The Ancient Egyptians were the first people to distill essential oils over 6,000 years ago which predates homeopathy and even herbs. They used oils for treating specific medical conditions, emotional balancing, spiritual attunement and for cosmetic purposes. To them essential oils were treasures more valuable than gold, especially Frankincense. In fact they measured their wealth by how much oil they possessed. To them essential oils were sacred and contained a divine essence which helped them communicate with the gods.

Essential oils are extracts from the flowers, blossoms, leaves, stems, peel, bark and roots of aromatic plants. They consist of hundreds of different volatile aromatic molecules (alcohol, phenol, ester, sesqueterpenes, terpenes, aldehydes etc).

No because vegetable oils (e.g. olive, flax, sesame, canola oil etc) contain glycerol. Glycerol molecules give slipperiness and leave a greasy residue when applied to the skin. Essential oils are not greasy (unless mixed with vegetable oil). Vegetable oil is 100% fat but essential oils contain no fat.

Whereas vegetable oils are mainly pressed from seeds, nuts, avocados, olives or the bran of grains, pure essential oils are steam distilled (with the exception of citrus oils which are cold-pressed) from plants.

The following oils are used in The Essential Oil Cookbook . They are listed in order from the most frequently to the least frequently used in the recipes.

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, Mountain Savory.

All of these oils are on the FDA GRAS ("generally recognized as safe") list.

The following is an excerpt from Daniel Pénoël M.D. :
The essential oils Menkit Prince specifies are just right for creating a therapeutic synergy. A drop or two of Cinnamon, Peppermint, Oregano or any other essential oil added to a recipe will definitely contribute to a total internal purification without any harmful effects. In addition, these powerful aromatic molecules will neutralize toxins remaining in the intestinal tract from any past junk foods ingested. Also, the rich tastes and aromas of the oils will stimulate the olfactory and taste receptors to generate endorphins (mood elevators), which are themselves powerful healing substances. The overall effect on the immune system for all age groups is tremendous; a fact that many doctors and therapists in France have known for years.

Phillip Minton M.D. says:
Eating pure, high-quality essential oils can improve circulation, oxygenation and protect against heart disease, dementia and cancer. Scientists have shown that limonene (found in citrus oils) can cause cancer cells to become stunted or even die. I recommend this book to all my patients as it combines the benefits of proper eating habits with the therapeutic value of essential oils in a way that is easy to understand and implement in our daily lives.

It may seem like a new idea to ingest essential oils but in fact there are thousands of food products that currently use essential oils for aroma and flavor e.g. chewing gum, chocolates, candies etc. In fact the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) classifies certain essential oils as GRAS (generally recognized as safe). These oils are the ones used in The Essential Oil Cookbook.

Certain essential oils have toxic components. An adverse effect depends on the amount consumed and the percentage of toxic components in the oil. However, used properly in minute amounts for flavoring (such as used in The Essential Oil Cookbook) it is possible to ingest essential oils safely. For example, nutmeg has a toxic component called myristicin. But to consume enough essential oil to cause poisoning and collapse, it would be necessary to ingest 100 mL Nutmeg oil! In fact most recipes only require a drop or two of Nutmeg oil; any more would wreck the dish!

Moderation and basic common sense should reign in the kitchen. In the same way that ordinary table salt could be dangerous if ingested in high amounts, it would be an over reaction to suggest that salt should not be allowed in the kitchen cupboard.

Take care not to accidentally get essential oils in eyes or near delicate mucous membranes. Do not add water to neutralize – use vegetable oil (such as olive oil) to eliminate any caustic side effects.

It is important to use only pure, unadulterated essential oils for ingestion. Why? Because many companies add adulterants to stretch the oil for economic reasons. Some of these adulterants are toxic such as SD40 alcohol, propylene glycol, diethylenephalate and other synthetic chemicals.

When in doubt about a company's essential oils, request a GCMS analysis paper (gas chromatagram mass spectrometer) from them. Ask how the oils they provide are grown. Are they organic? Were pesticides and synthetic fertilizers used in the growing process? Were the oils steam distilled or extracted with alcohol or carbon dioxide? Were the oils distilled at low temperature and low pressure over a period of time or were they distilled quickly (high temperature can fracture the essential oil molecule resulting in an inferior aroma and taste).


Essential Oil Cookbook © 2004