First, let’s be clear that there is a difference between the use of essential oils as food flavorings and their use for health purposes. Flavoring food with essential oils in the food industry is regulated by FDA, where they have the GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) list. However, please know that GRAS guideline is measured in Parts Per Million (PPM). To give you an idea, 1 part per million is roughly equivalent to one drop in 50 litres! This is no where near to the unsupervised, dangerous and misleading practices of ingesting essential oils at home.
While we've heard from big MLM companies claiming that their essential oils are ingestible because they are pure and are of 'therapeutic grade', this is a very unsafe practice. The concern lies not because of the purity and quality of essential oils, but the properties of the essential oils themselves that pose potential risks to the body. Harm from an essential oil is not always due to impurities or adulterations; more often it’s simply about the constituents it contains. This is not about purity; it’s about safety. Here are some possible risks when ingesting essential oils;
- Mucosal and gut lining irritation (know that essential oils are GOOD organic solvents).
- Risks of sensitization.
- Possible interaction between certain essential oils and certain medications (drug interactions).
- Unnecessary stress to the liver and kidneys since essential oil constituents are metabolized in the liver and some are excreted in urine.
In conclusion, we do not recommend ingesting essential oils casually or as a daily supplement. This type of usage requires serious considerations and consultation with a qualified clinical aromatherapist trained in this area, not with an MLM advocate.