Opinions on ingesting essential oils

I just did a little search in Amazon to see how many books are available on essential oils and after counting to 106 books I quit counting.  There are so many.  You might think that is awesome that there is so much available and, in some ways, YES that is true!  In other ways, and on the other hand, it is NOT good because many of the choices have little to no value at all for someone using a therapeutic grade essential oil.  What is someone brand new supposed to do?  How are you to wade through everything out there to know what is beneficial?  The internet has even MORE information available than you can find in books. Everybody has an opinion and it is different than everyone else’s.

For instance, I read an article[1] this morning on Essential oil use on Healthline.  It was written on July 3rd, 2018.  “We want to help you own your well-being.” Is one of Healthline’s info taglines.  In Healthline’s “About us” category they state:

“Healthline’s Medical Affairs team ensures that Healthline’s content, products, and services uphold the highest standards of medical integrity. Our dedicated team manages an extensive medical network of over 100 professionals covering more than 50 specialties, providing medical review, expert POVs, fact-checking, and clinical guidance. Healthline’s physicians, nurses, public health experts, and patient advocates help ensure that the information we publish is accurate, evidence-based, current, person-centric, and trustworthy.”

That sounds professional and scientific, right?  The stated information in the last statement:  accurate, evidence-based, current, person-centric, and trustworthy makes it sound authoritative.  It also states that more than 200 MILLION health seekers turn to them every month.  Why are we talking about this?  The aforementioned article had details on several different essential oils including ways to use the oils, reasons to use them were mentioned and then there was a blurb on safety information and cautions.  Among several inaccurate cautions I noticed is some information about Peppermint oil. 

Before I give you the information, allow me to give you some preliminary easy-to-access information.  The FDA has a list of GRAS (Generally regarded as safe for human consumption) essential oils, oleoresins and natural extractives.[2]  It lists “Menthol” the main ingredient in Peppermint oil, and it also lists Peppermint oil itself.  Peppermint oil is used as a common flavoring agent in many candies, gums, beverages, and even in pharmaceuticals. 

Yet Healthline’s article gave the concluding remarks for peppermint of:

“Peppermint essential oil shouldn’t be ingested as it can cause serious side effects like heartburn, headaches, an irritated esophagus, and mouth sores. So, if you need to freshen your breath, just stick to actual mints.”

ALRIGHTY-then, let’s just think about this for a minute with our thinking caps on. The FDA regards peppermint essential oil as safe for flavorings in food and it also regards it as a dietary supplement.  Dietary supplements are ingested.  Dietary supplements are taken to maintain and enhance your quality of life and provide nutrients you aren’t getting in your diet alone. 

Let’s look at Peppermint “mints” AKA “CANDY”.  Starlight’s Peppermint Candy is a very common candy.  Likely it is one that the author of that article would approve. 

Let’s look at the ingredients[3]: “Sugar, Corn syrup, Titanium Dioxide, FD&C Red 40, Natural Peppermint Oil.”  WHERE does the flavoring come from in the candy mints?  Yup, Peppermint oil. 

Look what else is in it:  Sugar, Corn syrup, Titanium Dioxide, FD&C Red 40.  Every single one of those are harmful ingredients.[4] [5] [6]  So tell me, which would you rather do to freshen your breath: one drop of peppermint oil with no other additives and nothing harmful in it or a mint which starts out with peppermint oil and then adds some sugar, corn syrup and chemicals likely to be carcinogenic, linked to allergies, hyperactivity, learning impairment, irritability and aggressiveness?

Not only does Healthline’s article recommend NOT to ingest Peppermint oil but it has a list of 25 sources at the end of the article which lists an NIH (US Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health) article[7] as a source. The safety information found there has the first point as this:

“Peppermint oil appears to be safe when taken orally (by mouth) in the doses commonly used. Excessive doses of peppermint oil can be toxic.”

How did the author of the first article come to her conclusion of “sticking to mints” to freshen your breath?  Beat’s me.  What do you think?

[1] https://www.healthline.com/health/essential-oils-find-the-right-one-for-you

[2] https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=182.20

[3] https://www.spanglercandy.com/starlight-peppermint-mints-bulk

[4] https://www.activebeat.com/diet-nutrition/the-top-10-evil-food-additives/?utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=AB_GGL_US_MOBI-SearchMarketing_TR&utm_content=g_c_303656419340&cus_widget=&utm_term=healthy%20diet&cus_teaser=kwd-10887131&utm_acid=3040947159&utm_caid=1599827680&utm_agid=62010285818&utm_os=&utm_pagetype=multi&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIn76K6czb5wIViYVaBR38mwFUEAMYASAAEgKxSfD_BwE

[5] https://www.chemicalsafetyfacts.org/titanium-dioxide/

[6] http://www.eatingwell.com/article/16442/the-hidden-health-risks-of-food-dyes/

[7] https://nccih.nih.gov/health/peppermintoil

Excerpted from Sense, Scents and No Nonsense, Lewis

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