doTERRA Scam?

Is doTERRA a Scam or Essential Oils that Are Worth the Money

doTERRA Scam

Is doTERRA a scam? doTERRA is operated under MLM business model, and doTERRA essential oils have much higher price than other brands. Indeed, multi-level marketing may lead to multilayer exploitation, which could be the root of the high price rather the true value of the product. In order to help the readers justify whether it is a “doTERRA scam” or a genuine “Gift of the Earth,” this doTERRA Reviews will analyze the doTERRA essential oils from the perspective of both consumer and business.  


doTERRA Reviews – A Consumer View


About CPTG

CPTG, Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, is a registered trademark of doTERRA Holdings, LLC. doTERRA, formed in 2008, guarantees their essential oils to be 100% pure, natural and free of synthetic compounds or contaminates. 

COMMENT: Unlike the food industry that organic certification is through the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), Government or industry regulatory agencies neither administer the CPTG protocol, nor issue the approval for the grade of doTERRA essential oils.  As a matter of fact, a formalized grading system does not exist in this industry. CPTG trademark represents doTERRA’s own internal standards for sourcing and testing 100% pure aromatic botanical extracts using independent laboratory analysis. The CPTG trademark does mislead some consumers by the trick word ‘certified’ and wrongly assume doTERRA has a certification from the governmental institution.


About the Quality of doTERRA Essential Oils

According to the company, a third party examines every batch of the doTERRA essential oils through the GC-MS (Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry) process. This process ensures the oils are 100% pure and free of any contaminant, thus the safest and most beneficial essential oils available today.

Wikipedia defines the “GC-MS” as a method that combines the features of gas-liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry to identify different substances within a test sample.

COMMENT: “GC-MS” is one of the methods that can be used to ensure the pureness of essential oils. Qualify control is an internal process for almost all types of industries before they deliver the product to the market. This process ensures the reputation of a product or company and prevents the potential lawsuit incurred from defects or inaccurate tags. Outsourcing this task to an independent company that has the specialties in the relevant process is very common.


About the Price of doTERRA Essential Oils

In general, doTERRA essential oils are with prices higher than others. For example, the doTERRA Lavender Essential Oil averages $1.4/ml, while prices from other brands are between $0.5 and $0.9/ml. doTERRA may not be the only brand with a high price, ‘Young Living’ and ‘Rocky Mountain’ are two examples.

COMMENT: The price reflects the cost. The cost reflects the production process. In most scenarios, the higher the price is, the better the quality is. One dozen grade AA eggs are usually under $3.20, but a dozen organic eggs may cost $6.09. It is true that MLM could potentially impact the price, but in a certain point of view, this structure has the similarity in the well-known model ‘manufacture-vendor-retailer-consumer’.


About My View of doTERRA Essential Oils

CPTG is a trademark owned by doTERRA. It is not a certification from any regulatory organization. Although it is a private grade endorsement from doTERRA, I do not feel doTERRA will risk its reputation and future with a false public guarantee, especially that could induce legal action against the business.

At last, I want to emphasize that I am not a fan of aromatherapy. However, when applicable, essential oil is one of the ways that I turn to before taking synthetic or modern medicine. I do use products from doTERRA mainly because my friend’s recommendation. It was started two years ago when I tried to prevent myself from getting infected while taking care of the family members with chicken pox, because I was never exposed to that. I currently use doTERRA to control my back pain, and it works well.

Like all herbal remedies, there is no rigorous scientific proof in the preventive care or medicinal usage, and one formula may work for a person but fail on another. Each person is different, so  the real benefit should not be justified until the product is tried. If the quality is what one pursues, then doTERRA deserves a try.

Visit Official doTERRA Website 


doTERRA Reviews – A Home-Based Business View


doTERRA uses MLM as the marketing strategy. Many people believe MLM is an excellent home-based business opportunity.  I have not done thorough research nor am actively engaged in any MLM. My way of MLM is purely social based, and I will recommend a product to my friend if I feel the product can benefit her or him. A good product will spread out naturally.

Unlike the household products, essential oils are not a requirement for the majority of people. The demand is the base of every business. doTERRA has other products such as “lifelong vitality supplements” and “SanoBella Shampoo,” which may be excellent candidates. In general, the price will be the main roadblock in promoting products from doTERRA. Only persons with above average income can afford them in a persistent manner. Nevertheless, doTERRA products are elegant gifts in many occasions.

doTERRA’s MLM is not a scam, but it is not a ‘get rich quick’ opportunity. Unless the focus is on retail sales, a commitment to an order of minimum 100 PV (around $100) each month is required.  




Posted by on Apr 26, 2012 in Essential Talk | 26 comments


  1. In regard to the comment in the last paragraph of your post, there is no minimum monthly purchase requirement in doTERRA unless you are attempting to earn commissions. If you or someone one or two levels below you on your team recruit a new member and you want to earn commissions off that recruit (or any other person in your downline, for that matter), you must have a 100 PV Loyalty Rewards order in place, and if you wish to earn commissions on an ongoing basis you must maintain a monthly 100 PV Loyalty Rewards order, but only if you desire to earn commissions. I’m with you – I don’t believe doTERRA MLM is a scam, and I totally agree that it is not a “get rich quick” opportunity (although I’ve seen some pretty amazing things, and wonder just how hard those people had to work to “get rich quick”). I can say with strong conviction that I absolutely enjoy the working relationship I have with the company as an Independent Product Consultant – I love the essential oils and other health and wellness products the company offers, and I totally trust the integrity of doTERRA – and I continue to watch my business and bank account grow, however so slowly. I have had too many good experiences with the products myself to be anything but thrilled with my relationship with doTERRA, and I feel sad that the cost of the products prohibits having them in every household as a natural and safe option for daily health care needs.

  2. A good product will sell itself, and definitely without the MLM strategy.

    There is a reason that the FTC warns “Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. Some are pyramid schemes. It’s best not to get involved in plans where the money you make is based primarily on the number of distributors you recruit and your sales to them, rather than on your sales to people outside the plan who intend to use the products.”

    Why would a legitimate company follow a marketing strategy that is popular by so many fraudulent companies?

    • Essential oil sales rely on education – very few people would research enough to pick them up off of a shelf, and the money spent on advertising in 30-sec blurbs is better spent, in this case, on paying distributors to do in-home education. In doTERRA, the distributors are not required to sell anything or purchase anything regularly, so most of the distributors are actually simply regular users of the products who want a wholesale discount. doTERRA’s growth is not the same as most MLMs, because the product is worth the money even without the income potential. You are right that a good product will sell itself, but people need to be introduced to that product, and word of mouth (as in an MLM model) is the best way to do that. doTERRA oils do sell themselves, in my experience, and that is why it is the only MLM I’ve been willing to be a part of.

      • DoTerra does pay distributors ( wellness advocates) when you choose to do the business side, otherwise they may offer PV points. The big question is if it’s a fair compensation when compared to other sales agent jobs….? I don’t believe so. If you enroll as a business venture, you will need to spend 100$ a month to keep your account status , often people will spend well over $1000 before they start seeing commissions or 50$ bonus. I”ll let you do the math… You spend $150 on an order a month and you make $10-60 in commissions if you are lucky. Obviously some folks will make more, but the average Joe will not make money. whether or not you make money is irrelevant for DoTerra… They make $100 out of you no matter what. so it’s up to you to recoup that money or break even by signing up people… For Canadian folks remember exchange rates, brokerage fees, and shipping fees… you will need to account for when you see the price per item, DoTerra will add 6% on top of your total invoice price, plus exchange rates. Most people think their final invoice is the price they paid only to realize it doesn’t match your credit card statements.

        • You actual only need to have an order of 1PV within a year to get commission. Wellness advocates choose to make the 100PV orders in order to get free products of the month or because they want those products.

  3. I have an issue with the pricing. I know some can be very expensive, but when comparing to the other oils on the market…doTerra is the only one that can be used aromatic, topical, and internal! I have done my own research and looked at many different oils out there. They say right on the bottle “for aromatic use only” that is how you know if an oil is pure or not. Truely pure oils can be ingested and and used on skin.

    • It has nothing to do with purity. The purest of pure oils can still be dangerous if ingested or used undiluted on skin.

      Essential oils can cause great harm if used improperly. This is why all the leading respected aromatherapy bodies and authorities don’t recommend internal use except under the care of a qualified health care provider. And they always recommend that essential oils be diluted.

      • I signed on with tis company out of desperation last year , I believe August. I was having problems treating Lyme disease, so I trusted a (former) friend when she sang the praises of their products.
        During the sign on process, she wrote me out what I now refer to as prescriptions using Oil of oregano, frankincense and On-guard that totaled 20 drops in a veggie cap 1x day for 14 days; off 14 days then repeat twice. I did feel as if there was a “die off” occurring. However, I started to experience abdominal issues that eventually led me to discontinue using this treatment and seek medical help.
        This companies “wellness advocates” are trained for the most part by a trickle down process, which leads to serious issues! While they do offer a training/certification course via their own “University”, I personally have witnessed time and time again, their advocates diagnosing as well as dispensing medical advice and treatments! DANGEROUS! This is also illegal!
        So, now I have serious stomach issues from trusting this person and this company!

    • No, no, no. Jane Pike is correct. Their purity IS their potency and is part of what make them potentially harmful when used internally or undiluted. Cinnamon or clove will burn your skin and melt plastic (many undiluted essential oils will melt plastic). They are plant products and not all plants are safely ingested. The oils from edible plants may be used internally under advisement of a health professional and at proper dilution rates. Very few essential oils can be used undiluted on your skin. Essential oils are potentially tens, hundreds or thousands of times more potent than the plants they come from depending on the plants yield during the distillation or extraction process. They can be harmful if cut or adulterated but they can be equally harmful if pure due to their potency.

  4. I am not a distributor of any kind but I must say that I prefer doTERRA essential oils. Have you tried other brands? I have found price to be pretty comparable the quality a lot higher. No complaints from me.

  5. Young Living oils can also be used aromatic, topical, and internal.

  6. I purchased a 15 ml bottle of peppermint for $20 four months ago and use it daily by putting a drop on my palm and inhaling it. I have half a bottle left. How is that expensive? I believe it has cured my dust allergy, I have not taken allergy pills since.

  7. My mom adores this stuff, and she got the sanobella shampoo and conditioner for me, and I LOVE it! I was having real issues with other shampoos irritating my scalp, but this stuff makes my hair feel like it did when I was a teen. I’m bummed that they seem to have discontinued the shampoo–I’ll have to try the other kind they sell.

  8. If doTerra oils are so dangerous, why would a million dollar Corp. risk everything and lie to everyone that it is NOT DANGEROUS to ingest.?
    It doesn’t make sense?

    • They are NOT safe for ingestion, unless under the guidance of a health care practitioner, certified aromatherapist, or Naturopath! Their wellness advocates are none of those! Yet they are dispensing medical advice and treatments?

  9. Just to weigh in on the topic. I have been using essential oils since 1999 and LOVE them, and so far I have enjoyed the products I purchased from doTerra. However, I want to point out only certain oils (and this would go for any company’s products) can be INGESTED. I don’t care who produces it – if you ingest eucalyptus prepare to get sick. Also, don’t think simply because an oil is ingestible you can swig as much as you want. Just like anything used for medicinal properties there are safe doses.

  10. these must be the oils spoken of in the bible for healing, anointing etc. lol the do Terra oils are amazing, I have no complaints just complements. I agree to some extent that the oils are expensive but my take on it is you can’t put a price tag on natural healing, good health with no side effect, it speaks volume. like any product or just drinking to much water can effect you, so you must be cautious with ingestion or topical, aromatic usage. unlike synthetic drugs it come with the death blow automatically regardless of dosage, proper usage etc. one thing I agree with regardless of our take on do Terra, I can honestly say all of us that commented on this has one thing in common and that is what we are seeking the TREE of LIFE which is the better alternative of life. thanks for every ones input, each one teach one and pass it on. we are the circle of life, so lets keep being PRO(for)BIOTIC(life) instead of ANTI(against)BIOTIC(life)

  11. FDA is after these guys. They have been making wild claims for years and now after their consultants claim they have a cure for EBOLA the FDA is finally coming down on them. Some truth is good but all truth is better. doterra is far from telling the whole truth. Glad it helped some but it just takes money from many those who can’t afford it with their astronomical prices.

  12. Biggest issue is for 5 years or so being in business, Doterra has been using these dropper caps (clear plastic top cap) that wastes about 20-100% of the oil in the bottle. For every drop dispensed, another drop is flowing down the sides. Most of it collects in the black safety ring that breaks away from the black cap when opened initially.

    That’s great for company profits! That’s gross profit increased by 20-100%!

  13. Hi Everybody,

    The benefit of a company overlord that takes a big chunk of the profit is that they can take the time to create a specific product for a specific use. That takes time and money and training for you to get to benefit from their trial and errors.

    Essential oils can be tricky. Even though they’re plant based, they can be too harsh and create side effects if you don’t know what you’re doing.

    If you’ve worked with essential oils and have done plenty of your own training, you may not be interested in joining a group/mlm because you are qualified to make your own good decisions and also benefit from direct purchases from EO companies without the middleman and save a ton of money.

    What I like about this company is that it competes with Young Living which makes everybody better and it gives the lay person a way to learn about E.O.’s –which do amazing things.

    A lot of what I’ve read on the comments is just plain incorrect and shows me that a little info is always dangerous to you, your kids, the pets and the plants.

    Follow the advice of one of these companies or get your own training and you’ll be fine. Good luck and good health.

  14. I have tried the products and they work. They have a product called OnGuard which I bought and it cured my wife’s headache in 2 hours (she had it all day). We use a diffuser in our bedroom as we sleep. On Guard should be in every hospital and nursing home in a diffuser. I have had a 15ml bottle for 2 months and still over 3/4 full. Quite a bargain for $25. I quit the sick care industry in this country long ago. DoTerra is now part of my Health Care system, and I am not a distributor but an advocate.

  15. I spent $1500 or more on EO and LLV from doterra,i don’t know for some people works miracle but i didn’t see nothing,i triad treatment for:hemorrhoids,nail fungus,impotence,cracked heels,indigestion,etc.
    I think everything is just a big scam ,or just a placebo !!!!!!!!

  16. I have read the pros and cons for doTERRA oils on this page. I am a user of doTERRA oils and I must say, they have helped me tremendously. I don’t care if it says Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade on it or not. I just know that my pain is gone, my headaches are eradicated and I am sold on doTERRA oils. I do ingest some of them, but as someone above said, they are not ALL meant for ingestion. I ingest a combination of Marjoram and Frankincense in a capsule and my knee pain (bone on bone) is GONE! I no longer walk with a cane. Not every oil works for every person! I don’t believe doTERRA is a scam and when you think about the thousands of dollars spent on synthetic medicines that all have side effects, doTERRA is NOT expensive.

  17. So, a few things here…

    1. Not all MLM programs are a scam and actually many of them are really amazing companies that have chosen this structure to help empower people to earn money and still be able to do the things that they want (like stay at home with their kids, earn income without giving up their primary job, etc.). Avon was one of the first MLM style companies started in the U.S. and it was started by a door to door salesman that wanted a better opportunity! MLM is simply a different way to organize the money…instead of the traditional retail setting where money is paid to advertisers and to distributors and retailers, it’s set up for the individuals selling (or just purchasing) to make some additional income. In traditional companies the sales people and higher ups make commissions and bonuses if their marketing efforts pay off, and that’s really no different than making commission through an MLM structure. There have definitely been some companies that have used the structure to do illegal things, but so have churches and banks and plenty of other corporate structures!! Heck, Walmart is subsidized by our government, pays their employees awful, and makes massive profits and bonuses for their higher up…but they are still the biggest retailer out there… Just trying to make the point that there are good an bad examples in both worlds and lumping everyone together isn’t really a good choice ever.

    2. Sounds like some people have gotten poor advice from independent doTERRA agents. That’s not cool at all, but again, a few people doing something that isn’t right doesn’t make the whole company bad and it doesn’t reflect on the products either. doTERRA teaches exactly that anyone that wants to treat a medical condition should consult an expert of their choosing (doctor, naturopath, aromatherapist, etc.) and should not be giving direct advice on dosage, frequency of even method of using the oils. I believe that your health is in your own hands and it is upon each individual to make well educated decisions about how they will treat ailments. Research and make decisions where you feel comfortable. Oils are deemed safe for ingestion, however, if you feel that there is too much risk based on the information you read, then don’t use them internally. Using some oils directly on the skin of an adult (like the woman that inhaled peppermint to relieve allergies) may be something that you feel comfortable with, but sensitization (a developed allergy from over exposure to something), or skin irritations may be a large concern and in that case you could use the rule of thumb to always dilute oils before using them. Again, do some research until you are comfortable. Just because an individual doTERRA rep instructed someone to do something doesn’t make the company awful. How many doctors out there prescribe antibiotics on a regular basis to treat something that could very well be a virus but they didn’t even test for?? How many kids do you know that get five rounds of antibiotics for an infection that won’t go away…instead of stopping the destruction of beneficial bacteria in the body and really trying to figure out what’s wrong??? How many people DIE every year from medication complications because doctors and pharmacists don’t recognize issues? There are a lot of professional people out there that get over zealous in how they handle the treatment of illness…it doesn’t mean that all doctors are bad. It just means that we need to take responsibility to read, educate and understand our own health!!

    I’ve got a few doTERRA products, and I like them. I continue to research and learn more every day….like hydrosols for use on infants that can be super sensitive to the potency of oils, like different carrier oils are better with certain essential oils, and not all oils provide the same results for everyone (eucalyptus is supposed to be energizing and invigorating, but it just calms me down). There is a lot to learn. :)

  18. Just wanted to note here that most of doTerra’s oils are “complete distillations” which is much lower quality than first distillations (highest quality). But they are sold at or above first distillation prices. And I think the fact that they and their consultants recommend using some oils undiluted is irresponsible.

    • There is generally only 1 distillation of a plant product. There is no 1st 2nd or 3rd distillations. That is incorrect.

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