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Friday, November 09, 2007

Ever Wondered If You Could Eat Ylang Ylang Essential Oil?

Safety assessment of Ylang-Ylang (Cananga spp.) as a food ingredient.

Burdock GA, Carabin IG.

Burdock Group, 2001 9th Avenue Suite 301, Vero Beach, FL 32960, United States.

Ylang-Ylang oil is used in the food industry as a flavor ingredient. It is a complex chemical mixture in the form of an essential oil extracted by water or water-and-steam distillation from the fresh flowers of Cananga odorata Hook. f. & Thomson. Ylang-Ylang oil has been reported to cause dermal sensitization reactions in animals and humans, but it is unclear what constituent(s) within the essential oil comprise the offending agent(s) and whether some Ylang-Ylang oils that have had certain constituent(s) removed are any less prone to cause such allergic reactions. There is no indication in the literature that food exposure to Ylang-Ylang oil has caused allergic reactions. One subchronic inhalation toxicity study, involving Ylang-Ylang oil as part of a larger fragrance raw materials mixture, gave no indication of causing adverse effects, but the relevance to risk assessment of oral food flavoring use exposures is likely minimal. No further toxicity data for Ylang-Ylang oil have been reported. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Ylang-Ylang oil has a long history of fragrance and food flavoring use, with no indication that its estimated consumption from food flavoring use (0.0001mg/kg/day) has led to any adverse human health effects. These data indicate that at the current level of intake as a food ingredient, Ylang-Ylang oil does not pose a health risk to humans.

Editor's Note: This brings up the subject of taking essential oils internally, which we are often asked about. Our essential oils are not labeled as food ingredients or dietary suppliments. We are investigating this as an option; mostly this has to do with following procedures and protocols of the FDA and other governmental agencies, along with new labeling requirements.

In much of Europe, essential oils are commonly injested as part of a strict protocol designed by a doctor or licenced health professional. One needs to truly be aware of the safety of the oils being used. Many are quite benign, like Ylang Ylang described above. Others can be toxic - Wintergreen and Sage are commonly available, but should never be ingested. If you choose to ingest essential oils, you MUST be certain you know what you are doing, and have had the input from a natural health professional versed in medical aromatherapy. Contact us if you are in need of help finding such a person!

*The FDA has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information presented here is for educational purposes of traditional uses and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

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