The CFA takes the following positions on internal usage and neat/undiluted applications of essential oils.
It is the position of the CFA that there is significant risk associated with ingestion of essential oils, whether short term or long-term use. Internal use of essential oils via vagina or rectum also poses these same risks. Risks may include unwanted side effects, irritation, sensitization, injury or worse.
Ingestion or internal use of essential oils for medical purposes should only be practiced by licensed medical practitioners who are trained in internal medicine and essential oil pharmacology. Current and emerging research is pointing to inhalation and topical (diluted) applications of essential oils as the preferred and oftentimes most effective method of use.
We strongly encourage people to be weary of misinformation, to avoid internet fads and to seek credible information sources and qualified practitioners.
The CFA does NOT recommend nor condone:
- the topical application of undiluted essential oils
- the ingestion of essential oils
Essential oils can be irritating and sensitizing, and some chemical constituents have the potential to cause systemic toxicity if used improperly. Therefore, safe use is critical. CFA members are required to adhere to the CFA code of ethics, which disallows the application of undiluted essential oils or ingestion of oils.
Essential oils used as food flavouring, within various pharmaceuticals and natural health products, such as vitamins are regulated by Health Canada. In these circumstances the CFA suggests individuals use the guidelines provided by the regulatory body. Health Canada does not recommend internal uses of essential oils as a stand-alone product.
The CFA promotes the dilution of essential oils for all topical applications. Current best practices indicate that the dilution of essential oils is key to safe, effective and responsible usage of essential oils
Dilution of essential oils helps to reduce the potential for adverse reactions, allergies, sensitization, and phototoxicity as well as to avoid any potential systemic toxicity or negative interactions.
Beyond risk reduction, other rationales for dilution include reducing overuse, over consumption and the promotion of sustainable practices.
The CFA highly recommends and strongly encourages anyone interested in using essential oils, to consult with a CFA Certified Aromatherapy Health Professional, or other Certified Aromatherapist affiliated with a professional organization that maintains educational and practice standards for its members. Alternatively, one can seek quality education to better guide one’s own home use. To find a CFA Certified Aromatherapist, go to Find an Aromatherapist on our website.
As professional Aromatherapists, we do not promise to cure any ailment. Aromatherapy is a complementary practice which, when used properly, can help to alleviate symptoms, promote recovery and promote general feelings of well-being.
The CFA recognizes that there is a plethora of misinformation and potentially unsafe practices being shared with the general public. Many of these sources are well-intentioned, but often lack proper knowledge, education and training leading to the dissemination of potential misleading and harmful advice.
Professional Aromatherapists understand how to interpret and validate the various sources of research and information to identify the correct or appropriate information. They can then use that information to help them to further their own knowledge as well as to better inform their clients and the public about safe practices, best practices, as well as dispel myths and misconceptions.
In their studies and training, Aromatherapists learn about:
- essential oil chemistry
- safe practices and methods of application
- health assessment* and client records
- contraindications and potential drug interactions
- anatomy and physiology
- proper dilutions and blending techniques and more
The CFA has hundreds of professional members across Canada, as well as several approved schools. Please explore our website for more information on connecting with a professional practitioner.
*Aromatherapists do not diagnose, and treatments are not a replacement for other medical care.
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.