Essential oils have been linked to improving quality of life and as an alternative medicine that is natural, safe and free from adverse side effects. Essential oils can cure ailments like headache, treat skin conditions, and even be an effective remedy for those who can’t fall asleep. While some of us use essential oils to scent up the atmosphere, there are also some who own essential oils for practical uses such as masking odours or repelling insects. Whatever the reason, the essential oils we use today come with a multitude of uses, not just used for scenting up homes.
But how much do we actually know about essential oils? Today, we explore one common misconception that many people have about essential oil:
Are essential oils safe for consumption?
Knowing that essential oils are extracted from natural plant sources, one may think that essential oils are safe to be ingested.
The internal use of essential oils is not safe. Pure essential oils are not meant for ingestion because they are potent and the toxic will damage the internal organs. If essential oils are consumed, the essential oils may end up being partially lodged in our major organs such as kidneys, liver, or other organs in the digestive system.
The digestive system is the most vulnerable and significant factors governing our health, even a small amount is enough to harm an adult body. Take Peppermint essential oil for example, 1 drop of peppermint essential oil is equivalent to 28 cups of peppermint tea. This over consumption is harmful for the human body. Even if essential oil is added into water to drink, it is still not considered safe because oil cannot dissolve in water, therefore, it is still the same as drinking undiluted essential oils.
The Dangers of Consuming Essential Oils
There are some companies out there who market their essential oils as “safe for consumption”, however this is not true because essential oils were never meant to be used as dietary supplements. In fact, there had been a case where a 40-year-old female suffered a near fatal case of poisoning due to peppermint ingestion. In a separate case, a 58-year-old chemist had developed intense delusions after consuming 4 to 5 drops of essential oils in an attempt to self-medicate from ascariasis. Consequences of essential oil poisoning may include gastro esophageal reflux, heartburns and vomiting while high doses can cause more serious permanent damage to the body such as kidney failure and even death.
Essential oil poisoning cannot be seen immediately. It can take anywhere from few weeks to many years to finally see the effects of what essential oils can do to your body, and by then, the damage has been done and treatment can only help to reverse a small fraction of the symptoms. It is crucial to educate those around us on the dangers of consuming essential oils.
Most importantly, it is never right to make untrue claims of essential oils, nor endorse consuming essential oils for health purposes. Always do your research on the other dangers of essential oils so you can keep yourself and your loved ones protected.