Essential Oils 101 – Methods of Application: Ingestion

QUE THE HORROR MUSIC!! The EVIL Marvelous Mess will be covering drum roll please…… INGESTION MUAH-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA!!!! So before I start this I want to emphasize I am a certified Aromatherpist and I am also an essential oil distributor. Yes, you can be both. It’s possible. Ingestion is super controversial and I want to ease your mind about it. I feel like there is a happy medium to this topic, so let’s get to it! As usual, we’ll cover the scary stuff first.

ADVERSE REACTIONS

Let’s just rip off the Essential Oil bandage here; it’s possible to drink an essential oil and die, it happens VERY RARELY, but it does happen and you should know that. Want to know how much it takes? A LOT. I’m talking something around a teaspoon (or more) for children or a 5ML bottle for adults of straight oil. With that being said, commonly used oils you should avoid ingesting are any species of Eucalyptus and Wintergreen. For the rest, if you are getting an essential oil from a company who promotes ingestion, the labels will either say dietary use or to not ingest.

Most of the time these oils are bad quality, so it’s really important to get pure  essential oils. Common adverse reactions with ingesting oils are: stomach irritation if you take too much undiluted and mouth sores if you ingest a hot oil undiluted. How can you avoid that you ask?

DILUTION, DILUTION, DILUTION!!!

I can’t stress this enough, you CAN safely take essential oils internally, but you’ve gotta dilute it. It helps dispersion by having those super small molecules attach to larger ones. There are several ways you can do this:

Diluting in Water

We all know oil and water don’t mix but this little trick helps! You put essential oil in a spoonful of honey and add it to your water. Another way you can do it is by cutting up some fruit in a bowl and adding oil to the fruit, that way you don’t have sweet water and it will give it a nice subtle flavor with therapeutic properties.

Sugar Cube, Honey, Cup of Milk, Charcoal Tablets

Any one of the items above you can add a few drops of oil to and consume them.

Veggie Capsules

You can get these cool little vegetable capsules and all you do is fill them up with a carrier oil like olive or coconut and add the desired amount of oils to it.

DOSAGE

Ingestion isn’t always the best way to apply an essential oil, sometimes the other methods will work more effectively when used with different body systems. You usually ingest essential oils when you would like to work on the digestive system or promote wellness with internal organs like your kidneys and liver. For dosage I would stick to one to three drops. You can take that dosage three times a day. A quick tidbit on oregano, if you use that for ingestion I suggest you take a probiotic along with it. Although its very effective at taking out germs it will wipe out all of the bacteria both good and bad and a probiotic will replace that.

In reality, most essential oils present little to no risk when used properly and ingestion is always a personal decision, if you feel comfortable doing it, great! If not, then don’t. Simple as that. If you want to take the super cautious route before you ingest an oil, consult a Certified Aromatherapist (like me) who is well versed in contraindications and therapeutic margin. Seriously, feel free to message me on Facebook or visit my Contact Me page and I’d be happy to help!

Essential Oils 101- Methods of Application: Topical

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. The skin regulates your body temperature, keeps bacteria out and excretes toxins out of your body through sweating. Most importantly, it circulates 33% of your blood. There are two layers to the skin, the epidermis which is about as thick as a piece of paper and the dermis which has got your blood vessels, nerve endings and hair follicles. When you apply an essential oil, the molecules are so crazy small that your porous skin rapidly absorbs it. Once the oil seeps into your hair follicles and sweat glands, it reaches the blood and is then dispersed throughout your entire body. Here are some things to look out for when applying essential oils topically:

PHOTOSENSITIVITY

There are some oils you want to avoid applying while the sun is out because they are more prone to absorb the sun’s rays and increase your chances of burning. There are two ways you can easily avoid these problems. 1. Apply them at night before bed 2. Apply them on skin that is covered by clothing. Most citrus oils are photosensitive as well as patchouli, some cedar wood varieties and clary sage. Again I just want to emphasize common sense on this one. If you apply clary sage on your ankles and are wearing shorts, you’re probably not gonna get burned.

IRRITATION

Irritation happens when you apply an oil that your skin considers abrasive and has a reaction. It would be red and irritated within about 5 minutes. If this happens, you can put a fatty carrier oil like coconut or almond oil on it to absorb it. Milk will also help.

SENSITIZATION

This reaction is a little different. As opposed to affecting your skin, your immune system would react. The essential oil attaches itself to a protein in your body and your body releases histamines. The result would be similar to an allergic reaction. In this case you can take an antihistamine (homeopathic or regular, your choice) and find another oil with the same chemical properties you’re looking for just from a different plant. The cool thing about oils is that they’re not like nut or shellfish allergies. You don’t have to swear off the whole category when you have a reaction to something in the family it belongs to.

Now that we’ve got the scary stuff outta the way! We can get into the fun stuff!

SKIN PATCH TESTING

Skin patch testing is one of those optional preventative things you can do to make sure your skin doesn’t have a reaction to essential oils. I personally don’t have sensitive skin and don’t do them anymore unless I know it’s a “hot” oil like peppermint, cinnamon or thyme. There are two ways you can do a skin patch test.

The first is to dilute an essential oil in a carrier oil cover it in a piece of gauze and wait 24 hours if there no reaction, you’re good to go! If there is, try diluting it a bit more and do it again. If there’s still a reaction then don’t use that oil topically, try diffusing it instead. If you have any type of sensitivity reaction though, do not diffuse it either.

The second way is to apply an essential oil “neat” meaning undiluted to the crook of your arm. Close your arm and wait five minutes, again see how your skin react and the same rules apply as above. I’m personally impatient and always do this option.

BASE OILS & DILUTION

Just like essential oils, base oils have different properties. Base oils are fatty and their molecules are bigger, which slows the absorption rate and also creates a barrier between your skin and the essential oil. If you do not have sensitive skin, you don’t need to dilute if you don’t want to. There are a lot of folks out there including myself who prefer to use them neat. Again, it’s totally your choice. If you like to err on the side of caution then by all means, dilute away! If you’d like to start using essential oils neat but want to start off with really mild ones try Lavender, Tea Tree and Chamomile. A few popular base oils are coconut oil, olive oil and almond oil.

Lastly, here is a handy dilution ratio chart they gave me in school to use as a reference:

Dilution Ratio Chart

**For Children and Preggos, stay in the 1-6% ratios**

HERE’S A FREE CHART TO DOWNLOAD AND HANG UP!

Dilution Ratio Chart