What Are Essential Oils?
If you have ever enjoyed the scent of a rose, you’ve experienced the aromatic qualities of essential oils. These naturally occurring, volatile aromatic compounds are found in the seeds, bark, stems, roots, flowers, and other parts of plants. Essential oils provide plants with protection against environmental threats and play a role in plant pollination. In addition to their intrinsic benefits to plants and being beautifully fragrant to people, essential oils have long been used for food preparation, beauty treatment, and health-care practices.
How Do I Use Essential Oils Safely?
Traditionally, certain essential oil application methods have been preferred or used exclusively. However, Essential oils are both exciting and promising when it comes to taking care of your own and your family’s health. Whether you’re applying essential oils topically, enjoying the aromatic benefits through diffusing, or taking essential oils internally, the positive effects of essential oils are boundless. as the research surrounding essential oils continues to develop, a greater understanding of application methods is now understood. All application methods are safe when used appropriately, including aromatic, topical, and internal methods. One or multiple application methods can be used for a wide range of emotional and physical wellness applications.
Toxicity is a term used to describe the point at which a substance causes harm or damage to the body. Even water, vitamins, and minerals— substances vital to life—can be toxic if consumed at a high enough dose. Likewise, all essential oils have a toxic dose, though it is always far above appropriate usage recommendations. Perhaps more important than considering the negative effects associated with excessive use, is considering the incredible benefits that can be reaped when essential oils are used appropriately and safely.
Some essential oils should not be used internally. Take Wintergreen, for example, an oil characterized by high amounts of the constituent methyl salicylate. It is not recommend for internal use. Instead, it is most beneficial used topically where it can be applied directly to specific areas for a targeted benefit. Although safe to take internally at low doses, it is simply most effective when used topically. An important part of using essential oils is regarding them on an individual basis, noting their specific chemistry, profile of effects, and appropriate application methods.
Currently, no accepted regulatory body oversees the production of essential oils, nor is there a universal standard governing essential oil usage protocols. For this reason, doTERRA has created a quality assurance process: CPTG Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade®. To be
safe and effective, especially for internal use, essential oils must have the proper chemical profile and also be free of any impurities or adulterations. doTERRA uses a canon of third-party analytical methods to ensure that every bottle meets our high standards of composition and safety. Additionally, many essential oils are found on the FDA’s Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) list that approves essential oils for internal use as non-medical constituents. Althoughthis list does not approve the internal use of dietary supplements, it does set
general safety guidelines. The plants and substances included on this list have a well-documented history of safety when used internally. Essential oils do have usages and applications that extend far beyond these parameters; however, the GRAS list is still an accredited tool that contributes to confirming the safety of internal use of essential oils.
Although topical and aromatic applications have been most widely studied, emerging research has now begun to validate the efficacy and safety of internal use. From improving emotional status to protecting vital organs, internal use of essential oils is an exciting field that is developing at an accelerating rate.* The further we delve into the science of essential oils, the more we understand their physiologic relevance. While there is much yet to understand and a great need for continued research, we should embrace the power and safety of internal use that has been clinically and anecdotally substantiated.
As a professional, I too recognize that taking essential oils internally must not be regarded lightly. Because of their potent nature, it is important to use essential oils with caution and safety. But, when used mindfully, many essential oils can safely and effectively be administered internally. Their multi-faceted range of health applications empowers every individual with the opportunity to naturally manage their health with the utmost confidence.