Essential Oils And Other Holistic Bullshit

So does anybody else fear for the human race when they see stuff like this gaining momentum in the 21st century? I could probably clear out half my friend list on Facebook with one well placed rant. Even people whom I believed to be rather intelligent have been taken in by it. It doesn’t matter if they’re a college educated (which doesn’t really mean anything) professional or a high school drop out; this shit is everywhere right now. Everywhere.

Let us discuss why.

These are the three main reasons that I’ve come up with in order of least important to most.

-Distrust of the medical industry and actual Science.
-Romanticism of “natural” and holistic approaches of old.
-Multi-level marketing. Multi-level marketing. Multi-level marketing.

I actually find the recent success of companies like doTERRA and Young Living both fascinating, and quite frankly disturbing. Back in the old days of traveling medicine shows these clowns enjoyed success primarily because of a lack of readily available information, as well as a lack of governing bodies like the FDA and FTC, ready to slap down any ridiculous claims.

But we have both now, so why is this not being stomped out? The marketing, first of all, is genius. Most people aren’t going to trust some random idiot promoting this junk. So what do you do? Why, you get their friends to promote it to them. They’ll trust their friends. And their friends will tell them anything, because they have a vested interest in the product. And the more friends you recruit into the fold, the greater the pressure is for the other friends to go along with it. It’s a pyramid scheme for the social media generation.

And then there are the ridiculous claims, and here’s the fun part. The companies themselves can utilize very specific language to just skirt by the FDA / FTC. But that doesn’t even matter. Because they’re not the ones actually marketing it. They have thousands of people on the ground making the ridiculous claims for them, and the Feds can’t do anything about it. Betty Lou down the street told me cinnamon oil would cure my Ebola. Do you think there’s going to be an injunction filed against her?

I really want to see a concerted effort made towards educating people about this before it grows any larger, but I’m not even sure where that would come from.

So am I losing my mind here? Is this just a blip on the radar which will go away soon? Or are we headed inexorably towards Idiocracy?

It grates on my very soul. I know so many women now who won’t vaccinate, but a metric buttload of snak—I mean, essential oil? Yep!

Are they healthier than I am? No…but they FEEL so much healthier. EDIT: Insert my eyes rolled all the way back in my head.

Holistic or homeopathic?
Holistic isn’t necessarily bad.
Homeopathic literally cannot possibly be real simply based on how atoms and molecules work.

Essential oils smell nice.

Yeah, essential oil is perfume. Aromatherapy is a joke, but I don’t think most aromatherapists claim to be curing anything, just providing mild palliative relaxation therapy. Of course anyone who claims to cure disease with perfume is a dangerous fool, but the level of danger associated with this kind of thing is as nothing compared to the monstrous liars who shill for homeopathy.

Oh how many of these are there now?

Gluten-free for everybody.
Ph level of blood / Milk removes calcium from your body
Gets antibiotics from dubious sources and uses them for everything
Taker a shake/powder for everything
GMO free!

There is no longer a ‘stamp of approval’ that people can reflexively trust, or at least, use as a baseline. Widespread obesity and cancer rates, as well as the increase in “other” problems (ADHD/autism spectrum/mental health) leads to wild speculation. Internet allows wild speculation to run rampant and unchecked and which self reinforces. Get me some Ezekiel Bread stat, my humors feel out of balance!

I’ve never actually come across a homeopath before, whereas I see or hear about the healing properties of essential oils virtually every day. They’re both complete bunk of course, but the latter seems to be spreading like a plague right now.

I don’t want to put the post up here for the sake of privacy but somebody I know inquired as to whether any of her friends used essential oils to help their kids go to sleep and out of the woodwork came a bunch of people claiming to be distributors and then somebody I work with posted that she was looking into using them to help treat her one year old’s breathing problems. I actually became kind of frightened hoping that none of my closer friends would show up in the thread. It’s like the Invasion of The Body Snatchers or something.

Pass this around

What’s funny is that I have a bunch of oils and a diffuser, and at no point did it even occur to me that they could have some kind of benefit beyond smelling nice.

Didn’t you notice your lack of whooping cough?

I don’t understand people’s thought process: if this stuff worked, surely GSK and co would be farming and selling it? (If you ask such a question you then usually find out that the person you’re talking too is also a conspiracy theorist and THEY don’t want you to be cured!)

Yeah. I especially love my cedar wood mixed with a bit of lemon grass and eucalyptus. I do swear that it works wonders with any sinus issues i may have had though. So i do seem to get a benefit from it for that kind of thing. I would not use it to take out a kidney mind you. I only use GMO free essential oils :)

Pyramid schemes involving pressuring your friends have existed forever. Have you never heard of Amway?

But as far as today’s schemes go, human nature never changes, and suckers are being born ever minute, etc. So there will always be people peddling stupid stuff.

Sadly, my wife’s best friend’s daughter is into the essential oil stuff (and frankly, until this rant, I had no idea that it was a thing). I haven’t talked to the girl about it so I don’t know how much she’s bought into it. But she’s not super science-y so who knows, she might be buying into all the hokum. My wife is good friends with her, I should grill my wife to see if she’s been approached about the “benefits” of the oils.

Well, there’s a related problem. If something fairly simple and readily available does help with certain conditions, who is going to put up the money to run the trials to prove it? If it is approved, will drug plans pay for it, even if it is cheap and effective? I was reading a psychiatrist’s blog where he’d like to prescribe fish oil for some conditions. But since his patients are completely broke (or would rather spend the money on other stuff), they won’t buy it themselves. Fish oil is not on his approved drug list so he can’t get medicare to pay for it. Solution: an enterprising company invents a drug that is fish oil slightly modified by a proprietary process. They dutifully do all the trials to push their wonder drug through the FDA trials, show it is effective for X. Of course, it costs something like 30x as much regular fish oil, but who cares? Medicare now covers it and his hospital pharmacy now stocks it, because it’s a real drug.

Edit: Here’s the blog I vaguely remembered: Fish - Now By Prescription.

Another wrinkle:

A doctor who prescribes boring regular old supplement fish oil pills is taking a dangerous step into uncharted territory. If anything goes wrong and their conduct comes under review, a clever lawyer could say “I notice your patient had severe hypertriglyceridaemia, a very dangerous condition, and instead of giving her any medicine, you just told her to get fish oil from her local health food store! Fish oil has never been FDA-approved and you have only your personal opinion that it does anything at all.”

I don’t know anything about essentials oils, but I have a homeopathy story.

About six years ago we moved to Ireland. Shortly after that, my son who was 1 year old started waking every night screening and with high fever. The screeming was really scary as if he was being attacked. This went on for a month or so. The GP had no idea what to do with it.

At about that time we met new friends and the wife was a homeopath. My wife suggested we ask her for help. I thought it was a waste of time but didn’t say anything. So we got these drops from her, and started him on it, and that was the end of tyre screaming bouts. It just stopped that same night. We used the drops for about three weeks and then stopped, and it never happened again.

Now I’m not going to proselytize homeopathy here. I still don’t see how a few atoms can cure anything. I don’t know if it wasn’t all just a coincidence but there you go.

It was.

Saw an article about the placebo effect getting stronger in the USA. So either the studies are getting more honest, people are now more susceptible to suggestion, or a combination of both.

I’ve never heard of an essential oils thing, but holistic medicines are pretty common. Herbalife is the new thing. I have no idea what it is but my neighbor sells the shit, and keeps two U Hauls parked out front filled with inventory. They still have the Virginia corporate plates or something so I’m not sure how it can be cost effective to rent them for $600/month each.

Didn’t you notice your lack of whooping cough?

Holy shit, you’re right!
There are literally thousands, if not millions of diseases which I do not have, and which must have been prevented by the oils!

The best argument against homeopathic bullshit is this:
Homeopathy believes that the smaller the concentration of a compound in a solution, the more powerful the effect, because it changes the water itself (somehow).

Most water on the surface of the earth has been in that molecular form for a long time, and has come in contact with tons of compounds. It’s also connected to massive bodies of water like the oceans.

Thus, you don’t need to buy homeopathic solutions, because essentially any water from any source is going to have come in contact with whatever it is you want at some point, and then became infinitely more dilute, and thus more powerful! At curing literally anything!

Also, the more scientific reason, which is that at such low concentrations there is literally zero molecules of whatever it is you think is in there.

But I like the idea that all water everywhere cures everything, as it can be used to sidestep the argument about how it works, and create another argument that even if it works there is no reason to buy anything from the charlatans selling it.

See, it’s things like this that make me want to shirk my liberal duties and institute stringent breeding licensure programs. Nevermind that it’s scary enough that folks might well raise their children in a household where traditional medicine is ignored and demonized, likely at the cost of the kids’ health, but my own FB surveying indicates that these folks have a higher-than-average number of tykes themselves who now risk being tainted by these beliefs. AKA, if you think it’s bad now, just wait 15 more years (assuming a good percentage of their kids survive to adulthood, of course).

Hey now

Exactly! What is the thought process going on here? When somebody tells me something, my first instinct is to research it to make sure it’s true. How can people just immediately buy into whatever they hear without a hint of critical thinking? It’s like this entire shit wagon is being driven by sheer gullibility and social manipulation.

“If my friends tell me it does X, it must do X” is a pretty baseless assumption. “If this stuff worked, it would be sold as a prescription drug” also has quite a few problems.