Not many people are aware that essential oils can be used medicinally both externally (via diffusers, massages, and baths) as well as internally (via food and drink). When we think of cooking with herbs and spices we usually reach for the fresh or dry versions of those ingredients to add flavor and depth to our culinary dishes. Now imagine enjoying those herbs and spices in a concentrated medicinal form that not only provides an intense spectrum of flavor but is packed with different compounds (some of which cross the blood-brain barrier because of their small molecular size) and medicinal properties in which their usage in your cooking will take your food to new healing heights.
A History of Medicinal Use
Ingesting essential oils is not something new and actually dates back to 3000-2500 B.C. and is believed to have been first used in food preparation and preservation by the ancient Egyptians, although there are references that it was used in China and India around the same time, if not earlier.
In terms of healing properties, Dr. Eric Zielinski states that essential oils “combat pathogens (harmful microorganisms), are a source of antioxidants (needed to prevent and cure disease), and have been shown to contain advanced healing properties in addition to cancer cell cytotoxicity amongst other things.” Also, Dr. Jockers points out that, “since essential oils boost and uplift the mood, they can actively alleviate binge eating and unhealthy cravings.”
It is interesting to note, that currently doctors in Europe particularly England, France, and Germany offer their patients a choice between either pharmaceutical drugs or natural essential oils when prescribing remedies for a health condition. That is why essential oils are readily available throughout apothecaries across Europe.
In the U.S. our food industry uses essential oils in many products ranging from sweets, drinks, and chocolate just to name a few, so as to add intense flavor and strong aroma into the ingredient mixes. Because of their internal usage the FDA has compiled a “GRAS List” for essential oils (generally recommended as safe), whereby the following oils are listed and are considered safe for ingestion: Lemon, Orange, Nutmeg, Black Pepper, Peppermint, Ginger, Mandarin, Sage, Tangerine, Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Fennel, Spearmint, Cinnamon Bark, Oregano, Lime, Dill, Rosemary, Clove, Basil, Geranium, Rose, Rosewood, Cumin, Cardamom, Lemon Myrtle, Tarragon, and Mountain Savory.
Approach With Caution
However, please be mindful that not all essential oils are meant to be consumed internally and you must always double check the oil name, bottle description and label recommendation before using any. Also, not all oils are created equally. Many companies use fillers, pesticides, and methods that do not make the oils safe for consumption. Make sure any oils you intend on using internally are 100% pure, organic, and unadulterated. If you are uncertain about specific brands and oil recommendations, consult with a holistic health practitioner just to be safe.
Around this time of year, many people wish to keep their immune systems high; their respiratory, gastrointestinal, cardiovascular systems optimally functioning; and germs, viruses, and bacteria at bay. Below is my favorite original recipe, immune boosting peppermint essential oil tea I like to drink once a week during this time of year. It is great both for your mind and body. It is relaxing, uplifting, immune boosting, weight losing, and stress relieving all in one.
Peppermint Lemon Tea from the Alma Holistic Health Kitchen
- 1-1.5 cups of distilled water, boiled
- 2-3 teaspoons of raw unfiltered wildflower honey
- 2 drops of food grade, 100% pure Peppermint essential oil
- ¼ frozen lemon grated
- ½ fresh squeezed lemon juice
Bring distilled water to a boil. In a ceramic mug, place honey, essential oil, grated frozen lemon, and lemon juice. Add the hot water to the ingredients in mug and stir. Cover with a small plate for 3-5 minutes. Before sipping, inhale the aroma and reap its benefits first via your nose. Then slowly start to drink the tea and cover your body with a warm blanket and relax on a couch or bed. Feel the warmth and light tingle envelope your throat, sinuses, chest, lungs, and body. Take a nap after if you are able to.
- How To Correctly Use Essential Oils To Prevent the Flu and Other Illnesses
- Detox Cheap and Easy Without Fasting – Recipes Included
- Start Eating Like That and Start Eating Like This – Your Guide to Homeostasis Through Diet
- How to Make the Healthiest Smoothies – 4 Recipes
- Holistic Guide to Healing the Endocrine System and Balancing Our Hormones
- Ingesting Essential Oils: Are They Safe for Internal Use or Not? – Dr. Eric Living the Abundant Life
- History of Essential Oils – Essential Oils Academy
- The Benefits of Cooking With Essential Oils – Dr. Jockers
- About Essential Oils – Essential Oil Cookbook