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Episode 135: Using Essential Oils Internally

In this episode, we sit down with Sabrina Dill to talk about using essential oils internally. She'll discuss why this is a controversial topic, what you need to know to use essential oils safely internally, some of her favorite essential oils to use internally, and more.


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doTERRA: You probably ingest essential oils every day without even realizing it. They are used to flavor foods, toothpaste, and more. But what are the benefits that you can get from using essential oils internally? Today, we'll share how they can help you support your health.

Welcome back to Essential Oil Solutions with doTERRA, the podcast where you'll hear exciting, useful, and simple everyday uses for essential oils from experts in the field. If you like what you hear today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. We always appreciate hearing from you.

Today, we're excited to talk to Sabrina Dill about using essential oils internally and the benefits they can provide. Sabrina, thank you so much for being here with us today.

Sabrina Dill: Thank you for having me! I'm happy to be here.

doTERRA: So my first question for you is one that comes up a lot when we're talking about internal use. Why is the internal use of essential oils such a controversial topic?

Sabrina: All right, well, we are just diving straight into the deep end with this question, which I love. Let's just start by saying that the internal use of essential oils is not a new idea. Historically, we know this. And even with my experience and background, I will admit that initially, internal use was not something that I was even taught about in aromatherapy school, way back when. Therefore, it actually was a foreign idea to me. It is not something that medical doctors and pharmacists are taught in school unless they studied it on their own.

So I think it can be a bit of a question mark for many people. And once I had done more research into this topic, I found out how controversial it really was in years past. And it wasn't until I found doTERRA that I actually felt comfortable taking essential oils internally.

And I had my “aha” moment with the very first essential oil from doTERRA that I ever used, which was Oregano. It helped me through a really difficult struggle that I had been having internally. And later I went back to do my clinical aromatherapy certification. And as I stated before, not much in terms of education on that. You'd think with the clinical research that supports the efficacy of essential oils in this day and age, more integration would occur.

But it's my opinion that it is a controversial topic because it can be difficult to break free from the old school thought processes, little access to studies and research, and inadequate information, where maybe in the past we didn't have enough science to back internal usage methods up, or perhaps the quality and testing methods of the oils just weren't there yet.

doTERRA: Right.

Sabrina: Not many were teaching about the internal use of essential oils. So I think it can be difficult for the average person to find quality information, let alone quality essential oils. So thankfully, this is changing.

doTERRA has a huge part in pioneering this concept in many ways, and I'm so thankful to them for that. They are at the forefront of essential oil science. Their testing methods go beyond the breadth and scope of what any essential oil company I know of is doing, and their commitment to developing the world's highest quality essential oils with their team of medical advisors and collaboration with universities and medical communities allows them to bring forth this groundbreaking research on essential oils and their application.

So I love that they share this information with us. doTERRA's educating us so that we can feel empowered to take care of our own health and wellbeing. And we are in a day and age where we have access to so much information, some true and some not. And it's nice to know we can find solutions with doTERRA that are safe, natural, and effective. So I guess the short answer is that we now know more than we ever did before. And because of doTERRA, now that we know better, we can do better.

doTERRA: I think you are absolutely right. Sabrina, obviously there are some rules we want to follow when using essential oils internally. What do I need to know to safely use them internally?

Sabrina: So that's a great question and an important one. Using essential oils internally is a method that is best used when you have a specific area of concern that can be met by ingesting essential oils, for example, supporting your digestive system. In addition, they can provide us with a safe way to flavor our food and beverages. You're likely already incorporating essential oils into your diet from the plants and fruits you're consuming on a daily basis, so our bodies are already designed and equipped to metabolize essential oils.

Dosage Levels

However, our bodies can only handle them in appropriate doses, so be mindful and considerate with dosage levels. This to me is one of the most important safety recommendations, and you can find all of the dosing information that doTERRA provides you at their website:

And as a general rule, a smaller dose is better than a lot all at once, which can be harmful, too much at any one given time. I usually recommend starting with one to two drops and repeating that roughly every four to six hours, depending on the oil in use and no more than twenty drops should be consumed within a twenty-four-hour period. Not all essential oils can be taken internally. So I always encourage everyone to familiarize themselves with the oils that can be taken internally and those that cannot so that you can use them most effectively.

And again, there's going to be a list on doTERRA’s website for this. If you're stateside in Canada, you can actually find the supplement fact label on the bottle of all the essential oils that are safe for internal use. If you're in another country, their labeling might look slightly different due to each country's labeling regulations.

But like I said, doTERRA will have all that info on their website for you. So I encourage people to just dig into the information available on oils that you can take and learn about them. It can be so much fun. And you'll find that some are stronger than others and that you'll want to dilute a little more with those.


And then I suppose lastly, another important safety reminder, which is just as important as dosage levels, is to verify that the oils you are using internally are free of contaminants, impurities, and are truly pure plant oils that have been tested and distilled properly.

This is one of my favorite things about doTERRA is their commitment to quality because unfortunately, not everyone has the same standards. So when essential oils are contaminated or impure, this is where problems with toxicity occurs. And then if you're taking any pharmaceutical or over-the-counter drugs, just consult your healthcare provider for any recommendations.

doTERRA: I think that is absolutely wonderful advice to keep in mind as we start using these oils internally. Now, obviously, one of the great things about essential oils is they're very customizable. What are some different methods that we can take these essential oils internally to make them fit for our lives?

Sabrina: Yeah, so there are several different methods of internal use. And those listening may or may not be aware that doTERRA already offers premade supplements and softgels that include their essential oils, which is brilliant. I love that we can take these on the go, and there's no faffing about with dilution, etc.

Veggie Capsules

But sometimes we want to personalize our internal oil usage to meet our exact wants and needs. And this is where doTERRA’s Veggie Capsules come in handy. If you're not familiar with these, they are just empty vegetable glycerin capsules, and you can fill them up and customize them with oils of your choice.

In addition to the oils you add to the capsule, I always recommend adding your favorite fatty carrier oil to the mix for dilution purposes. And so some examples of fatty oils would be olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, even almond oil—just whatever you use in your home for cooking.

Funny story, capsules are not suitable for premade use, though, as the oils will eventually break down the vegetable glycerin and leak out. I have learned this the hard way when they have dissolved in my purse, the ones I brought with me for a later date. When you do use these, just make sure you take them immediately after. And this method can support many of our systems within the body.


There are a few different methods within beverages and how we can consume essential oils internally, as within hot tea. So I have come to know and love my tea. I typically use herbal teas. You can just pick your favorite herbal tea and add one to two drops of your chosen essential oil to a teaspoon of honey or liquid stevia extract first, then stir into your tea. It's wonderful throughout the day or as an evening cuppa.

Another beverage choice that we often do is smoothies. We love smoothies in our house. They're great for the whole family. I have two children who are twelve and eight, and we make smoothies several times a week. These are a great way to add in extra fruits and veg and omegas. We usually add one to five drops of essential oil because we make really large batches, so adjust accordingly to the volume of liquid you're using.

We actually like to carbonate our water. So this is another really great way to use essential oils. And again, you can add a bit of liquid stevia extract if you want to disperse the oils, just a drop or two of oil, and stir around your water glass.


But I think one of the most favorite ways for most people is probably cooking. So I am actually half Italian, and I got my love of cooking from my nonna, which is so much fun to experiment with oils in our cooking at home. They offer more flavor than herbs. They're free of pesticides and contaminants. They're more economical, easy on the pocketbook, and they're easier and quicker for busy families. However, I do still love cooking with actual herbs as well. We use essential oils in sauces, marinades, syrups, and baking. And you can also use them to flavor salts and sugars, which act as solid carriers.

Some tips on cooking with essential oils, I would say, just know which part of the plant the oil came from. For example, if a recipe calls for lemon zest, your essential oil, your Lemon essential oil, will work great. If it calls for lemon juice, probably best to use actual lemon juice to add to sauces, marinades, and syrups. Just give it a toothpick, dip and swirl around, and then add more as you get to your desired flavor. Again, some oils are flavored stronger than others. And typically, I'll add a bit of oil at the end if it's a hot food.


And then baking is just phenomenal with essential oils. Start with less, adding more because you do lose a bit of the flavor and beneficial properties in the process. But not all, just some. Just enjoy, have fun, and don't feel discouraged, as it will be a bit of trial and error, but you'll soon get the hang of it.

doTERRA: I absolutely love all of those different options that there are so many different things that people can try to get that benefit from the internal use.

Sabrina: Absolutely.

doTERRA: Now, you mentioned Oregano earlier, that that was kind of your transition into using oils internally. Can you tell us a few of your other favorite essential oils to use?

Sabrina: Yes! So it's actually quite difficult to pick some of my favorites. I'm constantly switching between oils during any given week or month to meet my specific needs at the time, especially with citrus oils. I like to change them out after each bottle is emptied so that I receive various benefits that each has to offer. However, if I must choose, I probably have 10. Is that OK?

doTERRA: That's great!

Sabrina: Lemon in beverages and in baking. It's one of our top essential oils to use internally, as it supports the body's natural ability to cleanse internal body systems.*

Wild Orange in smoothies and baking, as it's an easy, gentle citrus oil that is powerful for supporting the immune system in its functions.*

Oregano in marinades and capsules, for its digestive supporting properties.*

On Guard is wonderful in tea, baking, or capsules for cleansing and immune-supportive properties.* And my kids actually love to use the beadlet form of On Guard.

Turmeric in smoothies for a healthy inflammatory response.*

Clary Sage is wonderful in a tea or in capsules to support me in all kinds of ways and calming to the nervous system as well.*

Copaiba capsules and smoothies can be calming and supportive of the nervous system.*

Frankincense capsules sublingually for multicellular function.*

Peppermint in tea and baking.

And Cinnamon! I just can't live without Cinnamon in my coffee.

doTERRA: All of those sound incredible. Now, you've given us a lot of different ways to use oils, a lot of different oils to use. Could you walk us through how you fit all of those into your daily routine?

Sabrina: Absolutely! I'm so glad you asked this question because we love using essential oils to help maintain a healthy lifestyle. And unless you create a habit for yourself, it can sometimes be hard in using those oils consistently. And we know that we tend to only consistently do things that we enjoy and find easy. So they say it takes two or more months for something to be an automatic behavior. So I thought, let's make it really easy on our family and put the oils where we're going to use them internally, stored in the kitchen.

My advice to my customers is that if you use an oil in more than one place in your home, I advise getting others of that same oil to use elsewhere so that you're not constantly running around to try and find that one oil. So we have a kitchen collection. We actually keep a set of internal use essential oils in the fridge. This is great for citrus essential oils, as it extends the shelf life of them. Some of our oils fit in a cute box next to the kitchen sink and others sit near the coffee machine. Wherever you use that oil is where you should keep it. Sounds simple, right? As you see it, you'll want to remember to take it.


On a typical day—I'm going to use it as a typical school day because I am a mom—and I typically wake up, get ready in the morning, and head downstairs to let my fur babies out, usually up before the kids. So while the coffee beans are grinding, I'll pour myself a glass of water, usually adding a drop of citrus oil in. Then I'll make a cup of coffee. I actually put collagen creamer in my coffee with a drop of cinnamon essential oil.

Starting breakfast, I let the kids get ready for school. Everyone takes their vitamins. For me, that's a half dose of LLV, and the kids will consume their On Guard Beadlets as well at this time. I'll also prepare a glass water bottle with a drop of Peppermint or Slim and Sassy and sip on that throughout the morning, both pre-and post-workout.


Midday lunchtime, I make my own veggie capsule with a drop of On Guard, a drop of Oregano, and one drop of Copaiba mixed in with a couple of drops of olive oil and again, take that immediately. This is something that's super supportive for us during the winter months. It's a wonderful option, just midday to kind of incorporate. If you can't do this, I love the On Guard Softgels that doTERRA already creates. They’re brilliant.

Mid-afternoon, the kids get picked up from school. We come home and we make smoothies. I add the kids' omegas in with a drop of Wild orange and a drop of Turmeric usually.


And then in the evenings, dinnertime. We don't use our essential oils in cooking every night, but we do occasionally for marinade, soups, and marinara.

And to close out the day, I’ll make a cup of herbal tea and add a drop of whatever I'm feeling I need at the time, whether that be Clary Sage or something else.

So that's like 10 drops in total throughout the entire day. This allows me to be flexible, to use the essential oils in other ways. So I also am using them aromatically and topically throughout the day. This ensures that I am staying well within the safety range of dosage guidelines.

doTERRA: That's incredible and so helpful to see how they incorporate throughout a busy day. And it's easy. It's simple. You just have to, as you said, make those habits.

Sabrina: Yes, absolutely.

doTERRA: Sabrina, it has been incredible to talk to you today. And we really appreciate you sharing your expertise and helping us learn more about using these essential oils internally.

Sabrina: Thank you for having me on. I hope this empowers and comforts those listening with the idea of internal usage.

doTERRA: Thanks for joining us and congratulations on living a healthier lifestyle with essential oils. If you liked what you heard today, rate, review, and subscribe wherever you listen. Also, if you want to try any of the products you learned about, go to or find a Wellness Advocate near you to place an order today.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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