Professional aromatherapists and healthcare providers use several methods that may not be appropriate for use by the home practitioner. Professional medical practitioners might suggest the use of essential oils orally, for example, but always in extremely low and precise dosages, because ingesting essential oils involves the rigors of the digestive system. Home practitioners should avoid the oral use of essential oils unless under the direction of a professional healthcare provider.
On the very rare occasions when this method is suggested, the directions must be followed exactly. For example, a single drop of an essential oil — usually one that’s found in food products, such as peppermint — might be recommended, given on a sugar lump or in a spoonful of honey and then diluted again in some form of liquid to avoid irritation of the membranous lining of the esophagus.
It’s increasingly being recognized that taking anything orally may have its disadvantages, and skin patches and inhalation methods have been developed to avoid the oral route. For example, nasal sprays are now employed to deliver inoculation against influenza in children, and insulin in a crystallized form can be inhaled by diabetics.