The sweet scent of rose, the calming aroma of lavender, and the lively, festive scent of peppermint. All of these scents are incredibly different but each are essential oils, a natural oil typically obtained by distillation and having the characteristic fragrance of the plant or other source from which it has been obtained.
Essential oils have numerous uses and health benefits. They’re popular for their use in aromatherapy, a type of therapy involving the use of these aromatic oils in massages or baths.
However, essential oils have appeal that goes beyond the nose: consumption. These essential oils can be ingested and consumed in both liquids and foods. Proponents of the practice tout a number of everyday uses for the natural oils, but be sure to follow proper precautionary measures before consuming them.
How to ingest essential oils
With a few notable exceptions, such as peppermint which can be added to plain water, always dilute your essential oils prior to ingestion. According to Clinical Aromatherapy – Essential Oils in Healthcare (Jane Buckle, PhD, RN, 2015), mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil with one tsp. of honey and warm water. You can safely follow this recipe using your Glasstic water bottle to take your health drink with you on the go.
If you love the smell of a lavender-scented bubble bath but are hesitant at the thought of drinking such a potent oil, don’t be. When used safely, the health benefits of consumption and ingestion has proven immense.
In an Iranian medical study, doctors explored the benefits of peppermint and spearmint for chemotherapy patients with nausea. The patients in this study received capsules containing drops of peppermint or spearmint oil mixed with sugar every four hours, 30 minutes before their chemotherapy sessions. These patients experienced a reduction in their symptoms while the control group in the study still suffered from their nausea.
While there is still much more research to be done on the topic, with safe practice and knowledge, you can enjoy the health benefits of ingesting essential oils. Look out for our next post on essential oils, where we’ll be sharing more in-depth research of the practice of ingestion and touching on some commonly asked essential oil questions.