Food-Grade Essential Oil FAQs
Are NOW® Essential Oils food grade? If so, are they safe to take internally?
NOW® essential oil products are intended solely for use as aromatherapy products; they’re not intended for internal use. Many of our essential oils are clearly labeled “Not for internal use” due to the fact that they’re highly concentrated, and for other safety considerations.
If some of your essential oils are food-grade, why aren’t they labeled for internal use?
Although some of our essential oils do qualify as food-grade, federal regulations state that a food or dietary supplement intended for ingestion must bear Nutrition Facts (food) or Supplement Facts (supplements), plus all appropriate serving information for that declared use. Since our oils are intended for aromatherapy, we’ve chosen not to market our essential oils for internal use, so we cannot recommend using them internally, and we can’t label them for any use other than aromatherapy.
Certain essential oils can be used in foods, but typically in amounts so small that they can’t be conveniently measured using common household measuring devices. In addition, because essential oils are highly concentrated, they’re 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 at all, no matter how small the amount.
Are your essential oils considered GRAS (generally regarded as safe)?
Some of our essential oils do qualify for GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status through the FDA. However, even these products are not labeled or marketed for ingestion or use in foods for the reasons outlined above. The safety of our customers comes first, and FDA labeling regulations are in place specifically to protect consumers. This is why we don’t market our essential oils for ingestion, and we caution against using these highly concentrated oils internally.
Even though we choose not to market our oils as food-grade of for internal use, rest assured that our essential oils are manufactured and tested to be of the highest quality and purity available. These pure essential oils are produced only by natural extraction methods, with no solvents or diluents used, and are thoroughly tested and labeled appropriately for aromatherapy use.
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 Needle (Abies sibirica, Pinus sylvestris)
7640 Wintergreen Oil (Gaultheria procumbens)
NOW® Essential Oils that could qualify as GRAS:
7516 Basil (Ocimum basilicum)
7528 Chamomile, Roman (Anthemus nobilis)
7533 Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
7530 Cinnamon, Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
7538 Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
7552 Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
7550 Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
7553 Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
7556 Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
7558 Juniper (Juniperus communis)
7565/7569 Lemon (Citrus limon)
7415/7512/7618 Lemomgrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus)
7567 Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
7581 Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)
7570/7578 Orange (Citrus sinensis)
7573/7494 Oregano (Origanum vulgare)
7585/7495/7586/7591 Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
7600/7496/7601 Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
7610 Sage (Salvia officinalis)
7620 Spearmint (Mentha spicata)
7623 Tangerine (Citrus reticulata)
7650 Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)