I’ve been very reluctant to post why I had the proverbial break up with Young Living Essential Oils (YLEO) and honestly the reluctance has been for multiple reasons.
1. I have dear friends that still use YLEO.
2. Having to admit publicly that I was wrong/misguided/uneducated about these oils.
I warn this blog post is very long so if you’re an essential oil enthusiast you might want to go sniff some vetiver or your favorite focal blend.
Why I started using Essential Oils
I was introduced to Young Living Essential Oils through a friend and I immediately loved the idea of using something natural to support the family physically and emotionally through some health related issues. I decided to try some samples and was surprised that essential oils really did help. Because I saw some benefits–I was hooked. Young Living oils are expensive though and I found it hard to be able to afford them so I signed up for Essential Rewards so I could earn free products for my family. Honestly, looking back that makes me upset because there’s a good number of people like myself that start distributing just so we could afford the oils. It’s just one of my many complaints I now have about this company.
It is painful to admit but I was very ignorant about essential oils. I loved the idea of a company that did multiple rounds of testing all the way from the seed to the label on the bottle and in my head I felt like this was a company that genuinely cared for their customers.
I was using the oils from the line for children as well as referring one of the reference guides put out by the company for usage. I truly believed the guidelines given to me were safe for me and for my family–I was wrong.
My daughter has asthma and one of the oils in the children’s line has peppermint in it. Upon using it on my daughter I noticed that her breathing seemed a little off and her oxygen levels were pretty low. I started googling and immediately I understood that I really needed to learn all I could about essential oil safety…dilution as well as usage advice. Peppermint is not suggested to be used on or around small children and no one had ever told me. In fact, I had people telling me how great this oil was for kids with asthma.
I was surprised–no, shocked. It seemed the more I read the more I started to see all that was wrong with the usage advice from this company and that certain oils in the line meant for children are not even advised by experts in the field of aromatherapy.
One can argue that you just have to know your kids and that some children won’t be bothered by peppermint/rosemary/eucalyptus but the truth is, aromatherapy experts agree that these oils should be avoided or at the least minimized for small children. It’s a total cop-out too. That’s like saying you just have to know your kids to know whether they’re safe in a carseat or not. See how ridiculous that statement is? Knowing your kids has absolutely nothing to do the safety of a product or the usage guidelines.
I was really mislead by this company and as angry as I am, I have no one to blame but myself for not doing the research and that is why I’m sharing my story and thoughts with all of you. I’d rather admit I was wrong and clear up any confusion on as to why I left this company and why I no longer stand behind their products.
A representative doesn’t have to be an aromatherapist to distribute.
I’m very embarrassed to admit that I was very ignorant about oils. I felt really stupid as more time went on and I realized how unsafe I’d been or how much I relied on a company trying to sell me something rather than doing some research for myself. I research out vaccines and medications before giving or declining for my children. I research out heirloom seeds before purchasing them for my garden. I research the ingredients used in my soaps before using them. I research carseats before purchasing them. How in the world could I have been so negligent in researching and learning about these oils?
I was duped. I was duped by the label, by the marketing materials that gave me the impression that these oils were pure (which can be debated since recent tests by third-party labs show adulteration in one of their oils) and that the usage advice was safe. I was under the impression that Gary Young was an expert and would know which oils are safe for children and that safe usage would be given. I followed blindly. Lesson learned. Gary Young is not an aromatherapist so why people think he is qualified to give advice on ingestion is beyond me but I’ll just leave that whole topic for another day.
The company is a MLM (multi-level marketing) company and anyone can sell the oils. One doesn’t have to be an aromatherapist or have any training whatsoever to become a distributor. Anyone that has purchased the starter kit can start distributing from that point on. That means a person without any knowledge of oils other than what they have read on the labels can then advise you on which oils they think you should be using on you and your children.
Why did I decide to distribute?
I distributed these oils so that I could earn oils back for my family. It was never about making money for me. In fact…I didn’t make money. I would pay the taxes and shipping for people who ordered with me and soak up some of the cost simply so I could afford the oils we wanted or needed. Did I mention already how mad this makes me when I look back? I was preyed upon–charged entirely too much for an oil that I could get elsewhere for a better price and not have to go through the hassle of distributing.
I’m also now in the position of asking friend and followers to forgive me if I ever gave any advice on usage that was not correct. Which again, makes me angry. Yes, I’m angry at myself that I didn’t do more research but I was completely duped into thinking the company had basically done all the work and all I had to do was follow their advice.
Just because it is natural…
does not mean that it is completely and 100% safe. Essential oils are like medications. Caution needs to be taken if you’re pregnant, nursing, on medications, have certain health condition and/or other issues such as thinning of the blood.
Not all oils are safe for children and reps will often argue that the oils are “so pure” that they’re perfectly fine and safe for everyone. This is simply not the case. There are oils that should not be used on children for issues ranging from thinning the blood to Reyes syndrome or even the risk of seizures.
I won’t even get into the whole topic of ingestion and using oils neat. Dilution and safety is very important. Using oils “neat” or undiluted puts you at risk for serious risk of sensitization and it’s generally not a good idea. You can learn more about that by reading this article written by Robert Tisserand, New Study Reveals Dangers of Not Diluting Essential Oils. This was just a huge complaint that I had with this company when I realized they’d guided me into using oils in an unsafe manner. The oil is pure? Great…even more reason to properly dilute it. Ingestion? Not 100% against it but it should be done under the care of a certified aromatherapist.
Why I said goodbye?
At the end of the day I cared more about using oils safely than making money for this company. I also realized that there are more affordable companies out there that provide the testing to prove the purity of their oils instead of offering a, “take our word for it guarantee.” Yes, there are many companies out there that are supplying their testing information and do not fall for that “Only Gary Young knows how to read a Gas chromatography–mass spectrometry report.” That’s just codswallop. If Gary Young is the only person with this knowledge…pray tell me, how did he supposedly learn?
I wanted out because of how die-hard representatives around me were. Young Living Essential Oils drum up cult like fervor that I just didn’t vibe well with during my short amount of time with them. I have heard so many representatives tell me that the testing information isn’t even important to know because the chemists and the experts don’t even know how to read them…(I already said that didn’t I? Oh yeah, I did…I repeated it because it’s still nonsense!)
I just wanted out. I wasn’t going to embarrass myself anymore by standing along and blindly advertising, supporting and suggesting a company that charges double the cost of other companies that actually PROVE their oils are pure and have much safer usage information.
So there you have it, I completely jumped ship.
So, where do I start? How do I know what is safe?
What I can encourage you to do is to read sources that aren’t produced solely by and for the company you’re looking into. Make sure the material you read is reputable by checking into the credentials of the author. Even great books may have information that is outdated so be sure to join safety groups and keep up with the current suggestions. Make notes in your books if you find conflicting information. I would suggest cross referencing all information to the Essential Oil Safety book by Robert Tisserand. It costs a lot but this book is invaluable!
I’d advise you to look for a certified aromatherapist to work with. They can help guide you and provide resources to help with choosing which oils to use as well as provide dilution ratios for you. Plant Therapy has certified aromatherapists on hand that can help give some guidance. I really like them because I’ve literally seen them discourage someone from particular oils even though this costs their company money. It isn’t just an open free for all. On that note, their Plant Therapy’s child safe blends were formulated by Robert Tisserand, one of the world’s leading experts on essential oil safety so I’m partial to them for blends for my kids.
These are just a few of the many options you have to choose from. Once you step back from the world of MLMs you’ll realize there’s a whole new world out there providing safe, effective essential oils (and can prove it) with a wider variety than one can even find in one company. Anyone that is purchasing from only one company is really doing themselves a discredit…shop around, have fun! Sniff some lavender, take a deep breath and just enjoy the aroma!
I hope this is enlightening to others thinking of leaving/joining up with an MLM. If not, maybe you just want to hate my guts because you’re still committed to an MLM. No matter how this article finds you–just keep calm and apply all the essential oils! (safely)
Edited to add the safety guidelines for eucalyptus and peppermint: