We discussed aromatic honey in our internal use blog, but we wanted to expand on that and share more variations.
This includes honey, jams, and chocolate!
You can take honey with a drop of Peppermint by the tablespoon. Or you can make a larger batch with more Peppermint, to be used sparingly.
For the larger option, keep the mixture in a closed container once you’ve added the Peppermint (or other essential oil—depending on the purpose). Blend the honey and essential oil with a ratio of 1 drop essential oil per ounce of honey. Any container will work!
Stick a toothpick or tiny spoon in the honey and suck on the end of it, or add the honey to tea or hot water when you’re stuffed up or feeling queasy.
Alternatively, you can use essential oils for different purposes like:
- Rose for an uplifting mix
- Lavender and Sweet Marjoram for a sleepy-time mix
- Rosemary, Spearmint, or Lime added to a blend, or used alone for a zingy, wake-up mix.
For anti-infectious honey to help you combat colds or illnesses, choose Tea Tree (although it doesn’t have the most pleasant taste). You can also combine the “big gun” essential oils for more germ-fighting ability.
Those include Clove, Cinnamon, Thyme, and others. Be aware that these oils are also the most potentially irritant oils, and they require caution. I suggest adding in tiny amounts to avoid burning your mouth. These should only be used for fighting off infection—no long-term use!
Essential Oils in Jam
I felt inspired when my new, wonderful friend Leslie (“La Grande Jam Dame”) gifted me homemade blackberry jam with a hint of lemon. She was perfecting her culinary skills and wanted to share!
After the jam had cooled, she added an awesome touch with a couple drops of Lemon essential oil. It was such a nice, subtle lemon taste in blackberry—the best combination!
NOTE: This jam is made to be savored and eaten sparingly.
And because this is our focus, here’s a little safety information about using essential oils in recipes:
Putting two drops of essential oil in a large batch of jam is perfectly safe according to the Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) designation for Lemon oil. This means Lemon oil has been deemed safe as a food additive, to enhance flavor in minute amounts, like in this recipe.
All essential oils are considered GRAS, and it’s not an FDA approval. It’s just a list of flavorings and seasonings that are allowed in minute amounts in processed food. This does NOT mean that essential oils, extracts, etc. have nutrients or that they’re missing from our diet any more than salt or castoreum, which are also on the list.
See more info on GRAS designations here.
Now, back to the topic at hand: Once I was inspired by the jam, I had to try creating my own honey flavoring. I already had some local, raw, raspberry-infused honey. Then I added 2 drops of Cardamon essential oil and 4 drops of Pink Grapefruit oil to 6 oz of this honey. After that, I stirred and tasted it, and WOW, what a treat!
It was an unusually tasty combo. I spread the mix on a hot croissant or nice bread with some fine cheese—preferably with cranberries! Once spread, reheat gently, then get a napkin and enjoy!
This is safe because it’s a small percentage of oil in honey—1 drop per ounce—and it’s made with safe, non-irritant oils. Remember, it’s an occasional treat.
Leslie provided me with this recipe (below). I thought I’d share it with all of you. It will be my next creative holiday project.
Have a CHERRY CHRISTMAS, y’all!
More yummy resources from our colleagues:
As many of you know, we had a “long shot, short notice” class with Dr. Robert Pappas scheduled. Dr. Pappas is a leading chemist in the field of aromatherapy and is the Founder/Director of Essential Oil University. After the initial announcement of the class, several unforeseen issues arose, and we quickly realized we had to cancel it.
Many people had already signed up and showed fabulous support from all over Florida and beyond! All have been refunded since the cancellation, but it is good to know that there is a lot of support for a class on essential oil chemistry from such a knowledgeable teacher.
If you don’t know this already, the Atlantic Institute has a long history with Dr. Pappas. In our online store, you can find two papers co-authored by Dr. Pappas and our Director, Sylla Hanger. One is on Artemisia arborescens and its special uses in skin care. The other is on the first known distillation and analysis of the essential oil of Eucalyptus camaldulensis, found and analyzed by the authors themselves!
If you’d like to learn more about Sylla Hanger and Dr. Pappas’s personal history, you can read the story of how they met and started working together on Sylla’s blog, Vintage Aromatherapist.
Ask Dr. Pappas
The BEST NEWS is that we’re planning an interview with Dr. Pappas in the new year, in preparation for a more extensive workshop with him in Florida.
We’re compiling a short list of questions to ask Dr. Pappas on essential oils, their chemistry, adulteration, standards, and myths.
We need your help. What is the one question you would ask an expert in the field of essential oil chemistry? Is there something that he hasn’t covered on his myths series or elsewhere?
Let us know what’s on your mind.
Please submit your question below.
I was recently accused of spreading around “quackery.”
It’s not the first time, and it probably won’t be the last. Occasionally, there are people who undercut the research I’ve done along with the chemists and scientists I’ve worked with. They say, “You believe in alternative medicine? You must be a quack.” Unfortunately, it’s part of the package when you’re dealing with a relatively new and unregulated health industry. Thankfully, it doesn’t ruffle my feathers so much anymore.
However, this particular critic accused me of something much worse: promoting essential oils as a cure-all for cancer.
It’s true that I wrote a blog post on how essential oils helped me through one of the most trying times in my life—when I was diagnosed with Stage 1, non-aggressive breast cancer. But I never said that essential oils are a cure for cancer. In fact, I continually promote the idea of using essential oils as complementary treatment alongside conventional treatment. I myself underwent a lumpectomy and radiation treatment. I used essential oils to mitigate scarring, improve my mood, and help ease the tenderness of my irradiated skin—all of which were the focus of that post.
Unfortunately, it seems my critic didn’t read the full blog post before taking her stance against me. I respect her eagerness to protect cancer patients from unhelpful and dangerous “cure-all” treatments. I’ve been in a similar battle of my own, trying to make sure essential oils are used safely and responsibly. This is a good reminder that we must always search for the truth, and not simply make assumptions based on our opinions and beliefs.
It’s not quackery. It’s real science.
As for the wider accusation of promoting “quackery” in general, I think this is a good time to explain that it’s not quackery. It’s real science, which I’ve had the pleasure of studying for 40 years and counting. For those of you interested in where I’ve studied and who I’ve studied with, see my Vintage Aromatherapist blog. You can also find a list of my aromatherapy accomplishments here. I’m always striving to accomplish more, but I think my achievements aren’t too shabby thus far!
During those 40 years, I worked with well-known and respected minds, including Martin Watt, Dr. Trevor Stokes, Dr. Robert Pappas, and Tony Burfield—to name a few. I wrote many papers and presentations, along with the personal blog mentioned above. I also wrote all of the courses, books, and classes we offer today. You can find my bio here.
I’m very passionate about illuminating the exciting and surprising truths of aromatherapy and essential oils, and about offering my hard-earned knowledge to my students.
So to those critics, I have one thing to say: it’s not quackery, it’s chemistry!
For 40 years, I’ve used aromatherapy for myself and my family as preventive care. Over those years, I also used them as internal remedies when needed. This was usually because of the flu, viruses, or systemic infections. I do not, however, use or promote daily internal use of essential oils for preventive care.
I believe aromatherapy keeps us healthy, especially when it’s used in the air and in our body care products. My husband is healthy and never takes a sick day, leaving his co-workers jealous and confused. When asked why he doesn’t get sick, he blames it on living with me and aromatics for 35 years! But for anyone who works with the public or has a kid in school, it’s hard to avoid picking up germs from others at one point or another. As a result, my family occasionally needs to use the “big guns” to fight infection. That’s what I call the most anti-infectious oils (like Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Cinnamon, etc.) because they’re just that powerful.
Essential Oil Use During Illness
During a bad cold or flu, for example, I use blends to kill germs, relieve congestion, and ease symptoms. For a serious infection, I may use an oral dose at the onset, a topical application, inhalations from diffusion, aromatic baths, and suppositories.
WHAT? Yes, I said that last one!
To fight an acute infection, we need to bypass the liver and get the oils into the gut. Of course, both topical applications and the suppositories consist of low-dose, diluted, and anti-infectious essential oils that have little irritation potential.
Another oral remedy I use is a spoonful of raw, local honey and a drop of Peppermint for stomach aches. One of Nyssa‘s friends has a fond memory of this, as she often had a tummy ache at our house. This is what she remembers most! It’s a great remedy for kids or adults.
These are just a few examples of internal use. Of course, before using essential oils internally, it’s necessary to learn how to do so safely. Otherwise, you could inflict damage on yourself and others. There are many safe and efficacious ways to use essential oils as natural aromatic medicine. It is up to the user to know what is safe. Often companies selling oils will recommend undiluted oral use with no safety precautions. This has resulted in adverse effects. We teach safe internal use in our live classes and in the Aromatherapy Practitioner Correspondence Course because it’s part of using natural oils for aromatic medicine. Internal use has also been mentioned and outlined in my Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual since 1994.
“I see no need to take any oils daily in my water or food.”
When used as necessary and in a safe manner, essential oils have tremendous healing potential. To repeat what I said earlier, I see no need to take any oils daily in my water or food. The oils can cause harm, which I see far too often in the Atlantic Institute’s Injury Database Report. If I want to spice up plain distilled water, I’ll get my flavor from real fruit. Once again, there is NO nutritional benefit in adding Lemon or Orange essential oil to water. I also don’t advise taking capsules for allergies. Topical application and inhalation are much more effective for this condition.
I use essential oils daily in the air of my home and office, in my daily body care products, in my own perfume, and on my clients during treatments. I’ve seen the benefits of this type of treatment for 40 years, without adding in daily internal applications. Then, when I get sick and the need arises, I can treat with more strength. This process is quite cost-effective because I don’t use up all my precious oils through undiluted or oral application. Diffusing oils in the air and using them for skin care is very effective preventative care. That’s why I’ve used these methods for so long! Essential oils work very well when they’re diluted. Sometimes they even work better, as seen in anti-infectious trials. Diluting also saves you money over time.
Please use safely! I don’t want to read about your injuries in my database!