Ingesting Essential Oils: Yes or No?
Ok so let’s get right down to the nitty gritty of this debate. Yes, there are arguments for both sides when it comes to ingesting essential oils, but here in the Aroma Kitchen we strongly recommend you don’t. Here’s why:
Essential oils are basically highly concentrated aromatic plant compounds. Most commonly extracted by distillation, but sometimes by solvent extraction, and therein lies the first kicker… Not all essential oils are created the same, or to the same standards. Depending in the quality, there may be trace amounts of solvents left in the oil. Ew! Dont think I fancy eating solvents do you?
The second point to keep in mind is the highly concentrated part. High quality essential oils can be up to 70% more potent that their plan counterparts! That’s a whopping big difference! Take lemon for example…
On average, it takes around 50 lemons to make 15ml of essential oils. A 15ml bottle of oil contains approximately 250 drops. So mathematically, 1-3 drops of lemon oil is equivalent to 1/5 of lemon rind. Now would you eat that? Nope? Me neither!
What the FDA says
Now lets talk about the FDA for a second. They have classified essential oils as GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe). And while this indcates that they’re safe to consume, when you dig a little deeper, they’re very specific about the percentages at which they’re safe. These percentages are so low that you’d have to dilute 1 drop of lemon essential oil in over a litre of water for it to be within the ‘safe’ limits!
And there’s another point to consider… oil and water physically dont mix. You need to add an emulsifier to make that happen. Its why we dont add water to our products! So even if you did add your 1 drop of essential oil to your litre and a bit of water, you’d still, in effect, be drinking neat essential oil.
This is a problem! Because essential oils are so concentrated, when they come into contact with organs such as the tongue, esophagus and stomach, they can cause irritation and burning, which isn’t pleasant for anyone!
For these reasons, once again, we will never recommend ingesting essential oils. If you must have lemon in your morning water, make it a slice of lemon. Its much cheaper, and way less processed!
If you absolutely must be ingesting essential oils, please make sure you consult a qualified medical professional first, or an experienced, qualified aromatherapist.