The Whole Truth About Taking Essential Oils Internally. Are you in danger?
Haven’t you heard from many that essential oils could be harmful when taken internally? Licensed Aromatherapist and Doctor’s licensed in Aromatherapy will always tell you “IT IS UNSAFE TO INGEST ESSENTIAL OILS!” This is because aromatherapy uses different oils and not pure therapeutic Grade Essential Oils.
However, studies suggest just the opposite. Essential oils are the most potent medicinal compounds available in the natural health world. There’s a reason why they are equated with prescription drugs in their efficiency to combat viruses and bacteria. Essential Oils come from plants. Unfortunately, FDA allows Essential Oil manufacturer to add 5% synthetic additives into each bottle. This is perfectly fine. But, that also means, that the Essential Oils marked 100% Pure, 100% Organic is not really Pure!
Which is why many will have warnings on their bottles. If the Essential Oils is cold pressed and distilled from plants, it should be safe to ingest! The reason you can’t ingest many essential oils because there are some that have been adulterated with other ingredients possibly synthetic, man made, scientifically engineered entities that can be used as additives for the production of food and supplement products.
Did you know that we all take a certain amount of essential oils internally each day through our food and drinks? Essential oils and numerous components derived from them are widely use in many foods and beverages for flavoring and food preservation.
Essential oils from herbs and spices (oregano, sage, rosemary, thyme, etc.) have been used with an amount ranging from 0.1 to 1% EO volume per food weight (v/w) to reduce lipid oxidation of foodstuffs. It has been shown that the use of these EOs contributes also to the development of a pleasant odor and favorable taste to consumers. (Chemat, et. al.)
In a US study, pediatric Doctors used enteric-coated capsules containing diluted peppermint oil to treat IBS. 50 children participated in a randomized, double-blind, controlled 2-week study. The peppermint group showed a greater reduction in symptoms compared to the placebo group and no side effects were reported.
In an Iranian medical study, doctors explored the oral use of peppermint and spearmint for chemo-induced nausea. In this four-arm study (peppermint, spearmint, control, and placebo) there were 50 patients in each group. The essential oil groups received capsules containing either two drops of spearmint or peppermint, oil, and filled with sugar, every four hours. The capsules were given to the patients, 30 minutes before their chemotherapy treatment and then 4 and 8 hours later. For both the peppermint and the spearmint groups, there was a significant reduction in nausea while the control and placebo groups showed no difference.
A French doctor named Dr. Paul Belaiche, Professor of Phytotherapy at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Paris Nord, published a number of trials using tea-tree oil in 1985. Belaiche conducted a randomized, double-blind study to examine how effective Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea tree essential oil) was for 26 patients with chronic cystitis. The experimental group was given tea tree essential oil diluted in an enteric-coated gelatin capsule, while the control group was given a placebo that contained the odor of tea tree. After 6 months of study, 60% of the experimental group were completely cured while no one in the control group showed any improvement. No side effects were noticed and liver function tests were normal.
So, what does FDA have to say about the ingestion taking Essential Oils as Dietary Supplements? Here is what is says on the FDA’s website:
Manufacturers and distributors do not need FDA approval to sell their dietary supplements.  Any claims made for dietary supplements are subject to some comprehensive FDA guidelines, although those guidelines are somewhat minute. By law (DSHEA), the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that its dietary supplement products are safe before they are marketed. Unlike drug products that must be proven safe and effective for their intended use before marketing, there are no provisions in the law for FDA to “approve” dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they reach the consumer. Under DSHEA, once the product is marketed, FDA has the responsibility for showing that a dietary supplement is “unsafe,” before it can take action to restrict the product’s use or removal from the marketplace. However, manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements must record, investigate and forward to FDA any reports they receive of serious adverse events associated with the use of their products that are reported to them directly.
For instance, the German Commission E has approved specific essential oils for internal use.These include the following: Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare Miller var. vulgare (Miller) is approved by the German Commission E for Peptic discomforts, such as mild, spastic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract, feeling of fullness, flatulence. Catarrhs of the upper respiratory tract. Its core actions include: Stimulation of gastrointestinal motility. In higher concentrations, antispasmodic. Experimentally, anethole and fenchone have shown a secretolytic action on the respiratory tract.
Fennel honey is recommended for catarrhs of the upper respiratory tract in children. Fennel honey is made by adding 0.5 grams of fennel essential oil to a kilogram of honey. Daily dosage is 10-20 grams a day.