As an aromatherapy practitioner and educator since many years, I have to admit that I was a hypocrite regarding usage of aromatherapy as internal medicine. I have been using some essential oils for use within my own family and myself as internal medicine also, but I always told my students and patients that never use essential oils for internal consumption. The purpose behind this advice was actually to save my patients and learners from incorrect use of essential oils. It was recently pointed by one of my student that I had referred internal consumption of some oils in specific diseases. Then, I decided to clarify my stance on this issue using this blog.
For example if I suffer from some irritation of bowel or an outbreak of diarrhea, I do take 1 drop of neat peppermint oil mixed with about 100 ml of water about 3 times a day. I mostly get relief without taking any other medication. Mixing essential oil with water is difficult, but some rigorous churning of oil in water breaks oil into very small particles and they are not irritants any more. I am able to do this because I have full faith on the source of essential oils. I also know that by smelling the oil bottle, I would be able to make out that the oil I am using is peppermint oil only and not anything else.
I do not advice the same to my patients for some compelling reasons. The first one is that internal consumption can be done only for some essential oils only. The quantity used in any dose should be very low and should be correctly measured. Accidental over consumption can lead to serious problems. The trust worthy source of essential oil is very important. Since aromatherapy is often used by people by just reading from somewhere or hearing somebody, essential precautions may be missed. It is also important that the person who is experienced in the field of aromatherapy is able to differentiate most oils by just smelling them. This helps the practitioner in a way that he/she is not making wrong choices in picking bottles. It is also important that while using any oil for internal consumption, it must be picked from a bottle which has come directly from the manufacturer only. Self refilled bottles should not be used.
The final word is “Use essential oils for internal consumption, only when prescribed and given by an experienced and qualified aromatherapist only. Self experimentation can be dangerous.”