Can You Ingest Essential Oils? - Everyday Essentials

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Bottles and Plants: Essential Oil Glossary

Can You Ingest Essential Oils?

Can Plant Therapy essential oils be ingested?

Many essential oils and plant extracts are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) to consume when used appropriately to flavor foods. Whether or not something actually obtains GRAS status is determined by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So what does this mean exactly? Well, it means that essential oils CAN be safe to consume when done so properly. Properly is the keyword here.

Believe it or not, essential oils are used in a lot of different food products and beverages that we consume every day. Now you are probably thinking that this makes them safe to put into your food and drinks, right? Wrong. It’s important to realize that these foods and drinks are formulated by professionals and produced in large quantities using expensive machinery. None of which is true of the food and drinks you make at home.

So now that we’ve gotten food and drinks out of the way, what about ingesting essential oils for health reasons?

The International Federation of Aromatherapists does not recommend that essential oils be taken internally therapeutically unless under the supervision of a medical doctor who is also qualified in clinical aromatherapy.

At this time, none of Plant Therapy’s certified aromatherapists are clinically trained to administer essential oils internally, so we can not recommend or advise further on essential oil ingestion. To reach out to an aromatherapist in your area, we recommend using the Find An Aromatherapist option on the Alliance of International Aromatherapist website here: or on the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy here:


74 thoughts on “Can You Ingest Essential Oils?”

  • I’m so grateful that several years ago as a complete newbie to the world of EOs, I chose Plant Therapy as “mine”! I too cringe whenever I hear anyone stating that EOs are safe to ingest. I wonder if it’s occurred to anyone that the MLMs and others who promote ingestion as a way of selling more product, callously disregarding the health and safety of their customer. Just saying.

  • Thank you for your blog. As for the issue of not ingesting essential oils, if I understand your reasoning, one should never ingest the essential oils at home without experts on hand, without expensive machinery to mix things, and without mixing in mass quantities. And, I’m assuming that your reasoning would apply no matter how much information the person might have, how well they might know the subject, no matter how many years of experience they might have on the issue, no matter how long they may have been using these products personally, and no matter how many times they have successfully used their hard-won lay-person logic. I respect your opinion, but I’ll have to beg to differ. Here’s how I understand the issue. The chemical makeup of the essential oils is the same as the extract that people ingest, except that the extract is 25 percent of the purity of the essential oil. I have been using a good quality extract to great results for a couple of months now for energy, weight control, blood sugar control, etc. By trial and error, I have determined how much to add to my drinks or foods each day for best effect and best taste, and I have had absolutely no side effects. But I also notice how quickly I go through the extract. I can see how much more economical/cost-effective it would be to buy the essential oil instead and simply use smaller amounts. Knowing that it is the same chemical makeup, but is simply four times stronger, I can use trial and error and common sense to figure out how much to add. Instead of dosing with my dashes, I would simply use a dropper, but that is doable. I’ve done it many times before with other such concentrated liquid health products. So having the experience and knowledge that I have accumulated, I feel pretty sure that I can safely use the more concentrated product with little or no risk. My apologies, but at 60 years of age, being in great fitness and health following my own well-informed, well-researched regimen and practices, being highly-educated, etc., I just don’t need the experts very much these days. Moreover, with the politicization of “science” with regard to public COVID policies, I am much more prone to be skeptical of and fact-check the experts these days, especially since many of them flip-flop more often than a fish on dry land.

  • Hi! I don’t ingest essential oils. I don’t plan on starting. I just had a question. My friend said that because you don’t recommend ingestion that your oils are not the same high food grade quality as the other brands that say you can ingest. I believe your oils are also high quality is this correct?

    1. You’re correct, our oils are high quality, 100% pure, and free from any chemicals or pesticides. However, because essential oils are highly concentrated, they have the capacity to cause serious damage if used internally without the necessary expertise required in administering it. It’s the same reason we don’t recommend using essential oils undiluted on your skin. Hopefully, that clears things up a bit!

  • THANK YOU – I participated in a MLM party and it was said frequently how they could be ingested. I really appreciate the fact PT is teaching safe practices…..not just losing sales!

  • Is one of the main reasons that it is not safe to consume EO is the effect it has on the liver? I’m curious because my uncle who was taking MLM EO’s by mouth for cancer now has liver issues. A friend in chemistry once told me that veg. glycerin is needed with any EO, topically even, to protect the liver. I do not know for myself and have not found any info. concerning this, but am curious.

    1. That could definitely be a factor, but it would be important to speak to a doctor about this. As for the other matter, we recommend always diluting essential oils in a carrier before applying topically to avoid sensitization.

  • I am new to PT and just placed my first order. I was with a MLM for 4 months and did not feel comfortable with some of their users for EO especially that it was ok to ingest. I have been researching various companies and came across Plant Therapy. I have read many of PT blogs and I am very impressed as well as the information about this company posted on this site. I am excited to get started with PT oils.

    1. Indeed. I was using essential oil from different brand previously. Its disappointing when they answer yes to everything (ingest and direct apply to skin without diluting) and Looking at PT website, all the information and certification make me feel safe specially looking at the dilution chart. Thank you so much PT!

  • i would like to know where one can get more training on ingestion on oils. I’m currently doing my certification, but the course I’m doing does not cover the topic. The only reason I’d like more information is because ingestion is really common, and it would be great to educate people. I’m not a fan of it, but its a hot topic. I think some of the overseas schools may cover it, but I’d love to know where one can get some training.

    1. Hi Cindy! At Plant Therapy we do not recommend ingesting essential oils, and as such do not write about or educate on that topic. I’m sorry I couldn’t help you futher!

    2. Cindy, I would recommend seeking out guidance from Andrea Butje from Aromahead Institute or Lea Jacobson from Using Essential Oils Safely. Both are certified and experienced aromatherapists who are quite knowledgeable on the topic. Hope that helps!

  • EOs are used in toothpaste all the time and I wanted to do a DIY mouthwash. On your blog you have a post about using spearmint w/ coconut oil as a mouthwash. Some of this will likely be ingested so I’m confused. Is it save to use a mint EO in a DIY mouthwash??

    1. The amount of oil that would be ingested, if used properly, would be very very small. It’s likely not an issue.

  • Thank you for clearing this up! I am amazed at the amount of harmful misinformation out there regarding this subject. I am so thankful to have found Plant Therapy – you guys practice using essential oils so safely and I am very confident in your products due to this fact!

  • Thanks for the information. Other brands don’t seem to give safety information on ingestion as well as the use of oils with and around children so I always feel comfortable looking here for information.

  • I love that this topic is being addressed here at PT! I came from another company and ingesting oils is a huge part of their “life”. I never knew otherwise until I started reading on PT’s blogs and the SEOR Facebook page. I’m so upset that I bought into it all without my own research, and also that they are still out there selling it as safe (they are quite convincing!).

  • I always cringe when I hear others touting the ingestion of this or that oil as a cure-all for this or that ailment. I love my essential oils, and I don’t undermine their power in some healthcare applications. But too many people seem to set themselves up as doctors and prescribe them to others with no real knowledge of any dangers. Unfortunately many companies are to blame for this. I have learned to keep my mouth shut though, because it can become a hot topic.

  • This is so helpful, especially to educate my friends who use “other” oils, and have been convinced there is no harm in ingesting the oils.

    1. I am so glad this information is being put out there. When I first started using oils I thought you were able to ingest, because that is what you were told. Just as you would do with any other food, liquid, or medicine, it is important to know what you put in your body and the effects it might have.

  • So happy I came across this post, it always confused me why other companies encourage the internal use of oils while most discourage it. This post helped clarify!

  • A family member made Lavender lemonade with essential oils and didn’t tell anyone. Good thing I didn’t drink it because I’m allergic to lavender. However, Young Living enthusiasts say you can’t be allergic to essential oils? What do you all say?

  • Thank you PT for always keeping the safety of your products as a priority! I can trust what I read on your labeling, website, and blogs and know that I am keeping my family safe. I can’t recommend your company often enough!!!

  • Thank you for not only sharing your stance on ingestion, but for including other reputable organizations findings (IFA).

  • Thanks for clarification. I always wondered why MLM companies promoted taking them internally (with water, which doesn’t dilute them properly). I’ll flavor my water with fruit and roll or diffuse my oils.

  • As always, plant therapy steps up their game with very informative blogs that I will be sharing with my MLM friends!!

  • I love that Plant Therapy is not just trying to get you to buy their oils, but is vigilant is teaching you the safe way to use them.

  • Good read. I personally do not agree into ingesting essential oils. For me, It’s too potent to ingest, better be safe than sorry.

  • Another great article. Really everyone should always do their extensive research. We put so much into our bodies that we don’t know the origin, the systems, processing, who has handled it, etc. I say err on the side of caution, and we all must decide for ourselves.

  • Plan and simple. Thank you for not beating around the bush and also giving the “why.” So many need to read this. Unless an aromatherapist is licensed to prescribe it then you shouldn’t be self prescribing a prescription to ingest it.

  • I have had conversations with friends before who hesitate switching to PT from their oil brand because PT doesn’t recommend ingesting oils. I have tried to explain that it is not a reflection on oil purity, but rather is not a safe practice regardless of where your oils are from. Thank you for writing this post!

    1. Does that mean other companies have trained aromatherapists on staff that help people learn when and if to ingest? I’ve mostly heard only great things about PT, aside from a few “hardcore” MLM friends. We got rid of all the commercial cleaning products in our home yesterday (after realizing some werent as “clean” as they claimed and others were just downright cancer in a bottle cheapo cleaners). And theoretically if I’m cooking one night and realize I dont have an ingredient could I potentially just use a drop of basil or whatever? Just not make it an everyday practice. Weve used oils here and there for a few years but havent really dived too deep into it (mostly just diffuse occasionally.) But I ordered quite a few of the kids safe line (figuring they are safe for kids and hubs and I can use them too!). I’m trying to change our lifestyle into a more natural /eco friendly/ minimal waste life. And I guess ik just worried I messed up.

      1. We can’t speak for other companies, but we are committed to the safest practices when it comes to essential oils. Which is why don’t recommend using essential oils, even in cooking.

  • I’ve always wanted to add some flavour boost to my cooking with EOs, but always hesitated about it. Now I’m happy I didn’t do it. I hope in the near future PT has a certified aromatherapist clinically trained to administer essential oils internally; that’d be awesome!! Thanks for all the info.

  • Thanks for the information. I’d love to add the oregano to my food, but after reading your article, I thin it’s best that I just use the herb itself.

  • Thank you so much for addressing this important information. I see so many recipes floating around on the internet that call for adding essential oils to drinks or tinctures. I think it’s important to leave this up to professionals who specialize in this kind of thing. Thank you for making our safety a priority!

  • This is exactly the information I’ve been looking for so I can help both myself and my family. Thanks!

  • Thanks for the good infotmation! An excellent book that contains good info on many uses of essential oils is The Healing Power of Essential Oils: Soothe Inflammation, Boost Mood, Prevent Autoimmunity, and Feel Great in Every Way by Dr Eric Zielinski

  • Thank you for this important information! I recently purchased oil of oregano which said it contained essential oil and also the tincture and I was curious if this is safe, but it makes sense when you mention commercialized processing should be left to the professionals

  • Love this article! Scary how people will just do what others tell them is safe without any research. I started off that way when I got in to oils and thank goodness I found Plant Therapy and learned about saftey!

  • I’m so glad that this blog is here. I was just talking with a friend regarding the ingestion of oils this weekend! Can’t wait to send her this link!

  • thanks for this article. there are other brands that promote ingesting EOs and it can go so wrong. my friend’s mouth swell up from a few drops of lemon essential oil.

  • Thank you for your excellent article. It is informative and carefully written. I appreciate Plant Therapy’s stand on not casually ingesting essential oils for the health of the customer. It would be easy to sell more oils , but the customer care of Plant Therapy is fantastic. Your little sticker that says “We love our Customers more than all the oils we sell them” is so true. Thank you, Plant Therapy.

    1. I greatly appreciate plant therapy’s dedication to safe oil usage. I had seen something about cooking with oils in a very very old live video and I’m glad it was clarified here! Thanks so much!

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