I’ve had a lot of people ask me if doTERRA essential oils are safe to take internally. I don’t know about other brands of essential oils, but many of the doTERRA essential oils are safe to take internally. Each bottle of oils has a legend on it and if there is an “I” then it is safe for internal consumption. The Modern Essentials book is also a good resource and even has a handy chart of the oils and which ones are safe internally, for pregnancy and for breastfeeding.
Personally, I take the oils internally and I love them. I’ve experienced so many positive benefits from taking them internally. The reason I would be very careful about what brand of essential oils you take internally is because of quality issues. Many of the inexpensive brands have additives in them and so I would not recommend those be taken internally. doTERRA’s oils are CPTG, which stands for Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade, which means they are pure and have nothing added to them. The traditional French say they are safe for internal consumption but British tradition says not to. doTERRA base their thought on scientific testing, such as aromaticscience.com. But, you are free to choose for yourself.
Where Did the Myth Start?
Where did this belief by some come from that essential oils aren’t meant for internal consumption? Traditionally the study of essential oils has mostly come from the aromatic world, who believe the oils should only be used aromatically. Then some people said they should only be used topically, not because they couldn’t be used internally but because in order to use them internally, you had to be a doctor so if they weren’t licensed, they said not to use them internally. Some people even believed they should only be used internally.
Guess what though? When you put essential oils anywhere on your body, they are absorbed internally anyway. Once again, doTERRA bases their belief that pure essential oils are safe to be used aromatically, topically and internally on scientific evidence.
Did you notice how I said pure above? So many brands of oils out there are not pure. If they are not pure, you should not take them internally. There are four different ways others adulterate the oils and some of the companies are very good about being sneaky about it but the main objective in all of them is to dilute the oils so they cost less. They add in synthetics and other ingredients that are not safe to take internally (or externally).
Who should use the oils topically?
- Those with a compromised immune system
The “Official” Reply from doTERRA
Here is the official reply I got from doTERRA when I asked if their oils are safe for internal consumption:“There are some aromatherapy groups that have studied, taught and used essential oils aromatically only. However, this also means their expertise is in aromatic use. While they have a right to be cautious, internal use of essential oils is safe and beneficial when used appropriately. doTERRA’s CPTG process ensures that our essential oils contain only aromatic compounds from the plant indicated, and do not contain contaminants or other potentially harmful compounds. Thus, the only remaining issue is one of toxicity. Below are several responses we have made to others in the past, compiled in one place for your review. I hope they help resolve your concern. Every essential oil, just like any other thing we might consume, has a toxic dose. Even water becomes toxic if you drink too much at one time. Just because something has a toxic dose does not mean it is toxic at a lower dose. In the case of essential oils (and water, and vitamins and many other things), an appropriate amount is very beneficial. The point at which an essential oil becomes toxic is different for every essential oil. For many, the toxic dose has been determined, and for others, the exact toxic dose is unknown, so a known safe dose is used. For example, there is scientific data that has found that a child should not consume more than 20 drops of cassia, though an adult can consume a little more before negative symptoms would appear. Citrus oils have good safety data that an adult could ingest up to a full 15 ml bottle with no toxicity. Both of these examples are far beyond what anyone would likely consume in a day anyway. For all of our oils in bottles, the serving size is one drop. The dose of DDR Prime is four drops at a time. Slim & Sassy is sometimes recommended at up to 25 drops internally spread out through a day. You can use more topically than we recommend internally. In general, if you follow the usage instructions on the product, or the dose used in clinical studies, you will be well below a toxic dose. Search the research library on aromaticscience.com for more specific information on an oil you would like to learn more about. Some oils are not recommended for internal use because they either are unsafe to ingest or there is no health reason to use them internally. It does not mean they are not pure or safe for other application methods; they are just not used in that way. You can use wintergreen in small amounts (i.e. like in a mouthwash) and it will not be a problem. However, we don’t recommend you use high levels (more than 20 drops at a time) of any essential oil internally because they are very concentrated. More is not always better. The mechanisms of action behind essential oils is still being widely researched and is not completely understood, however, there is no good clinical evidence that shows that appropriate use of essential oils will build up or cause toxicity in the body. doTERRA properly registers and labels its products according to all federal regulatory standards. All of our products are safe for the uses indicated on the label, including dietary use.
Our ingestible oils are all included in the FDA’s list of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) substances. When used as directed, doTERRA’s essential oils are safe for internal use by the majority of the population. Those with medical conditions should work with their medical provider when adding essential oils to their health care plan.”