Essential Oils in Hot Drinks?
Some people like to put a few drops of their favourite oil in their drinks – both hot and cold. Peppermint and cinnamon oils are favorites. Some routinely put a drop or two of an antiseptic oil (like clove or lemon) in their regular morning beverage as an immune system booster to stave off colds and flu.
Remember that one drop of an essential oil can represent the concentrated essence of a large volume of leaves or plant matter, so use sparingly. It has been said that a drop of peppermint equals the flavouring potency of more than twenty peppermint tea bags.
The question arises as to whether the heat in your drink could destroy some of the qualities of the oil. The answer is ‘NO’. The rule is this: If it is not too hot for you to drink, then it is not too hot for the oil either. However, when adding oils to a beverage in a pot heating over a stove, don’t let it come to a boil. Otherwise you will lose some of the more volatile compounds in the oil and upset its balance. But don’t worry if you forget and let it boil – drink it anyway – no harm will be done.
Taking oils orally in hot drinks is good applied aromatherapy You receive the benefits of the therapeutic molecules through the digestive tract, but you also enjoy the flavour and aroma, absorbing them directly through the sensitive tissues that line the mouth as well as through the nose going straight to the lungs and brain. Try a drop of cinnamon or cassia in hot apple cider some time – you’ll love it.
Before selecting an oil for flavouring your drinks, be sure they are pure therapeutic grade oils. Also check to see if they are rated by the US Food and Drug Administration as GRAS – ‘generally regarded as safe.’ Read the bottle labels or consult a book such as the Essential Oil Desk Reference or Reference Guide to Essential Oils for a list of GRAS oils. (or download the app). Always in Aromatherapy, moderation and common sense should be exercised at all times.
Reference: The Chemistry of Essential Oils made Simple by David Stewart Ph.D (very slightly adapted by Suzanne)
Note from Suzanne: Over the past few months Young Living Essential Oils have produced oils labelled Food Supplements – as proof of evidence, if any were needed! that the majority of the Young Living single essential oils are safe to be ingested. In the USA the range of food supplement oils are called the Vitality Range and in the UK the range of food supplement oils are called the Plus range.
If you would like more information about any of these oils, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org