various bottles of essential oils and diffuser

Are Essential Oils Safe to Ingest?

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Essential Oils are serious medicine

Essential oils are really having a moment right now. You may have a cupboard full of them or you may be contemplating buying your first bottle. You may be interested in exploring more of their health and wellness properties. And you may be interested in taking them internally, but just hold on a minute before you decide. There is a lot of conflicting advice out there on the internet about whether or not essential oils are safe for internal ingestion. There are definitely dangers to ingestion, so this is not a question to take lightly. People have been injured by ingesting essential oils.

If you want to dive in and really research this question, I recommend this video and the links below as an excellent place to start with plenty of information that you can follow across multiple reputable websites.

The Answer is…

If you just really want a down and dirty brief answer. Here it is: maybe, sometimes. That’s a terrible answer, I know. If you are not interested in doing your own further research then the answer is resounding NO.

Most of the benefits of ingesting essential oils are also to be found by inhaling the oils or applying them topically. But if you are willing to ask a few questions and do a small amount of research, then the answer is still maybe, sometimes, but the difference is you will know when those times are. And it really isn’t very hard to find the answers once you know what to look for and where to look for it. What follows are the most basic, most important details to know when you are deciding whether or not to ingest essential oils.

Essential Oils NOT to Ingest

  • Ajowan
  • Almond Bitter
  • Arborvitae
  • Arnica
  • Sweet Birch
  • Boldo Leaf
  • Spanish Broom
  • Calamus
  • Camphor
  • Cedarwood
  • Cypress
  • Deertongue
  • Eucalyptus
  • Garlic
  • Horseradish
  • Jaborandi
  • Lemongrass
  • Melilotus
  • Mugwort
  • Mustard
  • Nightshade
  • Nutmeg
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rue
  • Sassafras
  • Savin
  • Southernwood
  • Stinging Nettles
  • Tansy
  • Thuja
  • White Fir
  • Wintergreen
  • Wormseed
  • Wormwood

This is a list of essential oils never to ingest. Please don’t consider this an exhaustive list as new discoveries are being made as they are continued to be studied. Do your research.

Other Factors to Consider

Do not ingest essential oils during pregnancy and do not give essential oils to children and babies to ingest.

The FDA has a list of Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) substances that they have compiled for every food constituent and ingredient you can think of. Essential oils are not necessarily food, but when you are talking about putting them in your mouth it is going in the same way, so if you are thinking of ingesting an essential oil, check to make sure it’s on the GRAS list.

If you are ingesting, use a safe dilution medium. Essential oil does not dissolve in water. So please mix it with a carrier oil or a spoonful of honey before ingesting. Or you can also place a few drops of essential oil in a capsule, fill the rest of the way with a carrier oil and swallow with water.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Ingesting Essential Oils

  • Who is it for? Remember that essential oil ingestion is not safe for children and babies or pregnant women.
  • What is the quality of the essential oil? Make sure that you are using quality essential oils.
  • Why are you ingesting the oil? Is inhalation or topical use just as effective? Could you get the same effects without ingesting the oil?
  • How much are you planning to take? Never take more than a few drops.
  • What ailment are you targeting? Stop taking the oil after the ailment has been resolved.
  • What other medications are you taking? Consult your medical practitioner if you are on medication.

Final Thoughts on Ingesting Essential Oils

There is a lot of misinformation floating around on the internet about essential oils. Hopefully, this article helped you think about where to start when deciding whether or not to ingest.

But now that all that has been said and discussed, here is my personal stance and my choice when I use essential oils for my own personal use. I don’t ingest them. I don’t want to worry about the risks and I don’t use them for any condition that can not be easily improved with diffusing or applying essential oils to the skin.

You may come to a completely different conclusion than I have and my only hope in all of this is that you will do your own thorough research before making your own informed decision.

Do you ingest essential oils or do you avoid doing so? How did you arrive at your choice? Let me know in the comments below.

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