Monday, July 24, 2017

There's a Sucker Born Every Minute

Christi R. Pugh

PT BARNUM is widely credited with saying, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”  (whether he actually said this is debatable but we understand the sentiment). Similarly, 19 th Century bad boy and celebrated author Oscar Wilde once said, “There is only one thing worse in life than being talked about and that is not being talked about.” 

In our “reality tv,” society some may subscribe to those theories.  Nature’s Gift has been around nearly 25 years and there are many occasions when we are flattered to be mentioned as a source for quality essential oils and aromatherapy products in books, blogs, magazines, and other types of media, when the author is someone we respect.  We appreciate folks helping get the word out and are grateful for the validation.

But there are times when we are listed as a source in a book or magazine that dispenses terrible advice, bad safety information (like promoting the use of ‘neat oils,’), or other misinformation. Years ago, a well-known “alleged” charlatan listed us in a widely distributed book, much to our dismay. On one hand, we hope the reader may find us, a reputable source for aromatherapy information, whom otherwise might not have found us.  Then we can help them. On the other hand, Marge cringes every time it happens, for fear of someone being harmed by the information being dispensed with no thought of safe or appropriate use.

Recently she received an email from a sweet Southern lady in need of help with several issues.  This sweet lady found Nature’s Gift because we were listed as a reputable source in a book she purchased about Aromatherapy and essential oils.  We had never heard of the authors and the advice the authors gave was horrific! (We are not naming the book. Why give them publicity?)

A few examples of things they say to do (all dangerous advice):

Ingest Lemon Oil and water for acid reflux. (will make it worse!)
Clove, Peppermint, and Frankincense chest rub for cough. (undiluted! Will burn and sensitize.)
Ingest Peppermint and Ginger with water for nausea.  (only inhalation is needed.  Very scary!)

These are only a few of their “gems.”  Marge exchanged several very long emails with the lady who had come to us because the information seemed “off” to her.  Thank goodness!  Marge could guide her toward safe and appropriate use of essential oils and toward resources for beginners and the woman was truly grateful.

We wonder where these so-called aromatherapy experts received their training!  Are they Clinical Aromatherapists?  What are their qualifications?  PT Barnum also famously said, “A sucker is born every minute.”  Sometimes I, (Christi), wonder how people can justify publishing information that they either know will harm others or which they have no business writing about because they just aren’t qualified!  We seem to have too many self-appointed “experts” these days.  Do your homework, research, and do what I do, no matter what I am trying to study: google for the professional associations associated with that subject matter.  

For instance, AIA, NAHA, and AHNA (for holistic nurses,) are three of the most reputable professional associations for Aromatherapy in the US.  Start there.  See who they trust, use, and recommend.  Don’t randomly buy a book that looks shiny or take advice on social media without first researching!  Is the author a professional, as indicated by membership in the professional institutions above?  Does the author have a verifiable background of study and experience?

Marge’s creed for the 13 years I have worked with her is, “First, do no harm.”  This applies to everything we do at Nature’s Gift, with our clients at the forefront of our thinking, no matter our task.  We work with very powerful natural products.  The oils may be used for good or they may cause harm if used inappropriately.  

Is there such a thing as bad publicity?  I guess we must say both: YES and NO.


Sadie_01 said...

It's very important to check the source and consider the source. Check your facts before taking the word of someone you read about. Check their "references". Not everyone is an expert, and anyone can say almost anything they want nowadays. Publications don't "fact check" too much anymore.

If someone recommends certain usage of essential oils, check that out with other sources to confirm, first. Your health is on the line. Remember, just because someone says something doesn't mean it's true or correct. I saw Nature's Miracle recommended in a book, but waited until I saw other places also recommend them, and then I checked their site and info. It only takes a few moments to check a place out. Be safe!

Marge said...

um... Nature's Miracle?