Can we cook with essential oils?
Yes you can definitely cook with essential oils. Ancient civilizations and other countries have been cooking with essentials since the history of the world. Modern civilization seem to have lost these traditions for aroma, flavors and nutritional benefits due to processed foods, synthetic substitutes and convenient foods. Prepackaged foods, frozen and microwavable meals and long-lasting processed foods are made with preservatives, chemicals and cheap fillers. Therefore, the modern society seems to think that cooking with essential oils is a new thing or isn't safe.
Reality is essential oils are used in many common products such as soda, toothpaste, desserts and more. It takes such a small amount of essential oils in foods because they are pure and concentrated. You get lots more flavor and nutritional benefits from oils than you do with fresh or dried herbs, plants and spices.
Are essential oils safe for ingesting; are they toxic?
Most therapeutic essential oils are ingestible and edible. They are from plants. With the small amount of essential oils needing in cooking, there isn't much risk in toxicity and they are harmless. However, it's important to be aware of the potential toxicity of some EO. When eating, or ingesting, these compounds, they go into the blood stream and then to the organs. It's proven that essential oils are absorbed directly into the blood stream then through the blood-brain barrier. Then they attach to the different receptors in the central nervous system and deliver their beneficial effects and results. After being metabolized, they must be cleared out of the body through the kidneys or breathed out as carbon dioxide through the lungs. Because the metabolizing of these plant compounds is very quick so there is very little risk.
Large doses of certain essential oils can be toxic. But when cooking or ingesting, you need such a small amount to get the flavors and nutritional benefits. Even if you use too much, the risk of toxicity is still very low because the flavor would be so strong and terrible, that you wouldn't even want to eat it! So only use a drop or two when cooking. In fact, some of the stronger and hot oils such as cinnamon, peppermint and clove, you only need such a tiny amount that using a toothpick dipped in these oils is plenty for use in cooking.
What might happen if I ingest too much essential oils?
Some EO may burn the mucous membrans of the throat, esophagus and oral cavity. Too much may aggravate the digestive tract, which leads to reflux. They may make medications useless or cause complications such as seizures. Some may cause diarrhea, vomiting and or nausea. They may increase liver enzymes and may also interfere with anesthesia.
What are possible long-term problems of ingesting essential oils? Kidney and liver problems can arise when using long term. Fatty liver disease, liver failure, liver cancer and enlargemnt of the liver are all risk factors.
Which essential oils can be used in cooking? Use 100% pure therapeutic-grade oils for ingesting. The FDA has “Generally Recognized as Safe” list that you can refer to. The recommended amounts for ingesting is a range of 1 to 3 drops, 1 to 3 times per day. But keep in mind, even some of the oils listed on the GRAS list, you should be careful with. One example is wintergreen oil. Although this is often added to foods, we do not recommend oral ingestion of wintergreen. Be sure to get the advice of a qualified professional health practitioner when ingesting oils.
What are some of the oils listed on the GRAS that are okay to ingest?
The common names for some of the essential oils that the FDA has on their GRAS list include: alfafa, allspice, almond (bitter; and no prussic acid), ambrette seed, angelica root (not for diabetics), angelica seed, angelica stem, anise, balm (lemon balm), basil, bay leaves, bergamot, bitter almond (free from prussic acid), cacao, chamomile (flowers), caraway, cardamon, carrot, cassia bark, celery seed, cherry (wild, bark), chicory, cinnamon bark, cinnamon leaf, citronella, citrus peels, clover, coffee, cola nut, coriander, cumin, Curacao orange peel (orange, bitter peel), dandelion, elder flowers, fennel (sweet), geranium, ginger, grapefruit, guava, hickory bark, horehound, hops, horsemint, hyssop, jasmine, juniper (berries), kola nut, laurel berries, laurel leaves, lavender, lavandin, lemon, lemon balm, lemon grass, lemon peel, lime, linden flowers, locust bean, lupulin, mace, mandarin, marjoram (sweet), menthol, molasses (extract), mustard, naringin, neroli (bigarade), nutmeg, onion, orange (bitter, flowers), orange (bitter, peels), orange leave, orange (sweet), orange (sweet, flowers), orange (sweet, peel), palmarosa, paprika, parsley, pepper (black), pepper (white), peppermint, petitgrain, petitgrain lemon, petitgrain mandarin or tangerine, pimenta, pimenta leaf, pomegranate, prickly ash bark, rose absolute, rose (ott of roses, attar of roses), rose buds, rose flowers, rose fruit (hips), rose geranium), rose leaves, rosemary, saffron, sage, sage (Greek), sage (Spanish), St. John's bread, savory (summer) savory (winter), spearmint, spike lavender, tamarind, tangerine, tarragon, tea, thyme, thyme (white), thyme (wild or creeping), tuberose, turmeric, vanilla, violet flowers, violet leaves, violet leaves absolute, wild cherry bark and ylang ylang.
Key Lime Whipped Coconut Oil Body Butter Recipe
(Makes About 1 Cup of Whipped Coconut Oil)
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 tablespoon olive oil (or try castor oil or macadamia nut oil)
2 tablespoons aloe vera gel
20 drops lime essential oil (where to buy essential oils online)
20 drops lemon essential oil (where to buy essential oils online)
Learn where I shop for high quality therapeutic essential oils online.
1. Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl. Note: Do not melt the coconut oil first. It will only whip up if it’s solid.
2. Mix with an electric mixer on high speed with a wire whisk attachment for 3-7 minutes or until whipped into a light, airy consistency. (After 3 minutes, check back every minute or so until it reaches the right consistency.)
3. Spoon the whipped coconut oil body butter into a glass jar and cover tightly. Store at room temperature, or in the refrigerator if your house is so warm it melts the oil.
Tip: An electric hand mixer will work, but my KitchenAid stand mixer did the job quickly and easily with little effort on my part (love it!). A blender or food processor will not work with this coconut oil recipe, because they tend to warm the oil too much and prevent it from whipping up. If your coconut oil is too soft to whip, try putting the bowl in the freezer for a few minutes before mixing.
Coconut Oil Salt Scrub Recipe Coconut Oil Salt Scrub
2 Cups Coconut Oil
1 Cup Epsom Salts
8 Drops Essential Oils
Mix coconut oil, epsom salts and essential oils together. Store in an air tight container until ready to use.Use as a body scrub, hand scrub or foot scrub. Make sure to be careful if you use this in the shower. The coconut oil may leave your tub a little slippery.