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Hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic essential oils

Safety

Even if they have a good pharmacological value, Essential Oils are sometimes not so easy to handle because they can present a risk. It is therefore necessary to use them correctly and wisely. Indeed, they are very powerful and can be responsible for side effects. This can have consequences on the kidneys or liver, for example. Know more about hepatotoxic and nephrotoxic essential oils:

HEPATOTOXIC ESSENTIAL OILS

Definition

Some essential oils have a harmful effect on the liver.

These are the molecules present in certain EOs which can be dangerous in the long term. Among them, it is generally the phenols which can deteriorate the cells of the liver called the hepatocytes. Phenols mainly found in some EOs will interfere with enzymes, these substances responsible for the good functioning of the liver.

 

How to use a hepatotoxic essential oil?

  • They are reserved exclusively for adults.
  • They are forbidden for children, pregnant women and people suffering from liver pathologies: cirrhosis, hepatitis, intolerance to paracetamol, hepatic insufficiency.
  • In order to avoid the toxic effect on the liver, take these oils over a short period of time (5 days) and in low doses. If taken for a longer period of time, it should be associated with a hepatoprotective EO such as lemon EO, Carrot EO or Thyme ct thujanol EO.
  • Do not use in:
  1. hepato-sensitive patients
  2. case of hepatic pathology: cirrhosis, hepatitis, hepatic insufficiency
  3. case of intolerance to paracetamol
  4. people deficient in the G6PD enzyme, menthol-rich EO can cause jaundice.

 

Please seek medical advice, especially in cases of liver disease.

 

The molecules responsible

Essential oils with:

Phenol: carvacrol; eugenol; thymol: they are toxic in high doses.

Pulegone (ketone): it disrupts the metabolism of other substances processed by the liver and causes liver toxicity even at low doses. Use only on medical advice.

Menthol (monoterpenic alcohol): EO rich in menthol can cause jaundice. Strictly no use for children under 7 years old.

Cinnamaldehyde (aromatic aldehyde)

Hepatotoxic EO (not limited)

 

NEPHROTOXIC ESSENTIAL OILS

 Definition

The nephrons are the units constituting the kidneys. The essential oils with nephrotoxic risk are made up of molecules being able to ignite and damage the renal system. The elimination of many substances of the organisation, ensured by the kidney, is then disturbed.

Among the nephrotoxic molecules, we find the monoterpenes in particular the alpha-pinene. This molecule, recognisable by its woody scent, can cause damage to the kidneys if it is assimilated over long periods. Indeed, the renal system is THE filtration system of the body.

 

The molecules responsible

Essential oils rich in monoterpenes taken orally over long periods of time can inflame and damage the nephrons

 

Nephrotoxic EO (not limited)

Examples of nephrotoxic EO :

  • All species of pine,  Pinus
  • All species of fir, Abies
  • The EO Sandalwood Alba and White Sandalwood, Santalum album and austrocaledonicum
  • All species of juniper, Juniperus
  • Dill
  • Peppermint
  • Green mandarin

How to use a nephrotoxic essential oil?

Use these nephrotoxic essential oils for a short period of time and in low doses

Do not use by mouth.

Be sure to ask for medical advice in case of renal pathologies and renal history

 

Dermocaustic essential oils

Dermocaustic essential oils

  Some essential oils cause strong irritation or even burns to the skin and mucous membranes. Indeed, some essential oils are likely to attack, or even destroy, the skin or mucous membranes. They are said to be dermocaustic.   The reactions that can occur as...

Neurotoxic essential oils

Neurotoxic essential oils

Some of the molecules that make up essential oils can be neurotoxic. However, it appears that in the same essential oil, neurotoxic molecules can be "neutralised" by molecules that are not and that will even protect the brain. Definition A neurotoxic substance is a...

The black list of cosmetic ingredients

The black list of cosmetic ingredients

Every day, we take care of ourselves by using many products: deodorant, shampoo, make-up, shower gel... Find out the black list of those cosmetic ingredients! In the cosmetics department, the INCI Beauty application allows you to read the ingredients displayed on the...

DAIRY PRODUCTS

All yogurts (animal or plant-based) can be flavored with essential oils. In an unsweetened yogurt, add a spoonful of honey in which you’ll dilute the essential oil of your choice. For a classic flavor, add two drops of citrus essential oils. For an exotic yogurt, add a drop of Ylang Ylang essential oil. This also works for whipped cream!

EDIBLE OILS

Flavor your olive oil: for 1 liter of edible oil, add 15 drops of rosemary or basil essential oil (or 8 drops of each) to one liter of cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil. Shake well to mix the different oils and let it rest for about a day before using it to season salads, pasta, vegetables, fish fillets, and more.

ICE CUBES!

Add 1 or 2 drops of essential oil to half a spoonful of honey, agave syrup, or mashed fruit, mix it into an ice cube tray, cover with water, and freeze!

Here are some quick ideas to get started

 

  • In the case of a cake, chocolate mousse, or pancakes: add essential oils directly to the batter, which is sweet and rich in fats.
  • For syrup to drizzle over your cakes after baking, or for your ice creams: mix 250g of sugar syrup with about 4 drops of citrus essence (4 drops of one citrus or 1 drop of 4 different citruses, for example).
  • Jams, marmalades, or honey: add a few drops of essential oils (e.g., lavender, thyme, or citrus essences).
  • Season a pasta dish: add 4 drops of Clary Sage essential oil to a 400g pasta dish.
  • Flavor rice: add one drop of Lemongrass essential oil to 400g of rice.
  • Enhance an apple crumble with cinnamon essential oil

The essential oils most commonly used in cooking:

 

Herbs

 

EO

Taste

Usage

Le+ santé

 

 

Garlic

Allium sativum

Odeur forte difficile à utiliser

.aïoli or garlic butter

. enhance the flavor of your sauces (tomato, dressing)

vermifuge

natural antibiotic

helps lower bad cholesterol and reduce blood sugar levels 

Difficult to digest

dermocaustic

 

Dill

Anethum graveolens

Slightly  anised and fresh 

cream-based sauces to season fish, especially salmon

vegetables (potato, zucchini)

salads (cucumber)

 

Stimulates digestive secretions and the gallbladder

Risk of nephrotoxicity after prolonged and high dose ingestion

 

Basil

Ocimum basilicum

The essential oil of Basil has a stronger taste than the aromatic herb we know:

fruit desserts

poultry (chicken)

fish (calamari)

sauces (tomato, garlic)

pasta (garlic-olive oil, tomato)

vegetables (tomato, zucchini, coco beans)

olive oils

 

Relieves all intestinal and gastric problems Recommended for flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain

 

 

Java citronella

Cymbopogon winterianus

Acidic and lemony flavour

 

Indian or Asian-inspired dishes

marinades, sauces (coconut milk)

 

 

 

 

Coriander (seeds)

Coriandrum sativum

Earthy and slightly camphorated fragrance

savory dishes (such as hummus)

Asian and Mexican cuisine

soups (pumpkin, carrot)

sauces (tomato, béchamel, coconut milk)

rice

 

Aid for various digestive issues, bloating, and stomach-aches

 

 

Tarragon

Artemesia dracunculus

Light note

gratins, seasoning oils, and sauces (béarnaise, sour cream)

vegetable dips

meats (rabbit, beef)

 

Effective against colitis and intestinal spasms

Not recommended for use with anticoagulant treatments or coagulation disorders

 

Sweet Fennel

Fresh taste

 

gaspacho, tomato tart, fougasse, salads

Against flatulences and indigestions

 

 

Bay Laurel

Laurus nobilis

Sweet, bitter and fresh flavor

stews

vegetables or fresh cheese

meats (game, pork, pâté, terrine)

fish (tuna, sardine)

sauces (béchamel, tomato)

vegetables (potato, tomato)

 

 

Pairs well with thyme

 

Marjoram 

Origanum majorana

 

Sunny vegetables: tomatoes, eggplants, bell peppers… In savory tarts or pizzas

Recommended for hypertensive individuals

Closely related to oregano with a finer flavor

 

Cornmint

Mentha arvensis

Milder flavor than Peppermint

 

Hepato-digestive stimulant

Very potent taste; a single drop is sufficient to season your dishes and drinks

Peppermint 

Mentha piperita

 

Ideal for salads (cucumbers), cold soups (peas), fresh cheeses, mixed with chocolate, or in your drinks Ideal for salads (cucumbers), cold soups (peas), fresh cheeses, mixed with chocolate, or in your drinks

Facilitate digestion

 

Spearmint

Mentha spicata

An even milder flavor than Peppermint or Field Mint

Tabbouleh

Moroccan tea

 

If you like the scent and taste of fresh mint, we recommend using this essential oil in your dishes instead.

Rosemary Cineole or Verbenon

Rosemarinus officinalis

 

Meats, fish, soups Poultry (chicken, turkey) Vegetables (zucchini, garlic) Sauces

Verbenon variety: detoxifying and liver protection

Pairs well with Bay Laurel and Thyme

 

Savory (Winter)

Satureja montana

Spicy, phenolic flavour

Pizzas, saucy dishes, mefrenats

Stimulates natural defenses

 

 

Clary Sage

Clary sage

herbaceous

pasta, broths and soups

 

Pairs well with Rosemary or Bay laurel

 

Thyme Linalol

Thyumus vulgaris

Very strong taste, best used in cooked dishes

Marinades, sauces (tomato), vinaigrettes, and vegetable preparations

 

 

 

Thyme  Thujanol

Lighter taste than Thyme Linalool

meat, fish, sauces

 

 

 

 

Flowers– Fruits 

 

EO

Taste

Usage

The  +

 

Bergamot

Citrus bergamis

Tangy and sweet flavour

 

Poultry (chicken breast)

Fish (carpaccio, en papillote)

Marinades

Sauces (olive oil)

Pastries (cake, shortbread, madeleine)

Fruit salads (citrus, banana)

Infusion (iced tea)

 

Aids digestion, prevents constipation and intestinal infections Appetite stimulant

 

Lemon

Citrus limonum

 

Desserts or beverages

Fish sauces

Cake or sorbet preparation

Flavoring plain yogurt

Meat (veal)

Poultry (hen, chicken breast)

Shellfish (scallops)

Braised dishes (tagine)

Marinades (alone or with thyme, basil, cloves)

 

Cleanses and stimulates the liver. It also eases digestion and helps reduce gas and bloating

Pairs well with mint / peppermint essential oil

Geranium Rosat

Pelargonium graveolens

Floral flavour

 

Jams

Red fruit desserts (crumbles, panna cotta, muffins, strawberries…)

Creams (crème brûlée, ice cream)

Fruit salads (kiwi), pairs well with red fruits, nectarines (peach)

 

Appetite suppressant to regulate blood sugar

 

Lavender

Lavandula angustifolia

Floral, herbal scent

 

Candy, shortbread, sorbets

In savory dishes, in flavored olive oil for salads

Jams (apricot)

Pastries (crème brûlée, ice cream)

 

calming

 

Green Mandarin

Citrus reticulata

 

Sweet and tangy flavour

 

Juices or cocktails

Pumpkin soups

Poultry (poultry breast)

Shellfish (scallops)

Fish (monkfish, whiting)

Pastries

 

Digestive tonic, against aerophagia Anti-inflammatory for the intestines Useful for heartburn, acidity

 

Orange (Sweet)

Citrus sinensis

Sweet and fruity

 

Chocolate desserts

Meat (beef, pork)

Poultry (duck, guinea fowl)

Fish (white fish)

Soups (carrot)

Sauces (olive oil, mayonnaise)

Pastries (cake, madeleine, cheesecake)

Creams (crème brûlée)

Fruit salads (with cinnamon)

 

Bitter tonic, against stomach spasms

Pairs well with  Cardamom or cinnamon

Petit Grain Bigarade 

Citrus aurantium

Fruity, with a flavor close to orange blossom

Fruity preparations (crumble, jam).

Pastries (cake, shortbread, madeleine, crepe)

Creams (custard, crème brûlée, flan caramel)

Fruit salads

Infusions

Pairs well with citrus fruits (orange), honey, nectarines (peach)

 

Difficult digestion, bloating, digestive spasms, stomachaches

 

in eggnog for better sleep:

1 drop with 1 egg yolk, 1 teaspoon of honey and 25 ml milk to drink at bedtime

 

Grapefruit

Citrus paradisi

Tangy and sweet

Avocado salads and desserts galore: tarts, syrups, shortbread, or sorbets

 

Suppresses appetite Difficult digestion

 

Lemon Verbena 

Lippia citriodora

Lemon scented

 

Dairy products, pies, fruit salads, smoothies, or infusions

Fish (monkfish, sea bass)

Shellfish (oyster)

Fruit compote (peach, pear)

Desserts (ice cream, parfait, panna cotta, custard, crème brûlée)

Pastries (madeleine, shortbread, cake)

Infusion

 

Internal worms

 

Ylang Ylang Complete

 

Pronounced floral scent

Chocolate and apples

 

 

 

Spices

 

EO

Taste

Usage

The +

 

Cinnamon (bark)

Cinnamomum verum

Warm and sweet flavor

All desserts: fruits in all forms, cakes, compotes…

Braised dishes (tagine, curry)

 

vermifuge and helps combat digestive disorders, gastric pain, urinary or intestinal infections.

Increases appetite.

Very potent oil that should not be used undiluted

Cardamom

Elettaria cardamomum

Spicy favour

Savory dishes or fruity desserts (orange, peach).

Ideal in coffee or black tea

Carrot salad

Basmati rice

 

Aids in the prevention of aerophagia

 

Clove bud

Syzygium aromaticum

 

Curry dishes

Apple desserts

Breath freshener

 

Turmeric

Curcuma longa

Savory and discreet flavo

 

Mayonnaise, rice, potatoes, or fish

 

Vermifuge

Bloating, colitis, difficult digestion

 

Ginger 

Zingiber officinale

Spicy and lemony flavor

Soups, gingerbread, shortbread, rhubarb pies

 

Useful in case of constipation, nausea

 

Black Pepper 

Piper nigrum

Spicy, hot, woody

 

for seasoning meats, poultry, sauces, and vegetables (mashed potatoes, mushrooms)

Bloating, hepatic-pancreatic insufficiency, difficult digestion, lack of appetite.

 

 

Pink Pepper

Schinus molle

Peppery, hot, spicy

 

Meats (beef carpaccio)

Poultry (duck)

Fish (salmon)

Shellfish (oyster)

Fruits (apple)”

Top of Form

 

Digestive disorders, intoxication, intestinal infections

 

Digestive and Purifying Essential Oils:

  • Dill, Celery, Cumin, Fennel, Basil, Lemon, Tarragon, Mint

 

Tonic and Antibacterial Essential Oils:

  • Ceylon Cinnamon (bark), Ginger, Mint, Thyme (linalool chemotype), Lemongrass, Turmeric, Clove, Savory

 

Soothing and Mild Essential Oils:

  • Cardamom, Lavender, Sweet Orange, Lemon Verbena, Lemon, Mandarin, Bitter Orange Petitgrain, Vanilla (resinoid), Ylang-Ylang

 

 

Precautions When Using Essential Oils

First and foremost, several essential oils are toxic and should not be ingested. While essential oils like lemon or coriander can be used, it’s essential to steer clear of curly parsley oil, which is highly toxic.

Therefore, it is crucial to research each oil before adding them to your recipes. Ingesting toxic essential oils can lead to symptoms ranging from mild irritation of the mouth’s mucous membranes to nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Some essential oils can even cause seizures or respiratory problems.

 

At-Risk Individuals

  • Prohibited for pregnant women in the first 3 months of pregnancy, as well as infants under 3 months.
  • Pregnant women beyond 3 months and those who are breastfeeding should exercise caution in both aromatic cooking and aromatherapy. Some oils are contraindicated for them.
  • Keep essential oils out of the reach of children.

 

Essential oils can trigger allergic reactions.

 

USAGE PRECAUTIONS

 

  • Only use 100% pure, 100% natural, and chemotyped essential oils, preferably certified as organic. This ensures a high-quality product with a known chemical composition and free from pesticides.

 

  • Avoid using essential oils in baby food (up to 3 years old): firstly, some essential oils may be contraindicated for young children, and secondly, babies already have a wide range of flavors to discover!

 

  • For children under 6 years old, their palates are still developing a taste for “classic” flavors. They may not appreciate the unique aromas of aromatic cooking. It’s better to introduce them gradually starting from the age of 6, beginning with familiar flavors like citrus, for example.

 

  • Never swallow essential oils undiluted or even on a sugar cube because they are highly concentrated.

 

  • Always dilute essential oils in a fatty and/or sweet substance: honey, oil, cereal syrup, cake batter, etc. Water, broth, or milk is not sufficient; a syrupy or fatty substance is required. Dosage must be precise to the drop!

 

Sometimes, one drop too many can render the preparation inedible. So, respect some basic rules:

  • Never incorporate the oil directly into the dish with the dropper, as an accidental drop can easily happen.
  • Always dilute the drop(s) in a spoonful of fatty or syrupy substance before adding it to the preparation.
  • Follow the number of drops indicated in the recipe or, if in doubt, stick to 1 drop per dish.

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