3.8.2 Essential Oils

Essential Oils #

I have noticed over the years that a number of essential oils, generally used for aromatherapy, have occasionally been cited as psychoactive. On a couple of occasions I explored this avenue; specifically with elemi oil and sweet basil oil.

I acquired both of these, but in the end I didn’t take either, at least internally. A number of issues conspired to convince me that to proceed would have been, at best, foolhardy.

The first was dosage, for which I found no convincing guide for either. The second was repeated warnings of toxicity.

For the elemi oil I tested externally, with no effect. What finally killed it for me was the discovery of comparisons with nutmeg oil (see earlier).

For the basil oil, statements like the following regarding its active compound (estragole) deterred me:

“Estragole is suspected to be carcinogenic and genotoxic, as is indicated by a report of the European Union Committee on Herbal Medicinal Products. Several studies have clearly established that the profiles of metabolism, metabolic activation, and covalent binding are dose dependent and that the relative importance diminishes markedly at low levels of exposure.” ~ Wikipedia

This was a pity, but on balance, the use of these compounds really is scraping the barrel to the point of desperation. For recreational purposes it would appear that ingestion just isn’t worth the risk.