Essential Oils Improve Your Health and Cooking

The ingredient that is commonly used as a flavoring can also be used in these recipes and in your next meal.

| January/February 2002

  • Photos by Susan Wasinger

Essential oils have become popular among natural healers and aromatherapists—and soon they may become the next big thing among chefs. Every time you chew gum, eat confectionary chocolates, and even brush your teeth, you are experiencing essential oils as flavoring agents. But many people don’t realize that they can also be used in everyday cuisine.

The potent oils, which protect plants from invading organisms and microbes and carry nutrients to the plant cells, are distilled from the flowers, fruit, seeds, stems, leaves, roots, and bark of aromatic plants and herbs. Used in moderate amounts, these oils may impart some therapeutic benefits—and taste fantastic. Unlike fatty oils such as olive oil, flax oil, and sesame oil, essential oils contain none of the glycerol molecules that give a characteristic slippery texture and leave a greasy residue. Distilled essential oils contain no fat.

When you’re cooking with essential oils, use only the highest-grade, organic oil without synthetic chemicals, SD40 alcohol, or propylene glycol. Because heat evaporates essential oils, stir them in at the end of the cooking time or once the dish has cooled. Very strong oils such as oregano, rosemary, and basil can withstand a little simmering.

—Adapted from The Essential Oil Cookbook: Outrageous Recipes for Weight Control and Long Life, by Menkit Prince. Available from Earth Love Enterprises,
(888) 217-1028;

Subscribe today and save 58%

Subscribe to Mother Earth Living !

Mother Earth LivingWelcome to Mother Earth Living, the authority on green lifestyle and design. Each issue of Mother Earth Living features advice to create naturally healthy and nontoxic homes for yourself and your loved ones. With Mother Earth Living by your side, you’ll discover all the best and latest information you want on choosing natural remedies and practicing preventive medicine; cooking with a nutritious and whole-food focus; creating a nontoxic home; and gardening for food, wellness and enjoyment. Subscribe to Mother Earth Living today to get inspired on the art of living wisely and living well.

Save Money & a Few Trees!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. You’ll save an additional $5 and get six issues of Mother Earth Living for just $19.95! (Offer valid only in the U.S.)

Or, choose Bill Me and pay just $24.95.

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter

Free Product Information Classifieds