Did you know that the absorption rate for essential oils in our mouth aka the buccal cavity mucosa (mouth membrane) is considered 9 times greater than that of the gastrointestinal system and up to 4,000 times more permeable than the skin?
This makes our mouth one of the best and most efficient delivery methods for essential oils when we’re looking for fast acting relief or support. Because of the quick entry to the blood stream thanks to super absorbent, vessel rich tissues and the bypassing of the gastrointestinal system, we can achieve a faster response time using less essential oil.
I’ve been giggling a little to myself the past couple of weeks because I’ve heard a couple of people refer to this method of use as Bi-Lingual Application instead of Sublingual. Yep essential oils give us the ability to speak multiple languages didn’t you know?? Don’t worry, I think it’s adorable and I’m not mocking you at all 💁♀️
Ok so back to Sublingual Application……
This method is one of my favourites and most commonly used with certain oils. It’s the process of holding an oil/ medication under your tongue and allowing it to absorb through the tissues into your bloodstream.
I’m super comfortable with having these oils on and in me. I want them up close and personal with me but you may not and that’s totally ok, stick with what is comfortable for you. Here’s the thing, I KNOW my body. I know if something is making me uncomfortable or doesn’t feel right. This is key. If something doesn’t feel right for you then just don’t do it.
I tend to utilise this approach when I want to affect a change with my nervous system fast and effectively.
For example, if I am experiencing head tension I know a drop of Copaiba and Frankincense under the tongue will get the oils where they need to go, quickly and at full strength. Copaiba is such an incredible oil with regards to it’s interactions on the endocannabinoid system and this method of use allows those important beta-caryophyllene molecules to reach the blood stream more quickly and get to work.
Oils that travel through our digestive system are degraded due to pH and digestive enzymes in the middle gastrointestinal tract and can loose their potency in the process. We can use less oil to provide high efficacy because it’s not battling against digestive juices and the first pass metabolism is avoided in the liver.
An essential oil such as Grapefruit for example may be best used sublingually to take full advantage of it’s ultra high d-limonene content. We can preserve more of those amazing limonene compounds which scrub down our cell receptor sites keeping them squeaky clean when they are taken straight into the blood stream. Basically we’re getting more of the good stuff more quickly to the areas that matter.
We know that oils that are rich in Sesquiterpenes (the thick, sticky, viscous oils such as Ginger, Vetiver, Patchouli, Cobaiba, Black Pepper, Myrrh, Sandalwood and Frankincense contain the most) are awesome for nourishing the central nervous system and providing excellent support to our brains.
These oils can also be most effective when taken in our oral cavity either by placing a drop beneath our tongue, pressing a drop against the roof of our mouth or holding them in our mouth with either an oil such as coconut (oil pulling method) or a shot of water so that they may diffuse into the membranes of our mouth and quickly pass through.
Sesquiterpenes are those sneaky ninja’s who can cross the blood brain barrier thanks to their small molecular size so applying them as close as possible to our brain makes sense right?
Oil Pulling is an awesome way to use your oils orally. Add 1-2 drops of essential oil to a carrier such as coconut or sesame oil and swish it around your mouth for up to 10 minutes before spitting it out.
I do a lot of Oil Pulling during Winter to keep pathogens at bay which result in the sniffles and snot.
Manuka, Tea Tree, Lemon, On Guard or Myrrh are my favourite go-to’s for their bacteria busting results.
It goes without saying that a hot oil is going to be mighty uncomfortable using it under your tongue so please don’t use them without a carrier oil. These are your Phenol rich oils such as Cinnamon, Oregano, Thyme, Cassia etc ok and they must always be used with a carrier oil to prevent irritation. The hot oils are best suited to Oil Pulling.
Please also stick to the GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) List of oils which are safe for consumption as not all oils are suitable. This is really important.
So there you have it, a little 101 on Sublingual Application and Buccal Application.
I hope that’s been informative and helps clarify a few things for you.