There is some controversy as to the safety of using essential oils internally, or whether they should just be used aromatically and/ or topically. Some schools of thought believe that oils shouldn’t even be used topically, that essential oils are purely for aromatherapy purposes. I’m not here to say any one school of thought is right or wrong, but I am a firm believer in using essential oils internally and topically, when done sensibly and safely.
One of the first considerations is the brand of oils used. I only use top top top quality oils – I researched the quality and purity of the ones I use and was very impressed by the testing they carry out at all different stages of growing, harvesting, distilling and production. Knowing that these oils are 100% pure and do not contain any contaminants whatsoever is important to me, and gives me the confidence to use them for myself, my patients and my family.
Another consideration is that not all oils are safe to be taken internally. There are handy-dandy guides that are readily available that show clearly whether an oil or blend can be used aromatically, topically and internally. Oils like Arborvitae and Wintergreen are not for internal use, while others like Frankincense and Lemongrass are fine internally. Using an oil that is not designated safe for internal use might cause problems, but it’s an easy thing to check in advance. Internal use might also involve putting oils directly under the tongue. I know of plenty of people who use Frankincense in that way to support a healthy neurological system; and many who use the Metabolic Blend under their tongue for a quick energy boost.
Finally, dosing is important. Essential oils are very potent and very concentrated, so a little bit goes a long way. A dose of essential oils is 1-5 drops, unlike herbs there the dose can be 10 drops up to 1 teaspoon. So 2-3 drops of an oil taken internally might be just fine, but 20-25 drops probably wouldn’t be. It’s always good to start with the lowest possible dose and work up from there to find the effective dose, while still staying within safe parameters.
To give you an example, my throat was a little scratchy this morning, so I took my Protective Blend, and put 2 drops in water. I gargled with it and then swallowed it. Granted I could have put that blend on the soles of my feet or diffused it (and those two things would help too), but when I want benefit directly in my throat I love that I can ingest it. Similarly, any occasional tummy upset or discomfort is going to benefit from having the digestion support oils such as peppermint and fennel taken internally so they make direct contact with the digestive tract.
As with anything in life, the key is to do your research, and make sensible decisions. I am very confident using my essential oils internally and do so every single day. For my daughter who is just two, I love that I can get the benefits from oils using them aromatically and topically for her, without needing to do them internally. When I need some emotional support, the blends I use work amazingly well in a diffuser or I just put a drop in the palm of my hands and rub my hands together. And when I’ve run just a bit further than normal and my muscles are feeling the extra exertion, I definitely use my blends topically to ease any discomfort.
There are many different oils and oil blends, and there may be different ways to use each of them depending on the circumstance. If you have the right oils, and if you have the right information as to how to use them appropriately and safely, using essential oils internally definitely opens up a whole new range of possibilities for helping your family’s health.