Using Essential Oils to enhance health and taste

by Andrew Pacholyk, MS L.Ac

Cooking With Essential Oils_omtimesRich and aromatic plant oils are most often associated with aromatherapy and are usually used in massage oils, incense and are diffused in the air for a soothing and healing affect. The benefits of essential oils can also be found with their tantalizing use in the kitchen. Cooking with essential oils is just another way of being creative with food preparations.

Essential oils are classified into three main categories and explain their benefits. The oils are classified as notes, top, middle, or base notes. These single notes have a general rule of thumb:

*Top notes: are the fastest acting and quickest to evaporate. Lasting 3-24 hrs. *Middle notes: are the moderately volatile, affect metabolisms, body functions. Last 2-3 days. *Base notes: are slower to evaporate, the most sedative and relaxing oils. Last up to approximately one week.

When cooking with essential oils, it is important to know that because they are extracted as nectar, they are very concentrated. Essential oils therefore, can add zest to any recipe and enrich the flavor of your creation. The FDA considers essential oils as a food additive and regards a majority of these oils as safe for use. Their safe use requires they be used in moderation and with proper care.

Here is a list of Essential Oils Certified as Generally regarded as safe (GRAS) and Food Additives (FA) by the FDA. Angelica, Basil, Bergamot, Chamomile, Roman, Chamomile, German, Cinnamon Bark, Citrus rind (all), Clary Sage, Clove, Coriander, Dill, Eucalyptus glob., Frankincense, Galbanum, Geranium, Ginger, Grapefruit, Hyssop, Juniper, Jasmine, Laurus nobilis, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Melissa (lemonbalm), Marjoram, Myrrh, Myrtle, Nutmeg, Orange, Oregano, Patchouli, Pepper, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Pine, Rosemary, Rose, Savory, Sage, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Spruce, Tarragon, Tangerine, Thyme, Valerian, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang.