Ingesting essential oils...advanced use being promoted by and for novice users
One only has to browse Pinterest to see suggestions for dropping essential oils into water. Some promote this practice as simply a convenient way to flavor water, and many more assign health benefits to swallowing essential oils regularly by drinking them throughout the day.
This is an unsafe practice, and can cause harm.
First, essential oils are hydrophobic, meaning they are not water soluble. Dropping them into water will show you they float on the surface. Check out my previous post with video, photo, and further explanation. If you drink this water, the essential oils will pass down your throat full strength.
Essential oils contain chemical constituents that are organic solvents, and are mucus membrane irritants. One such chemical is limonene, which is found in citrus essential oils, and drain cleaners.
My friend Amy Kreydin writes further about the dangers of swallowing essential oils regularly, including liver damage, vocal cord damage, and intestinal damage. She also reminds everyone that the use of essential oils in the flavoring industry is " 1 drop of essential oil in 13+ gallons of pasta sauce or cola concentrate would be 1 part per million (PPM). That same 1 drop in an 8 ounce glass of water is roughly 211 times more concentrated than the drop that went into the pasta sauce or cola drink. "
More about GRAS status here.
Another suggestion on Pinterest and by the big 2 MLM essential oil sales companies is that the French ingest, so why shouldn't we?
The fact is, in France, they practice aromatic medicine. Amy and I were educated by the same teacher in aromatic medicine, Mark Webb, and she does an excellent job explaining what safe internal use under the guidance of an aromatic medicine practitioner looks like in her post Aromatic Medicine: Internal dosing of essential oils.
So, stick to inhalation and diluted topical use of essential oils and other aromatic extracts. It's safer, and inhalation is much more effective in most cases.