As a member of a few facebook aromatherapy sites, I keep seeing posts by exasperated American aromatherapists. This advice is being given by marketing companies about ingestion of oils and the neat application of many essential oils.

What’s the Problem?
While I’m an aromatologist and so qualified in advising about internal routes, I would certainly not suggest some of the oils and some of the quantities being made in the pictures I’m seeing. I would also never suggest giving neat essential oils to babies or children.

Essential oils are natural and can be synthesised by the body, but quantities and routes into the body are important. If essential oils are placed on the skin they are processed in a different way to the internal route; ingested essential oils go through the liver to be processed.

Essential oils should never be placed directly on a tongue or in water for ingesting, as this can cause irritations in the mouth or throat. Ingested oils should always be monitored carefully, as under correct supervision they can be helpful for several health complaints. Incorrect long term internal use of essential oils, however, could cause internal damage, such as cirrhosis of the liver, kidney issues, stomach or intestine irritations.

If you’re taking an essential oil internally you really should be listening to a suitably qualified aromatherapist, not a post you’ve seen on the internet. An aromatologist will consider if the internal route is the best option for what you want to deal with, what chemicals are in the oil, how the oils going to be ingested, the dosage and possible issues with this method of application. All of these aspects are important, as the chemicals may affect the blend, dosage, frequency, length of time, and how they are going to be applied.

So, if you see a post saying the essential oils are of purest quality and can be taken internally, please, please don’t take their word for it. Check if they’re qualified and what’s in it for them – if you use a bottle more quickly because you’re using it in high quantities is it going to be financially beneficial to them? It doesn’t matter how pure an oil is, if it’s got particular chemicals in them they’re going to be at more risk of irritation.

Please remember these companies are marketing their products and selling their goods. If they’re recommending an internal route, please take professional advice or do your research – look for background information, check the facts and make sure what is being recommended really is safe. Don’t just look at the company who is saying it, look for people who don’t have anything to gain from you buying the oils and who are suitably qualified.


Louise is a holistic therapist who owns Therapy Centre, Bristol Louise Morgan Holistic Therapist9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors with her family. For further information visit or contact her clinic on 01275 217160