Ingesting essential oils is all the rage.
There are 50 million blog posts on the internets talking all about how putting a drop of this and that got rid of or prevented _______________ (fill in the blank). And honestly, these claims sound amazing.
Yes! Of course I would love to use essential oils to keep me from getting me sick and to make me skinny.
Where do I sign up?
Before we start dumping these aromatic oils in our coffee, the following are a few things you should know before you start drinking or ingesting essential oils.
- Using a capsule with the prescribed drops of oil is the most effective method of ingesting essential oils. A common practice is to put a few drops of lemon essential oil (for its detoxification effects) in a glass of water. It tastes and smells great! However, as we all know, oil and water do not mix which means you cannot effectively mix essential oils with water. After putting a few drops of lemon oil in your water, sure, you’ll taste the lemon oil but you’ll also start to see oily residue on the sides of your cup. By using a capsule (I use these) you will insure that every drop you want to be in your body will in fact, be in your body.
- Essential oils can irritate the digestive tract. Did you know it takes about 80 to 100 lemons to produce 1 oz of lemon essential oil? That’s a lot of tart. Each drop of essential oil is extremely concentrated and has the ability to irritate your upper digestive tract. Using essential oils internally should be done with respectful caution combined with an aromatherapist OR by educating yourself. A good rule of thumb is to limit yourself to only 2-3 internal drops of essential oil per day (assuming that particular oil is safe for ingestion).
- Dilute essential oils in a carrier oil. To further protect your upper digestive tract, it is recommended that we dilute any essential oil in a lipid prior to ingestion. When filling a capsule with essential oils, make sure to add an additional oil like coconut or olive oil.
- When using a cup and/or straw to drink essential oils, only use glass products. If you decide to not use a capsule, but put drops of essential oils in your drink, please use a glass cup (I use mason jars) with a glass straw. If you use plastic products the essential oils will eat away at the plastic… which you will then proceed to drink (all the while thinking you’re doing something healthy for your body). Yuck!
- Use essential oils that are known to be safe. Some oils which are safe for home ingestion include bergamot, lemon, grapefruit, lavender, peppermint, sweet orange, and in reduced dosages, certain forms of eucalyptus. Remember that an anecdotal approach to essential oil safety is not sufficient to ensure blanket safety of a substance; extensive toxicological research and large scale studies are needed to determine appropriate uses. (So, if a friend ingests an oil and doesn’t see any negative effects, that doesn’t mean that there are not any subclinical adverse effects and it doesn’t mean that the friend’s experience is the norm.)
- Contraindications: People with liver conditions, digestive complaints, who are under the age of 7, who are pregnant or nursing, and the elderly should avoid ingesting essential oils unless supervised by a professional with proper training and certification.
Just for experiment’s sake, take a Styrofoam cup and put a few drops of lemon essential oils in it. Let it sit for about a minute and see what happens.
I hope this article has at minimum has given you reason for pause when it comes to essential oils. Hopefully, I have piqued your interest in learning more about essential oils – their safety and how to best use them in your homes and with your family.
Start your Essential Oil Journey
I have been completely overwhelmed and confused when using the internet to learn about essential oils. That is, before I discovered Vintage Remedies’ online courses and started reading books like The Complete Aromatherapy and Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness. I encourage you to keep digging on your journey to wellness and natural living. Purchase this book or enroll in a Vintage Remedies class today!