The most important
thing to remember is that the majority of essential oils are naturally
occurring constituents of our foods and used as additives in other
ingested products. These can be:
In addition to the above, we have the widespread use of blends of synthetic and natural chemicals used in food flavourings. Often a particular natural or synthetic chemical is a known hazard. However, when used in the appropriate volume, and blended with many other chemicals, these flavourings do not present problems to the vast majority of people. There will of course always be sensitive individuals who may get an allergic reaction to all kinds of substances.
Therefore, if blending essential oils for use in aromatherapy presents a danger via new chemicals being created, then the foods containing blended flavourings would also pose a problem. There is little evidence suggesting that most foods containing small amounts of essential oils are dangerous. In addition to that, we have to consider with aromatherapy the oils are applied to the skin where absorption into the bloodstream is insignificant. Only if an oil (or chemical) can get into body systems can it present any toxicity danger.
The potential dangers with blending are more applicable to creating adverse skin reactions. Not taking care over the chemical profiles of the oils used can create dangers. For example, by blending inappropriate volumes of the citrus oils it is easy to exceed the maximum advised amount of d-limonene for skin application. Blending some other oils gives the potential to exceed the maximum volumes of specific chemicals that the oils are composed of, but still not a toxicological threat.
New chemicals are constantly being created naturally in essential oils if they are not stored properly. Certain chemicals oxidise over time creating new compounds that are a hazard to the skin, but NOT a toxicity hazard.
The below is taken from an old newsgroup exchange of mine. It illustrates the hyped-up dangers on toxicity issues taught in many aromatherapy courses. It also illustrates what cretins many scientists are who work in the field of toxicity and advise Government departments. Much of their work is based around the occurrence of individual chemicals in the oils and other products.
My meals on one day.
Ready prepared duck in orange: Made using orange peel extracts (d-limonene), pepper and other spices.
Bulb fennel: Includes trans anethol and maybe a touch of poisonous cis anethol as natural chemicals
Broccoli: Includes mustard oils which can be very aggressive used in isolation.
Desert: Cinnamon and Apple cheesecake: Cinnamon contains Cinnamaldehyde a nasty chemical in isolation.
Followed by: Several Peppermint creams made using Peppermint oil which contains menthol isomers, pulegone and several other chemicals that in isolation have known dangers.
Two big sticks of celery containing lots of allergenic chemicals as well as furocoumarins that cause photosensitisation. In addition, it contains z-ligustilide believed to be toxic in excess. However, a classic example of a vegetable with great heath promoting actions when consumed raw. Also a classic example of how stupid toxicologists can be when they assume a food is dangerous because it contains a known dangerous chemical.
Followed by a chunk of fruit cake loaded with orange and lemon peel with their natural oils, plus added orange and lemon essence.
Washed down with a glass of creme de menth - again peppermint oils.
My goodness will my liver ever cope with this toxic assault! Perhaps I better take some cleansing herbs, but oh won't that blend even more chemicals?
Someone said my statements were "over simplistic". Chemists know better about such matters of course!
Nice to have known you all, I guess I will be in hospital tomorrow with systemic toxicity!