If you’re like us, in your pantry you have a bunch of containers of vitamins, aspirin and assorted bottles of supplements. Since it’s my job to lay out the morning dosages I sleepily open the various bottles and dole them out. Yes I know – old school. One product that my wife takes every day is from a company called Young Living – and it’s called Longevity. The long living kind of longevity BTW in case you are wondering and you shouldn’t be.
Every day when I put out my wife’s few pills I mention that it appears (since she is still here) as if the stuff is still working. And that got me thinking. If you take Longevity for a day, a week, a month or longer how could you ever stop? Wouldn’t it be something you HAVE to take every day for the rest of your life?
The description of the product is both clever and amusing:
Longevity™ softgels are a potent, proprietary blend of fat-soluble antioxidants. Longevity blend should be taken daily to strengthen the body’s systems to prevent the damaging effects of aging, diet, and the environment.* Enriched with the pure essential oils thyme, orange, and now frankincense, Longevity protects DHA levels, a nutrient that supports brain function and cardiovascular health, promotes healthy cell regeneration, and supports liver and immune function.* Longevity also contains clove oil, nature’s strongest antioxidant, for ultra-antioxidant support.
I refuse to take the product. Mostly because I think it’s nothing more than something that is neither bad nor good for me. Also because there’s absolutely no way to measure the efficacy of such a product. (Actually there is one way and I’ll get to that later). Being a big proponent of measuring the success or lack thereof (something we marketers do every single day if not more often), I truly have a problem with products that purport immeasurable benefits.
Relatedly, after I hurt my knee some years ago I decided (after reading up on things) to take Glucosamine Chondroitin. It was not an inexpensive product and I took it daily (the manufacturer actually recommended taking it twice daily). My knee felt pretty good but my surgeon’s advice was interesting if not telling. He said that he personally did not think it did all that much but there was no harm in my taking it. The idea being that if I thought it made me feel better, then it was working, even if in a placebo sense. I stopped taking it after a few years. My knee feels the same – fine.
If you are at all interested in what’s in Longevity it can be found at this link: http://www.youngliving.com/natural-health-supplements/Longevity-30#. On the label you’ll see that the inclusion of Frankincense (used in perfumes and aromatherapy) is highlighted. Since there are a number of people that believe in aromatherapy (don’t count me among them) I guess it’s playing to that crowd. I do not understand how ingesting something having to do with aromatherapy makes any sense.
My main question is – why ever begin taking this stuff unless you plan to take it every day for the rest of your life? By the time you know for sure that it no longer is effective it’s too late.
It’s called faith. If the story is compelling enough and the intended benefit compelling to someone than they will take it on faith. Not much different than the vitamins you take. Do they make you feel ‘better’ or can you not tell.
Thanks David and of course you are right to point out the promise of the promise. Kind of reminds me of Mr. Haney on Green Acres.
I appreciate your comments and you do make a good argument.
I am a Young living distributor and I have been using the products for close to 4 years. I have a list of physical ailments that plaged me for years that these essential oils have been extremely helpful for where drugs and doctors had no help whatever. In fact, the side effects from the drugs became worse than the ailment.
But the strongest testemony for me is watching what these products combined with prayers has done for my Dad who has suffered from cancer , diverticulitis and pancreaitis. He was in so much pain and misery he was literally wasting away and wishing he was dead.
We started him on the essential oils and Ningxia Red. About 2 years ago. He just turned 91 in November. He is cancer free, diverticulitis free and has not had any pancreaitis attacks for 2 years.
I took him Christmas shopping the other day and his energy level was better than mine. His mind is shaper. His eyes and hearing have even improved. He lives on his own and is still able to drive. His health issues are all medically documented.
He was extremely skeptical about the oils at first but was so miserable that he was willing to try anything.
So I am a believer that these products along with faith and prayers are the real thing. I firmly believe that if it wasn’t for these oils he wouldn’t be with us today.
Thanks for your thoughtful contribution here Betty. While the premise was a bit tongue-in-cheek I do understand that many people have had and continue to have a good experience using oils. I too believe that the power of positive thinking plays an important role. Please accept my best wishes for continued good health for your father and your family.
I use Young Living oils and I also do my research about the benefits of oils. Before making a blanketed comment about you not thinking they work. Please check the research, Pub Med has a ton of information about Frankincense (Boswellia) studies. The other research I did was on Young Living on their quality of their products. As for their Frankincense there are two different kinds Boswellia sacra and Boswellia carterii and they come from either Omen or Somalia. I can speak of the Frankincense in Omen since we have very close friends that live there. They have seen Gary in Omen, they have asked about Young Living and the Frankincense that they buy. They get it from a tribe that have Boswellia trees dated back 100’s of years that they harvest the resin from. Young living sells it in a resin form as well. In the middle east they chew the resin like we chew gum.
Here is just one study on Pub Med. Their really are benefits to this oil it is not just aromatherapy nor is what Young Living sells a perfume grade product. If it was they would not be allowed, now by the FDA to sell a vitality line that are able to be ingested.
Thanks for your thoughts Cassie.
Mark, a lot of the reason they don’t show you the “proof” of it working is because of the FDA and FTC. If they start making claims about certain things, then it puts them into the camp of being a drug which the government says they can’t do without undergoing numerous, long, expensive test that the company must pay for. You can however look at the public record and published studies on the items mentioned in such products for the “proof” you desire, failure to look only demonstrates one’s own ignorance before making claims that it does not work. Additionally, there are two main schools of thought in aromatherapy, which is the French and the British school of thoughts. The former advocates and uses the internal consumption of essential oils to help with various things from emotional to physical issues. Aromatherapy is a field that does have licensing and certification processes, with required education if one seeks to treat people for a condition(s).