Most people tend to shy away from taking essential oils internally. I completely understand, I was a bit hesitant myself, until I learned about the extensive testing doTERRA takes. I will not take any other brand of essential oils internally. Please be sure that you read the labels on the bottles. If it is safe to take internally you will see supplemental facts as well as directions of how to take it internally. The Modern Essentials book and the Essential Life book are also good resources and even has a handy chart of the oils and which ones are safe internally, for pregnancy and for breastfeeding.
After doing my research I personally take doTERRA oils internally and I absolutely like how much more effective they are when I take them internally. Of course not all oils are the same, so be sure that you are doing your own research if you are deciding to take a different brand internally.
doTERRA’s oils are CPTG, which stands for Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, and go through extnesive testing to ensure the purest quality oils. You can check out aromaticscience.com for more information.
Check out this information taken from doTERRA’s site for internal use information given by Dr. Hill.
Can Essential Oils Be Taken Internally?
Dr. David K. Hill D.C. – Founding Executive, Chief Medical Officer / Chairman, Scienific Advisory Committee
Are essential oils safe for internal use? Can every oil be used internally? Are there actually health benefits from using oils this way? These questions have been topics of growing debate among the essential oil community for many years. While doTERRA® appreciates the value of historical application models, we also recognize the value of the growing library of essential oil research. The truth is, essential oils are powerful agents capable of transforming health in an all-natural way. Many essential oils are safe for internal use. Excluding this method of application would eliminate perhaps the most powerful mode of administration. The ever-expanding body of essential oil research continues to confirm the safety of internal application and validate its many uses.
Toxicity is a term used to describe the point at which a substance causes harm or damage to the body. Even water, vitamins, and minerals— substances vital to life—can be toxic if consumed at a high enough dose. Likewise, all essential oils have a toxic dose, though it is always far above appropriate usage recommendations. Perhaps more important than considering the negative effects associated with excessive use, is considering the incredible benefits that can be reaped when essential oils are used appropriately and safely.
Some essential oils should not be used internally. Take Wintergreen, for example, an oil characterized by high amounts of the constituent methyl salicylate. It is not recommend for internal use. Instead, it is most beneficial used topically where it can be applied directly to specific areas for a targeted benefit. Although safe to take internally at low doses, it is simply most effective when used topically. An important part of using essential oils is regarding them on an individual basis, noting their specific chemistry, profile of effects, and appropriate application methods.
Currently, no accepted regulatory body oversees the production of essential oils, nor is there a universal standard governing essential oil usage protocols. For this reason, doTERRA has created a quality assurance process: CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. To be safe and effective, especially for internal use, essential oils must have the proper chemical profile and also be free of any impurities or adulterations. doTERRA uses a canon of third-party analytical methods to ensure that every bottle meets our high standards of composition and safety.
Additionally, many essential oils are found on the FDA’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list that approves essential oils for internal use as non-medical constituents. Although this list does not approve the internal use of dietary supplements, it does set general safety guidelines. The plants and substances included on this list have a well-documented history of safety when used internally. Essential oils do have usages and applications that extend far beyond these parameters; however, the GRAS list is still an accredited tool that contributes to confirming the safety of internal use of essential oils.
Although topical and aromatic applications have been most widely studied, emerging research has now begun to validate the efficacy and safety of internal use. From improving emotional status to protecting vital organs, internal use of essential oils is an exciting field that is developing at an accelerating rate.* The further we delve into the science of essential oils, the more we understand their physiologic relevance. While there is much yet to understand and a great need for continued research, we should embrace the power and safety of internal use that has been clinically and anecdotally substantiated.
As a professional, I too recognize that taking essential oils internally must not be regarded lightly. Because of their potent nature, it is important to use essential oils with caution and safety. But, when used mindfully, many essential oils can safely and effectively be administered internally. Their multi-faceted range of health applications empowers every individual with the opportunity to naturally manage their health with the utmost confidence.
“ESSENTIAL OILS ARE ALREADY PART OF YOUR NORMAL DIET.”
- Vegetables: Leaves & Roots
- Proteins: Fish & Nuts
- Fruits: Flesh & Rinds
Taken from “bestessentialoils.com”:
WHERE DID THE MYTH (IS IT SAFE TO INGEST DOTERRA ESSENTIAL OILS) START?
Where did this belief by some come from that essential oils aren’t meant for internal consumption? Traditionally the study of essential oils has mostly come from the aromatic world, who believe the oils should only be used aromatically. Then some people said they should only be used topically, not because they couldn’t be used internally but because in order to use them internally, you had to be a doctor so if they weren’t licensed, they said not to use them internally. Some people even believed they should only be used internally.
Guess what though? When you put essential oils anywhere on your body, they are absorbed internally anyway. Once again, doTERRA bases their belief that pure essential oils are safe to be used aromatically, topically and internally on scientific evidence.
Did you notice how I said pure above? So many brands of oils out there are not pure. If they are not pure, you should not take them internally. There are four different ways others adulterate the oils and some of the companies are very good about being sneaky about it but the main objective in all of them is to dilute the oils so they cost less. They add in synthetics and other ingredients that are not safe to take internally (or externally). For more on this check out my What You do Behind Closed Doors page.
WHO SHOULD USE THE OILS TOPICALLY?
- Those with a compromised immune system
HOW MUCH ESSENTIAL OILS SHOULD I TAKE INTERNALLY?
There is no set standard, but the general consensus seems to be that less is better so that your liver doesn’t get overwhelmed. Always opt for less more often than one huge dose all at once. Remember that essential oils are very powerful and you may need a lot less than you think you need. Always start with a little and work your way up.
Always use caution and try any new oil one at a time and watch for any side effects for a few days before trying anything else new.
CAN YOU TAKE ALL ESSENTIAL OILS INTERNALLY?
Some essential oils are ok to take long-term, some you only want to take for short periods of time and some you shouldn’t ingest at all, so please do your research about each individual oil before ingesting it.
CAN YOU PUT ESSENTIAL OILS IN WATER AND DRINK IT?
Oils and water do not mix, so the oils sit on top of the water and can cause irritation to your throat, esophagus, etc. on your way down to your stomach. I’ve never had a problem, but I always put any strong oils in a capsule. I know lots of people who put a drop of lemon in their water bottle and drink it all day, so I think I’ll leave this decision up to you.
THE “OFFICIAL” REPLY FROM DOTERRA
Here is the official reply I got from doTERRA when I asked if their oils are safe for internal consumption:“There are some aromatherapy groups that have studied, taught and used essential oils aromatically only. However, this also means their expertise is in aromatic use. While they have a right to be cautious, internal use of essential oils is safe and beneficial when used appropriately. doTERRA’s CPTG process ensures that our essential oils contain only aromatic compounds from the plant indicated, and do not contain contaminants or other potentially harmful compounds. Thus, the only remaining issue is one of toxicity. Below are several responses we have made to others in the past, compiled in one place for your review. I hope they help resolve your concern. Every essential oil, just like any other thing we might consume, has a toxic dose. Even water becomes toxic if you drink too much at one time. Just because something has a toxic dose does not mean it is toxic at a lower dose. In the case of essential oils (and water, and vitamins and many other things), an appropriate amount is very beneficial. The point at which an essential oil becomes toxic is different for every essential oil. For many, the toxic dose has been determined, and for others, the exact toxic dose is unknown, so a known safe dose is used. For example, there is scientific data that has found that a child should not consume more than 20 drops of cassia, though an adult can consume a little more before negative symptoms would appear. Citrus oils have good safety data that an adult could ingest up to a full 15 ml bottle with no toxicity. Both of these examples are far beyond what anyone would likely consume in a day anyway. For all of our oils in bottles, the serving size is one drop. The dose of DDR Prime is four drops at a time. Slim & Sassy is sometimes recommended at up to 25 drops internally spread out through a day. You can use more topically than we recommend internally. In general, if you follow the usage instructions on the product or the dose used in clinical studies, you will be well below a toxic dose. Search the research library on aromaticscience.com for more specific information on an oil you would like to learn more about. Some oils are not recommended for internal use because they either are unsafe to ingest or there is no health reason to use them internally. It does not mean they are not pure or safe for other application methods; they are just not used in that way. You can use wintergreen in small amounts (i.e. like in a mouthwash) and it will not be a problem. However, we don’t recommend you use high levels (more than 20 drops at a time) of any essential oil internally because they are very concentrated. More is not always better. The mechanisms of action behind essential oils are still being widely researched and are not completely understood, however, there is no good clinical evidence that shows that appropriate use of essential oils will build up or cause toxicity in the body. doTERRA properly registers and labels its products according to all federal regulatory standards. All of our products are safe for the uses indicated on the label, including dietary use.
Our ingestible oils are all included in the FDA’s list of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) substances. When used as directed, doTERRA’s essential oils are safe for internal use by the majority of the population. Those with medical conditions should work with their medical provider when adding essential oils to their health care plan.”
- Internal use is the most potent method of use, always follow PROPER dosage recommendations as listed on label or professional guidelines to avoid unnecessary overuse or toxicity. (All food can be toxic if taken in too HIGH dosage).
- Best way to take internally is through a capsule (veggie or gel).
- ALWAYS best to take 1 drop internally, wait to ensure you don’t have a reaction, then proceed as needed.
- Be sure to notice any changes to your skin (rash or bumps) within the first 2 weeks of internal use of EOs. If you notice a reaction, STOP using the EOs internally until further evaluation from a professional or doctor.
- NEVER drink HOT oils.
- Heat affects compounds of EOs, so be sure to add EO AFTER the heating process is over.
- NEVER ingest any oil that doesn’t have “supplemental facts” on the bottle. Or doesn’t have directions for internal use.
- Oils that have childproof lids (ex: Wintergreen,Deep Blue, Birch) should be kept away from children and infants!
- Babies: NEVER use internally, unless directed by a doctor who is a licensed
- Children: Not usually recommended, seek guidance from a doctor who is a licensed aromatherapist.
- Adults: Common internal usage (depending on oil selected) is 1 to 5 drops every one, two, or six hours. Preferably no more than 25 drops divided into doses within a 24 hour period. For extended internal use, a lower dosage is advised.
Effective Methods of Internal Application
- Use oils in recipes for cooking or baking to replace fresh or dried herbs and spices
- Remember that essential oils are much more potent than dried or fresh herbs and spices, so start with a very small amount
- For more potent oils, it may be better to administer them by toothpicks (dip the end of a clean toothpick into the oil and then add to the food) rather than drops
- Add essential oils to water, smoothies, milk, tea, or other drinks
- Take essential oils internally in a veggie capsule or add to a small amount of applesauce or yogurt
FOR MORE INFORMATION FROM doTERRA visit: doTERRA’s Internal Use page.