Friday, April 12, 2013

Adverse Reactions - Dangerous Methods

Last night I received an email from a stranger, telling a story that gave me chills, and asking questions.   Chelsea M. has given me permission to share our dialogue.   PLEASE share this with any friends who are overusing these powerful oils, by blanket neat usage and internal use.

At 03:53 PM 4/11/2013, you wrote:


I know this is a rather long e-mail, but I hope you will read all of it and reply to it, because I respect you and trust you to give me honest answers.

I've read some of the recent posts on your blog dealing with essential oil safety, and I want to thank you for your commitment to safety. 

I have been purchasing essential oils primarily from a network marketing company for some time now.  As you know, they teach rather liberal use of their oils.  I was hesitant to be so liberal with the oils (something in the back of my mind kept bugging me about herbs sometimes being harmful, so why would essential oils be different?), but as I talked with more people in the company, I became less and less cautious in my use.  They would say things like, "If people are having bad reactions, why isn't the company being sued all the time?"  Also, I had reacted badly to lavender-scented things before (lotions, soaps, deodorant), but I did not react to their lavender oil, so I thought something must be different.  Plus, it was just easier to not have to dilute the essential oils. 

At the same time, I had some great experiences with using them.  A chronic upper-respiratory infection was knocked out once and for all by using them internally.  My sister used some internally and her longtime food allergies disappeared.  It was things like this that made me feel that these oils really were safe to use as the people in the company had said.

However, the more I used the oils, the more I started to notice an internal itching that just wouldn't go away.  Literally, the itching was inside me.  And then, I started to get tiny, itchy, blistery bumps on the outside of my fingers and hands.  The final straw was when I took some oils internally and my intestines became so inflamed that they swelled, and I looked like I had suddenly gained a lot of weight in my midsection.  I had to take anti-inflammatory medication to bring the swelling down. 

During all of this, people in the company would say things like, "Oh, it's just your body releasing toxins" or "you need to use THESE oils first to help clean out your [insert organ of the body here (liver, kidneys, intestines, etc.)]." 
Chelsea..this is totally horrifying!     "your body is detoxing"... that is criminal... criminal ignorance, perhaps..but still criminal. 
I did my own research, however, and I have come to the conclusion that I have been using the oils in an unsafe manner.  I look back now and cringe when I think that I used oils undiluted on my BABY!
yes... you have.    And people like me (and the majority of RESPONSIBLE practitioners and vendors have been trying to say that for years...and being ignored or attacked.)
I do have some questions still though that I hope you can answer for me.  One of the big selling points of the company I referred to was that they do extensive testing on their oils.  I was told that they test every batch and that they use the "longest" form of whatever tests they do.  I guess GC/MS testing has shorter and longer versions?  Also, they hire independent third parties to both perform the testing and interpret the test results.  Anyway, I was told that the majority of companies only do GC testing, or only test batches every once in a while and trust the supplier for the rest of the time, or accept testing results from the supplier (which is like "the fox guarding the henhouse"), or don't have an experienced, properly qualified person interpreting testing results.  It's not so much that they say their oils are more pure than anyone else's; other companies MAY have oils that are just as pure, but you just don't know for sure because no one does the extensive testing that they do.  Now, since I know that such testing has to be quite expensive, I was willing to pay more for the peace of mind.  Now that I know how to use the oils properly, I have still been purchasing from them for this reason.   Please help dispel all this so I won't have any more reasons to support a company that doesn't teach proper essential oil safety.
okay...  for example.. GC/MS testing can have different levels of accuracy...but that is more dependent upon the person reading the test results, the adequacy of the 'library' of results that they are comparing this read out to, etc. 

There are ALSO people who can deliberately 'doctor' test results to make them say what the client wants them to say.  Just as there are chemists fully capable of adding whatever to a pure natural oil to extend it.  I have known chemists who have, at some point in their carriers, done that.

I am not a chemist, and Nature's Gift is FAR too small to have an onstaff chemist.  When we test, the testing is done by one of three independant labs.   

(discussion and links to those who test for us deleted for brevity.)
NOW... do I test every batch of every oil?  NO. (Discussion of the costs of testing deleted for brevity.)

Why do I not test every batch?  because I KNOW my suppliers.  They take as much pride in their product as I do in Nature's Gift.  I COULD test every batch they ship me.  The fact that the test might well cost me more than the value of the oil is a factor. (I do NOT buy in the giant quantities of an MLM supplier!)      

If I have bought from the same distiller every year for over a decade, should I add the extra cost to each year's batch of oil?    

When I am dealing with a new supplier I will test.  I will occasionally spot test an existing supplier to keep them honest.  There are people that I have known in this industry since before Nature's Gift was online.. they have mentored me, they continue to mentor me.  They share their wonderful oils with me.   They give me THEIR test results.

I trust them.

at SOME point, Chelsea, you have to be able to trust the people you are dealing with.

now... regarding which ever MLM you have been dealing with and been injured by.

You talk of their testing and retesting.  Do they allow you to see the results of their tests?  I doubt it. (At one time a friend was doing a research study. she had been required to use the oils supplied by a specific MLM.  She had the opportunity to be published. She needed the GC/MS analysis.  She was told it was not available "because it was proprietary information."   excuse me?)  I might say it's not available because I don't HAVE it... but if I have it, and a client has a legitimate need of it, I'll send it on.  Many of ours are posted online for people to see.

Another factor.  You continue to use this company's oils because you trust their quality.


These people are deliberately teaching dangerous over use of their product. (the downlinks may well be innocent dupes...the people at the top of the chain most definitely know what they are doing.) Why? Because if I tell you to DILUTE my oils to a low dilution you won't use nearly as much and I won't SELL as much.  Neat and/or internal use = much larger profits.

They are placing their financial welfare ahead of those who 'buy' their sales pitch.   This gives you reason to TRUST them, trust the quality of their products?

In TOTAL and complete honesty, the ONLY way to know that what you are buying is exactly what the vendor says it is is to have THAT bottle tested.  for YOU to have it tested.  otherwise, you are dependant upon what I say, whatever the supplier you choose to buy from says.    The MLM you deal with doesn't share their test results. How do you KNOW that this oil was tested?  And, better yet, how do you know that the test results are what you would want them to be?  You trust them.  You believe what they tell you.

I want to tell you that I am more worthy of your trust than the people you currently buy from.  But this is a choice you have to make for yourself.

NOW... I think this whole conversation is important... ESPECIALLY what you wrote me... the history/your experience.

I would like to post this as a blog article...  not sharing your real name, but quoting your message...and my response...accurately.

I can't quote you without your permission. Please allow me to.  People HAVE to have access to experiences like yours!!!

Her response to my request:

Thank you so much for your quick response!  Yes, you may quote me.  I have to try to undo the harm I may have already caused to others I've shared oils with.  Luckily, they are few in number.  I can only imagine the potential harm if I had chosen to build a business and sold oils to hundreds or even thousands of people.  I shudder to think of it.
Oh, and you're right: it does come down to trust.  And, I don't see any more reasons why I should trust the MLM company.  I guess I just figured that if they did make their testing results public, I wouldn't understand them anyway, so it didn't matter.  And, since the people at the head of the company seemed to genuinely care about people, I wanted to believe that they weren't purposely teaching misuse of the oils, but they would HAVE to know what they're doing.  Maybe they've deceived themselves...
Anyway, I am not going to be purchasing from this company anymore.  Expect an order from me soon! 

Serendipity rules:   This morning, when Christi stopped at her favorite coffee shop, the young man there told her he needed some Myrrh Oil for Lymphatic Drainage.  Apparently he ingests "about 20 drops a day" for lymphatic drainage.   I am quite sure that if he should experience any negative results from drinking a ml of Myrrh oil daily he will be told that is a GOOD thing, his lymphatic system is detoxifying and draining.  



Jeannette said...

I've been addicted to aromatherapy since I was a girl, because my father was a holistic practitioner. Now I am trying to find pure cranberry oil.Does anyone know where I can get it?


Jeannette said...

I love this site

Marge said...

Jeannette, Nature's Gift offer Cranberry Seed Oil...produced in Canada. There is no oil from the fruit..just the seeds. Hope this helps!

Whitegirl716 said...

Is it possible for you to ask Chelsea what oils she was taking that caused her itching? It would be very interesting to be aware of, and possibly helpful, with how many people I know who are taking this company's oils.

Marge said...

Sorry, but she really doesn't want to give too many specifics. I'm afraid she has shared all she wants to. The thing is... it's the "method" not the specific oils used...the gross overuse for no specific reason, that puts them at risk. Please, have your friends read this. They will probably disregard it, but some might get the message.

Anonymous said...

I guess I am torn on this. My daughter came down with a bladder infection and we used essential oils internally and topically diluted and the infection was gone in less than 2 full days. I have a hard time understanding how taking essential oils internally is worse than taking an antibiotic? I am not trying to start drama or anything just seriously wanting to understand. Is it possible that using essential oils internally is safe on a temporary basis and that the fear comes from generations of people taught that it is dangerous?

Marge said...

Anonymous there is a HUGE difference between the rare and occasional internal use to combat a specific ailment/infection, and the daily overuse for no apparent reason. A dozen drops of EO a day for weightloss, for example, over a long perieod of time is far different from self treating an illness for a brief period.

Sharon Plenzler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sharon Plenzler said...

So Marge
What are the exact dangers of taking a dozen drops a day for weightloss?
I am truly curious. Trying to figure all this oil business out. Everyone keeps saying ingesting the oils is dangerous ...but nobody says what it will do if you ingest. I'm so confused!

Marge Clark said...

Sharon just to begin with, the oils are mucus membrane irritants, they can damage the surface of the tongue, throat, esophagus, etc. Remember, they are SOLVENTS quite capable of stripping the finish off your dining room table. Also if ingested in quantities larger than the liver can process immediately (and the liver was designed to metabolize HERBS with traces of an essential oil in them, not the intensity of the oils alone) they can lead to toxicity and to permanent liver damage.

Anonymous said...

People are forgetting that in order to safelt use any EO internally you need to consult a medical profession, in the sense, someone who has been taught and its their job to put the health of their patient in the upmost improtance. You wouldnt grab a prescription that was intended for someone else and start taking it. You would see a doctor and get their advice and your own prescription. The same should be applied to EO when wanting to use them internally. This doctor then can monitor you and any reactions you may experience from them. I dont see harm in useing them externally with a carrier oil but people please do your own research. Ask questions. We want to be trusting that people want our best but honestly its hard to expect that from a complete stranger who wants something in return from you. In this life always seek the truth even if that truth isnt what you expected it to be.