It's the Renaissance of an Ancient Craft, Full of Vitality and Delicious Goodness
Imagine you could enhance simple fresh flavours in your stir-fry just by adding a drop of lemongrass and a drop of lime.
This is exactly what I discovered. In the distant past I used flavour enhancers like MSG in my Oriental cooking (NO LONGER!!). To my surprise I got the same effect just by adding a couple of essential oils to my dish!
You get absolute purity of flavour in such a concentrated form!
It also cuts down on waste because you only need to use a drop or two of oil, and can have the bottle of essential oil for months!
With some oils such as oregano and thyme, one drop is actually already too much, meaning just a toothpick with oil swirled into your food will suffice!
Best practices to keep in mind are that essential oils are very strong and concentrated —one or two drops are all you need. Also, please bear in mind that due to their alive botanical compounds, it is best to use the oils at the very the end of the cooking process, literally just before serving out, as heat does change the therapeutic qualities.
You will find that the oils have the same vibrant flavours as fresh herbs, so much nicer and satisfying than the dried herbs … especially during times when you don’t happen to have fresh herbs at hand or live in the city with no garden!
The biggest issue with consuming essential oils is quality and purity!
When ingesting essential oils, quality matters. It is vitally important!
Only use essential oils labelled as dietary supplements.
... and do not use more than the suggested amount on the label. Inexpensive drugstore / health store essential oils often contain chemical extenders or fillers. Select your oils from a reputable company that guarantees purity and organic practices. These companies should employ multiple testing methods to ensure the best possible product.
Aromatic plants, essences and oils have been used for ages in ceremony, religious observances, beauty care, food preparation and preservation, as incense, and for perfumes.
It’s common for Egyptians, at least 5,000 years ago, to be given credit as the first culture to use aromatic extracts for beauty care, culinary uses, spiritual and physical wellbeing.
But it is believed that essential oil-like extracts were also being used in China and India at nearly the same time. Depending on who is citing historical evidence, you can also find references to Ayurvedic uses of essential oils in India much earlier.
So, yes, as mentioned earlier, there is a real renaissance and resurgence of essential oils in the awareness of people, one of the reasons may be that people are fed up and exhausted from side effects and environmental toxic overload.
There are a few different ways to ingest essential oils. Depending on the reasons for using the essential oil, you can choose the method that is best for you.
Perhaps the simplest and most common method of ingesting essential oils is by adding a few drops to a beverage. Be sure to use a metal or glass container, as some oils will dissolve plastic and Styrofoam. Here are some suggestions:
As a food flavouring, a little essential oil can go a very long way. Often, one or two drops are all that you need to flavour an entire dish. You may also dip the end of a toothpick in an essential oil and stir into the food immediately before serving to ensure that the flavour does not overwhelm the food.
Many people prefer to use essential oils in recipes over herbs because they are very convenient and a small amount adds a lot of flavour. Citrusy and spicy essential oils pair well with both sweet and savoury foods, whereas herbaceous essential oils are typically reserved for savoury dishes.