Is it safe to eat essential oils?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question “Is it safe to eat essential oils?”. As well, we will discuss what are essential oils, what are essential oils as cosmetics, what are essential oils as drugs, how are the essential oils used, and other concerns about essential oils.  

Is it safe to eat essential oils?

No, it is not safe to eat essential oils as they can be toxic for humans when they are eaten. So it’s not recommended to eat essential oils. Don’t confuse essential oils with culinary oils.  

What are essential oils?

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), essential oils or also known as aromatherapy products are regulated as cosmetics or drugs, depending on the intent of use. In general, essential oils are oils extracted from plants that cause physical and mental well-being.

What are essential oils as cosmetics?

FDA considers essential oils as cosmetics when the intent of their use is to do a massage with the aim of lubricating the skin, but can also be both when the massage is to lubricate the skin and relax the muscles, in that situation, the essential oils can be a cosmetic and a drug.  

What are essential oils as drugs?

FDA considers essential oils as drugs when the intent of their use is to prevent or treat a disease, but also if they act in the function or the structure of the body, like the example of doing a massage with essential oils with the aim of relaxing the muscles. 

How are essential oils used?

In general, essential oils are used to promote mental and physical well-being. Their use can be directly in the body, by inhalation, or in the water. 

What are the common fragrances of essential oils?

Essential oils have a variety of fragrances, as they are extracted from plants, and some of them help with certain health aspects. Below is a list with some examples, by the Department of Health from WA.

  • Clove oil. Aromatherapy recommends for toothaches;
  • Peppermint oil. Aromatherapy recommends for digestive disarrangement;
  • Eucalyptus oil. Aromatherapy recommends for nasal decongestants;
  • Lavender oil. Aromatherapy recommends to assist with anxiety, sleep better, and agitation;
  • Tea Tree oil. Aromatherapy is recommended as antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral.

Why can essential oils be toxic for humans?

As essential oils are a substance that contains the concentrated levels of a plant and other ingredients to make them, all of these can be very toxic to humans, which also includes the “natural” essential oils.  

Can children eat essential oils?

No, it is not recommended that any human eat essential oils. It’s suggested that keep the essential oils away from children and stored in a secure place, that children don’t have access to.  

Can I feel sick if I eat essential oils?

If you orally ingest essential oils, you may feel sick fast, as they are fastly absorbed. In general, the symptoms can begin 30 minutes or earlier after the ingestion, but also can take more than hours, and can change from person to person, but in general, children are more sensitive.   

What symptoms can I note if I eat essential oils?

According to the Department of Health from WA, the level of toxicity relies on the quantity and the type of essential oils. Below are listed some symptoms of orally ingesting essential oils. 

  • Convulsion;
  • Nause;
  • Diarrhea;
  • Vomiting;
  • Laziness;
  • Slow or difficulty breathing;
  • Coma.

What should I do after orally ingesting essential oils?

It’s recommended to wash the mouth to remove any remnants of essential oils and don’t instigate vomiting, as also don’t drink oral fluids. It’s suggested to call the Poisons information Center and go to the hospital.  

What is the difference between essential oils and culinary oils?

As the essential oils are considered cosmetics, drugs, or both, the culinary oils are considered edible oils that do not cause toxic problems when consumed.  

Where can I buy essential oils?

Usually, you can find many types of essential oils in supermarkets, drug stores, and cosmetic stores, but you also can find many of them on the internet. If you click here, you will find a variety of essential oils.  

Can I make essential oils by myself?

Yes, you can make your essential oils at home and it’s easy. You need to buy the right ingredients, such as distilled water, fresh plants, and other ingredients. To know more step by step, click here to check the full recipe for essential oils, this link also contains a recipe video.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have discussed the question “Is it safe to eat essential oils?”. As well, we have discussed what are essential oils, what are essential oils as cosmetics, what are essential oils as drugs, how are essential oils used, and other concerns about essential oils.   

References

https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Essential-oils Accessed: 05/02/2022

https://www.fda.gov/cosmetics/cosmetic-ingredients/fragrances-cosmetics Accessed: 05/02/2022

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.