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Essential oil Do’s and Don’ts
- Do refer to temporary emotions (“lifts mood,” “reduces irritability”).
- Do use cosmetic claims (“cleanses,” “improves appearance”).
- Do use structure-function claims only with products labeled for internal use.
- Use words such as “health,” “wellness,” “supports,” “maintains,” etc.
- Refer to general body parts and systems (“for heart health,” “supports the respiratory system”).
- Refer to normal conditions associated with a natural state or process (“morning sickness during pregnancy,” “hot flashes during menopause”).
- Use qualifiers such as “mild,” “typical,” “normal,” “occasional,” or other words to distinguish a temporary or minor condition from a symptom of disease (“occasional stomach upset,” “muscle soreness following exercise”).
- Do use the FDA disclaimer only with structure-function claims.
- Don’t use disease claims.
- Don’t use words such as “disease,” “illness,” “cure,” “treat,” “repair,” “chronic,” etc.
- Don’t refer to any disease or illness, such as cancer, diabetes, autism, cold, flu, etc.
- Don’t refer to symptoms of disease such as coughing, sneezing, fever, etc.
- Don’t recommend a product as a substitute for a drug.
- Don’t recommend a product to augment a therapy or drug.
- Don’t imply a disease claim through pictures or symbols.
Cosmetic claims: Claims that a product cleanses, beautifies, promotes attractiveness, or alters appearance.
Structure-function claims: Claims that a product helps the body stay healthy and function normally or contributes to general wellbeing, e.g., “supports the immune system.”
Disease/drug/medical claims: Claims that a product diagnoses, prevents, treats, or cures disease.
Disease: Damage to an organ, part, structure, or system of the body such that it does not function properly.
FDA disclaimer: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.”
|Disease Claim||Structure-Function Claim|
|Prevents, treats, cures any kind of sickness, illness, infection, disease, chronic condition, etc.||Supports, maintains, or improves health, wellness, or structures and functions of the body like the brain, the heart, the liver, muscles and joints, the respiratory system, cognitive function, etc.|
|Fights colds and flu||Supports the immune system|
|Relieves insomnia||Relieves occasional sleeplessness|
|Relieves headaches||Relieves head and neck tension|
|Soothes arthritis pain||Supports cartilage and joint function|
|Reduces depression and anxiety||Reduces sad and anxious feelings; also, helps you relax, calms emotions, soothes away tension, relieves restlessness, eliminates irritability|
|Lowers cholesterol||Maintains healthy cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range|
|For ear infections||For occasional ear discomfort|
|Helps fight obesity||Helps with weight loss plan|
|Helps with ADD/ADHD||Helps with focus and staying on task|
|For dementia and Alzheimer’s||For mild memory problems associated with aging|
|For toxemia||For edema associated with pregnancy|
|For hyperemesis gravidarum||For ordinary morning sickness|
|Prevents osteoporosis||Supports bone health|
|Treats cystic acne||Treats mild acne|
|Relieves heartburn or acid indigestion (without further qualification)||Relieves occasional or mild heartburn or acid indigestion; also, for occasional upset stomach, aids digestion, and alleviates gas or bloating|
|For nausea (without further qualification)||For occasional nausea or motion sickness|
|Relieves constipation (without further qualification)||Relieves occasional constipation|
|Relieves pain (without further qualification)||Relieves minor pain or pain associated with non-disease states such as muscle pain following exercise|
|For chronic fatigue or daytime drowsiness||Helps restore mental alertness or wakefulness when experiencing fatigue or drowsiness|
|Fights germs, viruses, bacteria, or allergens||For seasonal or environmental threats|
|Prevents diabetes||Use as part of your diet to help maintain an already healthy blood sugar level|
|Along with better dietary and exercise patterns, can prevent conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and cancer||Along with better dietary and exercise patterns, can contribute to disease prevention and better health.|