AIA Internal Use Statement

AIA Internal Use Statement

The Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA) has issued a statement on the Internal Use of Essential Oils:

Internal Use Statement with regard to AIA practitioners

Effective February 26, 2010:

AIA does not endorse internal therapeutic use (oral, vaginal or rectal) of essential oils unless recommended by a health care practitioner trained at an appropriate clinical level. An appropriate level of training must include chemistry, anatomy, diagnostics, physiology, formulation guidelines and safety issues regarding each specific internal route (oral, vaginal or rectal).

For more information, please visit the AIA site.

20 Responses to “AIA Internal Use Statement”

  1. Diane Campbell January 14, 2011 at 9:25 am #


    I am a clinical level graduate of the WCIA program and I am working on two courses from the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy I am very interested in exploring some internal therapeautic possibilites of unadulterated oils

    I have received training in chemistry, formulation guidelines and safety issues. I have also earned a massage therapist license which included anatomy, physiology, kinesiology and pathology.

    However as I understand it, a specific diagnosis is outside the scope of practice for aromatherapy. Would diagnostics infer a diagnosis or an educated evaluation of how best to support bodily systems that might be under duress?

    Thanks. I appreciate your attention.

  2. Dorene Petersen January 20, 2011 at 12:25 am #


    I would be happy to discuss this further. It would be easier to chat on the phone but I am not available until the second week of February. If you still have questions please call me on 503 244 0726 ext 14.

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    Great set of information. There needs to be more people reviewing these practices.

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  8. Essential Oils January 5, 2012 at 5:46 am #

    Great information, will certainly get a tweet from me!. The more information we have the better.

  9. Kristin February 17, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    So even the oils that have the FDA’s Dietary Nutrition label on them should not be taken internally?

    • Sylla August 24, 2013 at 7:36 am #

      Kristen no oil is approved by FDA, all oils are considered GRAS, meaning they are fine for flavoring in small amounts, this does NOT mean they can be taken internally.

  10. Mary September 8, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

    I love to explore the idea of aromatherapy and I would like to go even further in my Spanish language

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  12. Sylla August 24, 2013 at 7:40 am #

    Dorene, very concerned with NAHA move to now endorse internal use by hosting speakers and other such things on using internally. If ARC does not endorse it, then why would NAHA go against what we have set up and abided by, I see a big conflict here we need to address before it is too confusing to RA.s
    Agree it is not in scope for ATs to do this unless medical, so how are we as ARC going to stand on this. lets have a chat soon, I see trouble!!!

  13. Shellie August 24, 2013 at 2:22 pm #

    I am supporting Sylla here. I am still a NAHA Director but left the Board in January after 9 years of service. The new President is taking matters into her own hands on this issue. All my years on the Board, no one agitated for this change or any other, only the person in the Presidency now who ran unopposed and did not receive as many votes as those who ran from the Board I was on with Kelly as President. Sylla is right, we have no scope for AT’s or LMTs (Massage) or really any of the other health professionals except MD’s in the organization to be suggesting ingestion. As we have learned from the MLMs for a long time, misinformation is dangerous, and we have not been able to get full reports on medical issues occurring from ingestion and undiluted use on skin because there were friends involved. In the case of a National organization and approved schools teaching this, the issue becomes less personal and the backlash will hit us all. I think this is also true for a somewhat misguided desire to up the school required hours and call ourselves Clinical Aromatherapists. This alone can call unwanted attention to our profession by State licensing boards…attention we have so far successfully avoided.
    As Sylla says, I see trouble.
    Best regards…

  14. Karla October 31, 2013 at 1:36 am #

    Thanks to Diane, Sylla and Shellie for applicable and thoughtful comments.

    The outcome is however confusing. The AIA seems to condone internal use prescribed by “clinical” practitioners? The ARC does not?

    Is this debate continuing elsewhere on the web? This is a concerning topic, even (especially?) for unqualified home users (like me) who don’t like taking chances. Just because a medication is natural people somehow infer that it must be safe. AR falls into the “grey area” in many peoples minds between “real” medicine and the “fluffy” which puts “clinical” practitioners walking a tightrope to maintain respect, and home users in danger of harming rather than healing themselves.
    Thanks Dorene for your good work!

  15. Greg August 7, 2014 at 8:53 am #

    The issue of internal use boils down to two very important issues –

    1. People are concerned, rightfully, about the potential of drawing attention from regulating authorities if too many practitioners suggest ingestion of oils.

    2. People are genuinely concerned about the safety of ingesting oils.

    On point 1 – while concern of regulation is warranted, this should not obscure the primary goal of healing. As anyone well trained practitioner knows, there are a number of conditions for which oral use/ingestion would be preferred – dental issues, parasites of the small intestines, acute digestive issues are among them. Additionally some critical essential oil medicine may provoke reactions if used on the skin above 1-2% dilution (phenol and phenalpropanoid containing oils in particular)

    On point 2 – there are certainly some well founded concerns on safety but at the same time, any number of substances can cause serious harm if used inappropriately – Acetaminophen, for example, can quickly become dangerous outside of the recommended dosage. This remains an over the counter drug which we trust our society and parents to self administer.

    The issue is neither the substance, nor the mode of delivery – the issue is education. The proper path to dealing with this, in my opinion, would be 1. ensure that aromatherapists are provided proper training on internal use and safety – potentially by requiring all certification courses to require Essential Oil Safety as a text to be read and digested. 2. more in depth partnering with scientists and medical practitioners in this country and china to better define internal use of essential oils.

    While it is important to preserve as best we can the capacity of healers, aromatherapists and individuals to utilize the healing potential of EOs this can not come at promoting stances which also undermine their use and potentials.

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  19. Edenfantasys April 9, 2019 at 11:59 pm #

    This website, and our social media platforms are not intended for persons in jurisdictions that restrict the distribution of information by us or use of such social media platforms. If this is applicable to you, we would advise you to inform yourself about and observe the relevant restrictions, and AIA does not accept liability in this respect.

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