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Posted September 26, 2014

Seller Warned for Promoting Essential Oils to Treat Flu, MRSA, Measles and More

On September 22, 2014, the FDA issued a warning to doTERRA International, LLC., following a review of websites and social media accounts (including Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter) used to promote the company's products, which found statements made about Melaleuca, Oregano, On Guard, Clove, Eucalyptus, Frankincense, Geranium, Lavender, Lemongrass, Myrrh, Peppermint, Rosemary, Wintergreen, Clary Sage, and Vetiver essential oils to be drug claims. 

Melaleuca, commonly called tea tree oil, was promoted to treat colds, flu, MRSA and more, with statements such as "Melaleuca has been clinically shown to inhibit the replication of the influenza virus. Some of melaleuca's primary uses include ... athlete's foot ... canker sores, chicken pox, cold sore, colds, flu, fungal infections, Herpes simplex, MRSA, shingles, warts and viral infections." 

Oregano oil was promoted to treat a variety of conditions with statements such as "Oregano is effective in inactivating MNV (non-enveloped murine norovirus) within 1 hour of exposure. Some of the primary uses for oregano include athlete's foot, candida, canker sores, Ebola virus, intestinal parasites, MRSA, ringworm, staph infection, viral infections, warts, and whooping cough." 

Similarly, On Guard, which contains a blend of essential oils was promoted with statements such as "has been lab tested to decrease symptoms of the flu. Some of the primary uses of On Guard include antiviral, cold sores, colds, flu ... infection, lupus, MRSA, pneumonia ... and warts." 

Eucalyptus oil was promoted with statements such as, "Eucalyptus has demonstrated an ability to inhibit the Herpes simplex virus. Some of the primary uses for eucalyptus include Influenza, Measles, Neuralgia, Neuritis, Pneumonia, respiratory viruses rhinitis, shingles, sinusitis and tuberculosis." 

One paid consultant for the company suggested doTERRA essential oils could help prevent Ebola infection, with statements such as "Treating the symptoms of Ebola Virus with DoTERRA Essential Oils," and "Many Essential Oils are highly Anti-viral. I list here a few of them those (sic) oils that could help prevent your contracting the Ebola virus." 

See ConsumerLab's answer to the question, Does tea tree oil work for getting rid of athlete's foot? for more information.

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