Our body can enjoy the benefits of essential oils (HE) through all routes: respiratory, cutaneous, oral, rectal, vaginal. However, three stand out:
The respiratory tract : diffused in the air, it is through the nostrils that the HE molecules enter the body. Gas exchange takes place through the lungs and allows essential oils to enter the blood. For optimum efficiency, highly volatile EOs must be used (such as those from conifers, citrus), easily absorbed by the airways. They can then be dispersed in the air with an electric diffuser, inhale steam by diluting them in simmering water, or inhaling the scent directly above the bottle.
The cutaneous route : lipophilic, essential oils have the ability to cross the layers of the skin to penetrate inside the body. They are recovered by the microcirculation and follow the blood flow to be distributed very quickly throughout the body. In a few minutes, traces of their molecules are found in the blood, in the urine… This is why they must be applied with caution! If, in some cases, certain parts of the body can be massaged directly (in the hollow of the elbow, wrists, soles of the feet, etc.), it is often easier to mix them with a vegetable oil or to a neutral base, before using them in body massage or in the bath.
The oral route : certain essential oils being potentially of a neurotoxic nature (HE of cedar, sage officinalis, caraway, etc.) or hepatotoxic (EO of thyme with thymol, oforegano, tropical basil, etc.) if they are used in high doses or over a long period of time, it is imperative not to act as a therapist during oral absorption. The dosage and the times of taking indicated by the doctor or the pharmacist must be respected to the letter within the framework of a preventive or curative treatment. Ditto for the use of HE in the kitchen. And they should never be swallowed pure, but diluted in a teaspoonful of cooking oil, mother tincture (in pharmacies) by adding a few drops of dispersant to make the essential oils miscible in water. You can also put one or two drops on sugar or on breadcrumbs.
To note : 2 to 3 hours, this is the time that must be respected between taking an essential oil orally and taking any other medicine.
Can we include them in our dishes?
Extremely fragrant, essential oils are also suitable for giving flavor to our small dishes, as well as a sacred touch of originality! To try… but before that, 3 tips:
Do not mix them : one is more than enough.
Just by small touches : they are extremely powerful and if you let yourself go, your dish will be too strong, even inedible, and the taste of the staple food will be completely masked: have a light hand! Count maximum 1 drop per person in a dish… but it is sometimes 4 times less!
Don’t cook them (in a hot dish, they are added afterwards), otherwise their aromas fly away…
A few flavors to try : for a savory dish, bet on tarragon, gingerbay leaf, mint, rosemary, thyme. For a sweet dish: try cinnamon, lemon, lavender, mintsweet orange, ylang-ylang.
Read also :
Essential oils: use them well in cutaneous application
The different ways to use essential oils
7 ways to use essential oils