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Can You Ingest Essential Oils? 10 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t

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If you’ve come across this article, you’re probably asking the question, “Can you ingest essential oils?”

Essential oils are extremely flexible and they have a lot of benefits and various uses.

Some have diuretic properties and could be used as an anti-inflammatory remedy.

It can help you detoxify your skin and body as well.

You can read more about why they are a great natural remedy for getting rid of water and fluid retention here.

Some are  even used in sunscreens to create powerful, effective and organic sunscreens.

I have an article here reviewing 10 essential oil that I would recommend for you to read if you’re interested in switching your sunscreen into one with less harmful chemicals for your skin.

They can also be used to fight off foot fungi and offer support to your skin.

The following article here goes in depth about this topic.

Even though they have a lot of uses, there are reasons why not all essential oils should be ingested.

According to Amy Galper, an aromatherapist and co-founder of the New York Institute of Aromatic Studies “The whole purpose of distilling the aromatic components [from plants] was because we wanted to capture their smell.

We understood the power of aroma [to affect] our mind, our spiritual life, and our physical health.”

Hence, ingestion of essential oils is not recommended.

In this article I am going to discuss 10 reasons why essential oils should not be ingested.

1. High Concentration

We consume the ingredients used to make essential oils on a daily basis, but that doesn’t mean we can consume essential oils in the same manner.

You might ask why?

Well, it is because ingredients such as lemons, oranges or strawberries do contain small amounts of toxins that are harmful to the human body.

However, it is not harmful or dangerous to eat an orange or to drink lemon juice, because the toxic component it contain is low enough to be handled by the body’s defense mechanisms, making them non-harmful.

But, if you were to consume these ‘poisons’ at a larger dose, they will become very toxic, which is the case with these oils.

The essential oil of a plant consists of one to five percent of its total composition.

Consuming the raw plant ingredient is not even comparable to taking a drop of essential oil.

Some high-quality essential oils can be fifty to seventy percent more potent compared to their herbal counterparts.

As an example, it takes around fifty lemons to make one fifteen millilitre bottle of lemon essential oil.

So lets do some quick maths.

If a fifteen millilitre botter contains 250 drops, we could say a drop would contain 1/5 lemon.

In one drop only!

Usually, no one would think of eating a 1/5 of a lemon.

Just a little squeeze over your dish, and you would be satisfied.

Now imagine drinking the whole bottle.

You would’ve consumed FIFTY lemons in one go that easy.

2. The Quality

Not all essential oils are created equally.

There are the good ones, expensive ones and the ones made from quality ingredients.

And then there are the no good ones.

Real ingredients are used to make them, but they’ve also added extra chemicals to dilute it, fake the scent, fake the color, or to make the quantity seem a lot.

Finally, there are the abominations.

The ones made using god knows what substance.

Hence, if you’re considering ever ingesting one you have to think about the quality of the essential oil that you are going to ingest.

If you aren’t sure about what’s in your bottle of EO (Essential Oil), don’t even think of ingesting it.

Throw the idea out of your head.

Some oils claim to be a hundred percent pure, but they could’ve made the plants grow with pesticides, harvested at the wrong time, or distilled using wrong techniques.

Because these oils aren’t regulated and little to no governmental regulation conducted for their production, extra measures need to be taken if you want to ingest them.

A few of the top oil companies decided to take matters into their hands and create their own safety and quality standards, to set some sort of standard.

If you want to ingest EO, please make sure it is of the highest quality of pure, unadulterated essential oil, to ensure your well-being and safety.

3. Irritate the Digestive Lining 

Another issue you have to keep in mind if you’re considering ingesting essential oils is that it could irritate your digestive lining.

A safe way of ingesting them would be inside a vegetable capsule or a gelatin capsule.

This is done to prevent irritation of the digestive lining and other organs along the digestive tract.

People actually don’t agree that the irritation of the mucosa—the coating that protects the internal digestive tract— is so bad or that it could even damage the digestive lining.

These opposing opinions drive some experts and individuals to be divisive on whether it is dangerous to the mucosa or not.

The nerve endings in the mucosa are closer to the surface compared to how they are in the skin.

The digestive lining’s reaction to the oils might be stronger and faster, which can be both a blessing if you want effective results quickly or a curse if you’ve used an oil you’re not supposed to use.

The good news in all of this is that the mucosa is inherently protective.

It regularly secretes more mucus to coat the sensitive areas, and they won’t remain damaged.

The initial sensation is going to be stronger compared to applying oils directly to the skin.

It’s because the dilution rate is faster due to the regular production of mucus, resulting in longer effects.

4. Unsafe

Some essential oils shouldn’t be ingested under any circumstance.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) created a list of essential oils that are Generally Recognized As Safe.

Even though a list exists, you still can’t trust it a hundred percent.

Moreover, the FDA doesn’t regulate EOs.

This makes choosing an oil to ingest trickier.

Tips that I could give you when choosing an EO to ingest is, search for brands that are transparent about where they grow their plants and how they process the oils.

Search for companies that avoid the use of additives.

Furthermore, not all them can be consumed.

Some are toxic and should never be swallowed.

Examples of EO that should never be ingested are: tea tree, eucalyptus, and wintergreen.

Galper adds, “Honestly, if you put a drop of anything on your skin and it would immediately make you itch, I would not eat it.”

She also suggests to avoid consuming oils like cinnamon, thyme, and oregano.

5. Severe Allergic Reaction 

Many individuals assume that a food allergy or intolerance is something you develop as a kid, and hope that it will go away as you get older.

However, reality says otherwise.

Because as adults, we can develop food allergies as well.

It is disheartening, but it is common-more than you would think.

A trigger to an allergic reaction could be eating too much of a said food.

Hence, this is why an adult can suddenly develop an allergic reaction to strawberries, when they have spent their whole life eating strawberries with no problem.

Earlier, I have mentioned how these oils are essentially concentrated versions of the ingredient it is made of.

So drinking fifteen milliliters of lemon essential oil can trigger an agent in your body and cause an allergic reaction.

The severity of the allergic reaction can’t be guessed, because every person would react to certain foods and ingredients differently.

I would say this is a risk not worth taking, because you could very much put your life in danger if you decide to drink essential oils straight out of the bottle.

6. Teeth Worn Away

Teeth have a thin outer covering layer called enamel.

This layer is a tough shell and it’s the hardest tissue in the entirety of the human body.

Enamel covers the crown.

The crown is the section of the tooth that’s visible, it’s outside of the gums.

Why are enamels so important?

The answer is that they help you protect your teeth from daily uses and tasks such as chewing, grinding, crunching, and biting.

They also act as insulators and protect your teeth from extreme temperatures and dangerous or harmful chemicals.

Even though the enamel layer is a hard protector of teeth, it can crack and break down.

When the enamel layer breaks down, it’s called erosion.

This happens when acids wear away the enamel covering of the teeth.

There are multiple factors that contribute to enamel erosion, but today I want to highlight two to you that are relevant to the topic of this article.

First , is the excessive consumption of soft drinks that are known to have high levels of phosphoric and citric acids.

Second, is the excessive consumption of fruit drinks, because some acids in fruit drinks are literally more erosive than battery acid.

In both reasons, excessive consumption and acids are the culprits.

This takes me back to essential oils.

They are basically a high concentration of the ingredient used to make it.

Ingesting a fifteen milliliter lemon essential oil is like eating fifty lemons.

That is excessive consumption of the said fruit that is also acidic, and it will break down the enamel layer of your teeth.

This will make your teeth sensitive to changes in the temperature of the food you take, etc.

7. Seizures

Patients with epilepsy can take complementary therapies such as homeopathy, aromatherapy, herbal remedies, acupuncture, and massage to help them promote their well-being and underlying health.

Essentially, some of the complementary therapies can help improve epilepsy indirectly because they make you feel much better.

However, you have to keep in mind that some complementary therapies can trigger seizures.

Hence, it is important to know as much as possible about epilepsy, if you have this condition.

To ensure the treatments are suitable for you and your medical condition, it’s best to always ask a qualified doctor and tell him about your epilepsy, your seizures, any other conditions you have and any medication that you’re considering to take.

To individuals with epilepsy, EO could trigger seizures, explaining why they aren’t usually recommended to be used by people with epilepsy.

Moreover there are certain oils to avoid at all cost and these include: Rosemary, eucalyptus, hyssop, fennel, wormwood, sage, camphor and spike lavender.

The same can be said to women who are pregnant.

If consuming essential oils through aromatherapy alone may be seizure inducing, then ingesting it increases the risks even more.

8. They Can’t Be Diluted

From the name alone, we can reach the conclusion that essential oils are oils.

Being oils mean they react like every other oil and they can’t be diluted in water.

A great misconception among essential oils enthusiast is that if you pour a few drops into a glass of water, you can then dilute the oil.

We know that that is erroneous.

Even if you attempt to “dilute” it in water, a few drops alone of lemon essential oils could mean you ate an entire lemon.

Drinking these drops with a cup of water or without water have the same effect, and it is a negative effect on your health.

You are better off making yourself lemon water with a few drops of honey and ginger.

9. Ingesting Isn’t The Best Method

As we know, essential oils can be very versatile, however, that doesn’t mean that ingesting them is the best method to use EO.

There are multiple means you can go about using these oils and ingesting it isn’t the best.

Hence the question should be instead, should essential oils even be taken internally?

There is only one scenario where they can be used internally, however it isn’t orally but it’s anally.

In the right application and only for specific situations, consuming these oils through anal suppositories is far more effective than oral ingestion to deliver it into the body.

Suppositories allow the oil to skip the breakdown processes of the liver and allow it to reach the body directly.

There was a widely-cited study that showed that grapefruit oil supported weight loss.

This led MLM representatives to recommend to consumers to take grapefruit oil in glasses of water.

In the end, this was only a marketing scheme that focused on selling a product, rather than actually helping people lose weight.

Because if you go back to the research paper at the beginning of this article, you will realize that the original study said that smelling the oil and not ingesting it promotes weight loss.

10. It Is Risky

There are a lot of opinions online.

And there are also a lot of factors to consider if you want to ingest these oils.

And there isn’t enough research papers about the topic.

Anything can go wrong, making it a tedious task, especially when many herbalists suggest you to visit a specialist first and ask for their opinion.

But they never mention what kind of specialist you can go to?

And assuming you found a specialist, then you need to find a company that is truthful about the labels they put on their product.

You would need to find a product that doesn’t use additives that could be dangerous, or a product that doesn’t add other ingredients that you can’t or don’t want to consume.

Ingesting anything in high concentrations is dangerous and risky, because it can effect the human body in unpredictable ways.

Ingesting something so concentrated can trigger an agent in your body and cause you to have a problem that you wouldn’t had had otherwise.

Which is why it is a risky ordeal.

It is like playing Russian roulette.

Final Thoughts

Personally I wouldn’t recommend ingesting these oils under any circumstances.

In case after reading all of the reasons mentioned and you still want to ingest essential oils, I would recommend you to at least consume it in capsule form, vegetable or gelatin capsules.

This way you will at least protect your digestive tract and tooth.

I hope this post was useful to you, and I will see you in the next one.

Till then, stay healthy.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this response to the question, “Can you ingest essential oils?”

If you see something that’s not on this list of the reasons why you shouldn’t, feel free to let us know in the comments below.

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