I wanted to cover somewhat of a controversial topic in this blog post —> ingesting essential oils. Because you might be asking yourself, “is it safe to ingest essential oils?” Young Living does list dietary supplement directions on several of its essential oils. However, avid oil users tend to be quite opinionated over the issue. And to put it lightly, people (including experts) on both sides tend to get pretty wound up when discussing whether it is safe or not to take essential oils as a dietary supplement. I’m going to blog on about the topic, but please…no oiling arguments in the comments please – I much prefer a positive blogosphere.
There are 3 schools of thought when it comes to using essential oils:
Therapeutic treatment using essential oils follows three different models: the English, German, and French.
- The English model heavily dilutes a small amount of essential oil in a large amount of a carrier oil for massage.
- The German model focuses primarily on inhalation of essential oils.
- The French model prescribes undiluted topical application of essential oil as well as ingestion of pure, therapeutic grade essential oils (usually under the guidance of a practitioner).
Young Living embraces all three schools of thought:
Gary Young, the founder of Young Living essential oils, has worked alongside many aromatherapy experts across the world for the past 20+ years. As a result, Young Living embraces all three models of essential oil use. Therefore, each bottle of Young Living essential oil includes a label that describes whether that oil can be used topically, aromatically, and/or internally (with directions for each). For example:
- The back of Young Living’s Lavender essential oil bottle reads: “Dietary Supplement: Put 2 drops in a capsule. Take 3 times daily as needed. Topical: Apply 2-4 drops directly to desired area. Dilution not required, except for the most sensitive skin. Use as needed. Aromatic: Diffuse up to 1 hour 2 times daily.”
- The back of Young Living’s Peppermint essential oil bottle reads: “Dietary Supplement: Put 2 drops in a capsule. Take 3 times daily or as needed. Topical: Dilute 1 drop with 4 drops of V-6 or olive oil. Test on a small area of skin on the underside of arm and apply to desired area as needed. Aromatic: Diffuse up to 10 minutes 3 times a day.”
- The back of Young Living’s Purification essential oil bottle reads: “Topical: Apply 2-4 drops directly to the desired area. Dilution not required, except for the most sensitive skin. Use as needed. Aromatic: Diffuse up to 30 minutes 3 times daily.”
As you can see, Young Living’s Purification essential oil is not recommended for internal consumption, while that option is available for Young Living’s Lavender and Peppermint essential oil. Additionally, you will notice that Peppermint should be diluted with a carrier oil when applying it topically (because it feels hot on the skin). However, Lavender and Purification essential oils are gentle on the skin and therefore do not necessarily always need to be diluted for topical application.
Do you have to ingest Young Living essential oils?
When I use an essential oil, I always look up the issue I want to address or the body system I want to support in a reference book first. The Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley is my go to book! This book lists over 650 issues which may benefit from the use of essential oils. Next to each issue is a list of essential oils which may be helpful and how each of those oils can be used for that issue (topically, internally, and/or aromatically). Issues can typically be remedied through inhalation or topical application. Some issues also list internal consumption as an option, but it is usually listed alongside another option. This means that if the thought of taking essential oils as a dietary supplement makes you a tad nervous, you certainly don’t have to ingest them…you can pick the other option listed.
Do I feel safe ingesting essential oils?
Yes! My husband and I definitely feel safe moderately ingesting our Young Living essential oils (when they are designated for this purpose as listed on their label). My hubby had experienced such serious and dangerous side effects from some of his medications that there was a big part of us that didn’t think the side effects from ingesting essential oils could be any worse than those he was experiencing from his meds. We felt like we didn’t have anything to lose! For us, the benefits of ingesting essential oils were far too great not to give it a try. So far, so good! Neither of us have experienced any adverse effects from taking our oils as a dietary supplement. We have only seen great benefit!
How often do I ingest essential oils?
Most of the time, my hubby and I use our oils aromatically and topically. However, there are a few things that we prefer to address through internal consumption of our Young Living essential oils. Although you can ease an occasional upset stomach through topical application of Peppermint, Ginger, or DiGize, we prefer to take a drop of one of these essential oils internally for this issue.
My hubby and I apply essential oils (like Thieves) to the bottom of our feet each night for immune system support. However, when we feel like our immune system needs even more support, we step up our oiling regimen by also taking Thieves, Lemon, Lemongrass, Oregano, and/or Cinnamon Bark essential oil internally for a few days.
I also add a drop of essential oil to some of my smoothies (that isn’t so much for any issue…mostly for taste and generalized support).
Should you ingest your Young Living essential oils?
Young Living is a leader in the aromatherapy world. Know that much research, experience, and knowledge has gone into the topical, aromatic, and internal usage directions listed on the back of each Young Living essential oil bottle. However, also know that I am not here to tell you whether you should ingest your Young Living essential oils. I personally feel 100% a-ok with it, but I encourage you to do your research and pick the option that best suites your needs and comfort level. If you decide it’s not for you, know that you can experience great benefit from aromatic and topical essential oil use as well! Like I said above, for most issues, I use my oils aromatically and topically (and only use my oils internally for a few issues). If you do choose to ingest your Young Living essential oils, you should feel confident in knowing that Young Living’s Seed to Seal promise guarantees that you are provided with a chemical free, pure, therapeutic grade essential oil.
Some helpful tips if you decide ingesting essential oils is for you:
- Always check the back of your essential oil bottle to be sure that your essential oil can be taken as internally. Not all essential oil companies are equal. For example, some companies use chemical solvents during distillation. Furthermore, despite the fact that many Young Living essential oils are safe for internal consumption, not all of them are actually meant to be used for this purpose. Again, to be safe, always double check the back of your bottle.
- Essential oils can be taken as a dietary supplement by putting them in a clear vegetable capsule (and taking it just as you would any other pill), in a spoonful of honey or agave nectar, or by adding them to yogurt, juice, tea, or water. I enjoy certain oils in tea and water, while others, like Oregano, taste terrible and I much prefer to take via capsule. When adding essential oils to a drink, it is recommended to use a glass cup (because essential oils will dissolve the petrochemicals found in less durable plastic). No, essential oils have not eaten away at the inside of my body (because my body is not made up of man made petrochemicals).
- Expect to get the oil burps shortly after you ingest an essential oil lol! They are short lived and for me, a small price to pay.
- Once you know that your essential oil is safe to take internally, refer to the dietary dosage recommendations on the back of each essential oil bottle. Know that increasing the recommended dosage is at your own risk. You’ll see many graphics and blog posts listing recipes that exceed the recommended dosage. Please keep in mind that these are from people who have tailored their oiling regimen to fit what they feel meets their needs and are not always appropriate for the general public. These graphics and blog posts are for educational purposes (to spark further research on your part) and should never be a substitute for a research based reference guide (like the Quick Reference Guide for Using Essential Oils by Connie and Alan Higley) or a consult with a professional.
- Because children are so small and essential oils are so potent, ingestion of essential oils is typically not recommended for young children. Instead, stick to aromatic use and heavily diluted topical application (1-2 drops of essential oil diluted in 2-3 teaspoons carrier oil).
- I feel confident when using my oils and I feel like I have made the right decision for MY heath, but I am not an expert. Therefore, please consult a professional as needed or when in doubt over oiling safety and appropriateness. You are in charge of your own health and it is your job to assess the risks and benefits. Happy oiling!