How to Use EO's

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  The Three Application Methods for doTerra Essential Oils

There are three main ways to use doTerra essential oils, called Application Methods. Don't worry about trying to memorize which one applies to a particular oil at first. It's easy for you to find this information.

doTerra believes in using research and education to help customers and IPC's maximize the potential of an essential oil or eo based product. For Essential Oil Family followers, this means a free mentor with purchase!  You are never alone as you learn how to use doTerra products for health, wellness, beauty, housecleaning, or in cooking. 

This page is a general overview of the three application methods (although I get a bit passionate about the internal use part). There are links to EO Family Blog posts about the different Application Methods at the bottom of this page.You can leave your questions in comments below posts, or on the EO Family Blog Facebook wall. My contact form appears to be broken. Once that's fixed, I'll link to it here as well.


A Aromatic: Smelling! Because smelling leads to inhaling, and that is one way to get those aromatic compounds into your bloodstream.  This is probably the most common use of essential oils. Diffusing is a popular aromatic way to tap into the research based therapeutic benefits of an eo - but it's not the only aromatic option! doTerra CPTG essential oils only contain what is on the label - no chemical adulterants, undisclosed fillers, or accidental foreign plant materials make it through CPTG screening.  This purity and truth in labeling lets formerly scent-free individuals enjoy amazing aromas that don't affect allergies the same way that chemical based air fresheners, cleaning products, and perfumes can.

T Topical: Applying to the skin. Most people think of massage oils when they think of topically applying an essential oil.  However, there are many quick and practical ways to apply an essential oil topically without needing a massage session. Less is more when using doTerra essential oils topically. They're potent! And since what we put on our skin ends up in our bloodstream just as if we ate it, purity is important.

I Internal: Aka ingesting.This is the method that usually make those new to doTerra stop and say "huh?". Most (not all) eo's on the market are labeled "for external use only" or "not for internal use." Each bottle of doTerra essential oil has passed CPTG testing for purity and potency.  This opens up a whole new world of eo use for many.  We can choose between purchasing a pre-made essential oil based nutritional supplement from doTerra or making our own custom creations based on our needs and budget. 

Does "external use only" mean that I can't diffuse it?

How Do You Know Which Way to Use an Essential Oil?

There are four places where you can find application method guidelines.

1. Read the bottle. The label will tell you which of the three application methods are safe for that particular eo or blend.

The biggest use question is usually about internal use.  You know right away if a doTerra eo is safe to ingest because you will see a big, fat, FDA compliant label.  If a doTerra essential oil or blend does not have this label, then it is not intended for use as a nutritional supplement (that's the legalese).

The quickest way to tell if a doTerra eo can be taken internally.

Respect the label! It's not because of anything doTerra is doing. It's not about taste, it's not about smell, it's not about impurities, and mercy, it's not about corporate cover-ups. There are byproducts of extraction methods that make some eo's unsafe to ingest no matter which company sells them.  Some of the same compounds that give an essential oil its therapeutic properties can be naturally toxic when taken internally.

A great example is Wintergreen essential oil. It naturally contains the same active ingredient as aspirin. It smells and tastes terrific, but can increase clotting (bleeding), affect the safety of over the counter or prescription blood thinners, and too much can have the same devastating effects as an aspirin overdose.

Part of informed self care is understanding limits, and even natural alternatives have limits. Grab your wallet and run if someone tells you that "it's natural, so of course it's safe!"

It's pretty clear - this eo is not meant to be taken internally.
Every bottle has a statement about how to use the eo. The language and appearance does vary a little at times, but the informational bottom line is the same.

Roll on labels look very different from dropper bottles.

2. As you browse our Product Guide, you'll notice the code letters from the Application Method image under the description of each essential oil or blend.  Page 6 explains the different uses. There is a Quick Reference Chart for single oils on page 9 and for blends on page 21.  There are other product information resources available that also use the A-T-I codes.

3. Modern Essentials is a great resource book for doTerra users.  It has general history, research, and facts about aromatherapy and essential oils, but also contains information about doTerra blends and products.  You can look up essential oils by name, or look up a health concern to see suggested eo's and which application method to use. ME explains the Application Method and uses the A-T-I codes.

The 5th Edition is the most recent edition.  A mini-ME (get it, mini me?) is also available.

Affiliate Links

4. is the website of the authors of Modern Essentials.  It's worth browsing! You can look up doTerra oils and products or a health concern. There are testimonials, research links, videos, and general essential oil and doTerra resources.  Be sure to read the How to Apply Essential Oils section.

EO Family Blog Posts about Using doTerra Essential Oils


Aromatic Method


Topical Method

 No posts on this topic, yet!

Internal Method

General Usage

The product statements in this blog have not been evaluated
by the Food and Drug Administration. dōTERRA essential wellness
products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

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