The internal use question is one we get often because the use of essential oils (EOs) for self-medication is becoming more mainstream. While we are pleased that many lives are being blessed by the knowledge and use of EOs, it is important that people have a good foundation for the proper use of their EOs. We also feel an obligation as an ethical company to give accurate information and recommendations.
Essential oils are highly concentrated plant derivatives. Because of their potency, they have the capacity to cause injury if used without the necessary precautions and safety recommendations. This goes for internal use as well as topical. The International Federation of Aromatherapists (IFA) do not recommend ingestion of essential oils except under the supervision of a medical doctor who is also qualified in clinical aromatherapy.
There are generally two schools of thought when it comes to application of EOs. One method promotes the therapeutic use of essential oils via inhalation and topical application, and as was just illustrated by the IFA position above, this is what most aromatherapy schools espouse. The other method, which gained notoriety because of the French doctor Jean Valnet, uses oils internally depending on the ailment and the risk/benefit ratio. This tradition is followed by the multi-level marketing (MLM) essential oil companies who recommend internal use. We have found that attitudes toward internal use depend heavily on how the person was first exposed to EOs–either through alternative healing artists like aromatherapists and massage therapists, or through MLM representatives.
Although these different “camps” have valid things to contribute, there is however a more scientific approach that can be applied to the safe use of essential oils. Namely, Robert Tisserand has compiled the latest scientific data and literally “written the book” on essential oil safety. At Davina, our goal is to give you the best and most complete information we can allowing you to make your own informed healthcare decisions.
There is much on the internet that is incorrect when it comes to internal use. For example, the practice of putting EOs in water does not dilute them for safe use as they are hydrophobic–that is, they do not disperse in water, but merely sit on top of the it. In fact, this is the very principle utilized to harvest the essential oil during the distillation process. To safely dilute the essential oil so it does not cause harm to the sensitive mucous membranes inside the body, EOs should be added to a fatty oil carrier oil like fractionated coconut, apricot, jojoba, or other vegetable-based oil. (see specific dilution guidelines for each oil)
Therefore, under the care of a qualified healthcare practitioner, our oils are of such quality that they are can be used internally. Under the right supervision, taking into account if an individual is pregnant, what medications they are on, allergies, and liver health, the internal use of EOs can be a wonderful addition to maintaining health and wellness.