For 40 years, I’ve used aromatherapy for myself and my family as preventive care. Over those years, I also used them as internal remedies when needed. This was usually because of the flu, viruses, or systemic infections. I do not, however, use or promote daily internal use of essential oils for preventive care.
I believe aromatherapy keeps us healthy, especially when it’s used in the air and in our body care products. My husband is healthy and never takes a sick day, leaving his co-workers jealous and confused. When asked why he doesn’t get sick, he blames it on living with me and aromatics for 35 years! But for anyone who works with the public or has a kid in school, it’s hard to avoid picking up germs from others at one point or another. As a result, my family occasionally needs to use the “big guns” to fight infection. That’s what I call the most anti-infectious oils (like Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Cinnamon, etc.) because they’re just that powerful.
Essential Oil Use During Illness
During a bad cold or flu, for example, I use blends to kill germs, relieve congestion, and ease symptoms. For a serious infection, I may use an oral dose at the onset, a topical application, inhalations from diffusion, aromatic baths, and suppositories.
WHAT? Yes, I said that last one!
To fight an acute infection, we need to bypass the liver and get the oils into the gut. Of course, both topical applications and the suppositories consist of low-dose, diluted, and anti-infectious essential oils that have little irritation potential.
Another oral remedy I use is a spoonful of raw, local honey and a drop of Peppermint for stomach aches. One of Nyssa‘s friends has a fond memory of this, as she often had a tummy ache at our house. This is what she remembers most! It’s a great remedy for kids or adults.
These are just a few examples of internal use. Of course, before using essential oils internally, it’s necessary to learn how to do so safely. Otherwise, you could inflict damage on yourself and others. There are many safe and efficacious ways to use essential oils as natural aromatic medicine. It is up to the user to know what is safe. Often companies selling oils will recommend undiluted oral use with no safety precautions. This has resulted in adverse effects. We teach safe internal use in our live classes and in the Aromatherapy Practitioner Correspondence Course because it’s part of using natural oils for aromatic medicine. Internal use has also been mentioned and outlined in my Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual since 1994.
“I see no need to take any oils daily in my water or food.”
When used as necessary and in a safe manner, essential oils have tremendous healing potential. To repeat what I said earlier, I see no need to take any oils daily in my water or food. The oils can cause harm, which I see far too often in the Atlantic Institute’s Injury Database Report. If I want to spice up plain distilled water, I’ll get my flavor from real fruit. Once again, there is NO nutritional benefit in adding Lemon or Orange essential oil to water. I also don’t advise taking capsules for allergies. Topical application and inhalation are much more effective for this condition.
I use essential oils daily in the air of my home and office, in my daily body care products, in my own perfume, and on my clients during treatments. I’ve seen the benefits of this type of treatment for 40 years, without adding in daily internal applications. Then, when I get sick and the need arises, I can treat with more strength. This process is quite cost-effective because I don’t use up all my precious oils through undiluted or oral application. Diffusing oils in the air and using them for skin care is very effective preventative care. That’s why I’ve used these methods for so long! Essential oils work very well when they’re diluted. Sometimes they even work better, as seen in anti-infectious trials. Diluting also saves you money over time.