Of the ways to use essential oils to relieve stress, internal use offers some of the most profound effects, and yet it is the least recognized. Find out how to ingest essential oils in a safe, effective way.
There are three main methods of using essential oils to relieve stress: topically, by inhalation and by ingestion. In this final part of our series, we will learn about how to safely use essential oils internally.
Tips about using Essential Oils to Relieve Stress
Among the ways to use essential oils, the least understood is internal use. Yet, when used properly internal use offers potent therapeutic benefits. The essential oils of the plants can support our organ systems, and balance our metabolism. Using the oils internally offers a way to increase the potency of the oils. And all of this is great if you are working to prevent or reverse the harms of chronic stress.
1. What essential oils are safe to use internally?
There are two main considerations when choosing an oil to use internally.
First, you must check if a particular essential oil is certified as GRAS (Generally Regarded as Safe) by the FDA. If the oil is on this list, it will be safe to be used internally.
The second, and equally important consideration is the quality of the oil. Most essential oils, even the ones at health food stores and especially the ones at a bath and body shop, are made for the perfume industry. They can be adulterated with many chemicals to extend the oil or alter the scent. Even the term “natural” has no official meaning and may not guarantee the oil’s purity.
To judge an essential oil, you must ask:
–Is the oil genuine? Is it 100% natural (no synthetic additives)? Is it 100% pure (no similar essential oils added)? Is it 100% complete (not decolorized, recolored or deterpenated)?
–Is the oil authentic? Is the oil from the specific species listed on the label?
The best essential oils for internal use are from small production facilities who carefully produce their oils with a vision of aromatic healing. Each batch should be processed slowly, carefully and at low temperatures. And each batch, like a fine wine, will reflect the particulars of that harvest. The best oils will very in small ways from year to year.
The quality and purity of essential oils are important because they assure that you get the true benefits of essential oils, that you are not ingesting chemicals and that you are assured a predictable action from the oil.
2. How do you find quality essential oils?
The quality on any particular oil is difficult to assess, even to aromatherapists. Using spectrometers, companies can make sure their oil supply is pure on a gross level, but many chemicals can be added to an essential oil so that the spectrometer results mimic a pure oil.
The best way to find quality essential oils is to find a supplier you trust, and let them make the assessment. Ask questions about the oils–what do their labels “pure” or “natural” really mean? Do they know the farmers who raise their crops? Do they use low temperature distillation? Find a company which takes pride in the therapeutic value of their essential oils.
3. How do you use essential oils internally?
There are many ways to use essential oils internally.
–You can add a drop of oil to a glass of water or a teaspoon of honey. For example, a drop of lemon will make your water taste great. A drop of peppermint will taste good and ease stomach upset. Be prepared for a flavor blast!
–If the flavor is too strong, you can put a couple drops in a gelatin capsule and take that. Start with only a 2-4 drops until you know how your body will react.
–For those who enjoy the strong flavors, you can put a drop directly under your tongue. I use this with Thieves blend as a cold preventative. Peppermint will freshen your breath.
–And finally, one of the fun ways to use essential oils to really take advantage of the essential oil flavors is to cook with them. Some of the healing properties may be lost with the heat of cooking, but the flavor will be fantastic. Add oregano or basil to your tomato sauce. Add black pepper to your salsa (this is really good). Add lemon to your home-made lemonade and decrease the sugar. The lemon will make a tasty drink the kids will love.
For certain conditions, the French have other ways to use essential oils. They will sometimes use essential oils rectally or vaginally. Suppositories are especially effective for lung conditions because the oils are absorbed by the rectal veins and by-pass the liver on the way to the heart-lung circulatory tract.
4. Which oils should I use internally?
A starter list for you:
Longevity blend. Longevity is absolutely one of my favorite oil blends and I use it regularly to counteract the effects of stress. It is a very strong anti-oxidant, which helps your body repair the wear and tear of stress. It also contains oils which contain anti-tumural properties, support immune function, decrease the stickiness of blood cells and prevent degradation of fats in brain, heart, liver and kidneys.
This blend comes in a capsule form, so it is one of the easiest ways to use essential oils internally. The capsule is designed to dissolve in the intestines to maximize the absorption of the oils. Take Longevity daily to tonify your body, and balance your metabolism, counteracting the damage from stress.
Thieves blend. This is a great blend when your immune system is run-down because it is extremely anti-microbial.Take a drop or two under your tongue or in a capsule when you feel a cold coming on. It may prevent a cold or lessen its effects.
The Power of Essential Oils to Prevent a Cold
One winter my family joined my friend’s family in a cabin in northern Wisconsin. Nine of us were in close quarters for 4 days as my friend’s son came down with a cold which eventually became pneumonia. Only my friend and I took Thieves during those days, and only we stayed well. The other seven people all got sick. Thieves worked great for us.
Lemon. I use lemon to flavor my water so that I can drink my daily requirement. I avoid sugary drinks and keep my water intake high.
Grapefruit. I put grapefruit in my water when I want to curb my chocolate cravings (which, of course, escalate under stress). When my chocolate cravings becoming too consuming, I reach for the grapefruit instead.
5. When do I use essential oils internally?
Using essential oils therapeutically delivers potent healing directly into your body. Anytime you need major physical support , you can take essential oils internally.
There are two philosophical ways I use essential oils internally. Some oils I use regularly for health maintenance. For example, I regularly take Longevity or drink grapefruit.
Other oils I only use as relief for a specific health crisis. I don’t hesitate to take Thieves if I’m getting sick. And if I had a major disease, I would absolutely use essential oils as a part of my health plan.
6. What are the advantages of taking essential oils internally?
Whether essential oils are used internally, topically or by inhalation, the healing properties of the oils will enter your body. There is some debate about which of the ways to use essential oils is most effective, however. When using essential oils internally, digestive juices of the stomach may alter the effectiveness of the oil. However, the same could be said about the oils penetrating the skin when used topically.
In general, for emotional issues, I would inhale the oils as my first action, and then use them topically. For physical complaints, I would use them primarily either topically or internally. For a major disease or health crisis, I would use them all three ways.
It is important to remember, however, that no matter how you use the oils, you will be getting the health benefits from them. Do what is best for you, your body and your comfort level. Experiment. See what works and what doesn’t.
7. What precautions should I take with internal essential oil use?
- Make sure your oils are GRAS.
- At first, use only a drop or two. Later when you know how your body reacts, you may wish to increase it.
- Use common sense–essential oils are very potent. Do not drink a bottle! This would seem obvious, but remember, anything in large doses is bad for you. If you have very young children, keep the bottle in a safe location, just like you do for any remedy.
- Use pure oils only.
- Epileptics and people with high blood pressure should consult with their doctor. They should use caution with high ketone oils like basil, rosemary, sage and tansy (tansy is not on the GRAS list anyway).
- Pregnant women should consult with their doctor. They should avoid sage, fennel, and hyssop.
- Do not give essential oils internally to children under 6.
This completes our series of using essential oils to relieve stress. Essential oils are one of the best tools for a stressed mother. She can regain her sanity while enjoying the prescription for her health.