Uses and Bioavailability of Essential Oils

Dr. David K. Hill D.C. - Founding Executive, Chief medical Officer / Chairman, Scientific Advisory Committee 


Most studies suggest that essential oil compounds are easily absorbed and that only a small portion of the essential oil remains unchanged. This means that much of the essential oil is metabolized regardless of the method of application. After being properly metabolized, essential oil compounds are eliminated through the kidneys or other metabolism pathways.

Another interesting aspect of essential oil metabolism is that the compounds in the oil are not metabolized in identical ways. Take thymol for example, (an aromatic compound present in many different essential oils). One study showed that when used internally, thymol was absorbed quickly and detected in the blood in only 20 minutes. This quick absorption suggests that thymol was absorbed through the small intestine, the uppermost absorptive organ of the digestive tract.

What appears to be most relevant in essential oil application methods is the consistency with which essential oil compounds are delivered and are usable to target organs and cells. It is reasonable to suggest that current research has shown both aromatic and topical applications are beneficial and effective. With respect to oral use, the potential of essential oils to have benefits throughout the body depends on dosage, chemical structure, and other variables. This does not, however, suggest that internal use is unsubstantiated. Sufficient studies and other models of personal and clinical reference support this type of usage.

New medical technology is designed to optimize systemic delivery of fat soluble compounds. Fats are poorly soluble because they are not easily absorbed through watery layers such as those found in the intestinal tract. Self-emulsifying technology allows fat soluble molecules to become emulsified, or dispersed into a watery substance. In the intestinal tract, this technology allows fat soluble components to be delivered through the intestinal wall. This is a specialized delivery system that allows for isolated molecules to be delivered throughout the body. doTERRA® uses this technology in its xEO Mega® and DDR Prime® softgels.

I believe that future study will illustrate more methods of use to achieve the full benefit of the qualities of essential oils. While there is much yet to understand, I maintain a perspective of belief and appreciation for what has been a well-founded and historically relevant review of essential oil usage.


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