doTERRA Review: Is it a Snake Oil Scam Or Not?

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doterra-scam-legitI'm the first one to admit that I'm a bit skeptical about the belief of slathering some good smelling oil on your skin can cure insomnia, depression, backaches, stress, and the list goes on. But then again most medicine we take are based on nature's elements found in plants, herbs, etc. So I guess it's not that far fetched that oils can have positive health effects. Either way, the idea of healing oils sparked my interest. So I decided to do some research and stumbled upon a company called doTerra that has made a business on selling oils that claim to treat and heal folk's health ailments. In my doTerra Review I'll dig in into these health claims and more importantly the business opportunity side. If you're a hippy… Opps, I meant a person into natural remedies and want to make money with it, then let's dig deeper into what doTerra has to offer.

What is doTerra

doTerra started in the spring of 2008. The name “doTerra” comes from Latin and simply means – Gift Of The Earth. The business basically centers around the sale of various fragrant “essential oils.” The company claims that these specific oils can heal and cure many ailments. The products are sold in United States, Canada, Austraila, and many other countries; including more of Central America.

How To Become a doTerra Essential Oils Consultant

You will need to to pay a $35 signup fee to join as an “independent doTERRA product consultant” to make money with doTerra. There are no monthly charges for the consultant's websites. Consultants earn 25% on retail sales of the doTerra products. They also earn commissions on the sales of the people they sponsor, and their sponsors, and so on; meaning you earn money from the consultants you recruit. There are other aspects of the home business opportunity and bonuses offered. They are “fast start bonus (paid weekly), power of 3 team bonus, (paid monthly), and also a preferred member sponsor bonus of which a percentage of (up to) 25% can be earned.

doTerra Complaints

As always you know I'll dig into any company to find the possible cons or complaints the reps fail to mention or purposely hide. Alas every company has some flaws. It doesn't mean they're scams or bad. But I feel it's better to know some of the complaints beforehand. This way you can make an informed decision especially when you're investing your hard earned money and time. So with that said, my friend let's dig into some of the issues.

Sign Up Costs

A lot of work from home seekers automatically assume a business as shady just due to the fact that there is a price tag attached. It's simple simon advice and mentality that has been passed around without explaining exceptions to the rule. A home business is this exception. Think about it, there are fees required to start a Walmart. Why should a work at home businesses be any different? You have to keep in mind that a work at home JOB and home business are not the same. Most businesses usually have start up fees. That said some of you will still view that as a knock against doTerra. So it's why I mention it here even if I don't agree.

It's an MLM

The doTERRA business model is an MLM. Most work at home seekers are automatically skeptical of MLMs for good reasons. Many folks have had poor experiences because of shady companies with poor products or the mlm reps I've covered here. But it doesn't mean all MLMs are bad. But let's face it some people just don't like them especially when you have complicated compensation plans that you need to decipher. You can read their compensation plan Here. Yeah enjoy figuring all that out. The other reasons people don't like the mlm model is that it usually focus on recruiting people rather than promoting and selling products. However I don't get that impression with doTerra.

Check Out My #1 Free Way To Earn “Real” Money At Home & It's Not an MLM!

Limited Payment Options

Unfortunately doTERRA doesn't offer paypal as a payment option. But they do pay via check however it appears there is a minimal check processing fee. Are you serious?! It's not bad enough that banks nickle and dime us but the company that you're helping make money wants to do it to you too. Come on! It's not like the fee is crazy but it's just principle that gets me. Apparently they have a direct deposit option which would avoid this annoying fee but you need to reach the “Gold Level” for that privilege. Ultimately this is a minor complaint and I don't think it's a real deal breaker for anyone.

Not BBB Accredited

Now just for the record, just because a company is not BBB accredited doesn't mean squat! You can read my feelings on the better business bureau here for more insight on that. But some of you live and die by BBB reports so with that said there are 11 closed complaints. The nature of the issues deal with product complaints, unauthorized credit card transactions, and warranty issues. In addition, there were two billing/collection issues this past July. You can read the BBB details Here.

Internal Use Of Essential Oils
doTERRA and its consultants recommends and promotes internal use of their oil products. However, this goes against most health care providers. It has been reported that many people have been harmed in using the products in this way. Poisoning has also been reported. Aromatherapy and Herb associations have taken great lengths to let the public know that internal use of these products is NOT recommended, and flat out dangerous.

Legal Woes

doTERRA is currently in lawsuit with Young Living Essential Oils. Seems that doTERRA has cloned quite a few of their oil products. That of course raised a lawsuit with YL. Apparently there is yet another company that came forth and claimed copyright infringement as well. It's hard to read into this. A lot of legitimate companies experience some legal issues. But given the nature of this particular issue you don't know if it can lead this company into financial ruin or being required to shut down. That might be a stretch but it's a concern.

So Is doTERRA Legit?

There isn't anything I've read or researched that has led me to believe that doTERRA is scamming people. From a health standpoint a lot of people have reported positive results with the products themselves. However I'd personally be hesitant of selling health and wellness products simply because I wouldn't want people waving a red flag back at me in case of allergic reactions, and becoming ill from any of the products. That's just me and why I like My #1 Free Work At Home Recommendation. I'm also not passionate about natural home remedies like that. And it's important to build a business about what you're passionate about and trust me it can be anything which is what my top recommendation teaches you.
Having said all that, if you're not too concerned about the cons listed above, and you still would like to try this company out, then go for it!

However, if you do, I'd sure like to read your comments, thoughts and experiences. As always I love your feedback, both positive or negative! Various feedback helps to give us all a complete picture so definitely chime in. I'll be patiently waiting for your comments but not for too long. LOL

If you liked this review, you can subscribe for more of the same!

You can always catch me on Twitter, Facebook, and also Google+.

See you next time guys!

Eddy with a Y

36 thoughts on “doTERRA Review: Is it a Snake Oil Scam Or Not?”

  1. hi, i am a chinese gradudate, last week i met this american guy in a bar, and was told the do terra oils and he wanted me to join this bussiness , i am worried about it and felt very upset about the way they doing business, i dont know if it is legal in china.

  2. Ever since my wife brought home some doTERRA essential oils I’ve been trying understand more about essential oils and the effects they can have on the body.

    Undoubtedly, people have experienced benefits. If there weren’t so many people benefiting from them they wouldn’t be so popular. However, this may simply be the placebo effect in operation.

    Essential oils are NOT “essential” to health or the body like vitamins, minerals, proteins and fats are. According to an essential oils expert (Dr. Robert Pappas – who oversees the quality of doTERRA’s oils), many essential oils are the “excrement of the plant”. So why use them for the purpose of improving health when there are things like good food, exercise and supplements which are safer for the body than plant excrement.

    Essential oils are promoted as being natural. But natural does not necessarily mean safe. For example, lemon essential oil contains a chemical component called limonene. Limonene when combined with ozone in the air can form formaldehyde – a carcinogen.

    Some scientists say that essential oils can do more harm than good:

    What evidence is there from the scientific community that there are no adverse effects from long-term use of essential oils? I haven’t seen anything yet.

    It doesn’t seem rational to just go along with what so many others are doing, without first checking into the real evidence. Take Prozac for example. It was thought to be some wonder drug. Millions of people used it. Many people experienced side effects from it and others even experienced benefit. Now it’s regarded as no better than a placebo (

    Because of the potential side effects of essential oils (like allergies and photosensitivity) and unknown effects of long-term use on the body, I personally don’t use them and I’m trying to persuade my wife not to use them (but her mind is too fixed right now to listen).

    • Hey Simon,

      Thanks for chiming in with such incentive insight. You’ve made some great points and you’ve shared some resources to dig deeper. So I appreciate that.

    • Hi Simon,
      I appreciate your sceptical review of essential oils. I see your comment is from 2016, so I wonder how you see them now? I read the bbc article you mentioned about limonene. This article is about scented items, such as candles, plug-in scents, and sprays. It makes sense to worry about those as they directly interact with air. However, essential oils are put (and quickly absorbed by) the skin as well as taken in orally. So contact to air is very limited. It is a bit of a stretch to say that essential oils are dangerous, especially when going by the results of the York Study mentioned in the article.

  3. Hi, I’ve been in a natural health personal lifestyle for over 25 or 30 years. Heck, I’ve lost count, lol as it’s pretty much how I think. I have used essential oils for years and years. I am a doTERRA wellness advocate, and love the oils. It’s true, the oils nor the company is a hype. They really are that good. In part because of the where various oils are sourced and how they are produced. I have a long experience with oils, etc , so I don’t say that lightly, and it does take a lot to impress me. I am not doing it as a business, altho they have a GREAT business plan, etc, I’m not doing it as a business because the FDA has made it almost impossible to talk about *any* natural product (and company) because they directly interfere with the multi billion dollar industry of the drug companies. But, no, doterra is not a scam. Personally I would be glad to answer any questions. But frankly, again, we are not ‘allowed’ to really tell you how great a specific natural product really is, so I’m not sure how helpful I could be. Anyone doing it as a business would have the problem too. Our hands are pretty much tied.

  4. Hi! I have had a very good experience with Doterra. I wasn’t always into natural remedies, but over the years I have tried so many different things, mostly out of desperation. I’m 56 years old, and ever since I was 29, over 25 years ago, I have had fibromyalgia. I contracted to the disease in the late 80s before it really even had an official name. And if anybody reading this knows anyone who has fibromyalgia or has it themselves you will know that it may have an official name now but they are still clueless as to what causes it and are very bad at treating it. I spent 15 years undiagnosed but taking handfuls of pills that the doctors would give me for every single symptom that I had. In turn there would be another handful of pills that I took as remedies for side effects from the other handful of pills that I was taking. Once diagnosed I went through all the different drugs that claim to help fibromyalgia all with zero to limited success.
    I have changed everything in my life that I possibly can to avoid fibromyalgia flare ups. I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m chemically sensitive and anything that is toxic to the human body needs to be kept away from me. So I clean the house with vinegar and water, I filter my tapwater, I eat as well as I can on a budget and with children, my personal products are handmade or guaranteed to be organic and the label says they don’t have chemicals in them that I’m trying to avoid. Also on this health journey I’ve had vitamin deficiencies that I have spent years trying to improve. For example my vitamin D started out as a six the first time it was tested about six years ago. I took prescription vitamin D with no results, and then was told to take 5000 units a day by my doctor. I changed that to 10,000 units a day after being tested over and over and having it crawling up to a 20. The normal range I believe is 50 to 70 but I’ve been told for people with fibromyalgia 100 is not a bad goal to shoot for. So after years of supplementation I have still never hit normal. I came to the conclusion that I was either one not absorbing the vitamins correctly or two getting really crappy vitamins. I guess three could be a combination of both.

    So starting last May when a friend from church offered me something called on guard to help with some seasonal challenges I was having. When it worked overnight I was extremely impressed. I talked to her some more and found that they had a intestinal cleanse and restore program where you take vitamins, supplements, Whole Foods concentrates and essential oils to strengthen your body and its organs while taking a mild detox pill. You keep up this regime for 10 days and then you add in a pill that will cleanse your gut for 10 days and then you add a probiotic which you take for 10 more days. This also impressed me, because it’s the most common sense cleanse I’ve ever seen. It actually gives your body a while to detox some things slowly before you really go at it and then replaces the good probiotics into your gut so that it will work correctly. After some research I found that just eating yogurt wasn’t going to replenish the probiotics to the level that you need. So this system impressed me. At the end of the 30 days I felt great! doTerra guarantees that you will feel better or you get your money back. I believe that by doing that cleanse my intestines are in better shape, healthier and are absorbing nutrients. I also believe that the vitamins and supplements I am taking through doTerra are the best. I had only been taking their supplements for 2 to 3 months when I went to get my blood tested again to find out that my vitamin D is going up again which it hasn’t been on an upward swing now for a year and a half, and my B12 is in the normal range and that is a first also. I am only taking the 800 IU of D3 in the vitamins and nothing extra.

    And now for the oils. Since May no one in my household of seven has used anything over-the-counter. There is something in the doterra arsenal that will help with all the little problems that families run into. Seasonal issues, digestive issues, immune support and lo and behold I feel better. I’m not saying my fibromyalgia is cured. I am saying my health is improved and my body is working like it should, so I feel better.

    doTERRA was founded at the beginning of 2008, and is going strong. The company has been on a steady growth rate for those years, with the last year being a record year. It continues to gain momentum in the United States, as well as in many overseas countries, with even new countries opening within the next few months The retention rate of doTERRA is two to three times higher than most of its competitors, which can mean a lasting business opportunity and a great product. The executive team of seven leaders is well qualified and experienced, and is leading the expanding company forward debt free.

    As for the FDA, they apparently sent warning letters to ALL essential oil companies. Our company doesn’t tell their people to claim the oils cure anything. I can understand the difficulty of not giving testimonial when great results occur. I’m sure the FDA is under a lot of pressure over this. Pharmacy companies make money when they take something from nature, twist it enough to be different and patent it. You cannot patent plants, or oils from plants. Any health benefits we could find in the oils is coming out slowly. No one wants to invest in research into something that won’t make them money. No one making money off patents wants something overshadowing them and cutting into profits.

    With the blessing of my doctor, my health has improved to the point I am being weaned off 2 medications and I no longer take a sleeping pill. I use oils that relax me instead.

    I have found the people I meet doing doTERRA to be people who just want to help other people. They seem success in the past with peoples health problems, and when they hear someone else has the same problem they just want to help. The fact that we can also make money while doing this is a blessing. The humanitarian efforts and the help our company gives to the countries where they source their plants from is inspirational and makes me proud to be a part of it.

    I know this is really really long. I just felt there were a lot of things brought up in the comments and wanted to address them. Thank you for reading this, if you’ve made it this far.

    • Wow, that was a mouthful. lol

      Clearly you’ve experienced some great things with the company and I’m happy to hear that. It’s important for folks to get different perspectives and experiences and you have shared that with us. So thank you!

  5. Hi Eddy.

    I’m interested in what you said in your “Internal Use Of Essential Oils” paragraph. Can you provide links to the reports about the injuries and poisonings? I also didn’t know that the other naturopathic groups were opposed to people using the oils internally. What’s the summary of that?

    Previously I just thought that the oils did nothing; mostly because no proper tests have shown their efficacy. I didn’t know they were actually harmful.

    Keep up the good work reporting.

    • In response to Goerge’s statement that no previous tests have shown their efficacy:
      Actually there are numerous research studies that show essential oil efficacy against diseases – search a site called PubMed.

  6. Hey Eddy,
    My two cents worth: I use have been using doterra oils for about eighteen months. I replaced my nightly sleeping pill with a combination of lavender and roman chamomile. I can report that I sleep like a baby with no side effects. My husband rubs lemongrass oil on his legs and “viola” his restless legs at night are calm and still. My annoying sinus and devastating migraine headaches disappear when I use the “past tense” oil blend. I recently signed up with doterra because the products proved themselves to me as I used them in my own home. I have been a member of MLM companies before and so the compensation plan makes sense to me. It is a bit complicated at first blush.

    • Hey Patia,

      I’m so happy to hear that the oils work for you and your husband. And that’s definitely more of a reason to promote the company. You’ve actually experienced great results and can speak to that experience. So people will be more inclined to trust you. That said, I still feel convoluted compensation plans are unnecessary and its why MLMs will never appeal to me. But I’m happy for you. I think you’ll have far more success with this because you do actually use the product and it’s helped you. Thanks for sharing!

  7. I loved Doterra products and still use some but they should be used with caution when taken internally. One year ago I took DDR Prime at night with apparently not enough food (it does say on the label take with food) and it burned my esophagus while I was sleeping and woke me up that night with severe acid reflux which I’d never had. It has affected my life tremendously. I’ve spent a great deal of money (thousands) on medications and tests trying help this problem that I know was caused by the oils. We even bought an adjustable bed so that I could sleep upright. I’m miserable every day. So all this to say they should have much bigger warning labels on the oils that they say to take internally. It is not completely safe, there are risks.

    • Wow Leslie,

      Thanks for sharing your experience. That’s crazy stuff. But I guess it’s like anything else you ingest you have to really read the labels. Either way, I appreciate you sharing your experience.

  8. Two pieces of information should be corrected here. First, doTERRA has direct deposit available for everyone earning commission, at any rank. There is a 50 ยข fee per check. Secondly, all lawsuits between doTERRA and any other company have been dropped.

    I find the compensation plan extremely generous and not difficult to.understand. I’ve had great success with my family’s health using these oils AND I’ve made a substantial income in the last year. I highly recommend a second look at this company. The education is fantastic. I’m growing a very nice business too.

    • Lynn,

      Thanks for sharing the updates. I’m glad you understand the compensation plan. I’m pretty sure a rep had to sit there and explain it to you and then you understood it. It would be so much easier if MLMs had a straightforward compensation plan. i.e. Customer buys x, you earn x commission. You earn X% on your referrals sales. Boom all done and easy to understand without some matrix to explain it. But that’s my pet peeve. But as I said earlier in my review, I think this company is worth a shot if none of the cons are concerns. I think you’ve addressed one of the major ones so that’s great!



    • Diane,

      I’m not sure why you’re “cyber yelling” but I’m happy to hear the product works for you. I think it can definitely work for some people so no argument here.

  10. Hey Eddy,
    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 there astronomical prices.

  11. Hi Eddy,
    I was first introduced to doTERRA through a friend who knew I was looking for a natural remedy to deal with a herniated disc in my lower back. I was desperate for relief without taking strong drugs that would make me loopy or unconscious. The Deep Blue soothing blend was the first product I tried and after not being able to stand up straight in six months, I was almost completely pain free after the first application. It took another week of as needed treatments before I realized that I was standing up, bending over, and playing with my children again without wincing and bracing myself. We spent the next year using several doTERRA products for our entire family, children included, all with fantastic results. We visited a doctor only once for a diagnosis and then treated at home with the oils.

    After a year of daily use, my husband and I decided to start sharing our experiences more wholeheartedly with friends and family. What amazed us was just how many were not only receptive to our story but eagerly looking for similar results. We’ve spent the last six months learning how to teach, mentor, train, and build our ‘customers’ and our ‘builders’. The financial aspect is extremely satisfying to us as we are well on our way to supplementing the bulk of our monthly income and expect to replace it completely within the year. There’s much more to say but I hope I laid out the gist of it. Thanks!

    • Hey Christine,

      I’m so happy to hear the doTerra products work well for you. It definitely makes it a lot easier to sell if you have personal positive experiences with a company. I wish you continued success. Please keep us updated.

  12. Hey Eddy! I love this site but there is one website I think you should make a review about! It’s called The minimum amount you need to cash out is 2$! It only works for iPhone at this time but it’s cool because you’re getting paid to download apps! Hope you check this site out!

    • Hey Derek,

      Have you used DoTerra products or sold them? What do you love about it?
      I’ll check out the site you recommended. It sounds like Instagc which allows you to do the same thing and earn other ways too. So you should check that out too.

      Thanks for chiming in!

  13. I am passionate about natural health and have had much success with doTERRA essential oils. The company is definitely product focused. I’m relatively new at the business end of things so I don’t have the comp plan down pat yet but it does work and they make prompt payments.

    • Hey Kelli!

      That’s great you’re passionate about natural health. It means you more inclined to stick with this business and succeed because you are actually interested in the niche. So I applaud you! And I agree the company seems more product focused than recruiting so that’s great too! As long as you’re happy with the products and you’re getting paid that’s good. They probably won’t ever change the comp plan to make it understandable in English but that’s just the nature of MLMs. The company still appears worth the shot to me. So keep us posted on your activity with the company! Thanks again for sharing!

    • Thanks Kelli, for sharing. Just more proof that the products do work. ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, please keep us posted on your success with the business.

  14. Hey Eddy,

    Thanks for this review, awesome write up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Wow, what an extremely complicated compensation plan!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ lol Can’t wrap my head around that one. And a check processing fee, what gives?? I’ve seen some resources that say a lot of people have had good therapeutic results with the products. Thinking I may try them out, however, I’ll wait and see if you get more comments as “from the experience of the product” standpoint. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Hey Tammy,

      Thanks for chiming in. I don’t get why these mlms insist on making the compensation plan an SAT test. I get they want to give people various ways to make more money. But why add all the complexity to it. Sigh.. I would definitely love to hear how people are doing with the products. They do sound interesting. Let me know if you do try them.

    • LOL,

      Sorry about that Paul. Don’t worry we haven’t had much of a real summer here in the north east of the United States. Although I’m not complaining. I hate the heat.

      Thanks for the continued support on my reviews. It’s good to know that you look forward to them just as I look forward to the comments I get from you guys! So what did you think of this opportunity? Would you try it or pass on it?

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