There is much debate over what essentials oils should or should not be ingested. Some people will say, “No way, they should not be taken internally!” Others might say, “Sure you can, they’re all natural. So they’re all food grade!”
It’s a worthy debate, especially considering there are several oils that should not be taken internally. Moreover, there are countless brands that don’t offer a single oil that should be ingested. So, you could say, there is a healthy medium between the two philosophies.
All that being said, there are pure, therapeutic food grade essential oils that can in fact be ingested.
Disclaimer: We are not part of a direct sales company and do not represent any particular brand; therefore, we will not name any specific brand in this article. Also, the term “therapeutic grade” is thrown around a lot. If the brands includes additives in their products, then they are not edible. Soooo… for some brands, none of the types of essential oils should be ingested.
Be sure to research the company and look at the label of each oil to ensure it is food grade.
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Food Grade Oils That Can Be Taken Internally
A little more on “the debate.” Without a doubt, internal use of essential oils is the most controversial method of application.
It all started with the “French Model.” The renowned aromatherapists, Paul Belaiche, Henry Viaud, and Jean Valnet proposed the method. It involves consuming essential oils in a softgel or vegetable capsule. In this process, the oils are absorbed into circulation through the digestive tract.
Internal use is considered the most potent type of application, providing a powerful impact on the body.
Only in recent years has the essential oil community been in debate over the ingestion application. The confusion is largely based on lack of awareness. But thanks to years of ongoing research, countless studies have concluded that internal usage of most products is safe and profoundly beneficial.
Think about it, essential oils are already a typical part of our diet:
- When you sprinkle some cinnamon on your oatmeal
- Drink a mug of peppermint tea
- Add in oregano to your favorite Italian dish
In all these instances, you are consuming volatile compounds found naturally in plants. The human body is fully equipped to metabolize them.
Even the FDA – yes the FDA – affirms that it is safe to use certain essential oils as preservatives or flavoring agents.
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What are the Benefits of Ingesting Essential Oils?
Before outlining a list of oils that should not be ingested, we’ll go over a few ways to take these products internally. For most applications, all you have to do is add a few drops of your chosen oil to a capsule and take it just as you would take any other medicine.
If you want to gain therapeutic benefits, while also sprucing up your food recipes, you can also cook with food grade oils. Remember, while they are natural, essential oils are highly concentrated. So they should be used sparingly.
Below are a few examples of how you can incorporate oils into your food. Remember, it doesn’t take a whole lot.
- Add a couple drops of lemon, peppermint, or orange to desserts and candies
- Add a couple drops of thyme or marjoram to sauces and soups
- Add a couple drops of bergamot or lavender to chocolaty desserts
Essential Oils That Should Not Be Taken Internally
Which oils to or not to take internally can, again, vary from brand to brand. Also, under certain health conditions, they are not recommended for internal use. For instance, it generally warned that you should not take essential oils internally while pregnant. In fact, there are several oils you shouldn’t use at all during pregnancy.
The following oils should be reserved for aromatic or topical use:
- White fir
- Includes: Tea tree, orange, eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint oils
As you can see, most oils are safe for internal use. But remember, always check the label of each individual oil.
An important part of using essential oils is regarding them on an individual basis. That is, understanding their benefits, chemistry, safety considerations, and best application practices.