I was chatting with a new oil user and discussing with her the three applications for using therapeutic grade essential oils:
- Applying to the skin (with or without a carrier oil)
She was astonished to learn that the essential oils were safe for consumption because her lemon bottle, which she purchased from another company, had a label that read “not safe for human consumption”. On the other hand, my bottle of lemon had directions for safely ingesting it. This question of if oils are safe to ingest is a common one in my office and the answer is based on quality.
It made me think of a recent presentation I watched that highlighted the quality of therapeutic oils. This (56 minute) video also discussed how these oils protect us in a chemical world. However, the oils must be pure and of highest quality to ensure that these wellness benefits are achieved.
Although some companies may be able to maintain organic certification or even standardization, they may not do this in an ethical way. In fact, through my years of studying various aromatherapy reference books, I have learned how manufacturers may spike their oils with synthetic compounds in order to pass gas chromatography measurements of active constituents. This is usually done in order to cut production costs yet still achieve “therapeutic grade” standardization status.
Just as I spent time researching which supplement companies I trust to give my clients, I also dedicated a great deal of time in my researching and studying of quality of essential oils.
I have also seen the visited an essential oil farm and to witness if the company takes the extra steps to make sure their oils contain all the active constituents that make their plants therapeutic. Furthermore, they must uphold the quality standards art and science of the distillation process and have independent testing and verification for each oil. This ensures that this process of seed to seal is impeccable and done with integrity.
Some oils have been GRAS certified by the FDA since the start of the company. This means the oils are “generally regarded as safe” for consumption as a food additive. * However, recently, this verification has gotten a lot of bad press. According to the Washington Post,
The explosion of new food additives coupled with an easing of oversight requirements is allowing manufacturers to avoid the scrutiny of the Food and Drug Administration, which is responsible for ensuring the safety of chemicals streaming into the food supply. And in hundreds of cases, the FDA doesn’t even know of the existence of new additives, which can include chemical preservatives, flavorings and thickening agents, records and interviews show. “We simply do not have the information to vouch for the safety of many of these chemicals,” said Michael Taylor, the FDA’s deputy commissioner for food.
This is why I go to great lengths to review quality measures of any company I use in my clinic. It’s imperative to not only know that your product is certified but also to know the integrity of the company producing it!!
*(Note: some essential oils and blends may contain absolutes which are still therapeutic but must be extracted with solvents for their chemical properties to be released. These cannot be ingested.)
Is it Blueberries or Pesticides?
Studies are now demonstrating that people may be more sensitive to foods than in the past because of the pesticides and antibiotics in them. However, essential oils that are of therapeutic grade not only clean off pesticides and keep our bellies happy and protected, but they are even used in the food industry as safe preservatives with added health benefits. Therefore, they can fight off food poisoning without resistance and be swallowed to modulate your immune system at the same time!
4 Easy & Safe Ways I Take Essential Oils Internally
1. I place a single drop of lemon in 8-12 oz of water to cleanse my liver, reduce contaminants, and make to make me more cheerful (lemon helps boost the mood)
2. 5 drops of an immune blend in a veggie capsule is my go to prevent a sore throat from becoming a nuisance
3. A drop of peppermint placed on the roof of my mouth prevents a throbbing head from too much researching on the computer and enhances my exercise performance
4. One drop of a combination of a clove, lemon, and cinnamon on my toothbrush at night keeps my gums healthy (no dental fees in seven years!)
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Disclaimer: This information is applicable ONLY for therapeutic, Grade A essential oils. This information DOES NOT apply to essential oils that have not been AFNOR and ISO standardized. There is no quality control in the United States and oils labeled as “100% pure” need only contain 5% of the actual oil. The rest of the bottle can be filled with fillers and sometimes toxic ingredients that can irritate the skin. These studies are not specific for any company, please check the original article for the source
This information is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or prescribe for any illness.
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