It has long been debated even to this day of the safety issues regarding the internal use of essential oils. After 15 years of personally using essential oils for my own health and wellness, extensive research and training, and aromatherapy certification, I am confident in sharing with you that pure essential oils, are safe to use internally with the proper dosage and direction. Like anything you would consider taking over the counter, you would not leave it unattended for children to get to and you would not use too much of it.
Remember essential oils are 70 times more concentrated than their herbal equivalents and you need to remember that when it comes to the body’s balance and response… less is more. This is one of the many reasons that we have identified essential oils as being more affordable. Because you can experience the effect with just a couple of drops.
As a Special Note: I am only making my recommendations for doTERRA Essential oils as I know and trust them to be the most Pure and Effective essential oils (consistently) available in our market. This among other reasons is why I have chosen to represent doTERRA and help others learn about these amazing oils. But please know I don’t care whether you set up your own account with our HHS Tribe or from someone else, we are just happy you are here learning more about these essential oils for your Health, Happiness, and Home.
the FDA has clearly delineated which oils are safe and which are not. For the exhaustive FDA-approved list of Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) oils that you can check out here.2
Among the single oils doTERRA offers currently, 37 are safe for internal use. Using the oils for internal purposes means that you go beyond putting them on your skin to ingest them for their specific benefits to various organs or cells. There are several ways to take oils internally; you can cook with the oils, take them in beverages, or put them in a veggie capsule to swallow.
Using oils internally is a method that is best used only when you have specific area of concern that can only be met by ingesting the essential oil. Keep in mind that you only need a drop or two at a time to reap the benefits of the oil. For example, supporting healthy digestion is a benefit that comes from taking Ginger internally.
Below we have outlined some of the main reasons why you would use an essential oil internally, and which oils are specifically meant for that purpose.
- To support the immune system and its function.* The immune system is our number one defense against outside threats. Many oils are good for maintaining your immune system when taken internally. These oils include Cassia, Cilantro (which also supports the response of the immune system), Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Copaiba, Frankincense, Helichrysum, Lime, Marjoram, Melissa, Myrrh, Oregano, Roman Chamomile, Tangerine, Thyme, Vetiver, and Wild Orange.
- For supporting the health of the respiratory system.* Some of the oils in this category may surprise you a little, but their internal benefits clearly include helping the respiratory system for a variety of reasons. On the list are Black Pepper, Cardamom, Copaiba, Fennel, Lemon, Lime, Myrrh, Oregano, Peppermint, Rosemary, and Thyme. Of these, both Peppermint and Cardamom help with clear breathing.* Black Pepper and Lemon help the respiratory system particularly when seasonal threats are high.*
- To obtain antioxidants to protect against free radical damage.* Free radicals are harmful molecules created as your body breaks down food or by being exposed to tobacco smoke and radiation. Once in your body, free radicals can wreak havoc on your cells. The antioxidants found in the following oils may help to protect your cells:* Black Pepper, Copaiba, Juniper Berry, Lime, Oregano, Petitgrain, Wild Orange, Ylang Ylang.
- To aid in the normal digestive process.* Our digestive systems serve us by taking in nutrients, eliminating waste, and absorbing and using the nutrients we eat. The digestive system is constantly at work for us, and the following oils help keep it functioning normally: Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cassia, Cilantro, Copaiba, Coriander, Frankincense, Ginger, Lemon, Lemongrass, and Tangerine.
- May help ease indigestion or an occasional upset stomach.* Everyone faces digestive issues at times. But, with essential oils, you have the power to combat indigestion or even an upset stomach. Oils like Cardamom help with indigestion, while Ginger (also helps with gas and bloating), and Spearmint can aid in case of nausea or upset stomach.* Interestingly, Myrrh when taken with honey and water can also help ease the stomach.*
- Supports the cardiovascular system.* It is very beneficial to your health to take good care of your cardiovascular system. As you may remember from school, the cardiovascular system is responsible for transporting oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and cellular waste throughout your body. The engine of it all is the heart, the body’s hardest working organ. Even when you’re resting it pumps over five liters of blood through your body every minute. Oils that can help include Bergamot, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Marjoram, Thyme, Lime, and Helichrysum. More specifically, Black Pepper, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Fennel, and Thyme all help assist in healthy circulation as well.
- To provide cleansing to internal bodily systems.* Sometimes the body just needs to cleanse and renew. Oils to include in your next cleansing smoothie or tea include Cilantro, Helichrysum, Juniper Berry, Lemon, Thyme (specifically for the gastrointestinal and digestive systems), and Wild Orange.
- Calms or supports the nervous system.* From your brain to your nerves, the nervous system is complex, but taking care of it doesn’t need to be. In addition to getting good sleep, providing vital nutrients, and getting exercise, essential oils can help support the nervous system. These supporting oils are Bergamot, Copaiba, Helichrysum, and Marjoram. Oils that are calming to the nervous system are Cilantro, Clary Sage, Copaiba, Lavender, and Petitgrain.*
Although these are some of the main reasons to take oils internally, there are many more reasons. What follows here is a list of any unique uses essential oils possess when used internally. In cases where there are recipes, we have also linked you to them to give you more options in consuming each oil.
Tips for Safely Ingesting Essential Oils
It is important to realize that people consume essential oils all day without even realizing it. Where do you think your processed foods get their flavor from! Virtually anything that is naturally flavored most likely contains essential oils.
If you follow these practical tips for safe internal oil use, you should be fine:
- Most people can tolerate gentle oils like frankincense, lemon, and orange essential oil taken directly under the tongue for quick access into the bloodstream, but this is not a long-term strategy. Limit use to a few days at a time and always discontinue use if irritation or reflux occurs.
- Hotter oils like oregano, thyme, and clove oil should ALWAYS be diluted with a carrier oil. One (1) drop (or less) per teaspoon of coconut oil and a little bit of raw honey is not only usually safe for most people, but super tasty!
- Putting 1-2 drops in a capsule will help you avoid esophageal irritation and any more should only be for the therapeutic use of an acute issue and only under the guidance of a trained Aromatherapist and your Health Practitioner. Again, this is not supposed to be a daily habit. This strategy can be enjoyed up to twice a day if you’re trying to fight a specific health condition, but no more than 3-4 weeks at a time. Long term use of anything is never advised as it can potentially cause liver damage and your body may develop resistance.
- Supports gastrointestinal health.* (If you’ve ever wondered how the digestive system differs from the gastrointestinal system, the gastrointestinal tract is the path that food travels, while the digestive system is a broader term that includes other structures like the pancreas and gall bladder.)
- Provides soothing relief during menstrual cycle*
- Raw Rainbow Salad with Fresh Tomato-Basil Dressing
- Basil Spinach Pesto
- Fresh Garden Chowder
- Supports healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range*
- Supports healthy metabolic function*
- Supports healthy blood sugar levels already in the normal range*
- Breakfast Granola Cups
- Helps maintain healthy liver function*
- Take two drops to support gastrointestinal health and function*
- Carrot Salad
- Promotes a healthy metabolism*
- Promotes cellular health*
- Helps fight sweet tooth cravings*
- Relieves monthly discomfort during menstruation*
- Maintains healthy cellular function*
- Take two drops to support healthy blood sugar levels already in normal range*
- Supports a healthy urinary tract*
- Supports healthy cellular function and cellular health overall*
- Supports healthy liver function*
- Supports the healthy functioning of the kidneys and urinary tract.*
- Reduces anxious feelings and promote a peaceful sleep*
- Lavender-Blueberry-Banana-Coconut Ice Cream Shake
- Hot Cocoa
- When combined with Peppermint, it helps support healthy gastrointestinal function*
- Coconut Lemongrass Red Lentil Soup
- Take two drops to promote healthy cholesterol levels already in normal range*
- Supports liver, and cognitive health*
- Helps to relax the musculoskeletal system and relieve tension*
- Helps promote restful sleep*
- Take two drops to help soothe the systems of the body*
- Helps reduce occasional fatigue and feelings of nervous tension*
- Combine with Lavender in a veggie capsule to help reduce stress*
- Rosemary Dinner Rolls
- Rosemary Lemon Hummus
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Massage Therapist, Herbalist, Phyto/Aromatherapist & dōTERRA Wellness Advocate
Owner/Admin of OpenRoadEssentialOils.com and Crunchy Biker Club on Facebook