times a day wouldn’t have worked.

    • Thanks, Jackie. I do feel, personally, that internal use is sometimes a good idea. But I am puzzled when some say that through the skin or nose is more powerful. If that’s true, then why would we even need to use them internally?

      • Adrienne,

        I have been taught that it totally depends on what issue/condition you are treating and what oil you are using that determines whether you need to “smell” it, therefore going through the nose or use it internally or on the skin. For emotional issues or AD(H)D issues, it is more often recommended for the person to inhale the oils for best effect. I have experienced that is very true. It also depends on the oil, some are meant to balance certain parts of your body and may need to be applied in that specific area or to the bottoms of the feet following the reflexology patterns to coordinate with that part of the body. When fighting infection, I find if you can get the oil near the infection and use ENOUGH oil or the RIGHT oil, it fights the infection, however, it works much quicker for me to get the oils into the WHOLE SYSTEM internally so the body can fight it off from the inside as well. It’s complicated, but not………there are many ways to use the oils, but it makes sense why some may work better when inhaled than just applied topically.
        The reason the oils have such an effect on emotions and ADD type issues is because when we inhale essential oils, they affect the limbic system which controls emotions, memory and other things that relate to anxiety, ADD, memory, etc. I’m putting the info below to better explain. I used a source not promoting a specific oil company.

        “Because the limbic system is directly connected to those parts of the brain that control heart rate, blood pressure, breathing, memory, stress levels, and hormone balance, scientists have learned that oil fragrances may be one of the fastest ways to achieve physiological and psychological effects. Let’s review for a moment-the olfactory process which is located in the head.

        Fragrance molecules enter the nose with the breath-migrate through the thin mucus layer covering the olfactory epithelium where there are the 5 to 10 million olfactory nerve cells. Each nerve cell has receptor sites to fit each aromatic molecule shape-like a key in a lock. They transmit the odor along the nerve fibers in the form of electrical impulses to the olfactory bulb which in turn passes the stimulus to the higher cortical centers of the brain. Do the various essential oil molecules actually enter the brain itself? NO-only the electrical impulses from the various compounds.

        The electrical impulses pass first into the limbic system-amygdala, hippocampus and cortex to the hypothalamus which influences the endocrine and nervous systems? we get an emotional effect. Past memories associated with the scent are evoked and immediately a feeling is registered. Once an odor is registered in the brain-it moves much more quickly the next time it is smelled.

        The limbic system is involved with the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is a very important brain center. It controls emotions, memory, sexual behavior.”

        Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/1294252

  13. I usually don’t comment but after reading part 5 I needed to. I have starting to use again some of these oils with my family and I was a little concern. My son has tested sensitive to oregano oil recently but I used it externally on him years ago for an ear ache. What you wrote confirm my suspicions. You have to be very careful how you use them. They are powerful and we don’t have any research or study for their side effects (that I know of). You are gifted. I appreciate the time you take to research and give your opinion in a variety of things. It helps me a lot. I may not agree with you in everything but I found so many good things in your webpage. Thank you, thank you so much for giving to others.

    • Thanks, Ellie. I got a bad burn on my upper thigh from lemongrass. But to her credit, my upline in doTERRA said that you really need to be careful about that oil. I will never use it neat again.

    • Oregano is a HOT oil. It has a high level of carvocral, which will burn. On the skin, in mouth and down the throat. Kids under 11 years should avoid oregano – use your judgement as a parent (never internally, never put any oil in the ear canal), their liver and kidneys are not able to process the “Hot” oils and they can cause damage. “Hot” oils include oregano, thyme ct thymol, cinnamon, clove and for some people ginger and lemongrass (on the skin). If you see a sensitivity on the skin, just use a carrier oil such as grape seed, olive oil, coconut or jojoba to prevent skin irritation. Hopefully this helps.

  14. Thanks so much for your essential oil series! I appreciate that you are a “whole mom”, clearly expressing your intentions and non-scientific methods of evaluation. You are taking us on your journey of the evaluation and doing all of the work for us! I won’t dignify the “haters” by reading the follow up comments on your post #4. I have previously been with 2 MLMs and can understand why they would come to the company’s defense (when it is their income at stake). Having a thick skin seems to be one of the most difficult aspects of blogging!

    • Well, the comments are really interesting, I must say–and you will learn some things as well. Things I will touch on in the next post I think. I am also using scientific evaluation…but I don’t need to do all the science to do that. I can’t afford the testing. I’ve spent enough on oils :).

  15. Thanks for all your hard work and willingness to share your results with us readers!! I was just about to sign up with doTERRA because of all the good things I’ve heard and also because of the book that tells the uses of each oil. Do you recommend a book such as that?

    • There’s a book listed on one of my posts on essential oils. I have others I’ve been hearing about so I’m sure we’ll be able to pull together some good resources. Please remind me if I don’t :-).

      • Great! I’ll go read your post. I can’t wait to read your next blog post on this subject :D

        • I don’t use DoTerra oils, but I LOVE their little spiral bound Usage Guide. I like that it differentiates what oils are “good, better and best” for the different ailments. Plus it is so easy to find what I am looking for. I actually haven’t found a better organized book.

          Although, I rarely use the oils internally (although sometimes suggested in the book) and keep in mind that it only lists the oils they sell; not a huge selection. But for one starting out, I think most of the common oils are available.

          As I’ve purchased oils that aren’t featured in the book, I do my own research and write in that oil in the corresponding place in the Usage Guide.

          • Hi Tiff,

            Just wondering if this page contains the same info as the usage guide you’re referring to:
            http://doterra-oil.blogspot.ca/p/essential-oil-usage-guide-z.html

            Thanks. :)

          • Gail,
            No. That doesn’t look like my book. The official title is Modern Essentials Usage Guide (4th edition – which I think is worth it. They added a whole section on chemical constitutes, and a nice at-a-glance chart for what oils are suitable for kids, pregnancy, adults, etc.) I paid about $15 for the 5x7ish softcover book.

            They also sell Modern Essentials, which is a full size hardcover, that discusses the single oils and blends in depth. I think this runs for $25?

            Neither was published officially by DoTerra, but rather AromaTools. But all of their oils and blends are featured, so I think you can get them through the company. Or on Amazon.

            • My understanding is that AromaTools is a direct partner w/ doTERRA. It seems there are quite a few of these “side companies” for YL and DT…I am not certain but it seems they are owned by reps of the companies that they are affiliated with.

          • I agree. I’ve been to the AromaTools store in Orem, UT and only oils from DoTerra are sold there, although they do have other items for sale as well, such as glass bottles, diffusers, and such that aren’t sold by DoTerra.

            I also wanted to clarify:
            1. Both books only feature DoTerra oils (although like I said earlier I still love the structure of the usage guide and have no problem writing in other oils I purchase that aren’t included)
            2. The little Usage Guide that I have is just an excerpt of the larger, hardcover Modern Essentials. It includes the chapter on chemicals, and all of the different ailments listed A-Z. Way more information that the website that Gail linked to above. :)

            • I’m still on the fence about the oils books by DT and YL since there is soooo much info about the company’s extraneous products in there. Thoughts anyone?

              • The writers that write the Higley’s reference guides are not reps. but do write for both YL and DT. Aromatools is DT and Abundant Health is YL. In my own opinion I don’t think that this makes any difference. I have purchased LOTS of books and cross referencing info is accurate.

                I think you touched on this before about the different schools for oils. I’ve had some aromatherapists who have been mad at me suggesting to take internally. This all depends on the method they were taught. German schools believe in inhalation only. British is use on the body as in massage and inhalation (2% essential oil ) . The French believe and taught “everyway, everyday” and healing with them.

                I personally have wasted A LOT of money on oils trying to find a cheaper way. But always go back to the brand that has helped the most. I also feel 100% confident in taking internal the oils from the company I choose and when you know where the oil comes from and can take part in the harvest of it. There is no secrets.

                I know there is lots of “whatever” between YL and DT but my own thoughts are “would you rather learn from the teacher or the student”

                Love all the posts, and love opinions. I have an open mind :)

                • I’ve heard from several sources that the talk about “French and British schools” of internal vs external use of oils is all fabricated. I am not sure what to think. But thanks for commenting and sorry it took so long to get back to you. I missed your comment.

              • It’s my personal opinion that to fault any company for making a book to match it’s oils is silly. There is a reason they would only suggest their oils, it is a business like any other business. Right? I think the internal usage ‘issue’ really is more about your education on the oil. I only ingest my oils when necessary. Like if I’m fighting an illness, then I would take one internally for a few days to help kick the virus/bacteria. From what I understand as far as the Slim and Sassy goes, you only take it for a short period of time and it won’t work in helping to shed weight if your weight lost issue isn’t from a metabolic imbalance. If you issue is hormones, lack of exercise or poor diet then it won’t do much aside from curb your appetite. Almost all oils have the potential of burning the skin, as you have stated they are potent. Less is always more because they are, as you have stated potent. It’s all about education and following your instinct. Which is the case with many natural practices. And as for side effects, essential oils have been being used for thousands of years,,,the only side effect is bettered health. :) As for the internal usage being safe or not, if a company says they are not safe then you shouldn’t even put those oils on your skin. Did you know that in order for a company to place 100% oil on their label it only legally has to be 30% oil the rest can be synthetic? That is scary. Much like boxed organic foods. You have to be careful in every industry with everything. Get to know your company. That is an advantage with an MLM, that I find anyway, is they are usually really forth coming with information about themselves and their practices. If you feel a company is trying to take sell you bad product then by all means don’t buy but if they are just trying to make money, why fault them? Is that not the point of business? What seems to be to me with these companies is that they are making money and helping people. Seems ok to me? I don’t know I don’t have a ton of experience working with MLM’s but I know how to be a consumer/researcher of goods.

  16. Hi Adrienne, Thanks for your post. I love it! I am sorry that you’ve had so much negative feedback. I agree with everything you wrote actually. I have been researching essential oils for the past year. I don’t own very many yet because finding the right company has been such a chore and so time consuming. I went to a doTerra “class” (which was just a sales pitch) and I cringed at almost everything the woman said! From the whole “we are the only company that is CPTG certified” to the whole “take EO eternally”. And when I asked her the same questions about if their oils were from a first, second, third, complete, etc distillation she had NO idea. And I hated that they were recommending their oils to be taken internally yet they were not organic or wild crafted.

    My family was super sick one time and I read a lot about Oregano oil and that most companies recommend taking it internally. So I tried…. I used doTerra Oregano, I diluted it in a carrier oil at a ratio of 35:1 (35 drops carrier oil and 1 drop EO) and then I put one drop of the diluted oil into a full 8 oz glass of milk and it burned. It seriously felt like my mouth was on fire and all I did was touch the EO milk mixture to my lips! It was horrible. I would never ever recommend trying anything like that again to anyone!

    Another thing I did not like about doTerra is that when you go to their website and look at the info for any of their single oils it tells you pretty generic info.

    This is a company that I have seriously considered purchasing from: http://www.stillpointaromatics.com/essential-oils. If you go to their website and look at the information they list under their oils it is incredibly more than what doTerra has. For most oils they list the part of the plant used, note classification, cultivation method, method of extraction, the chemical family, distillation date, batch number, shelf life, etc and even have the gas chromatography analysis report on their site. This is extremely helpful as oils do different things depending on their chemical structure and a plant grown in India might have a completely different chemical structure than the same species of plant grown in France.

    Plus all of Still Point Aromatics oils are organic, wildcrafted, or unsprayed. The owners have a lot of experience in EOs and have taken many different trainings and you can call and talk to them. The oils come straight from the distillers. And they have a lot of oils that I have been looking for that I can’t find very many places. Oh and they also hand pour the oils when the order is placed.

    Sorry I don’t want to try to sound like I am selling Still Point’s EO. I just wanted people to see that there is a big difference between companies and just looking at their websites can give you somewhat of an idea.

    Thanks Adrienne!!

    • Great info, Amanda. I think you’ll be really please with where I am going. And I don’t mean to be hinting or anything. Just saying I think those qualities look great. The lack of sourcing was something I was planning to bring up in my next post – thanks!

    • Hi Amanda, :)

      I was really excited to learn about a new oil company and clicked over to check out their site. They do have some good information, but not very complete compared to the Butterfly Express website. I’ll link up the site for info about singles since those are universal and if you’re interested in learning about their blends you can click over there too. :) I LOVE the complete description of the uses of the oils on this site.

      http://www.butterflyexpressions.org/Info/Singles.html

  17. I love my essential oils and have used several brands over the years. My favorite have been Butterfly Express simply because they’re inexpensive, quality and not multi-level. I agree that every sales person deserves to make a commission for their time and effort. What I do not like is the huge amount of miseducation out there that seems to spring from the “upline” wanting to sell their product. I don’t agree with a lot of oils being used internally in the big dosages that are recommended. I tend to lean toward usages that have been around for thousands of years and they are external with the exception of a tisane or “herbal tea” that would use a drop or two. I don’t think people mean to misinform, they just get so excited and trust their upline who trusted their upline who trusted theirs and so on and so forth.

    • I think you are right about many not meaning to misinform. I will say, however, that some of the greed I saw in another MLM when I was newly married was really disconcerting. That company left important things out of their information as well. I do know it’s hard to have everyone on the same page, and there can be “bumps” in communication. I used the oils internally when I was really sick and when I thought my youngest might have Lyme. But otherwise, not so much at all.

    • I use Butterfly Express oils too! I agree they are way more affordable and I love how helpful Laree and her staff are. In fact I just called today with questions about their herbs and tinctures and they are always there for me!
      I’ve used their products for 10 years now and I swear by the CC (children’s composition tincture) when my kids are sick. It’s the first thing I reach for when I notice something coming on. I have their flu kit which consists of oils and tinctures and it has helped me so many times I can’t even tell you.
      They have a monthly special on oils and if you buy the 6 you save 20%.
      I’m a Myopractor and Massage Therapist and I love their Millennia oil. (comparable to Valor in YL) It is the first oil I reach for when someone is really off structurally and also in their soft tissue.

  18. Hi Adrienne,
    I am sorry to see that you got all these negative comments.
    I appreciate the hard work you put in your blog and I wish you (and your family) all the best.
    Michele

  19. Will still have to wait for the next installment to find out (hopefully?) which EO is the best? The suspense is killing me LOL! I really want to order another Lavender because I have found that to be very effective relaxant and aide for sleeping (I m almost addicted to it). BTW-the Slim and Sassy was included in my Family Physician Kit (Doterra) and I have to say it s the most God Awful stuff I ve ever tasted in my life. I seriously have no clue how anyone is drinking that stuff at all, much less drinking enough to supposedly induce weight loss? I can t even over emphasize how bad it tasted to me (I tried it twice lest someone should think I didn t give it a fair shake?)

    • I haven’t had much success w/ lavender. Wish I had. The S&S I had to add stevia to. Then I really liked it so when I heard about the dangers of too much internal oils I was actually sad. But my wallet was a little happier.

  20. Elizabeth says:

    I’m really sad and a little angry that people would attack your character regarding your posts on essential oils. I’ve been a fan of your blog for awhile now–and if they made any of your recipes or actually followed your posts in general–they would see that you are ALWAYS very upfront, honest and give research behind what you say. Please don’t let what anyone says deter you from finishing off this wonderful series!! I’m waiting to find out where to start getting my essential oils from!! I’m leaning towards YL–but can see that you aren’t giving a hint of where to go yet! Anyway–thank you so much for all your hard work. I love your blog and am so happy I stumbled onto it!!

    • Wow – thanks! I was pretty upset too. But then again, it’s a lesson to all of us not to jump to conclusions. I can’t wait to hear what you all think after next week! It’s going to be an interesting post to put together, but I am excited to do it!

    • Well thanks. I for sure am not perfect, but I am trying to do the best I can without ditching my family.

  21. Oh I admire you for standing up to all those rude comments and telling people your opinion! I also admire you research and thoroughness! A lot of people (me included) have the same concerns and all your points you made in this post and past posts I have said to myself a few times, so it’s refreshing to see I am not the only one going another direction with which companies they want to buy from. Please don’t let people get you down, you’re doing some amazing things and helps more people then you know!

    I always find those really attacking comments interesting, they don’t have to read your posts, nor agree, but to be rude back is just not necessary. Thank you for all you do! I’ve been checking my emails every day waiting for this post, can’t wait for part 6! :)

  22. I just want to thank you so much for this series! I am new making homemade cleaners, lotions, and such and have very little knowledge of essential oils but enough to know to tread carefully. I know you are putting a lot of time into this and I appreciate you sharing with us. I look forward to the conclusion!

  23. Won’t go on and on but do what to say I agree with the above comments. Thanks for all your hard work. Excited for the next report.

  24. I have been following your posts wrt essential oils and just before discovering your blog had signed up with Young Living. I have *some* misgivings about some of the claims that adherents make, but am reserving my final opinion until I see how they work with my (mostly healthy) family.

    BUT in reading your comments, and your hopes for weight loss, I thought I’d add another option in for you to consider. And I do NOT make money from this recommendation, but please consider looking into T-Tapp as an exercise program. There is no dieting required and it is the *only* exercise program I’ve ever seen that focuses not on weight lost but on INCHES lost. I did my own review of it – and while it is not as thorough as your review of essential oils, perhaps it will at least paint a picture of whether it is something worth trying in your life. Here is the review that I did… http://threefriendsfitness.blogspot.com/2012/04/work-out-review-t-tapp-more-rehab.html

    • Thanks! I will check it out. I do own a set of her stuff but got injured in the midst of it…did you read about my groin injury? It was from T-Tapp! Has it worked well for you? I didn’t feel it was doing much for me but maybe I need another go at it.

      • I didn’t see your post about a groin injury – I’ll look it up! I didn’t use it for weight loss (sent it on to my friend for that), but have used some of her stuff (inconsistently, I admit – with five children time is very limited, even 15 minutes :) to help strengthen my core and to help keep backaches at bay. For those purposes it has been wonderful!

  25. I am posting this with the understanding not all readers here are Christians. But as a Christian I am wondering what your opinion is on the statements in YL literature that have a new age tone to them. For example, from the YL website for the essential oil blend Acceptance, “Acceptance™ stimulates the mind with oils specially blended to promote feelings of accepting ourselves and others, regardless of perceived barriers. This blend also helps overcome procrastination and denial.” This would be contrary to Biblical teaching, b/c the Bible teaches we need acceptance of God, & we get that by putting on the Lord Jesus Christ. Self acceptance would be humanism. There are many other examples. That is just one. I am around a large group of Christians that use YL oils & state what YL teaches is from the Bible. Of course I understand other eo companies might have new age type descriptions & one can buy & use them without agreeing with or promoting that. But my conscience would not allow me to be involved with YL, b/c my name would be attached, & I was concerned of hurting my Christian witness. I have not read of any other Christians hitting on this issue. They either promote what YL says as Biblical or don’t address the issue at all, so I was curious your opinion. Thanks. I am enjoying your posts.

    • Thanks for bringing this up. I will say that I was a little disturbed by that language as well. I would call in to YL and listen to their advertisements for new oils and kind of bristled at the lingo. I saw a little of that with doTERRA but not as much. I think that there will be a little w/ all oils companies and some of it is due to perhaps talking about the “energy” of the oils, but there is a frequency there, so I am OK with that. Also, scientists have no idea how the atoms really hold together, but the Scripture (Col 1:17) does say that “[i]n Him (Christ) all things hold together.”. So I think that the “energy” issue isn’t necessarily anti-Christian. Does that help?

      I think I thought about touching on this but just forgot so thanks for bringing it up. Likely the issue of energy will come up later on down the road :).

  26. Are the only companies that you are looking into MLM’s? Have you tried the oils on your son with autism? If so have you seen a difference? I have read other reviews (mainly for yl) that the oils have made a difference. I,too, have a son with autism that I homeschool as well. I just started looking into oils when I read an article about something called multi-sensory therapy. I don’t think it is something they do here in the US. But it was interesting what they had to say, and thought I would give it a try somehow.
    I would like to try oils, I just don’t think I want to commit to a MLM. Even start up kits are a bit pricey. Having to already be on a special diet and extra supplements, things get expensive quick! I guess I’m just curious to know what you think about the oils brands that you could get at your health food store. Have you compared any of those and if so did you rule them out?
    Thanks for your time! (I know it’s precious, especially with our special kiddos)

    • No, I have been looking at non MLMs as well – you can see that in some of the comments and in some of the posts. I have tried some on my son. I can’t say I’ve seen a difference but I haven’t been that aggressive. I have enjoyed trying some blends on him for anxiety as that is his most difficult symptom now. I have looked at Aura Cacia and NOW if that’s what you mean. we’ll be able to talk more I think as this goes on.

  27. I have recently discovered your blog and have been reading these posts w/rapt attention! I recently signed up with one of the MLM companies you are focusing on the most and have been a little disheartened since the beginning. I didn’t do as much research as I probably should have and the business aspect seems to be the focus, which to me is just annoying. Any and all classes are “how to build your biz”! That’s not what I thought I was signing up for!

    Thank you for all the hard work you’ve put in to this! And I can’t wait to see your next post!

    • Hi Terra. I am so sorry you’ve had that experience. I have such a hard time with the “build your biz” thing as a blogger as well. If you focus on that, that’s all you get. A biz. Focus on serving your readers/customers and you get friends and customers hopefully for life. And you learn and grow together. :).

  28. I have been following your blog on EO’s. It has been very insightful and helpful to me as a consumer. I have read and been dismayed by the attacks on your character. From the beginning of this journey you have been very clear on the reasons you took this undertaking and have been transparent in your research findings. Your response to the negative attacks have been concise and to the point. It would have been easy to react in the same negative manner but you have been kind but firm in your reponses. As a consumer I use oils from a company that I feel provides what I need both in price and results. It is not one of MLM companies so I do not have any vested interest here but to say thank you for your time and effort in sharing your research. God bless you and yours!

    • I can’t tell you all how wonderful it is to read all of these encouraging comments. My husband is thrilled as well. Thank you so much for blessing us this way. I really worked hard to be just that – firm, but kind in my response. Glad it came across that way.

  29. Leslie B. says:

    I just want to know who you do like for EO.

  30. I am a spouse of an active duty military member and we are stationed overseas. I LOVE your website, and was anxiously waiting for these particular updated posts. I am also a middle school health teacher and it amazes me that when you are writing this as an opinion, you are ridiculed by your peers for having one!! We are supposed to be setting examples for our youth today and how can we do this when we don’t allow others an opinion. If you have nothing nice to say, then don’t say it at all. Being overseas, I can order from these MLM reps but only a few of the oils can be shipped to me….so I go through Amazon and usually everything is shipped that I want. I really wanted to see what you your OPINION was to other brands…

    I will NEVER buy my oils from any MLM rep because of their bad behavior towards another persons opinion. I will be sure to tell my friends and family my feelings and show them the posts of see MLM reps, to help them formulate their own opinion on how these people behaved and whether they want to support a company that employees people like this.

    • Thanks – which opinions are you wanting to hear? I am going to share what I think is a really good value and I think we’ll be able to talk about other companies as well. :)

  31. Shellie Pilkington says:

    Thank-you so much for your research. I feel you’ve done a great job on this…..keep up the good work!

  32. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS SERIES! I personally LOVE receiving discounts and freebies too,…..I am signed up with Melaleuca for that reason. I had been looking into YL and DT just when you started this series and I have come to this conclusion….GRAB A FRIEND,….one person sign up for one company and the other person sign up for another. Help each other out with any monthly commitments and share the freebies. :o) All of the companies need to make money, that’s why they’re in business. Just figure out the systems and make them work for you. :o) THANKS AGAIN!

  33. I was glad see the post on Mtn Rose. I really like that company for product and butters etc, do you remember which post the comments were on. I am currently using the above. Mentioned from health store Sprouts . I spend so much time looking at them and read info , I am waiting for someone to escort me out lol. Sadly I answer questions when no one is around to help.. Lol the store is great most time some one is there to help oops. But till next week that is where my supply is. If you can refresh my memory I can reread those comments. Do you still have black pepper,? Interested I am pleased with the comments today warm hugs to you!!!!

  34. I shared your post(s) with our foot zone therapist group (of which the owner of Butterfly Express Essential Oils, LaRee Westover, is a member). This is her response on the group page and I thought I’d share it with you.

    “Most of her information is good. Some of it is not quite accurate or complete. True “essential oils” in the European sense are steam distilled. Steam distillation is NOT low temp procedure. It takes heat to produce steam. Yes, more heat than necessary can be used to “enhance” improperly the product. This produces an inferior quality oil and should be avoided. There are many “essential oils” on the market and in use that are not technically essential oils. I, personally, would not want to be without them. Examples: all citrus oils and the absolutes such as rose or jasmine, to name a few. Citrus oils are cold pressed and the absolutes can be steamed but the product obtained is yucky. These two categories are labeled “essential oils” although technically, because they are not distilled they are not essential oils. And that leaves the comments on 2nd and 3rd distillations. For the most part, the best product is the first distillation. Ylang is one of the exceptions to this rule. One of more subsequent distillations and then combining the liquids produced creates an essential oil that has distinct and amazing effects on hormones. At Butterfly Express we sell both products. One last thing, the “candy-cane” like essential oil that is produced at a higher heat is NOT as effective as Mentha Piperita essential oil that was produced properly. However, peppermint arvensis oil also has a candy-cane like aroma and is delightful. It, however, lacks some of the properties of the standard piperita.

    All-in-all, wonderful blogs. Great job, Adrienne. Can’t understand why anyone would object to any one else’s honest research and opinions.”

    • Thanks, Katherine. I have more work to do on this and I did, in fact, find a number of sites on the internet that mentioned the type of distillation that I alluded to (first distillations, etc.)

      I am not completely clear on what LaRee means by “True ‘essential oils” in the European sense”. I was aware of the cold pressed oils but I am not “up to speed” on them.

      I was under the impression that Ylang Ylang extra was the most sought after oil, so I would love to hear more about this.

      I appreciate her comments about the peppermint oil. Seems like we have to continue this conversation, eh? I am really bogged down this week with non blog things so I am going to do the best I can but I didn’t get to it except for a few minutes today. Thanks again!

  35. Adrienne, I’m so glad to hear you be objective about the MLM’s. I hate the blind following their reps have. You have given an objective opinion. They are not bad, but they are no the be-all-end-all they claim to be. I’ve been researching EO’s too and when you look at info on aromatherapy websites (NOT selling anything), they all discourage internal use (at least the ones I’ve seen). Also, when one company creates a term, OF COURSE they are going to be the only ones using it…that doesn’t make their oils better…maybe better labeled, but not better. Also, in my research I have found out that there are some oils that only come from one place, so every company who sells that oil, gets the same oil as everyone else…so to claim that its better from one company over another, is just false. Thank you for your honesty and that you are not just towing the MLM company line. I have a friend in DT and she is so pushy and almost stopped being my friend because I went with Eden’s Garden, instead of going into debt buying DT oils. I was hurt by it and we’ve since moved past it, but just the fact that she won’t even admit that there are other oil companies that are as good if not better than DT just shows how brainwashed the MLM talking points make people. Thank you so much for admitting their faults…and like I said, they are not all bad, so I’m not bashing. But they ARE money making machines for the top echelon…any MLM is. I actually just read an article that said that the European companies are far superior to American ones because they have been around a lot longer. But who knows…I’m so excited to see your conclusion. Keep up the good work!!!

  36. Have you heard of Sunrose Aromatics? Well-respected in the Chinese med community. Woman owned company and she does extensive testing, with the batch number on each bottle. Worth checking out. http://www.sunrosearomatics.com

  37. I for one am grateful for all the time, energy, and effort you are putting into this. I don’t have the time or energy to do it myself! I myself am a rep for YL, but that doesn’t mean they are the only good EO provider out there. I hope you can find some way to ignore or ban those who attack you for what you’re doing and hope that people like me can be encouraging to you. Keep up the great work!

  38. Thanks for all your work comparing essential oils. I am a newbie to the essential oils field, but had trouble believing only one company could produce effective, safe essential oils. I found this interesting study comparing companies, price, and effectiveness… “A Quantatative in vitro comparison of essential oil bactericidal effects: a comparison of manufacturers”, May 20, 2009, http://www.logan.edu/mm/files/LRC/Senior-Research/2009-Aug-08.pdf, they came to the scientific conclusion that the 10 companies compared were very similar in performance on most of what they tested. I want to be a consumer of reliable essential oils without going into business and want my young 20′s children to be able to purchase with less hesitation. I will be interested to see your final conclusion.

    • Hi and thanks. I didn’t check this out b/c I am just swamped here, but performance doesn’t necessarily mean purity is the same so that is one thing to keep in mind. I am going after a broad spectrum excellent company. OTC and Rx meds work but I would prefer not to use them. But I really appreciate the info! :).

  39. Just want to chime in and say, I LOVE DOTERRA! I’ve used EO for 8 years now, I used YL, BY, Forever Young, and a few other brands before I found them. I was so impressed with how well, fast and consistent doTERRA’s oils were that I’ve used them ever since.

    I know a lot about their research and love the EO professionals that have teamed up with doTERRA (Like Dr. Pappas! The most well known Essential Oil Chemist/expert here in the US). Everything I have experienced with doTERRA has been absolutely incredible. I recommend their oils and give their oils away on a regular basis.

    I realize that many EO enthusiasts can be harsh. I’m so sorry for unkind words people have said to you. I now am a big believer in MLMs, but am sad they get a bad rep from the minority that are the loudest.

    PS – I’ve taken oils internally for 4 years now and love using them that way. I think it is only a problem if you have junky additives in your oils (that would be scary). I trust the purity of these and have done extensive research on the subject for my own personal piece of mind. doTERRA tests all their oils for purity through 2 different labs and I trust their integrity as a company.

  40. I look forward to number 6, as I am signing up with one of the companies mentioned, VERY soon!

  41. Adrienne, I would love to see more info on essential oils and destroying good bacteria in the gut. I have researched this for a while and found tremendous conflicting information. Can you share your sources and research? Thanks so much. As a doTERRA rep, my goal is to empower people and present honest info and facts. Finding truth on the Internet can be challenging. Thanks!

    • Thanks I will look into it more…when I have time. This week is a real bear. :(

    • I just poked around a bit and found this. Can you share research/info where it shows otherwise? I can look into it more later. I do think it is basically common sense, unless we are to think that gut bacteria is stronger than bad bacteria, which anyone w/ experience w/ dysbiosis would think is not the case. Thanks again. Good question.

    • OK. Maybe I’m blind but I don’t see anything definitive there. I have read research on PubMed that Frankincense is “intelligent” (for lack of a better word), and can differentiate between a health and unhealthy cell. It can cause apoptosis and kill the unhealthy cell while leaving the health cell alone. I have heard similar stories of oregano but have found no substantial research to back up either.

      Regardless, we use oregano sparingly and for short periods of time. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to always follow up with probiotics.

      • I think, in this case, it would be great if you could share where you’ve gotten some of your information. I don’t see how the oregano could do that, but I suppose it’s possible. I have looked at a number of sites and they all say they think that the oregano oil kills good bacteria as well. Are you saying that you have only heard “stories” or do you have a reputable site with information on it regarding this issue? Thanks :).

      • You might want to double-check where on PubMed you saw this. There is a certain MLM essential oil company that LOVES to reference “research” they have been involved in posting on PubMed through BioMed Central. BioMed Central is “open source;” in other words, pretty much anybody can publish a paper or article and pay a fee and *poof* it gets published.

        Not everything on PubMed is from a peer-reviewed journal (there are flaws with peer-review, as well, but let’s not go there for the scope of discussing this blog!) ANYWAY, you can check Ulrich’s International Periodicals Directory to find out whether a journal you found on PubMed is a publication that uses peer-review or is otherwise refereed.

        • Thanks for sharing that. I didn’t know you could just get something published there w/ a fee. What a joke. That is something really important to check out. There are lots of things asserted in research document and on resumes that aren’t as kosher as they are made out to be. So you mean you can look at that other site and see if someone paid to get a document published? Thanks!

  42. I commend you for being honest about your comments and companies you are researching. Most people aren’t for fear of backlash.

  43. I have so much to say that it is crazy. I will try to cut it down a bit. First thing is I hope part 6 doesnt have to do with DT or YL.Love all the info so far but, now I dont care because it seems if someone is selling either one then they are going to keep selling and if they are thinking about it then you have done a great job of bringing out issues that they should find out for themselves whether it be true. I feel you have said your peace and you dont have to go through being tore down anymore. I decided along time ago that I would not join any MLMs because I couldn’t find enough savings to justify it. I could do dishes by hand and save as much as I would saving at there rep prices.(christianpf is amazing at helping you find saving.) I have a friend that sells Doterra and she really tried to sell me on it. I have to admit that the smell of it was amazing.(big mistake) Doterra was the first eo I had ever smelled or used. From the beginning I told my friend that I would continue to look for a good but cheaper oil because I was wanting to start my family in a healthier direction as far as shampoo and bug spray ect… but, at the same time, I was on a journey to save money also. She let me know that I would not find any other top of the line eo. So I thought, if Doterra was so good and I wanted to save money then maybe joining to get rep prices would be best…. I could NOT get passed that contract to even think about joining. I seen a hundred ways to ruin my life in that contract. That was the first problem I had and the other huge issue I had was after learning what I could on the net about eo’s and through books, that there was no way I was going to sell a product that was so powerful. I’m sorry but I do NOT have enough education in the eo world to take a chance on making someone ill. I read all about the British vs the french method( still confused on that). I also read how people have taken oils internaly for yrs just to find out they made a mistake because their bodies where now toxic from the eo use. Whether, that be true or not I was’nt taking a chance. My friend should not be taking that chance either because she was out to make big bucks and knew less about eo’s then I did.Doterra had her buy a book to educate her. I was pretty upset when I was drinking lemon in my water, I did stop because I wasnt sure if it was safe. then, I read to use probiotics if you do. I was doing research on working on my gut flora. Our guts are causing us to have so many problems because of the yeast overgrowth. One being IBS which I have. I feel my friend should have known this and told me. See, she doesnt know enough to sell it or play doctor with it. The only training I know she gets is how to get people to join so she can have thousands of dollars. That really makes me sad. I have been following your blog the whole way and have read 95% of the comments. I thought about MRH and was going to order but seen the huge shipping charges and there was no-way! Not to mention I ordered a herbal kit through learningherbs.com because I wanted to learn the healing power of herbs instead of eo’s. This company includes lavender oil from MRH. What a joke!!!!!!! I wrote learningherbs to find out what kind of lavender they put in there because it smelled so bad. Well, it was the 40/42 lavender sold my MRH. I sent plenty of emails to learningherbs to try and understand why they used a toxic perfume oil for a healing salve. I asked them if it was because the 40/42 was 4.25 and the real theraputic lavender was 10.00. I didn’t get a good answer at all and was told to throw it away if I didn’t like it…. I paid for that oil and was NOT happy. I am not blaming MRH for that but you know this all seems to be going in the same direction. Seems to be… lies, lies and more lies. You have been accused of not understanding that moms need to make money. Really? That is crazy because I have learned how to save plenty of money without joining a mlm company. That is what brought me to your site to begin with. I want some oils. I want healthy shampoo, soap, deo and the rest but wow….. I even read of a company on one of the comments from your blog and I felt like you would possibly indorse that one. I looked them up and was reading about how they distill and they do some kind of ceramony of the oils, WHAT????? What would that be about? I am a christian and 100% believe the healing is in God. I do not want anything to do with Chankras or Energies. I just want the closest thing to what was used during Bible times because I do believe God has provided us with all our needs. I found healwithessentialoils. Still cant figure out why she gives the recipe for a blend that God clearly said to not copy. That was my christian oil site but I guess thats a no go also. I really would like to see more of your thoughts on other companies. I bought some samples from ananda and did the post card test. That didn’t turn out well at all plus everyone of them smelled like furniture polish. There’s that smell problem again. Now, I dont know (because of Doterra) what eos are suppose to smell like. I looked at my peppermint bottle from doterra and cant see at all where it was made. I only see it is made from the tops of the flower. Also, on every bottle it says to dilute one drop in 4oz of liquid. Once again, WHAT??? It does not say neat or anything else…I am very concerned about that. They know how to do their homework… Its like the Wal Mart mind game, they have a team to figure out the actions of their customers so you will buy more… I am just really concerned about people not realizing that eo’s are not the only way. Just because the oil sites give someone a hundred ways to use oil that they shouldnt do their homework and make sure they are infact doing what is best for their health. My friend has the answer to all health problems. Sad to say, she reads it from a book. Thanks again for helping me understand how to do more of my own research. You have given me the tools to work with and I am using them to suit my needs and my family.I pray everyone reading does the same as I have. RESEARCH for themselves. I feel you have made your point on mlms. I feel now they are feeding off of you to gain their own control.I feel you dont have to say anymore because you have done a great job pointing out the PROS and CONS of Doterra and Young Living. I wish we could move forward for your sake. Everyone at this point Im sure has made up their minds about those companies. I need a safe place to buy oils and the price to fit my budget. Sorry I have gone on and thoughts arent in order. Thank you so much, and God Bless you and your family.Btw… My friend is going to have to get out because she is spending more then she is earning. I am very sad for her.

    • Hi. You’ve said a lot and I am super busy this weekend, but I will say that the 40/42 lavender is a concern of mine as well. I would like to ask what company was talking about the ceremony with the oils. I personally am OK talking about energy of things if it’s done in the right way since I know that the oils have frequencies, but I do not purport to be any kind of an expert in these things. I think that is all tough to sort through and would like your thoughts. I am very concerned about too much New Age stuff in the alternative medicine, but I do think that there are energetic truths that we just can’t comprehend well. What do you think about that? I hope this isn’t disconcerting to you. thanks for your information. :). I do think you’ll be happy w/ the quality of where I am going.

  44. The company was Stillpoint Aromatics. I hope you tell me Im wrong because they looked really good. I dont think that you feel that you are an expert in the essential oil field either or energies and chankras area. I believe some companies are portraying their reps as such. As far as the, New Age alternatives medicines….I cant fully study it because it seems most of it falls into the chankras or whatever. I would love to study more on herbs and oils.Tried learning with learningherbs and I explained what happened there.I dont like modern medicine. I will try anything and everything before I choose a doctor. I love using apple cider vinegar and coconut oil. I am afraid that these wonderful things God created us to use will be completely lost in a world of greed! Proof has to be there that these methods are working. I have a neice with a son with Autism and mother in law that just had a stroke. A father-in-law with Alzheimers. I lost my mom to Picks.Ive lost so many friends to cancer. I want what works whether it be coconut oil or black walnuts( without thinking I have to fall into some chakras to get it). I pray for the Holy Spirit to guide me and show me that there is a way. I believe that stress is nothing but a killer and that Super foods are amazing. You haven’t disconcerted me at all. I love to research and find what is best for all I know…(and to share..lol) The more comments on here the more I will research and learn. Last thing… Your site has been the best and yes I called my neice and gave her your site. I gave her vetiver for her son. When everything comes down to money then we should be concerned. When we are ask to help someone because we will be rich then I think we have a real problem. I want neighbor helping neighbor. I want to use my skills and talents to help anyone for free. We are so lost right now in our thinking that it is hard for doors to open and for us to find real healing, even in the church! When we put all of the greed aside then I do believe we will find what really works right? After all, isnt the great search for oil based upon the fact that most of us are looking for something that works? Lastly, I believe that the power of the Holy Spirit is the energy that we can not truely comperhend. For others that may be some other spirit.

    • I haven’t looked at that company but if the discussion of energies makes you nervous then just hold on until the next post. I think, personally, that the idea of energies is really confusing. Obviously, everything has matter and the matter is moving so there is energy in it. However, beyond that it gets pretty convoluted. I likely will either touch on it briefly or just leave it alone. I have seen alternative practitioners talk about it and rely heavily on it. I am not convinced of its validity nor that of kinesiology. I have heard oils reps talk about it and I just don’t know. I think therapeutic healers can be very enthused about what the frequencies do. I just don’t know.

    • I am an active Christian, and 9 years ago I decided to become a massage therapist. During school/training, we took classes in several different modalities of bodywork. While I was primarily interested in the active/hands-on working of the muscles, we also had classes on several energy/hands-off (or at least not the main focus) therapies.

      Ultimately, I had to come to terms with what I was learning although it seemed to contradict with my religious beliefs. My opinion is that “energy” is just the “spirit” of each person. (As in, when we die our “spirit” leaves our body). While I personally believe in God, and He being the director of the good things I do in my life – including the times I pray for guidance on which oils to use for whom – I can accept that others don’t believe in Him and choose to explain this energy and healing a different way (like “chi” in Chinese medicine, “chakras” in Hinduist traditions, or “dosha” in ayurvedic massage). Every culture has their own explanation. Instead of avoiding it, I try to mold their explanation into something I can fit into my beliefs.

      • Interesting thought. I guess it seems to me that some people are referring to a person’s soul while other references to energy seem to be the energy that is obviously in all living beings…and dead, for that matter. Because all matter is made of atoms which are held together by energy. What do you think?

  45. I know you may not want to post the things I have said and that is fine. I should email you instead. I forgot to add that in my last comment.

    • I’m just behind in my comments – I will get to it soon. The lengthier ones / ones w/ more information in them I like to spend time with if there is something I need to address – no worries :).

  46. You’re doing great. The fact the you have the perseverance to work through & research & test all of this to put out correct information shows your excellent character. You’re not telling people to or not to do or use something simply supplying the information. It’s sad that people would attack you for doing what so many of us have looked for answers to. Said simply, if you don’t like what she says or recommends then simply close the page people. I agree opinions are like noses, every one has one & there’s always someone else’s that you don’t like. Do you remove it for them, pay for thief surgery, or do you simply look away!

    Thank you for all your hard work & effort. I for one am looking forward to your conclusion!
    Blessings!

  47. Thanks for all your hard work on this! I can’t wait to see your recommendation. Do you have a particular EO “guidebook” that you recommend? I’m thinking of ordering doTerra’s, though I’m on the fence about their oils.

    • I posted one book that I like pretty well in my post on Thieves oil – a giveaway. I am looking at one other. I have the DT book if you would like to buy it. It is in excellent condition.

  48. Thank you so much for your blog. I find this very helpful. Sorry to hear people are being rude in their replies. Hang in there.

    I have been using Aura Cacia years but only in a diffuser and had never heard of someone taking oils internally until I was introduced to Doterra. Most oil labels state “do not use internally” and therefore the idea had never occurred to me. I understand that this could be there for liability reasons and rightfully so because many caustic oils could cause damage.

    One potential benefit for Doterra lemon oil is to add a drop to a glass of water to replace lemon wedges for convience. However, I feel that Doterra is overpriced.

    Have you spoken with anyone about purity at Aura Cacia? I was trying to find out if a drop of the Aura Cacia lemon oil is safe to drink in water? I was not sure if their “do not take internally” warning was for liability reasons or if they really are not as pure like Doterra claims.

    Thank you for your blog and for your time reading this.

  49. Aw thanks for the fast reply. You rock!

  50. I’m so thankful for your post and all of your research. Within the last 4 months I’ve started to explore EOs and very quickly become disillusioned with the data available (without hours of research).

    I took some free webinars only to find out they were just going to push one particular brand. They did give useful info but it was more about the brand than the oil itself. Even the books I’ve found are written by or for specific companies making EOs.

    Its tempting to just take a course on EO if I had $2,000.00 and some free time.

    Your research is much appreciated. I’m leaning toward Mt Rose Herbs but I wish they said they were safe for ingestion. :-(

  51. We are not a MLM, and do carry the medicinal therapeutic quality essential oils We are Certified Clinical Aromatherapists, National Certified Massage Therapists as well as having our Masters in Education. Our Aromatherapy Certification program is accredited by the 2 governing boards of Aromatherapy in the US, NAHA and AIA.

    The name of our company is Stillpoint Aronatics and our site is http://www.stillpointaromatics.com if you would like to take a look.

    Here is some information about our oils.
    Stillpoint Aromatic’s Essential Oils are of the highest vibration and quality
    Personally and individually sourced/imported from small farmers and distillers world wide.
    Not pre-poured we hand pour every bottle wth conscious intention upon your order.
    Batch specific GC/MS tested to ensure the highest therapeutic quality and purity.
    Stored in optimum conditions in our temperature controlled cold room.
    Nitrogen capped to prevent oxidation forming an oxygen barrier.
    Certified organic, wild harvested or un sprayed.

  52. I appreciate you :o) and I can’t wait to read your recommendation! Thank you so much for all your efforts and hard work. I absolutely love following your blog!

  53. Thank you for all the footwork. I myself have been digging up as much info as possible and speaking with reps from both companies to evaluate what is best, as I am involved in a MLM company and have a home based business of my own. I cant wait to find out the verdict. Maybe it will make my decision a bit easier. :)

  54. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My doTERRA rep told me that the FDA allows companies to label their oils “100% Pure” when they use as little as 10% oil, and 90% fillers. She was warning me about the cheap oils sold in stores. Is that something you’ve heard before?

    • I’ve heard something similar. Can you ask her for documentation? I had heard it was even worse and that the amounts were regulated by CODEX but I couldn’t find documentation. I would LOVE to know the real numbers.

  55. Hi there Adrienne!
    I am new to Essential Oil usage and the only ones I’ve heard of until your blog was doTerra and Heritage Essential Oils. I have only purchased Heritage Essential Oils and am SO curious what you think of theirs. I have zero time to do all that you have been doing and only want to do what is best for my family…you’ve done an amazing amount of work!
    Thanks again!

  56. SpawnOfSnape says:

    I really appreciate the work you’ve put into this! I’m on the edge of my seat, waiting to hear more.

    I’m a YL “rep” but I am a rep to get the discount, so I don’t sell or anything. At the same time, I use Ananda oils as well, and have been wondering about Mountain Rose Herbs oils. I do take oils internally when I am ill or have been exposed to something…. when I need more than the herbs. Because of this, I do want very high quality oils…. but I’m not rich. Even YL is a bit too much money for our budget.

    Anyway, I just want to say thank you for this, and that I’m really enjoying your blog.

    • Thank you! I’ve got a loaded week but I am going to try to get another post out this week :).

      • SpawnOfSnape says:

        Well, it’s not like we are all paying you for this! Take your time. :) I am just really enjoying reading it and learning more. I’ve been doing my own research for a while, but it is very hard to sift through the false claims and overzealous reps. Of course, everybody wants to think that the brand they use and sell is the absolute best, and nobody can possibly compare. I just want good oils that I can safely use without going bankrupt. I also just enjoy reading the research that others have done and their opinions.

  57. I have been reading all of your posts on this subject, and I just wanted to chime in and say
    Thank You! My family is on a very limited budget, and this information is so important to all of us. Please don’t let the unhappy people get you down…because that is what they are, ultimately…just unhappy. If you were secure in your knowledge of the product you were selling, you wouldn’t need to cut anyone down that had a different opinion about it. The way I look at it, you would be confident about your product.

  58. Hi Adrienne! I really appreciated this article. I’m just getting into essential oils myself, but still know very little about them. While I was somewhat skeptical of the doTERRA claims, this article was candidly balanced- showing both the pro’s and con’s- which I appreciate so much!! Especially coming from someone who has had personal experience with these different companies. Thank you very much! Looking forward to hearing what the ‘bargain and quality-hunting mama’ comes up with! Thanks!

  59. Hey Adrienne,

    Great post. MLM sure does have its issues, along with its benefits. I do have a love-hate relationship with it (and I am actually prepping a blog post about that for next Tuesday myself!)

    Two things I feel very strongly about with regard to MLM…

    1- The products SHOULD BE, when compared *apples to apples* on quality, roughly similar in price to other non-MLM products. Of course, in theory, if the MLM is a good one with truly valuable products and not a “flash and hype” company with gimmicky products, then a portion of the money they save on advertising should go to research and development of higher quality products, so sometimes, it is hard to find the same quality in the broader market place as you MAY find in some solid MLMs. HOWEVER, presuming the same quality, the retail prices should be about the same because the “distribution chain” money is simply swapped from expensive mass media ads, warehousing, wholesalers, and retailers to “word of mouth” (sort of, but that’s another issue!) and the chain of x number of individuals working to build a business from home by promoting products they genuinely love and use themselves – and therefore can actually consult on far better than a customer service person in a retail store who can’t possibly use every brand on the shelves. Also, I’m pretty sure that sales reps for many non-MLM companies are often rewarded with trips for their hard work, so I’m not sure that aspect of MLM is a concern. Inside or outside of MLM, as long as reps have built their “book of business” through genuine service and consulting, with integrity and truth, and NOT hype, gimmicks, half-truths, manipulation, or lies, I think these folks deserve what they earn.

    2- “MLMers” should NEVER become “robots” for xyz company. As soon as they hold a loyalty to a brand over their principles – which should genuinely align with the principles of the company they are representing – they loose a huge amount of credibility, IMO. If another company or product line turns out to in fact be better than their current company/product line, according to the principles the rep upholds, lives by, and promotes, then he/she should be willing to say so, make a switch, and tell their customers – who presumably also hold similar principles and would WANT to know if their Rep who they trust had found something better out there.

    Just my two cents on the MLM issue… I could rant all day about it, and many other aspects of it, but I won’t here! :)

    Blessings,
    Lacey :)

    • I agree wholeheartedly. I would like to hear more about the “same retail pricing” however. I guess it opens up a whole bunch of questions.

      I can’t wait to read your post and was remembering your saying that you were thinking about one. Good timing!!

  60. Is that a different discussion for off the comment thread, or do you want to have it here? I’m game, if you want it here – just didn’t know what you want to keep the focus on here. It kinda ventures onto a whole different discussion on MLM than on EOs… Let me know what questions you have – either here, through my blog, or email me as you prefer.

    My post next week will just be the first in a series of posts on the topic, Lord willing, once a month, during the year. I need to write a book, I think. :)

    Signing off for now. “See” you tomorrow!

    • I’m fine either way..and likely it will be both, eh? I think that almost anyone would say that the retail prices never (am I correct?) match for MLM products and store bought. I think you might be right, but one of the MLMs customer service reps said that about 40% of their pricing goes to pay for the MLM structure. I assume they meant off of wholesale pricing since no one really pays retail, correct? If so, that would mean that most stores charge a 40% markup.

      That should get the conversation going. And I guess I’ve stated that I am not sure that the MLM oils are superior to other retail ones. I suspect the opposite might be true so the oils business model might even be inverted.

      Interested in your thoughts. I’m heading to bed soon as well.

  61. Adrienne,

    Thank you for dedicating so much time and effort into this project. It’s not like you don’t have anything else to do. :) Ignore the mean “I’m an onlne bully because I can hide behind a screen” haters out there that seem to have that “cult-like” mentality that has always turned me off from any and all MLM’s. It has kind of always been my opinion about MLM’s that if their product is so super wonderful great, why do they have to push so hard to sell it? Put it out there and let people see for themselves and tell all their friends and family and be repeat customers. Spend that money on advertising and the quality of your product and let the results speak for themselves. I do agree with Holly and the greed. It is rampant from our government on down and it is not getting any better. That being said, these oils are not cheap, so all of this costly testing is much appreciated. I personally feel you are being as honest and unbiased as possible in all of this and I look forward to hearing your opinion on the winner in your final post. Even if I should happen to disagree, I’ll still have learned a lot and all the smart people know “knowledge is power”. Thank you again!

    • Thanks so much. I really appreciate it. I will say, that for the MLMs, I think they do consider that the reps are one form of their advertising, albeit frequently flawed.

      The MLM model can be a great thing, but it can also be the opposite–just like so many things in this world.

      Non-MLM companies, and even non-profits (and individuals) demonstrate greed as well, so it’s not just limited to them. Well, onward and I hope this all settles down soon. Thanks again!

    • Jennifer Harding says:

      ‘Pushing’ a product is called advertising and every company that sells a product ‘pushes’ their product. That said, MLM companies do have a lot of hype, but that’s just motivational and should be taken ‘with a pinch of salt’
      I have come across many telemarketing sales people who push their product far more aggressively than any MLM rep.
      Your reply, Adrienne is good, thank you.

  62. Yes, true – it’s not the MLM *industry* that is unethical. It’s certain people, or certain training methods that unfortunately “infect” many very well meaning people, and that unfortunately are pretty rampant in the industry. But, just like any other industry, there are the good and the bad (and the UGLY!)… The key is being able to tell the difference and not “throwing the baby out with the bathwater,” so to speak. :)

    As to the conversation regarding retail prices… The first thing to realize is that this is a very general discussion about something to which there are many variables. Every company undoubtedly calculates and allocates profit margins somewhat differently.

    And side note, people seem to get so wigged out about profit… There is nothing wrong with profit – every reader on this blog profits in some way from something if they have any kind of household income at all – either they sell a product, or they sell their time/service, or both… The question really lies with the motives behind the profit, HOW those profits are obtained, and whether good or harm is being done long term in the world as a result – and this cannot be stereotyped to be good or bad by industry or profession, but only by individuals or a company-specific culture/ethic to which individuals belong.

    So anyways – clarifying question… are you suggesting that stores do NOT charge 40% mark-ups? Sounded like you don’t think they do?

    Again, it will vary, but in general, overall, yes they most assuredly do charge good-sized markups. 40% or more would not surprise me at all. And it’s not just the mark-up at the store – it’s the markup for the whole distribution chain.

    People get all riled up about MLM paying on “multiple levels” of distribution, not realizing at all that that’s exactly what traditional retail does also. There are many links in that chain of distribution, all of whom get a cut (national distributers, regional distributers, warehousers, wholesalers, retailers…). I’ve heard statistics of around 85% mark-up from the raw materials/manufacturing, through the chain, to the end consumer.

    And unfortunately, what most companies do to increase profit margin (sometimes to sell a cheaper product to way more people, or by keeping higher prices to a target market that can afford it, or both in the case of companies that have multiple lines in “economy” and “premium” categories) is reduce production costs by using cheaper (often toxic, synthetic, blah blah) raw materials. Ummm, major long term negative effects on health of people and planet, anyone?

    Possibly the mark-ups are smaller with smaller manufactures, or indie producers – but often times these folks, honestly, undercut themselves and then find they can’t cover their costs, or invest to grow their business further to serve more people without compromising quality, or hit burn out working so many hours for basically nothing. Many fail in the first 5 years – not so different statistics actually than the MLM “failure” rates. They may have lots of customers who love their lower cost products, but if they cannot support their business operating costs and their own livelihoods, they can’t serve their customers long term either. As a favorite eco-preneur of mine often says, “No margin, no mission.” Give a quick google search of social entrepreneurship – good stuff.

    So, profit margins/mark-ups are not a bad thing in and of themselves…

    As for MLM prices vs store prices, the first question really **has to be** one of quality and value. And, as you know, as evidenced by the research you’ve done on EOs and many other things, determining true quality and value, to figure out if you’re actually comparing apples and apples, can be quite the challenge! Two lotion products can say, “organic,” even “certified organic,” for example, and be vastly different in quality – either by ingredient standards, functional efficacy, or both (not to mention other factors that weigh into real value – google search “life cycle analysis” and “full cost accounting.”)

    And research can only go on so far before one has to make a decision. My approach is to choose the best option in front of me at any given time – doing enough research to have a general sense of what’s out there but not chain myself to a computer till I find and fully examine every possible option – and then stick with it until/unless a better option comes across my path. Then switch again if warranted.

    Yes, many MLMs DO have inflated prices for the quality, but it does not mean all do. No doubt, “almost anyone would say that the retail prices never (am I correct?) match for MLM products and store bought.” But no, that’s not true – occasionally they do match, apples to apples quality, or are better for the same quality/value. If it’s a good MLM company, the products should be competitive **for the quality and overall value** in the broader marketplace. If the prices are higher, there needs to be solid and verifiable quality reasons to justify the higher price – this is the same both inside and outside MLM.

    From that generally/roughly similar retail price point for quality, comes the real power of a *good MLM* (exclude the majority hype out there)… Let’s say you have two products of equal value, one MLM and one traditional retail. MLMs often offer product discount options year round, while traditional retail chains often only offer them sporadically. Further, MLMs give people the *option* – if they wish – to use referral benefits (I’m assuming here the ethically run versions, not the hyped up versions!) to potentially pay for products. If someone goes to a traditional retail seller, online or off, and can’t afford those higher quality products, what’s the choice? None. “Tough. Come back when you have money.” With a good MLM, people can still access higher quality products, if they wish, through referral work (again – can’t stress this enough obviously… I’m referring to ones that are done well, with proper support to the customer who just wants referral benefits instead of a business… not talking here about the hype versions that lure people in with stories of easy results/money for using xyz product and “simply telling a few people, who tell a few, who tell a few.” Nonsense.).

    In the case of the oils, you’ve done more research than I have so far, but yes, it’s definitely possible the quality is not truly comparable. I certainly have my questions on their “certifications” and “standards” etc. I was talking with a friend recently about DoTerra as we compared their price list with Mountain Rose’s price list on certified organic oils. I said to her (something to the effect of), “If their prices are that much higher, and they aren’t certified organic, then they need to present a very convincing case, using some reliable third party validation, as to why their oils are that much more valuable. If they are just relying on MLM hype and the misleading use of income success stories/potential to divert people’s attention from the far higher cost, it won’t be sustainable.”

    • Lacey – I feel so bad that it took this long for me to approve your super thoughtful comment. It got lost under a pile of comments and stuff. A lot here….and yes, you are right that 40% sounds like a lot but likely needs to happen.

      I think your comment about MRH and DT is very crucial to this discussion. I don’t know about MRH entirely and can’t get the answers I want from them, but then I couldn’t w/ DT either.

      One thing that I know bugs folks is the thought that there are extravagant rewards in some of the MLMs. You know…trips and Cadillacs and the like. I think, for me, that more money would be something I would like more than fancy stuff, but maybe that’s just me.

      Thanks again for all of this.

      • No worries on the missed comment, Adrienne – I hadn’t even noticed to be honest. :) Yes, very much agreed on the bit about the extravagant rewards. Though, on the flip side, how many people feel totally unappreciated in their jobs and wish they were more valued and rewarded by those for whom they labor day in and day out? There’s a balance, I think. Surely, many, many MLM’s tout and pitch and build hyped up cultures of luxury living and extravagance and (IMO) waste; however, as someone who just earned a trip through an MLM that does not have that sort of culture at all, I can say that I really appreciate that they appreciate my work and offer an opportunity for some vacation. They also use the trip as a leader’s retreat/meeting, which I think is an important investment in their overall business and social entrepreneurial mission – bringing leaders together for brainstorming and planning for the future good they are working to create for all. Once again, it comes down to the heart, intention, and purpose behind the “rewards” – not the actual rewards themselves. Cheers! :)

        • Very good points on the trip rewards. I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks, Lacey! And you deserve your trip :). I don’t know what I would do, honestly, if I ever won one.

          • I suspect you’d do the same thing as I always have – pray about each situation and see what God wants you to do. :) I went on 3 such trips with a former company (which was somewhere in between being in line with my social entrepreneurial heart and being too ‘luxury-life’ for my taste – but it was all I knew at the time). The first one was a blessing for me in all sorts of personal ways that I can’t take time to explain here. The second one was a blessing and much needed time for my hubby and I to get away together at that point in our marriage. The third one, I found myself really wrestling with the ‘company culture’ of hype and luxury that I saw beginning to take greater hold in that particular company – and that was my last one with them, but no doubt God used that trip to weave into my convictions and lessons learned about MLM in general. Now, because the culture of the company I’m aligned with is so different (non-hypey and service oriented etc), I’m looking forward to the brainstorming and visioning with the leadership… and the fun, too… I often have to remind myself that while much of life is quite serious and sobering, God did also design the world for us to experience joy and pleasure. :)

  63. Hello,

    I recently discovered your blog while doing some research essential oil suppliers. I am studying perfumery, so I am not doing tremendous research on the health effects of EOs, except for a few specific ones.

    I found your series really interesting and the personal attacks quite disturbing. I honestly don’t understand why anyone would be involved with mlm companies for essential oils. They’re much more expensive than other reputable bulk/wholesale companies and you must take it on faith that their oils are pure and high quality. Much of the extra cost of the oils is the cost of paying all those sales and marketing folks to spin you a nice story.

    I have no relationship with any EO supplier but reading a number of perfumery sites and groups a few supplier names come up repeatedly. (natural perfumers seem just as picky about oil quality as those using eos for therapeutic purposes.)

    Some of the names I’ve seen are mountain rose herbs, white lotus aromatics, eden botanicals, liberty naturals, and new directions aromatics. Of this, white lotus seems to be consistently highly rated (I have never ordered from them because of their high minimum order and the fact they don’t ship international.) New directions gets mixed reviews (I have ordered from them and they seemed OK.)

    Why not buy in bulk from some of those suppliers, buy 15ml bottles make up some labels and sell the essential oils under your own name? The oils will be in much, much cheaper.
    Ultimately, unless you do your own chiral analysis of all the oils you buy/sell, you are taking it on faith that a company’s claims are true. When you sell to people they are buying your reputation. If anyone doubts your sincerity, just point them to this blog.

    • Thanks for commenting. Are you recommending that I purchase and sell the oils myself to my readers? If so, I’ve thought about it but I don’t think I’m ready to go into the oils business yet.

      As for what seems to be your suggesting that folks can trust my reputation–I really appreciate that and will do my best to live up to it. (Hoping that’s what you meant :-).)

  64. Certain oils taken internally, like oregano, can block iron absorbtion. Like you point out, oils are very potent. I think it is best to use your largest organ – your skin – to enjoy the benefit of EO as the digestive track is sensitive and not created to absorb such highly concentrated herbs.

  65. Have you ever done research on anandaapothacary. I have only used them so I can not compare and would like to know what you think. I have friends trying to persuade me to youngliving but I like the idea that I am getting the oils from the best climates and countries. Thanks for all you do.

    • Yes. Seems to be oils from “experts” and I don’t care for what appears to be their practice of rewarding customers w/ free shipping for a positive review. There might be other issues. Maybe we can talk about that again in the future.

  66. Dr. Colleen A. Gross, ND/BSN/RN says:

    As much as so many MLM companies promote their products as the next big thing…NOTHING..matches PROTANDIM! NOTHING!

    Clinically proven and results are just phenomenal. It was only a matter of time before a scientist discovered another super important medical breakthrough.

    Dr. McCord has won the Franklin Institute Award alongside: Madame Curie, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison and Orville Wright.

    He was also nominated for two Nobel Prizes!

    MAJOR HEALTH BREAKTHROUGH from Ron!! Please review the following (3) videos ASP!!

    http://www.abcliveit.com/site/ABC_Primetime_Report.html

    http://bit.ly/the-truth-about-antioxidants

    • I’m curious why you left this here. I like comments but not blatant self promotion if you don’t mind. I did look at Protandim and found it to be troubling. The marketing that I received was inaccurate. Thanks for reading and sorry for the delay.

  67. Have you checked out Natures’ Fusions? I love their oils!
    Would you be willing to check out their oils? They are in Orem, Utah?
    I would love your response to my email.
    Thanks a zillion. Celebrate2day!

    • Just checked them out. I am for sure no expert but for making no claims about being wild-crafted or organic, I would prefer to buy from NAN. I checked a few oils and the pricing is more expensive than NAN’s. Hope that helps :). If you do end up checking out NAN, I would so appreciate your using my referral code (90166) and/or telling them that I sent you – thanks!

  68. Thank you for your review of the big MLM oil companies. I am currently a doTERRA rep and am, so far, pretty happy with the company.

    I do get frustrated with the three big EO MLMs for many of the same reasons you stated – mostly for the claims by each of them that their oils are the only, true, pure, safe oils on the market – because I know that there is no actual rating system, and I know that their claims are basically bunk. But I knew that going in. I basically write it off as hype – which is something that all MLM companies do to drive excitement and sales and to convince their consultants that they are THE best company in the whole wide world.

    I have noted that YL seems a bit more cautious about recommending internal usage of their oils, while DT is pretty gung ho about recommending taking their oils in water, veggie caps or other internal means. The only oils I personally take internally are the DigestZen oil (which really has helped my severe acid reflux) or one drop of citrus oil to about 16 oz. of water for a little interest. As you said, these are POWERFUL chemical substances, and I wouldn’t start glugging just any ol’ chemical I ran across just because someone told me it was okay.

    I think if you go in with your eyes wide open and know the deal before you sign on the dotted line, EO MLMs aren’t such a bad deal. Just don’t lose yourself in all the hype and excitement. Do your homework before jumping in with both feet, and know what you’re getting into. And remember to use a liberal dose of common sense at all times! :)

  69. I’m so glad I found your blog!!! I just went to an EO class, and now am doing some research. WOW! It’s all very overwhelming! Gotta go read what you decided! Thanks for all for your hard work, effort & time into this. God bless!

  70. Wow, you are to be commended for all the research that you’ve done. However, I’m not sure where you got the information that the only tests YL performs on their oils is done by them. They actually spend about $1 million per year to have third-party audits done as well: http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/company/seedToSeal/

    Also, they have farms around the world: http://www.youngliving.com/en_US/company/farms/

    • I appreciate that, but i don’t see the $1 million figure there. Could you tell me where you go that? Thanks.

      I do see that they have farms elsewhere but most appear to be in the US.

  71. I am so glad I stumbled across your page. I am a massage therapist and have been using oils for aromatherapy for 14 years. In the last few years I have become interested in diving deeper into oils and uses. I signed up with YL and I am a fan of their oils but not of the prices. I have friends in the field who are dT rep’s and they swear by their oils and criticize YL. Then a YL friend posts on Facebook something negative about doTerra and here we go… I honestly don’t understand this massive essential oil war?? It really doesn’t warrant any personal attacks.
    Recently a friend suggested Camden-Grey Oils, I received my order and they seem nice enough. I don’t know if you want to add them to your list to check out. I didn’t do near the leg work you did but I sure appreciate you looking into all this and you really took a positive approach. Thanks!

    • I just took a brief look. I can run it by Mr. Dean at NAN if you like. But they don’t make claims about wild crafted or organic and I prefer to go that route for something this concentrated. Thank you!

  72. Hi Adrienne,
    I didn’t read all the comments from all this investigating. Personally I rarely ever comment on any social networking and or blog sites (I don’t like trolls and hoopla), but I felt you have done a pretty good job from what I have read so far. I am starting to believe that nutrition, herbalism, and essential oils should all fall together and be researched as a whole the more I look into this. Skin after all is the largest organ and we should start, if not already, to compare ourselves to frogs in how absorbent our skin is. Little experiment I did after reading one article on EOs was: using an EO on your feet and within twenty minutes to a few hours you will have breath or taste of it in your mouth. Well I mixed lavender and peppermint with coconut oil, put on my feet, and twenty minutes later I had a tingle in my mouth (normal personal response from peppermint on skin) and could smell the mix quite well. taste and smell go hand-n-hand of course. Anyway really wanted to address the detox thing. I do take medication when prescribed or whatever on occasion but always looking for healthy natural alternatives as a lot of folks these days. I came across Food Matters and other videos (and reading material) Fresh Cilantro is supposed to be a heavy metal detox too, along with other natural remedies and just wanted to share that with you so you could look into it from one mommy to another. take care. Going to continue on reading your blog now. ;)
    -Jenn

    • Welcome, Jenn and thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope to see you around again. There’s some really interesting stuff coming :). Thanks for the mention of cilantro. I knew about it but haven’t done much with it and I just enrolled in an herbalist course :).

  73. Meredith says:

    I’ve been reading your articles on EOs and I’m a newbie to them as well. I looked up doTerra’s stuff and liked what I saw. Then I posted on Facebook asking if anyone had good or bad experiences w/ using EOs. A couple mentioned doTERRA and then one distributor of Young Living and a friend who uses YL EOs both gave me the same info on doTERRA. Here’s the info from the YL distributor, “I personally haven’t tried doTerra oils, but one person mentioned they like them better because their oils smell stronger. They equated the stronger smell to higher quality and concentration, but in the oil world that isn’t the case, the concentrations of the young living oils are consistently higher than the same oil from doterra and the stronger smell is due to a process that doterra uses that combines generations of the distillations. If you think of it like coffee or tea bags. You can brew more than one pot using the same grounds, but the concentration of the coffee gets notably weaker with each brewing. So doterra makes “3-4 pots” from one batch of product and then mixes them all together. Young living only uses the first brew, and on occasion mixes in the second (an example of this is the frankincense versus the sacred frankincense oils. Sacred frankincense is $80-first distillation only, but frankincense is first and second blended and is much cheaper).”

  74. Dr. Craig Woodruff says:

    Hi,
    I am a Doctor of Pharmacy and I also use essential oils. At first I was skeptical but after trying some of doTerra stuff I was surprised at how well they worked. However, after looking over all the info I asked myself how much could I save if I just bought the EO at the cheapest price and diluted them myself. I essentially made the equivalent of 20 15 ml bottles of Vetiver customized at a 25% potency. This translated into over what would have been 900 dollars in savings over buying doTerras products 20 times.
    It helps that I am a compounding pharmacist though!
    Dr. Craig Woodruff

  75. Wow, I found your site while surfing the web. I currently have YL oils, but have been wondering lately about some of the purity, due to some of the things I’ve been reading. I’m trying to make informed decisions, but the info is difficult to sift through.

    Excellent series of articles. I am sorry that people need to be so petty, but thank you for sticking it out and posting your results.

    • Thanks so much. There’s a post on GC/MS testing as well that you might find interesting and I will post more in the future :). Hope to hear from you again!

  76. Sherry England says:

    How would you rate NOW brand and Mountain Rose Herbs and Aura Cacia essential oils? I am on such a small budget and I usually have to go with the cheapest.

    • I touched on these in the comments – likely in post #7. Maybe you can skim there. I will try to get a post up summarizing. I would guess MRH is the highest of those but I couldn’t get a good answer on sourcing or why they don’t recommend internal usage – so I wasn’t comfortable w/ them.

  77. I haven’t read the comments in posting #4 – I can’t bring myself to absorb the vile toxic and immature manner in which some people conduct themselves in private (or anonymously) and probably in their personal lives. I found your blog by goggling for a comparison of these oil companies andhave been very grateful for the candid reviews you have offered. I am currently signed with DoTERRA, I like their products but know that they are not the only ones out there. In fact I first learned about Young Living from my naturopath. I have lots of questions about the oils, CPTG etc etc. I have not been able to find answers that satisfy my curious mind. That being said I feel like I am using a quality product. As for selling, well thats not my style – I will sahre but the whole followup, lead, teach… I am not there yet. Anyway, thank you for you candid reviews and valuable information about other products (ie. Heavy Metals) I appreciate all that you do and will continue to support you and turn to you as a reasonable and educated resource.

  78. I was an IPC for doTerra for a year and the oils are really great. The problem for me is that I don’t like the multi-level aspect of the company. In the year I joined I felt pressure to produce for the company which is NOT what I signed up for. I am all about using and educating others about the benefits of the oils in their daily lives. I am no longer a rep. for doTerra and have been using essential oils from Spark Naturals. Fabulous, pure, AFFORDABLE essential oils with no multi-level component at all! Check out their website. I am an affiliate; which means if you buy something I get a commission from a purchase. No levels etc.

    • Hi Shelley. Thanks for commenting. I am sorry but I had to remove your affiliate link from your comment. Not that I have anything against others making money (of course that’s fine) but I don’t care for Spark and would prefer to not have a link to them on my site. They sell “scents” which means synthetic oils. I also ran this company by the owner of Native American and he said this about their Amend Blend:

      I see their first one is called Amend. I looked at the ingredients and see that they use the better quality Corsican Helichrysum italicum. But since they do not sell this oil as a single this make me thing even more that they are just a dealer for one of the “experts”. I also see they do not list the ingredients in order of most to the least. I can tell because the top three oils in this blend are expensive and if they were doing it that way they would be charging more for the oil.

      So I am not comfortable with them.

      Hope you can understand and I hope to see you around again – thank you!

  79. Have you checked out BellaMira; apparently the founder taught Gary Young about oils.

    • No, but since I didn’t choose YL I don’t know that I would be apt to chose them. However, that being said, I find it interesting that they say that their Peppermint Oil is “1st distilled” so maybe Mr. Pappas should teach them a thing or two (did you read how he says that no one in the industry says that about peppermint oil?)

  80. Cindy Laidlaw says:

    Wow, I have been learning so much from you. I have been debating buying from YL and the rep. that has been emailing me keeps telling me they are the best. Partly because, like you said, their stuff is grown in the US and they have better control. Looking forward to more education from you. Thanking for taking time to do all this research and for providing links to more info.

    • Thanks. I don’t think that US grown means better quality. They do have some farms in other places, but their claims about having the only Sacred Omani Frankincense is totally wrong. Native American sells it too.

  81. I have never commented on a post before, but this one needed a response. You are a brave and gutsy woman. Bravo for all the hard work and research you have done. What’s more you have replied with dignity and grace.
    I’m in the process of starting a small essential oil skin care company and this kind of malicious attack on suppliers is frightening. It takes away from the art of simply providing a great product that you can share with others and hopefully something that works for them.
    Once my products arrive, I would be proud if you could review them.

    • I would be open to it – thanks for your kind words. You can email me. However, I do charge for reviews. We can discuss it though :). Hope your company goes well!

  82. Just came home from a DoTerra class. Doing some research before I dive in and so far loving your series. I can’t wait to see your final choice! We think a lot alike in that I don’t want to pay for a middle man. I want good holistic products that are affordable and safe. I sell chemical-free cleaning cloths online and often get reamed about enlightening my readers about the difference between our product and a similar MLM product. The MLM companies will tell people that their product is superior because it costs more and I know that isn’t true. I have owned both cleaning cloths for a year and know they work the same. As you said, the non-MLM company just doesn’t have to support generous hostess plans, consultant cruises, and such. That being said, I AM a seller for a crafty MLM company and have been for 10 years. I know people pay a little more for our products than at the big box stores, but as you say, they are also paying for my personable customer service. So I’m not against MLM…I just wish MLM reps didn’t bash the other companies by saying their high prices make them highest quality. Ok, I’m off to read more. Thanks again!

  83. Cindia Hudson says:

    I am very interested in becoming a Rep

  84. No MLM oils are not worth it. There are plenty of reputable oil sellers out there. I’ve always been leary of MLM companies because they want your undying blind loyality. I’d rather buy my oil from a small business owner whose has 20 plus years of experience then from someone who just started selling oils and only listens to.their upline. Stop drinking the coolaid people

  85. Jackie Schroeder says:

    You once recommended Native American Nutritionals and I’ve enjoyed them. They have now been bought out by Rocky Mountain Oils. It seems that when buyouts happen, quality can begin to deteriorate. Have you updated your report on them since the buyout?

    • I mentioned that in my posts. They are partnering – not really buying out. At least that is my understanding. I don’t think that there has been any change in quality at all. Thanks :).

  86. I think you did an amazing job Adrienne. Im a blogger too and I commend any mom who goes through this amount of trouble and work to post valuable information to others. I just placed my first NAN order and did it because of you. You are very smart and I valued the work you did to write these post. Love your recipes too btw, from one mom and blogger to another, bravo!!

  87. I do appreciate all of your research. And as you said you have been wrong before…nobody is right 100% of the time, I have been before as well. ;) As a side note…. even mentioning the Quack watch guy is craziness. That guy is a quack and is against anything alternative, many things backed by science. I was hoping for better examples than that website….I laugh that one off and do not trust in it….AT ALL. I am a student about to obtain a degree in complementary medicine with heavy aromatherapy classes, eventually to become an Aromatherapist as well as Herbalist and Nutritionist. My school only recommends the internal use of certain essential oils under the supervision of a healthcare provider. Of course you should not do so without experience. Certain oils should never be used internally. I am going to be a distributor of essential oils beginning in March…with Young Living. I have completed a ton of research myself and have a great deal of faith in their company as a whole. I am not looking to make a fast buck, rather I am looking to help others (hence the reason for my chosen field of study) I have had so much success with the use of oils in my home, with my family, etc I think it is important to note that I have yet to take them internally. The quickest route to the bloodstream is via inhalation, so I do not see the need. I will not push that in my classes. Until proven otherwise I proceed with caution as essential oils are very strong. You and I agree here. Actually you and I agree on quite a bit. I do advocate my schools oils as well, so I am not going to say YL or die…..I just hope your decision was not based in ANY WAY by your decision to be an affiliate of the company. Only you know that truth. You do not need to agree with taking internally to know that the oils work as you stated that in your first blog with Thieves, Peppermint, Panaway etc. I think as with everything in life, you get what you pay for. That is not a bad thing. So in closing, I appreciate all of your hard work in writing this series, I enjoyed reading it.

    • I did not make the decision based on being an affiliate – the same as with all of my recommendations. That came up as I was choosing them. I asked if there would be an option to partner together. They hadn’t done it w/ any other blogger until that time. Thanks!

  88. Just a note to thank you for all your hard work! I have found your research extremely helpful in my search for safe oils. I am looking into some oils just introduced by a company Genesis Pure & you have helped me know what questions to ask & what to look for. Again, thank you very much.

  89. I loved this series! I am a doTerra IPC. And got into doTerra as a newbie oil user, so just wondering what all is out there! I also am recovering from adrenal fatigue, and I don’t know what all it has to do with, but lavender doesn’t help me sleep, but marjoram! I am in love with it! Knocks me out and I wake up feeling great!! Can’t wait for the last part of this series!

  90. I am new to YL myself and enjoying researching new ways to use them. I appreciate your thoughtful assessments

  91. Hi,

    I have just quickly scanned your 7 part posts on the best eo company to buy from. I have a friend who buys Aura Cacia, I saw a picture of it in your post, but didn’t read anything about it. She says she gets results from them, but only uses them. We are wondering with all the hype if YL is suppossed to be better.(or some other oil) I first bought over a year ago from Puritans Pride, then I just bought from Spark Naturals. I too keep researching and would like to buy some more of the basics. I just found Ananda Apocthecary. I was wondering what you knew of these companies:

    Puritans Pride – some say 100% and some say blend (so they seem up front)
    Aura Cacia
    Spark Naturals
    Ananda Apocthecary

    Thank you

  92. I appreciate what you’ve been doing Adrienne. But I have one question, is there a real shop of essential oils in U.S.A? I mean physical presence which is not MLM?

    • Hi Mika. I am not sure what you are asking – could you explain? Native American is available online and they also have a storefront.

    • That’s the right word I was looking for: “storefront”. I’m malagasy student and the company where I work for as internship would like to enter US market Essential oils. As I see on web, in general EO Manufacturers use MLM but not storefront, that’s why I’m asking you if there are many companies which have their own EO product and storefront. Thanks

  93. laura D. says:

    I have found your information very well presented and appreciate that fact of unbaised opinion. I was amazed by the “attacking” you received by “some doTerra” rep’s. If you believe in your product, if the product is good, then the product will show this to be true and I nor another needs to defend it. Much like my Lord Jesus Christ. Present and allow His truth to work. Thank you Adrienne for your information. Keep up the good work, and I am a follower now. Be Good little sister. – Laura D.

    • I think you are right about that. Thanks for the encouragement. We have a bunch of tough things going on now so it means a lot to me particularly now. Blessings in Christ,

      Adrienne

  94. Jennifer Harding says:

    Thanks for your blog. I use YL oils and love the ones i have so far, but am on hunt for quality oils in South Africa and New Zealand, so if you feel like expanding your evaluating, would love to see other countries’ suppliers under the microscope :)

    • I am totally overwhelmed but Native American does ship overseas and I don’t think that they charge that much to do so. Thanks and sorry. Life was already crazy and we’ve had some real curve balls thrown our way.

  95. Susan, I know I emailed you about this, but could you share for our community whatever documentation, or lack thereof, that you have regarding this situation? Thank you. I don’t wish to have incorrect wrong information spread around about others.

  96. Thanks much. Disconcerting. I appreciate your reaching out.

  97. Thanks for the further clarification.