Marketing Anti-Medicine: Young Living’s M.O.
First let me preface: I love my essential oils. Open my purse, my gym bag, my diaper bag — even my ooh-la-la special occasion clutch — and you’re bound to find frankincense, eucalyptus, and lavender oils at the ready (and probably a half dozen more).
I firmly believe that essential oils can empower us moms to help soothe and comfort our littles.
Indeed, if you take a look at the 10,000+ peer-reviewed/evidence-based studies about essential oils (published in scientific journals), it is clear that essential oils — in tandem with modern medicine — can have remarkable results. That’s the key phrase, ladies: “in tandem with modern medicine.”
I have become increasingly alarmed by the anti-medicine culture embraced by many of Young Living’s distributors / users. These well-intentioned users — many of whom are my dear neighbors — have bought into a belief that essential oils can trump the doctor’s office, pharmacy, and even the emergency room. The ripples from this type of thinking can have life threatening consequences!
What’s at the root of this alarming culture? Two words: Gary Young. While I consider many Young Living users my friends, I have no tolerance for the founder and CEO of Young Living. Gary Young is a self-proclaimed “doctor” who has been arrested multiple times for practicing medicine without a license. True story! I could go on for days discussing Young’s frightening past, but below are just a few of the dangerous claims Gary Young has made on essential oil’s “healing” powers:
- Young has long avowed that he cured his own paralysis with essential oils. However, according to Dr. Eva Briggs, MD, Young has never provided any documentation of either his hospitalization (supposedly he was in an ICU for four months) or his miraculous cure. More suspicious still, a brochure published by Young in 1987 solely attributes his recovery to “Oscillation Frequency Stimulation Infusion” without once mentioning essential oils. Ugh.
- In his widely-distributed recording, “The Missing Link,” Gary claims that he healed a woman’s lupus in eight days with the blend of oils found in Young Living’s Immupower (pg 29).
- In the same tape, he argues that the cure for diabetes is simply Coriander (page 11), and compares lavender oil to chemotherapy as a cancer treatment (page 12).
- He also states that “born deafness” can be restored with Helichrysum oil (page 25).
Disturbingly, Young Living’s own CEO sets the trend for Young Living’s distributors (even with the best of intent) to teach users to rely and expect essential oils to be the sole means to heal life-threatening conditions, burns or illnesses.
To contrast this, I really appreciate doTERRA’s far more balanced approach. For example, in 2013, doTERRA brought a team of six doctors to their yearly conference; their presentation emphasized the importance of use of their oils in conjunction with modern medicine as a synergistic approach to health care. Thanks to Dr. David K. Hill, doTERRA’s Chief Medical Officer, doTERRA is now leading the industry by working hand-in-hand with health-care professionals to equip more specialists and hospitals with essential oils.
To wrap things up, I loved a quote DoTERRA’s statement last July on this very topic, “essential oils are progressively becoming a more vital ingredient in the recipe for optimal health.” Instead of proudly claiming their oils and the only “ingredient” to healing, doTERRA clearly values the power of both modern medicine and the power of distilled plants working together to make our lives more healthy, whole, and full.
Now that’s a brand I can trust.