Many of you may wonder, Is it safe to use cooking essential oils?
Essential oils are distilled from parts of the plant, so they consist of hundred different molecules such as alcohol, phenol, ester, sesqueterpenes, terpenes, aldehydes, etc. Essential oils are different from vegetable oils. Vegetable oils are 100% fat but essential oils contain no fat.
There are essential oils that are toxic. Notably they do have this quality however the amount used in cooking is very minimal that the psychotropic effect is diminished. Take Nutmeg oil as an example. This essential oil has the chemical components like elemicin and myristicin. The amount a person has to intake of this essential oil to be toxic is about 100 ml but the amount used for a recipe is just right around 2 drops and so toxicity is avoided.
And that would be the same as table salt. Table salt if we use in high doses can be dangerous too. However, it would be an overreaction to say that salt should not be used in food.
There are essential oils that could irritate mucous membranes such as those kinds like cinnamon and lemongrass. It is however noted that if used evenly in food these oil doesnt give that effect.
The use of essential oils nowadays is widespread and it ranges from industrial products to food. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) qualified certain essential oils as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) which is a grade os safety if used.
It is extremely important to use the highest grade of essential oils for cooking those derived from organic sources. This is stated because there are those that are derived from some other sources and may contain toxic materials and other harmful chemical components like SD-40 Alcohol and other carcinogens like propylene glycol.
Essential oils help improve flavor and all these are classified as GRAS by the US FDA. Below is a list of essential oils that are appropriate to each:
Compared to fatty oils like olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil and others cooking essential oils has no fat component that is clinically termed as glycerol. The process cooking essential oils are obtained from their natural source is commonly through steam distillation that makes these substances so different from the fatty vegetable oils. Instead essential oils contains chemicals that has antiviral, antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic and immune system tonic qualities but absolutely no fat.
According to Daniel Penoel M.D. :
Cooking essential oils when used in prescribed amounts usually up to 2 drops can improved many things not just to the quality of the food but spanning beyond that. The aroma of these essential oils will help in stimulating the olfactory and taste senses that will result to the production of endorphins that is great for recovery. Additionally it increases the cleansing quality of the food because the essential oils help expel toxins from the body and also other materials like those acquired from junk food. The prescribed amounts of these essential oils in food will not have any harmful effects.
Phillip Minton M.D. says:
The use of highest-grade cooking essential oils will help improve blood and lymph circulation. The ingestion will also help put up resistance against cardiovascular disease, dementia and even cancer. Limonene, a phytochemical in citrus essential oils, has a notable effect of preventing the furtherance of cancer or it even causes cancer cells to die.
Cooking essential oils are not water-soluble chemicals. This is the reason why cooking essential oils are used in very minimal amounts. This is due to the livers capacity to convert it to a water-soluble chemical structure for excretion. Note that if more than the recommended is ingested it may result to liver toxicity since the liver is not able to convert the amount of taken substance in time.
Also it is important to understand that the excessive use of essential oils in general can be harmful to anybody. There were reposted cases where individuals showed liver damage due to excessive application of eucalyptus essential oil on the skin so the mode of entry is not limited to just ingestion.
This article is only to give you information of what essential oils can be safely used for cooking. Whether to use it or not for cooking depends on your perception and your consideration. Please take note to use it moderately with one or two drops only!. Use vegetable oils for combination such as canola oil , olive oil , or sesame oil.
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