Essential Oils - Food Grade? FAQs

Essential Oils - Food Grade? FAQs

Are NOW® Solutions Essential Oils considered to be “Food Grade”?  Are they safe to take internally?

NOW® Solutions offers high-quality, pure essential oil products that are intended for use solely as aromatherapy products, and although they are of the highest quality available, they are not intended for internal use.†   Additionally, many NOW® Solutions Essential Oils are clearly labeled in the Caution Box “Not for internal use” due to their extreme concentration and other safety considerations.

Our essential oils are manufactured by specialized distillers and cold processors, and some of them are designated as “food grade.”  However, federal regulators state that a food or dietary supplement product intended for ingestion (defined as internal use; i.e. swallowing) must bear a food label with a Nutrition Facts box or a dietary supplement label with a Supplement Facts box, plus all appropriate serving information for that declared use. NOW® Solutions has chosen not to market its Essential Oils as foods or dietary supplements, and we cannot recommend using them internally while using aromatherapy labeling.

As a general rule, outside of aromatherapy, only certain specified pure essential oils can be used in food, and in miniscule amounts – amounts so small that sometimes they cannot be conveniently measured using common household measuring devices.  In addition, because NOW® Solutions’ essential oils are full strength, they are extremely potent and could increase the risk of injury to consumers when not used as directed; even if food grade. And some essential oils are not safe to consume internally in any quantity, no matter how small. †   

Finally, some essential oils have qualified for GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe for use in foods) status by the FDA.* However, even these products are not labeled or marketed for use in foods for the reasons outlined above.  NOW cares about its customers, but we also respect FDA labeling regulations.  That is why we do not market our Essential Oils as any form of food and caution against using these highly concentrated oils internally.  However, be assured that NOW essential oils are manufactured and tested to be the highest quality and purity available. These pure essential oils are produced only by steam distillation or cold pressing, with no additional solvents or diluents used, and are thoroughly tested and labeled appropriately for aromatherapy use. Both casual and professional users should be pleased with the purity, strength, and quality of our NOW® Solutions essential oils. 

 

†Essential Oils that should NEVER be taken internally (ingested):

7513 Balsam Fir (Abies balsamea)

7526 Atlas Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)

7525 Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana)

7652 Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)

7548 Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

7527 Eucalyptus Radiata (Eucalyptus radiata)

7580 Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)

7590 Pine (Abies sibirica, Pinus sylvestris)

7640 Wintergreen Oil (Gaultheria procumbens)


 

*NOW® Solutions Essential Oils that could qualify as GRAS:

7516 Basil (Ocimum basilicum L.)

7528 Chamomile, Roman (Anthemus nobilis L.)

7533 Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum Nees.)

7530 Cinnamon, Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia Blume.)

7538 Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea L.)

7552 Geranium (Pelargonium spp.)

7550 Ginger (Zingiber officinale Rosc.)

7553 Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi Macf.)

7556 Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis L.)d

7558 Juniper (Juniperus communis L., berries)

7565/7569 Lemon (Citrus limon L. Burm. f.)

7567 Lime (Citrus aurantifolia Swingle.)

7581 Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans Houtt.)

7570/7578 Orange (Citrus sinensis L. Osbeck.)

7573/7494 Oregano (Origanum spp.)

7585/7495/7586/7591 Peppermint (Mentha piperita L.)

7600/7496/7601 Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.)

7610 Sage (Salvia officinalis L.)

7620 Spearmint (Mentha spicata L.)

7623 Tangerine (Citrus reticulata Blanco.)

7650 Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata Hook. f. and Thoms.)