When it comes to health concerns, there are always going to be some people who believe they know the best possible home remedies to correct a problem.
But when they are misinformed, supplying them with the right information should probably be prioritized over worrying about embarrassing them, pointed out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor throwaway7655551 was called rude, though, after she tried to tell her uncle’s girlfriend that she was misinformed about essential oils.
After being criticized, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she should have kept the information to herself.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for bluntly telling a woman it’s dangerous to put essential oils in sensitive places?”
The OP tried to be supportive while a woman talked about essential oils.
“My uncle’s new girlfriend came to family dinner the other night and it was the first time anyone in my family met her.”
“She is super into essential oils, which is very eye-roll-inducing for me, but I didn’t say anything about it or show that I found it annoying at first.”
“I bit my tongue while she went on about putting them in her water (you should not be ingesting essential oils) and rubbing them on pressure points and trying to convince my mom to buy some.”
But then the OP overheard a piece of information that concerned her.
“But then she brought up that they can be super good for yeast infections!!?”
“I looked at her super horrified and asked, ‘You mean you’re putting them down there??'”
“And she said, ‘Yes, you just insert a few drops and it clears up right away!'”
“I told her this was very dangerous and could cause chemical burns, as well as throwing off your vaginal pH levels, and potentially causing other infections.”
“She said, ‘Oh no, you don’t have to worry about that. They’re all-natural!!'”
The OP felt the need to speak up.
“To this, I replied, ‘So is poison ivy, but I wouldn’t suggest shoving it up your vagina.'”
“She just looked kind of shocked. My sister laughed and my aunt said, ‘Well she has a point.'”
“Other family members said that it was rude and crass.”
“I didn’t think so because she’s the one who started talking about yeast infections at a family dinner; certainly saying the word vagina is less crass than that?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some recommended warning the uncle, as well.
“Forget that, warn THE UNCLE before she tries to peppermint his pecker!”
“Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch, just thinking about essential oils on the bits is making me cross my legs. And on a yeast infection, when those already burn!? You are never the asshole for calling out bad medical advice!” – Trilobyte141
“Better you say it out loud before your Uncle learns the hard way.” – Kitsune_Scribe
A few agreed and described incidents with essential oils.
“I sometimes use shampoo with tea tree oil, and also peppermint and eucalyptus, and… rosemary? maybe? I don’t really have a condition, but feels so nice and cold when the weather is very dry and my scalp itches.”
“But I also bought actual tea tree oil in a bottle and burned myself with that one time. If I hadn’t already used the shampoo prior to that burn I never would’ve bought it, because I’m scared of tea tree oil now.” – Sleeping_Lizard
“You definitely have to dilute ANY essential oils tea tree oil or whatever kind with lots and lots of another carrier oil like coconut oil if you’re going to put it anywhere near your skin or else you’re going to burn the f*** out of your skin because they’re so strong.”
“I think essential oils can be really useful for SOME things (definitely not yeast infections like this post says). However for an itchy scalp or a zit and some other small things essential oils can actually help some skin stuff when used in MODERATION and diluted with another oil A LOT.”
“I’m talking like 2 drops of tea tree with 2 giant scoops of coconut oil (depending on how sensitive your skin is).” – Blacksoulhag
“People using diffusers don’t think about the fact that the oil is being dispersed into the air, and that stuff isn’t meant to be breathed. Many of us with asthma hate them!”
“I’ve had to leave businesses because their diffusers were setting off my asthma and had to ask friends to turn theirs off while I’m visiting.”
“For those of us who react to them, it’s not much different than being allergic to cats and having someone continually spraying cat dander and hair into the air. And speaking of cats, too many have died from being around diffusers.” – AccordingToWhom1982
“I have asthma too, that’s why I thought essential oils would be better than air fresheners from the store. I can’t use diffusers, they’re WAY too strong.”
“I found just putting in a few drops into witch hazel and spraying my couches with them is enough to refresh without irritating my asthma. But it was years worth of trial and error and figuring out what didn’t trigger asthma and migraines, because floral scents like lavender do that.” – Withamoomoohere
“I had one touting diffusing with oil that contained eucalyptus. I said that is toxic to my cat. She was incredulous.”
“I said my cat’s organs literally can not process eucalyptus. And you want me to spread droplets in the air. She had no idea.” – Shells613
“I met someone once who told my mom she drank a teaspoon of eucalyptus oil every day so she ‘didn’t catch colds.'”
“My mom was super into essential oils then but read like all these dry textbooks with chemical analysis and studies from Europe – she deada** stared and said, ‘That can cause organ failure.'”
“Like plants make chemicals so bugs and animals won’t eat them, nature is fierce” – Nepentheoi
Others said the woman was more worried about selling products.
“NTA. She was literally pitching a sale. That’s really trashy.” – perfectpencil
“NTA, you’re awesome and I love how you handled this. That MLM essential oil crap is an instant indicator that you’re dealing with someone who needs things explained bluntly. Sometimes with puppets for additional clarity.” – Vvvarla
“NTA – You got me at: ‘So is poison ivy but I wouldn’t suggest shoving it up your vagina.’ – I just HATE when people suggest ‘treatments’ for whatever and think that they will cause no harm because ‘it’s all-natural.'”
“What you said needed to be said. Maybe now, that woman will keep her ‘advice’ to herself.”
“I have nothing against natural treatments when they go alongside with what modern society considers ‘scientifically proven treatments’ – but people who actually know about natural treatments don’t go around giving: 1) Unsolicited advice; 2) Advice that could be harmful.” – P40L4
“It’s her first time meeting the family and she’s trying to make a sale. That’s definitely AH territory.” – PBnJohanna
“She’s an AH if this was part of her MLM (multi-level marketing) pitch.”
“And essential oils can be dangerous. they should not be consumed or put inside one’s body under any circumstances. some are actually quite poisonous to dogs and will make them sick just with a diffuser.” – EllectraHeart
Some were concerned by the woman’s way of thinking.
“Oh, the number of patients who think that ‘but it’s natural, so what harm is there if I take that (in addition to all the meds I am on)’.”
“My favorite was always: “Deathcap mushrooms are also perfectly natural. Doesn’t mean they won’t kill you.” It comes with the flip side of “but medicines are bad, they are CHEMICALS”. As if we aren’t made entirely of chemicals…” – crazyh**lga
“Things that go up in the h**ha are dicks, tampons/mooncups, etc, medical equipment under the supervision of a doctor, sex toys designed for insertion, fingers if they’re clean, pessaries, and other prescribed medication.”
“Things that do not go up in the h**ha are literally everything else on the planet but especially not tea tree. I had a bath with tea tree in it once and my god it burned just on the outside of my bits. I can’t imagine spreading it up there on purpose.” – Ermithecow
“I learned recently from my gyno not to use ANYTHING scented – it turns out the Tide I used to wash my clothes was enough to cause chemical burns. I shudder at the thought of essential oils!” – Tesdinic
“My friend is a qualified aromatherapist and massage person. I’ve known her for over a decade. When she gave me my first essential oil massage treatment, she took over half-hour filling the paperwork, and such as I have medical conditions, so although she knows me, she wanted to make sure she got the right blend that would have no negative implications on me.”
“That’s how you do aromatherapy treatments. Some things can make an illness worse, or just have a negative effect on people. She most definitely would not suggest shoving it in ma y**yaa! No qualified (or just not an id**t) person would.” – olligirl
While the subReddit could understand how this was an uncomfortable conversation to have, especially at a family dinner, it was otherwise a conversation that had to take place.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting to make a sale when the timing is right, but when it involves first impressions and medical misadvice, it might be time to reevaluate those business choices.