What Is a Food Grade Essential Oil?

Oil with sprigs and leavesIn  my previous post, I’ve explained that the word “grade” means nothing. Essential oils need not, and are not graded by an external regulatory body. So you can ignore the word “grade”.

Now let’s tackle the “food” bit.

Does food grade mean I can eat the essential oil? 

Certain essential oils are on the Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA’s) list of “generally recognized as safe” (“GRAS”) for use in food. But this is referring to the food industry and as flavoring in extremely small amounts. And I’m talking about

really small amounts. 

It does not mean that you can happily swallow a bottle or even just a few drops of essential oil at home.

Treatments exist where a patient takes essential oils orally to treat an illness, but this should be administered by a medical practitioner who has undergone the necessary training. Because essential oils are so concentrated and potent, the process really needs to be controlled very carefully by a professional.

Different people have different views on whether you can ingest essential oils at home. Some believe that it’s okay and others assume you’re trying to commit suicide if you do.

Me, I much rather be careful (or paranoid, depending on how you look at it), and strongly advise you not to ingest essential oils at home. There’re other ways to get the benefits of essential oils. See here.


Food-grade doesn’t mean it’s food. It’s safer not to experiment with taking essential oils orally.

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