When I first read about doTerra’s response to false medical claims regarding its Immortelle oil blend, I was glad to see that they were denouncing the claims. However, upon closer inspection, it became clear that they were just trying to protect themselves.
A Canadian doTerra distributor named Samantha Lotus recently held an online class where she claimed to teach attendees how to improve their eyesight. Tickets for the class were priced at $11. The Daily Beast reported on this event, highlighting Lotus’ promise to help people get rid of their glasses and address the spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical causes of their poor eyesight.
An anti-multi-level marketing (MLM) content creator named Mallory attended Lotus’ class and shared her experience. Among other things, Lotus attributed shortsightedness to diet and nutrition, lifestyle factors, the mind-body connection, environmental factors, detoxification, and conflict.
Rebecca Watson, the owner of Skepchick, provided context to Lotus’ claims in a YouTube video, explaining that these claims have been debunked for over a century.
The connection to doTerra comes in the form of their Immortelle essential oil blend. While doTerra markets this blend as a product that reduces the appearance of fine lines and promotes healthy-looking skin, some distributors are promoting it as a vision enhancer.
Mallory reached out to doTerra on Twitter, citing Lotus’ class. In response to Mallory’s tweet, doTerra stated that while their products can be used to promote a healthier lifestyle and certain wellness benefits, they cannot be marketed as capable of preventing, treating, or curing any disease or its symptoms.
However, doTerra’s response fails to categorically state that their Immortelle oil blend does not improve eyesight and put an end to these baseless and illegal medical claims.
Furthermore, examples of doTerra distributors making these claims about Immortelle can be found publicly, dating back as far as 2013. It is likely that doTerra is aware of these claims.
Mallory also reported that Lotus began harassing her on multiple social media platforms, including making threats of legal action. In response to Mallory’s report, doTerra claimed to have taken immediate action to review any statements made by the distributor that might not comply with their policies and relevant legal requirements.
At present, it is unclear whether Lotus is still a doTerra distributor, as she has made her personal website and Instagram profile private. Her YouTube channel and Facebook profile have also been removed.
It should be noted that earlier this year, three doTerra distributors were each fined $15,000 for making false claims about COVID-19. Mallory claims to have reported Lotus to doTerra for similar conduct back in December, but doTerra appears to have ignored her report. It seems that the only reason doTerra took action in this case is because major news publications picked up the story.
If doTerra wants to put an end to these illegal medical claims being made about Immortelle, they need to issue a public statement explicitly acknowledging that such claims are baseless and have no medical or factual basis. Simply pointing out that making these claims is illegal is not enough, considering this issue has been ongoing for ten years.