Barbara O'Neill's Controversial Health Advice Has Found a New Home on TikTok

Barbara O'Neill isn't posting her advice on social media — but her content has thousands of views.

Sara Belcher - Author

May 13 2024, Published 5:56 p.m. ET

Not everything you believe on the internet is true, and though Google has often been a support for people trying to find at-home solutions for various ailments, there is plenty of dangerous misinformation that goes viral. Barbara O'Neill is a name anyone looking for holistic health advice has likely come across, and though her various treatments come with big promises (like curing cancer), her methods have repeatedly been proven to be unsupported by science.

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Though there have been plenty of efforts to de-platform her, Barbara has now found a pretty secure home online — despite not actually running any of the accounts herself. On Instagram alone, a fan page for her has 1.8 million followers. There are more than 40 million posts on TikTok discussing her controversial methods, and though she's not posting these at-home remedies online, she still occasionally gives interviews with various outlets.

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Barbara O'Neill was banned from her home country of Australia for her unsupported medical advice.

As much of Barbara's content online has focused on ways to heal that don't involve doctors or medicine, she's taken off in plenty of homeopathic circles — but many of her health claims have repeatedly been proven untrue. These claims include the advice to feed a newborn baby goat's milk, that cancer is caused by a fungus, and that procedures like surgery and chemotherapy are "dangerous."

Following a thorough investigation conducted by the Health Care Complaints Commission, Australia ultimately ruled that she was “permanently prohibited from providing any health services… whether in a paid or voluntary capacity.”

This ruling does not extend outside of the country, but it seems to have only given her a wider platform online, where some feel that the ruling wasn't fair to Barbara.

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Though she's not legally allowed to provide medical or health-related services in the country of Australia, Barbara still has an online store where she continues to sell her book Self Heal by Design and trips on her "Misty Mountain Lifestyle Retreat" (rebranded from the original "Misty Mountain Health Retreat").

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Barbara also sells a variety of other products through her website, like "Colon Tea," "Baja Gold Liquid Ocean Minerals," "Wild Yam Cream," and more. These products each have a disclaimer that they have not been reviewed by the FDA and are "not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent disease."

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Barbara's content has been used to sell products on TikTok.

Unfortunately, once something's on the internet, it's really hard to erase it entirely. Though Australia banned Barbara's practice, her content and lectures have made waves on TikTok, introducing her to an entirely different audience. There are millions of videos on the app using sounds from her lectures, many of them marketing various products for purchase through the TikTok Shop.

Certain accounts, like @healthylivingclips, continue to post interviews with Barbara, spreading her message even further while claiming she was "censored." These clips have continuously racked up tens of thousands of views, despite not being posted by Barbara herself.

Considering TikTok is home to plenty of other controversial takes, like the claim that Helen Keller wasn't real, it's unsurprising the traction Barbara's teachings have received on the app.

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