Bioethika Oils – Sacred Medicine Sanctuary

Generally Recognized as Safe

The FDA has a list of items that are “generally recognized as safe.” The section applying to essential oils is Sec. 582.20. It covers “Essential oils, oleoresins (solvent-free), and natural extractives (including distillates) that are generally recognized as safe for their intended use, within the meaning of section 409 of the act. . .”

Generally recognized as safe means that the oils are used as food additives, usually for purposes of flavor or antimicrobial action, but sometimes for their antioxidant properties. An example of an accepted use as a food flavoring is wintergreen. The amount used is 0.04% of the total formula. It is never recommended for any other internal use, but it has significant uses in liniments. It should not be used during pregnancy. In short, “safe” is relative to the use and proper understanding of uses is imperative.

The amount used in medical aromatherapy is very small, usually one drop and sometimes not even one drop daily. If using oils internally, please consult the most reliable guidelines in texts on medical use of essential oils. Exceeding recommendations is foolish and potentially dangerous since the oils are very, very concentrated. Likewise, when diffusing full strength oils, please do not run the diffuser more than 3-5 minutes at a time.

Below is a sortable extract from their list that is edited to include only those oils found on this web site. The list is actually longer and includes many oils used as food flavoring. To sort the list by common or botanical name, simply click on the column.


Common NameBotanical Color
BasilOcimum basilicum L.
Bay leavesLaurus nobilis L.
Cassia bark, Padang or BataviaCinnamomum burmanni Blume
Cinnamon bark, CeylonCinnamomum zeylanicum Nees.
CitronellaCymbopogon nardus Rendle.
Citrus peelsCitrus spp.
Clove budEugenia caryophyllata Thunb.
CorianderCoriandrum sativum L.
Fennel, sweetFoeniculum vulgare Mill.
Galanga (galangal)Alpinia officinarum Hance.
GeraniumPelargonium spp.
GingerZingiber officinale Rosc.
Juniper (berries)Juniperus communis L.
Laurel leavesLaurus spp.
LavenderLavandula officinalis Chaix.
Lemon (peel)Citrus limon (L.) Burm. f.
LemongrassCymbopogon citratus DC. and
Cymbopogon flexuosus Stapf.
LimeCitrus aurantifolia Swingle.
NutmegMyristica fragrans Houtt.
Orange, sweet, peelCitrus sinensis (L.) Osbeck.
PeppermintMentha piperita L.
RosemaryRosmarinus officinalis L.
ThymeThymus vulgaris L
TurmericCurcuma longa L.
Ylang-ylangCananga odorata Hook. f. and Thoms.
Please Note: Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, and Wintergreen are not on this list and are not suitable for internal use.

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