You Have Probably Ingested Them Already!
Is it safe to ingest essential oils? Have you ever done it? If you think you have never ingested EOs, you are likely mistaken. I have learned that many of the foods we eat contain these oils, just check out the ingredient list on some of your favorite foods. Of course, the amount of EOs added to our foods for flavor are minuscule. Nevertheless, I believe, it is safe to say that most people have consumed EOs, whether you knew it or not.
Doctors in Europe, India and Asia prescribe the ingestion of Essential Oils to manage health issues and they have been doing this for thousands of years. It also said that people in the United States and North America tend to shy away from this practice because essential oils are less well-known.
So, is it safe to start ingesting them? The answer seems to be yes and no.
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First and Foremost
The key thing to remember is that EOs are EXTREMELY POTENT CONCENTRATED PLANT ENERGY. Take a look at the following information to see how much of the original plant it takes to produce only one pound of the EO.
- 1500 lemons to yield one pound of lemon EO
- 256 pounds of peppermint leaf to make one pound of peppermint EO
- 10,000 pounds of rose petals yields one pound of rose EO
- 250 pounds of lavender yields one pound of lavender EO
- 6,000 pounds of melissa plant (commonly known as lemon balm) yields one pound of melissa EO
This is pretty amazing isn’t it? As you can see, it takes an enormous amount of the original plant to produce small quantities of essential oil.
Yes, Some People Ingest Essential Oils
Yes, it seems some people do consume essential oils. Examples of edible oils may include orange, ginger, chamomile, lemon, cocoa and turmeric, just to name a few.
Some things to consider if you decide to do so. Make sure you choose the purest, most organic and steam distilled oils. It is best if the bottle states it is meant for food consumption. Lots of oils produced are not intended for oral consumption. They may contain other ingredients that would not hurt you if used in a diffuser or topically applied but may be harmful if taken internally.
So, again, yes, it seems that we can use EOs in our food. From what I have figured out, it is very difficult to measure such a small amount of oil with our common household measuring devices. If we measure improperly (use too much), we run the risk of injury due to the high potency. Also, one should be sure the oils they intend to use are deemed “food grade”.
During my research it was quite clear to me that there are differing opinions whether we should consume EOs. I saw articles that were 100% against it. There were articles that were totally for it and have no problem with it. I even saw Cook Books related to Essential Oils.
Some Oils Should Never Be Ingested
It does make sense to me that some Essential Oils could be taken internally if they could be properly measured and contained no impurities. There are some EOs that should NOT be ingested. As I was researching, I came across a few examples of oils that would fall into that category. They are:
- White Fir
This list is not conclusive in any way. Always do your homework and find out what is safe and what is not.
It was quite interesting studying this topic. I sure noticed varying opinions regarding the safety of ingesting EOs. Another thing to consider is how the government regulates and approves the use of essential oils for humans. I live in Canada and as far as can tell, our government has approved the marketing of essential oils for aromatherapy and topical application.
Well, it seems that EOs can be used internally. It does make sense that they could be, after all, they are plant material. If you do plan to cook with EOs then please take good care when doing so. Follow the suggestions above and/or do some investigating of your own.
If you plan to take an EO as an internal medicine, it would be a very good idea to check with a certified medical professional.
I will be completely honest with you, I have never cooked with or taken an essential oil internally. I do love using EOs in my diffuser and occasionally topically. I believe the western world is slowly becoming more aware of the usages of EOs and how they can certainly benefit us.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Please feel free to leave a comment if you like. I enjoy learning and would love to hear what you have to say.
Angela (founder of Your Aromatherapy Store)
I would like to remind you that essential oils are very POTENT and should be used with common sense and caution. Always read the labels. If you are currently taking any prescribed medication it is recommended that you speak to your doctor before using essential oils.
If you are concerned about allergies, you may want to perform a patch test on your skin.
It is also good to be aware that some essential oils are photo toxic. Avoid the sun as necessary when using these oils.
Please know that some oils are not recommended if you are pregnant or nursing. Essential oils are considered “complementary and alternative medicines” and are not always a substitute for professional medical intervention and advice. If you are experiencing severe physical or mental illness it is best to contact a medical professional.