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Essential Oil Application: Internal

“Internal use is the process of consuming or otherwise internalizing an essential oil into the body. Only pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils should be used for internal consumption, as other essential oils on the market may be diluted or processed using harmful chemicals.

“The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved some essential oils generically for internal use and given them the following designations: GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe for human consumption), FA (Food Additive), or FL (Flavoring Agent). These designations are listed for each oil that is safe for human consumption in the Single Essential Oils section of [Modern Essentials™] under Oral Use As Dietary Supplement. Oils without this designation should never be used internally without first consulting a certified health care professional” (Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, p. 64).


One of the most effective ways to take essential oils internally is sublingually. This refers to placing a drop or two of an essential oil under the tongue. This allows many essential oil constituents to pass directly into the bloodstream, from which they can then quickly travel to the different areas of the body where they are needed. Because of potential irritation to the tissue, only a drop or two should be administered at a time.


Essential oils can also be taken internally with the aid of capsules. By using a capsule, you can bypass the unpleasant taste of some of the oils and allow the oils to descend to the right area of the body before dissolving to allow for greater absorption. It is common to place 1–10 drops of essential oil inside an empty capsule. Because essential oils can be potent, you may want to dilute the pure essential oil by filling the remainder of the capsule with olive oil before closing and swallowing. Click here for more information on how to use and select the right capsules for you.


Another way to take essential oils internally is to add them to a beverage. This is done simply by placing 1 drop of essential oil in 1–4 cups of your desired beverage (such as rice milk, almond milk, or water) before drinking. When using essential oils in beverages, make sure to use stainless steel or glass water bottles and cups; because some oils can break down plastic materials, it is best to avoid putting oils in plastic containers. AromaTools™ offers a variety of water bottles that work well with essential oils. Some common essential oils to drink with water include lemon, orange, grapefruit, peppermint, and Protective Blend.


Essential oils can easily be incorporated into your cooking, as long as you remember that they are very concentrated. Usually only 1 drop is necessary, and sometimes even less. For more information on cooking with essential oils, see the section on cooking in Modern Essentials™ and our blog post “Cooking with Essential Oils – FAQs and Tips.”

Essential oils can provide amazing flavor to many types of dishes! Click here to see a variety of cooking recipes that incorporate essential oils.

Vaginal Insertion

Essential oils can be diluted in 2–3 tsp. of a carrier oil, inserted using a Vaginal Syringe, and then held in place using a tampon. Consult Modern Essentials™ for alternate methods.

Rectal Insertion

Rectal oil insertion is often recommended to aid various respiratory problems and other internal conditions. A Rectal Syringe can be used to deposit the oils into the rectum; or the oils can be placed in capsules, and the capsules can be inserted into the rectum. Rectal insertion should be used when a higher systematic concentration is needed. This higher concentration is possible because rectal insertion avoids the first-pass metabolism in the liver.

Want to learn more about internal application of essential oils? See Modern Essentials™ for more information on internal use of specific oils and more.

Source: Modern Essentials™, 7th Edition, pp. 64–65.

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