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INTERNAL USE OF ESSENTIAL OILS (PROS & CONS)


Lately, I have a lot of questions regarding internal use of essential oils as one of the way to treat many health issues. Let’s see some interesting findings:

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We do believe that ingestion is safe, because essential oils are widely used in food flavouring industry, however, we need to remember, that essential oil amount that food industry is using is relatively SMALL, and in many cases just a single constituent of the oil may be used. For example, “menthol”.

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We may also see the following trends of relatively new ideas:

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  1. Ingesting essential oils in water

  2. Essential oils are natural and therefore safe

  3. We do ingest essential oils, because French school teaches us to do so

  4. Ingestion essential oils has been clinically proven to treat broad range of diseases

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ONCE AGAIN, I WILL REMIND YOU, THAT THE ABOVE STATEMENTS are just statements, that DO NOT HAVE A SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN BASE!

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YES, ingesting essential oils is not a new idea, and was noted by Conrad Gessner, a Swiss physician, back in 16th century. Current research suggests that oral administration of CERTAIN oils is appropriate for:

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  1. Digestive problems

  2. Some respiratory infections

  3. Urinary tract infections

  4. Moderate anxiety

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WHY INGESTION IS A GOOD MODALITY?

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  1. High Bioavailability

  2. Good way to control dose

  3. Often a preferred route for treating internal infection

  4. The best way to access the digestive system

  5. Avoids risk of topical adverse reactions

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POTENTIAL RISKS:


  1. It could interfere with your gut microbiome

  2. You can only do this safely under a doctor's supervision

  3. You probably don't fully understand the risks

  4. Inappropriate dosing (extra drop or two is not a problem)

  5. Ignorance of contraindications & side effects

  6. Gastric irritation

  7. Hepatotoxicity (liver toxicity)

  8. Drug interactions

  9. Fetotoxicity

  10. Carcinogenicity

  11. Seizures


Several over-the-counter or prescription remedies based on essential oils exist and are available as OTC drug to treat anxiety, irritable bowel syndrome and dyspepsia. For these remedies, therapeutic doses are known, established and clinically tested.


NATURAL DOESN'T MEAN SAFE. Like any medications, essential oils can cause side effects and have their contraindications. While essential oils are naturally derived, they have been artificially concentrated and are more potent than the originating herb, or tincture or other extract.

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