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Ingesting Essential Oils – Should You? Shouldn’t You? What’s the Real Story!?!

Ingesting essential oils: Is it safe? Can you ingest Ananda’s oils? Should you ingest any essential oils at all? Let’s get to the bottom of this! Ingestion is likely the hottest subject in Aromatherapy today, for a number of complex reasons. We get these questions ALL THE TIME: “Can essential oils be ingested?” and more [...]

Ingesting essential oils: Is it safe? Can you ingest Ananda’s oils? Should you ingest any essential oils at all? Let’s get to the bottom of this!

Putting Essential Oil in a Capsule

Dropping essential oil into a capsule – one way to safely ingest essential oils that known to be SAFE for ingestion, and also a great way to do oils that are spicy, or you just don’t like the flavor of!

Ingestion is likely the hottest subject in Aromatherapy today, for a number of complex reasons. We get these questions ALL THE TIME: “Can essential oils be ingested?” and more specifically “can your essential oils be ingested?” It would be great if this were simply a yes or no answer, but it’s far from it.

In the USA, there has been a blanket “absolutely not” response from many well-meaning sources. This was likely a knee-jerk response from way back when one of the MLM companies was saying “our oils are the ONLY ones that are pure enough for you to safely ingest!” There is also a liability issue – some oils are not safe to ingest, but these big companies don’t say “ingest our oils, and only our oils are safe to ingest” in their marketing copy. Rather, this is information passed between distributors and consumers via word of mouth (therefore, only the single “distributor” is liable).

Lavender is generally considered safe for ingestion. There are many placebo-controlled, double-blind studies that show that ingestion of 2 or 3 drops of this oil per day can offer significant health support! See the studies here…

Now, the two largest MLMs make a big deal of this by saying things like “our oils are so pure, you can drink them!” But this is a VERY unsafe way to teach people about ingesting essential oils, and the correct answer is neither the completely “NO” or the completely “YES”.

Truly, if you are considering ingesting essential oils, don’t get all “head-over-heels” about the purity! If a company’s essential oils are 100% pure (as Ananda’s are), then the answer again depends strictly on the essential oil itself being considered. Is that particular essential oil safe to ingest? (By the way, we ensure that every single one of our essential oils ARE 100% pure – you can learn how to download our Certificates of Analysis for every batch here, including their GC/MS reports). I, as the owner of the company, DO ingest some of our oils for therapeutic purposes. But I have a very thorough knowledge of which oils are safe to do this with.

If you remove all the marketing hype, whether it is safe to ingest essential oils comes down to these key points:

  • WHICH ESSENTIAL OIL(S) ARE YOU DISCUSSING? The very best source for this information I’ve seen is “Essential Oil Safety” by Robert Tisserand. It has a table in the back that says, straight out, whether an oil is safe for oral, topical or inhalation applications, and give gradations or any caveats for each oil.
  • HOW MUCH of that oil to ingest, and how FREQUENTLY. Typical “doses” vary from one drop per day, to 3 drops at a time, 3 times a day (amounts over this are fairly rare).
  • HOW will the oil be CONSUMED? Can it be eaten “neat” from the dropper (such as lavender), or should you put it in a capsule so you do not burn your throat (such as cinnamon).
  • In general, essential oils used for any particular health condition ARE ONLY USED until the symptoms are alleviated, and perhaps just a little longer if the oil is being used for anti-viral or anti-bacterial support.

Essential Oil Ingestion and The French Aromatherapy Method

To those of you who may not be believers, ingestion of essential oils is a major component of “The French Aromatherapy Method”. When you go to the pharmacist (I personally had this experience), you can tell them what condition you’re managing, and they’ll make a suggestion of which essential oil(s) may help. And much of the time, the suggestion includes ingestion of the oils. ALWAYS in small amounts, and ONLY for the duration of the condition you are addressing. Essential oil companies in France also offer small flavorless sugar tablets to put drops of essential oils on – that way you don’t really taste them when they’re going down 🙂

Bottom Line: Education is the Key to Ingestion of Essential Oils Safely.

Should you wish to ingest an essential oil for your health, it is truly up to you to decide: 1) whether you are educated in ingestion of essential oils (or a particular oil) enough to safely use them this way, or 2) seek the advice of a health professional trained in the ingestion of essential oils.

As the owner of The Ananda Apothecary, and I wanted to clarify this all for everyone! When the essential oils you are dealing with are 100% pure, it truly depends on the essential oil itself: it’s safety profile, and how it is recommended to be used. Cinnamon, for example, in the French aromatherapy literature is not suggested to be used topically or via inhalation – only via ingestion (if I were to use the oil this way, I would put it in a capsule first, as it is truly ‘hot’). Helichrysum is recommended only for topical use, not ingestion or inhalation.

Every oil is different. Educate yourself – this is a decision you are making for your own health, or that of friends or family members. Decide for yourself whether you understand ALL safety aspects of ANY essential oil you are considering ingesting, and if you have ANY questions whatsoever about this oil and this method, seek out the help of a qualified health professional educated in aromatherapy, and specifically the ingestion of essential oils.

To your health!

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