If you’ve come across this article from Google, then most likely, you’re already a doTERRA Wellness Advocate. And regardless of how far along you are, you’ve probably gone through the FDA compliance pitch.
A couple years ago, doTERRA, Young Living, and other essential oil companies were hit with a letter by the Food and Drug Administration with some serious compliance concerns.
We admit, some of the claims being put out by some consultants were a little bold. But being compliant with the FDA isn’t just about avoiding cancer and other terminal disease-specific claims. Using what may seem like a completely harmless word (i.e. “anxiety” or “influenza”) can get you into trouble.
In this article, we’ll outline the “do’s” and “dont’s” of selling doTERRA essential oils and how you can avoid a slap on the wrist, or worse a termination of your contract.
But first, a little background…
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Ending Our Wellness Advocate Contract…
It’s been about a year and a half since we stopped selling doTERRA. It wasn’t anything to do with the company itself. In fact, we still use their oils on a daily basis.
Let us be clear: We fully support doTERRA as a company. Their hands are tied over all the compliance issues.
But as the FDA’s “investigation” intensified, Wellness Advocates who had personal websites and blogs were forced to shut their sites down or end their contract with doTERRA.
We were bummed, to say the least. On a daily basis, we were sharing our knowledge about essential oils with people all over the world. We didn’t want to give up our outlet. Therefore, we ended our contract.
Marketing Your doTERRA Business Online
As noted through our personal experience, this is your first word of caution: If you have your own website or blog, you are unable to use it to market your doTERRA business – even if you scan through all your blog posts and remove non-compliant content.
This is a strict doTERRA policy.
At the time of this writing you can still use social media platforms to promote your business. And many WA’s find them as an effective medium. You can scour your friends list and connect with people who have common interests. This can lead to further discussions and, ideally, in-person meetings and classes.
That being said, there are guidelines to follow. Here are the do’s and dont’s:
- Use claims only on the “Approved Claims” list (outlined below).
- Post images of doTERRA essential oils.
- Discuss products in post updates, on pages, and in groups.
- Repost updates from doTERRA’s Facebook page.
- Link to your Wellness Advocate Replicated site.
- Post about the business opportunity of becoming a WA.
- Hold Facebook classes, while adhering to the Approved Claims guidelines.
- Post disease claims.
- Imply certain diseases through images.
- Use doTERRA or its trademarks in the title of a group, page, or profile.
- Use doTERRA images, trademarks, etc. in profile and cover photos.
- Host Facebook classes & events that include disease-related terms.
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doTERRA Approved Claims List
Note: For a complete list of approved claims – listed by each individual product – simply visit this link.
To keep things simple, though, we’ll give a general overview of what can and cannot be said about essential oils. But first, a few more do’s and dont’s:
- Discuss emotions that are temporary, like “improves mood, decreases irritability, etc.”
- Use compliant cosmetic claims, like “improves appearance, cleanses skin, etc.”
- Use words such as “wellness, health, maintenance, etc.”
- Be general when referring to body systems (“heart health, respiratory health, etc.”).
- Refer to minor conditions and use qualifiers such as “normal, typical, mild, occasional, etc.”
- Where appropriate use the following Food and Drug Administration disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease.”
- Use words like “illness, cure, disease, treat, etc.”
- Refer to specific illnesses, such as diabetes, autism, or cancer.
- Recommend essential oils as a replacement for medications.
- Endorse essential oils as a substitute for certain therapies.
Now, below are some examples of what you can say about certain benefits. Note that the first claim on each bullet is a non-compliant disease claim, and the second is an FDA-approved claim that you can use when selling doTERRA oils.
- Cures disease and chronic conditions / Improves health and wellness of the body
- Cures cold symptoms and the flu / Bolsters the immune system
- Eliminates headaches / Eases neck and head tension
- Relieves insomnia / Encourages better sleep
- Curbs depression / Calms emotions and reduces feelings of sadness
- Relieves anxiety / Reduces anxious feelings and soothes away tension
- Decreases cholesterol / Supports healthy cholesterol levels that are currently within normal range
- Treats ear infections / Provides occasional relief for ear discomfort
- Fights obesity / An ingredient to add to your weight loss plan
- Cures ADHD / Improves focus and helps you stay on task
- Treats dementia / Helps with mild memory issues that come with aging
- Prevents osteoporosis / Helps maintain bone health
- Eliminates heartburn / Eases mild and occasional heartburn
- Treats cystic acne / Relieves mild forms of acne
- Cures nausea / Helps with motion sickness and occasional nausea
- Eliminates constipation / Relieves occasional constipation
- Reduces pain / Eases minor pains associated with non-disease states
- Slows down fatigue / Restores wakefulness when undergoing mild fatigue
- Prevents diabetes / Add to your diet to support healthy blood sugar levels
Where We’re at Now…
While it was a difficult decision for us to leave doTERRA, it has led us to new opportunities. Not only can we continue to share our experiences and knowledge of essential oils with those all around the globe, we started our own ecommerce business.
This has given us renewed passion for our overall vision, while providing a great opportunity for our family.