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Chapter Three – Internal Use

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Over the years, there’s been much debate over the internal use of essential oils. Just like any other essential oil application method, internal usage can absolutely serve as a safe way to enjoy essential oils when used correctly.

After all, you’ve probably used vitamins or supplements for their internal benefits. Plus, did you know that small amounts of essential oils can be found in some of the foods we eat? Our bodies are ready to metabolize essential oils—the key is using the correct oils in safe amounts.

When applied safely and properly, internal use of essential oils can be just as beneficial as aromatic and topical use.

In some cases, internal use can provide unique benefits that the other two application methods simply cannot offer. Though some are skeptical about the efficacy of internal use, research supports the potential benefits of consuming essential oils internally. Among many benefits, essential oils can be used internally to support gastrointestinal health, maintain healthy immune function, promote healthy cell function, provide the body with internal cleansing benefits, and more.* In addition to these internal benefits, essential oils can also be used to add flavor to food and beverages, providing a creative way to consume oils for internal benefit.* We’ll talk about some of the ways to use essential oils for cooking in the next chapter.

Safety guidelines for internal use

It’s important to note that some essential oils are never safe for internal use because of their chemistry. Each dōTERRA® essential oil includes application guidelines, using the symbols A, T, and I, which stand for “Aromatic,” “Topical,” and
“Internal.” Any dōTERRA product marked with the letter I has been deemed safe for internal use. Remember, even if an essential oil is considered safe for internal use, the proper application methods and dosage must be adhered to in order to stay within the realm of safe usage.


Single essential oils that should never be used internally in any amount include: 

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By always reading the label before using an essential oil product and checking for the “I” symbol, you can be sure you aren’t using essential oils that have been deemed inappropriate for internal consumption.

Strong oils

If you’re using an essential oil with a strong chemistry, you can simply adjust your application method. Typically, essential oils like Cassia, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Cumin, Oregano, and Thyme are considered strong oils that should not be placed on the tongue or in the mouth directly.

Remember in the last chapter when we talked about always diluting certain essential oils before applying them to the skin? Well, the same goes for using some of these strong oils internally. To alter the application method, try adding the oil to a veggie capsule and swallowing, or placing one drop of the oil in at least four ounces of liquid. It’s also safe to place one to two drops of these oils into recipes in order to disperse the oil before consumption.


Before consuming any amount of essential oils internally, be sure to consider your health status or any personal health conditions. It may be necessary to speak with your physician first. When you have considered your health needs, keep in mind that an appropriate dose of internal application will be different for each person based on their health status, age, size, and the oil itself.

When you’re ready to use essential oils internally, it’s best to start with the smallest dose possible—one to two drops. From here, you can increase the number of drops if necessary. Beyond a certain point, increasing the dose will no longer add benefit, and taking too much can be potentially harmful for the body. It is better to take smaller doses and repeat the dose every 4–6 hours as needed.

Lower daily doses are recommended when using an essential oil internally over an extended period of time, rather than isolated accounts.

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Here are 10 ideas to help you get started with internal use of essential oils.

How to use essential oils internally


Add one or two drops of essential oil to a glass of water or veggie capsule to aid digestion.* Try Black Pepper, Cardamom, Cassia, Cilantro, Coriander, Fennel, Ginger, or DigestZen®.


Add essential oils like Cinnamon Bark or Lemon to tea or hot water and drink slowly to soothe the throat.*


Take essential oils like DDR Prime® or Pink Pepper internally to help promote cellular health.*


Did you know that the internal use of certain essential oils can help support cardiovascular health? Take essential oils and essential oil products like Cardamom, Cassia, Coriander, Ginger, Marjoram, Petitgrain, or xEO Mega® internally to support a healthy cardiovascular system.*


When you need immune support, try taking essential oils like Basil, Black Pepper, Cassia, Fennel, Lime, or dōTERRA On Guard® Beadlets internally.*


Some essential oils may be taken internally to promote restful sleep.* Try Lavender or dōTERRA Serenity® Restful Complex Softgels.


Use essential oils like Lavender or Black Pepper internally to help ease anxious feelings.*


Essential oils may be used internally to promote healthy organ function.* Try Juniper Berry or the Zendocrine® Detoxification Blend for this.


Some essential oils may provide internal cleansing benefits.* Consider using Celery Seed, Juniper Berry, Tangerine, or Lime.


Use essential oils like Basil, Coriander, Lavender, or Bergamot internally to provide soothing comfort to the body.*

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.
This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease

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