The French Model, which promotes taking essential oils internally, was originally advocated by three prominent aromatherapists: Jean Valnet, Paul Belaiche, and Henri Viaud. Internal use involves consuming essential oils in a vegetable capsule or softgel. They are absorbed into systemic circulation via the digestive tract. (1,2) Generally considered the most potent method of application, internal use of essential oils offers powerful effects to the body. (3-6)
This is also the most controversial mode of application, leading to much debate throughout the essential oil community in recent years. The confusion surrounding internal use of essential oils is largely based on lack of awareness. However, years of past and ongoing research have found that internal usage is a safe and profoundly efficacious application method.
Essential oils are already a normal part of your diet and the human body is well equipped to safely metabolize them (7) (see Essential Oil Metabolism). When you sprinkle cinnamon on your oatmeal, sip a mug of peppermint tea, or add fresh oregano to your pasta sauce, you are actually consuming small amounts of the volatile compounds found naturally in the plant. Essential oils give plants their aroma and flavor. When concentrated, essential oils can be used as internal supplements for more potent and targeted support.