Thanks for tuning in to Twelve Minute Health Bits. This is your host, Christen Hull, providing health and wellness support for the 21st century. We will be talking about using simple methods from today and centuries ago to keep our bodies healthy. Our goal is to daily stay “Above the Wellness Line.” In this podcast I will be giving you tips and tricks on how to daily make small changes to your life in order to keep your body well.
Episode 05 - Ingesting Plant Juice, Is it Safe?
Today we are going to talk about a highly debated topic. Is it safe to ingest essential oils? I have heard so many conflicting opinions on this topic, and a quick google search will have you so confused you will probably throw all of this healthy living stuff right out the door in frustration! Please, I urge you my friend, do not google to find out if something is safe. Use credible sources to find your information; read, learn, and then make your own educated decisions. The information in this episode is simply my opinion based on loads of research and personal experience. I do encourage you to remember that your body is different from mine, so you will need to do what works best for you. Sometimes, the hardest part about healing our bodies naturally is that there is truly no prescriptive method that works for everyone. You do need to try a few things and see what will work best for you.
Before we completely dive into today’s topic, I would love it if you grabbed your rosemary essential oil (if you do not have rosemary, no problem, use peppermint). Put a couple drops on the palm of your hand, rub your hands together, and cup your hands over your mouth (be careful not to get any in your eyes) and breathe deeply. Rosemary helps to wake you up, gets you focused, and helps you concentrate. After a couple, long, slow breaths, I like to rub the remaining oil on my upper back and in my hair.
Today we are going to talk about something widely controversial. So please, keep an open mind while we discuss this topic. Again, use this as a starting place for you to do your own research and formulate your own opinions based on the research you find.
Aromatic, Topical, Ingest
There are three main ways to get essential oils into your system. You can inhale them (aromatic), apply them onto your skin (topically), and use them in your cooking or water (ingest). The English typically use oils topically, the French cook with them often, and the Germans mainly diffuse or inhale. I support using all three of these methods depending on the result you wish to accomplish. Some tests have demonstrated oils reach the heart, liver, and thyroid within just three seconds after being inhaled. If you are applying them topically, you can expect them to reach your bloodstream in a mere 26 seconds. Essential oils will typically leave a healthy body within three to six hours (Harnisch, 2019, p. 358).
There are several studies that list all essential oils as harmful to ingest. In my own personal research, I have found these studies have been conducted using impure essential oils, or using large quantities of oil that it would be irresponsible to use them in such high doses. Let’s talk first about purity. I will dive further into this topic in another episode, but for now it is so important that you know the source of your essential oils. If you run into the grocery store to grab an oil, please know that you are not getting the same oil as when you buy straight from a company that has quality standards, and who go above and beyond to ensure purity in their product. Many companies will dilute or distill their oils with chemical solvents, or cheap fillers, to make it less expensive, and then you really have no idea what you are actually ingesting. For this reason alone, some researchers and naturopathic doctors have just stated, “Do not ingest essential oils.” This is simply because they do not want people to get hurt or sick from lesser quality oils. This, I completely understand and agree with. For me, I purchase high quality, organic food for my family. I really do not want to be ingesting essential oils that may contain the very chemicals I am paying extra to not have present on my food. Why go to the trouble of using an essential oil if you are simply using something just as toxic as the product you are replacing.
Ways to Ingest Oils
Let’s also look at the amount of essential oil ingested. In most cases, you are going to be putting a couple of drops in your glass of water, 4-6 drops in a vegetable capsule to take as a supplement with food, or 1-2 drops of fatty oil on your tongue to swallow. For cooking, you might add 4 drops of cilantro and lime essential oil to your guacamole, or 5 drops of cinnamon bark to your banana bread recipe. This is a moderate amount of essential oil used. Some of the studies that point to ingesting essential oils being dangerous were talking about insane amounts of oil ingested. Let’s look at Lindsey Elmore’s (2019) book, Essentials. She gives two examples of children injured from ingesting essential oils. She goes on to report that the children ingested 5-20ml of essential oil (Elmore, 2019, p. 20). Young Living’s bottles of essential oils are either 5ml or 15ml. This means these children ingested an entire bottle of oil in one sitting. That is just irresponsible.
There are some concerns about essential oils harming our body’s pH levels. What does pH stand for? The P is for potential and H is for hydrogen. Our body should be at a healthy pH level of 7 which is neutral, like water. Basically, it is a “Scale to measure the basicity or acidity of substances based on the amount of hydrogen ion activity in the substance” (Iftikhar, n.d.).
It is important to try to keep the body at a healthy pPH level 7, which is neutral, just like water. Diseases can set in if the body is too acidic or too alkaline. Essential oils are thought by some, to be acidic, especially citrus essential oils; however, the opposite is actually true. Lindsey Elmore (2019) addresses this in Essentials when she cites a private study where researchers took a glass of water measuring 7.4 on the pH scale and put 15 drops each of orange, lime, and tangerine essential oils into the water. They measured the pH after putting in the oils and the pH did not change. They again added 1o more drops of orange essential oil and the pH still did not change. When the researchers placed an equal amount of orange, lime, lemon, and tangerine juice into the water, the pH shifted into an acidic state. This study showed that the pH of water is affected by citrus juices, but not by citrus essential oils. This type of study can easily be conducted in your home by purchasing pH strips on Amazon for less than 10 dollars and testing different liquids. I would also suggest testing the pH of your mouth first thing in the morning (before you put any other substance in your body) by just putting a small amount of test strip under your tongue for 10 seconds and then comparing it with the pH chart included with the strips.
Critics to Ingesting
Let’s look at some contradictions that may come up in conversation, now that we understand oil quality and amount are important when considering adding ingesting essential oils into your wellness routine. Some critics say ingesting essential oils has a negative effect on your teeth. Some may say citrus essential oils can damage your teeth because of the citric acid concentrations. Since we already determined that citrus essential oils do not change the pH of a glass of water, this claim is simply not valid. Citrus juice does affect the enamel on teeth because it is acidic; however, essential oils do not. In fact, sugar was found to be more harmful on teeth in regards to decay than any essential oil (Elmore, 2019, p. 20).
Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt holds a PhD in chemistry and is the founder and scientific director of the Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy in San Francisco. In his book, The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils (2011) he states,
Common sense helps resolve the issue. While there are essential oils that are toxic when ingested, the question immediately arises: should, for example, authentic Lemon oil not be ingested just because adulterated essential oils may contain harmful chemicals, or because some ketone-containing essential oils may be toxic? In other words, limiting the discussion to a general "ingestion yes" or an "ingestion no" misses the point.
The questions that need to be answered are which essential oils can be ingested and what is the benefit?
Compared to the hundreds of thousands of deaths caused by the wrongful application of conventional medicines and the hundreds of thousands more deaths caused by known side effects of conventional drugs, the journeys to explore essential oils are innocent and utterly harmless. (p. 132)
Robert Tisserand is another world leader in essential oils. His book, Essential Oil Safety with Rodney Young (2013) actually gives safe, oral doses for many essential oils.
Young Living has a line of essential oils that are specifically for cooking with and ingesting, they are called vitality essential oils. Young Living is the only company that I know of that distinguishes between oils you can ingest and oils you use topically or aromatically. The vitality labeled essential oils are the same high quality as the non-vitality labeled oils, the bottle label is just different.
Essential Oils and Gut Bacteria
Let’s look at something even more important! How do essential oils affect gut bacteria when ingested? There are multiple studies that show that ingesting pure, quality essential oils can actually improve the microbiome of our guts when practiced in moderate and safe amounts. Visit my website to find a list of these studies for your own research.
Essential Oils and Food
Let’s take a quick look at some food that we have been ingesting for years. Have you ever had a hot dog? If so, chances are you have been ingesting paprika oil or nutmeg oil any time you have eaten one (Breyer, 2018).
How about Brach’s Lemon Drops candy? They contain lemon oil (“Brach's Lemon Drops Candy,” 2020). Those lovely thin mints that the Girl Scouts sell every year contain chocolate, honey, and peppermint oil (“What’s in our beloved Girl Scout cookies?,” 2019).
In my opinion, one of the best uses of essential oils in food is rosemary essential oil as a preservative.
In a 2006 study, essential oils of rosemary and sage performed better at preventing oxidative decay and preventing loss of polyunsaturated fatty acids in meat than a combination of BHA and BHT. This means rosemary essential oil and sage essential oil may be one of the best natural food preservers yet discovered, and instead of having detrimental side effects, these natural oils offers protective health benefits! (Adams, 2012; Kage, 2006; “Rosemary essential oil,” n.d.)
I actually LOVE rosemary popcorn. We make popcorn on the stove, , melt ¼ cup of butter, turn the burner off, and add 2-3 drops of rosemary vitality essential oil to the butter. We mix this up, and drizzle it on popcorn, and sprinkle pink himalyan salt. You have the health benefits of the rosemary, without the sticks from using the actual herb, and it sure is tasty!
Ok, you probably get the idea. Ingesting essential oils is safe and can be incredibly beneficial and tasty when you use quality essential oils and do not down an entire bottle in one sitting. Seriously, this is why it is important to keep the clear dropper top on the bottle when you have kids around.
If you decide to try adding internal use of essential oils to your daily regimen, I suggest you start slowly. Try adding a couple of drops of lemon vitality essential oil to your morning glass of water to help support your liver health. You can also try 1 drop of peppermint vitality in a mug with warm water. Make sure to stir it first so the oil does not sit on top of the water. This can help support digestion and ease an upset tummy.
Before I wrap up this episode, let’s grab our rosemary essential oil again. Put a couple more drops on your hands, rub your hands together, and breathe it in. If you are feeling brave, grab your peppermint vitality oil (now remember vitality and non-vitality labeled oils are the exact same), and put 1 drop in a glass and then add 8 ounces of water. Please remember, if you are ingesting essential oils they need to be mixed in glass or stainless steel only. I am actually not an advocate for using plastic for anything, because of the potential for chemical exposure.
Enjoy the aromatic effects of your rosemary and the internal effects of your glass of peppermint water while I leave you with, 1 John 4:1 “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Our positive affirmation for this week is: I walk in truth and the joy that the Lord has given me. Say this positive affirmation during the week as you continue on your wellness journey.
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Thank you for tuning in to this resource from Twelve Stones Health and Wellness with Christen Hull. If you have an idea for an upcoming episode, send it my way, I would be happy to explore the topic. If you are interested in more information on becoming a member of Young Living and receiving the benefits of synthetic chemical free living in your home, please talk to the person who shared this podcast with you or, visit my website at www.twelve-stones.net. If you find this resource helpful, I encourage you to enjoy and share this podcast. Please do not alter the content in any way or charge for this resource.
Adams, M. (2012, January 5). Rosemary oil can be used as a natural meat preservative, and it works better than chemical additives. Retrieved from Natural News website: https://www.naturalnews.com/034573_rosemary_preservative_food.html
Brach's Lemon Drops Candy. (2020). Retrieved from CVS website: https://www.cvs.com/shop/brach-lemon-drops-prodid-491421
Breyer, M. (2018, June 30). What’s really inside? The anatomy of a hot dog. Retrieved from Treehugger website: https://www.treehugger.com/green-food/anatomy-hot-dog-whats-inside.html
Elmore, L. (2019). Essentials (J. McCraw, Ed., 2nd ed.). Lindsey Kay Elmore.
Harnisch, S. (2019). Unstuck: How To Talk To Humans & Get Them To Respond To You. Independently published.
Iftikhar, N. (n.d.). What’s a normal blood pH and what makes it change? Retrieved from Healthline website: https://www.healthline.com/health/ph-of-blood#blood-p-h
Kage, B. (2006, October 11). Essential oils could replace chemical additives in preserving meat products. Retrieved from Natural News website: https://www.naturalnews.com/020721.html
Rosemary essential oil. (n.d.). Retrieved from Quinessence Aromatherapy website: https://www.quinessence.com/rosemary-essential-oil
Schnaubelt, K. (2011). The healing intelligence of essential oils: The science of advanced aromatherapy (1st ed.). Healing Arts Press.
Tisserand, R., & Young, R. (2013). Essential oil safety: A guide for health care professionals (2nd ed.). Churchill Livingstone.