The short answer is YES! Davina’s essential oils may be safely used internally if you have appropriate guidance by a clinical Aromatherapist who understands the safety issues related to each route of application.
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.
One common misconception is that EOs are digested in the digestive system–this is not the case. The constituents that make up EOs are not nutritional (like vitamins, proteins, etc), but are tiny chemical compounds that are sent to the liver where they are processed and broken down into metabolites and are then utilized by the body systems. This is true no matter the route of application–inhalation, topical or internal. However, more of the essential oil used makes it to the liver via internal use than with topical and aromatic, because some is lost to the air with those routes of application. This is all the more reason that internal use of EOs be used with qualified guidance and wisdom.
Two Schools of Thought
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 healers like aromatherapists & 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. That is why we have included safety recommendations from Tisserand’s book, “Essential Oil Safety” on each oil’s product page under the “safety” tab.
“Diluting” in Water? Not so fast. . .
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.) Drinking water with the EO sitting on top of it can then expose your sensitive mucous membranes in your mouth and digestive track to a concentrated “dose” of EOs which could irritate or “burn” them.
Therefore, in order to safely dilute the EO so it does not cause harm to the sensitive mucous membranes inside the body, it should be dispersed in a fat first. The easiest way to do this is to combine the EO with a vegetable, seed, or nut oil (see dilution guidelines ), or add it to full-fat (whole) milk or a milk-based product. Once properly diluted, the EO can then be consumed, combined with a beverage or food, or added to a capsule and swallowed.
Under the care of a qualified healthcare practitioner, Davina’s oils are of such quality that they are can be safely used internally.
Therefore, under the care of a qualified healthcare practitioner, Davina’s oils are of such quality that they can be safely used internally. Some other variables that must be taken into account are: age (caution should be taken when using EOs with children under 5), pregnancy, concurrent use with prescription medications, allergies, and liver health (EOs are processed and broken down into metabolites in the liver, not the digestive system). See more on our safety page. Properly using EOs internally can be a wonderful addition to maintaining your health and wellness.