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Essential oil sales consultants say oils can cure Ebola

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Do essential oils really kill the Ebola virus?

Essential oils have scientifically proven therapeutic properties, but they're not magical cures for everything ever despite what some sales consultants want you to think. Independent consultants recently sank to a new low by claiming that essential oils can prevent and cure the Ebola virus.

Over 4,500 people have died in West Africa — but after one man died in Texas, Americans are especially concerned about a potential outbreak on U.S. soil. Ebola paranoia is big business. Concerned citizens can pick up books on surviving Ebola, Ebola treatment kits, mega-doses of vitamin C and colloidal silver. Of course, these so-called preventative measures won't benefit anyone but the companies making a buck off the Ebola scare.

Anyone with a Facebook account knows that essential oil marketing has really taken off on social media, with independent consultants from companies like Young Living claiming that essential oils can cure everything from autism to Crohn’s disease. In the spirit of supply and demand, some consultants have even made claims regarding essential oils and the Ebola virus — resulting in warning letters from the FDA. One consultant wrote, "Viruses (including Ebola) are no match for Young Living Essential Oils." Uh. Another claimed, "Ebola Virus can not live in the presence of cinnamon bark (this is in Thieves) nor Oregano [sic]."

That's like saying you can rub Lysol on your body to cure the flu. An antiviral chemical is not a drug. If you contract the Ebola virus, no amount of essential oil is going to cure you. Essential oils are natural and plant-based, but they're still chemicals. It's not like you can drink a gallon of oregano oil safely, even if that did somehow help.

The fact that Ebola has no known cure is certainly terrifying. It gives the virus a stronger hold on our fears and worries. It's only natural to wonder if there's something out there we're not aware of — something that could save lives and prevent the spread of this horrific disease. But the fact remains that it's despicable to use the public's fears and hopes to make money.

Wild Ebola claims give aromatherapy a bad name. Plenty of legitimate research has been done to prove that essential oils have antibacterial properties, bug-repelling properties and other therapeutic properties like reducing anxiety. But when it comes to treating medical conditions, they should be handled like any other drugs — by professionals, not anyone who bought into a multilevel marketing corporation.

More on essential oils

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5 Essential oils for the whole family
5 Ways to use nature's medicine cabinet

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