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Most of us think of essential oils as something you breathe in or absorb through the skin. Less people know that certain oils are also ingestible.

Essential oils perfectly capture the aroma and flavor qualities of the living plant from which they’ve been distilled. Not only can they bring a dish to life, they can also impart therapeutic qualities specific to that plant.

"Essential oils perfectly capture the aroma and flavor qualities of the living plant from which they’ve been distilled"

Essential oils are super concentrated, so they should be used sparingly—one drop at a time. When ingesting essential oils, always use organic and focus on oils from plants and herbs (like rose and lime) as opposed to oils from woods and resins (like sandalwood and frankincense). If you’re unsure about an oil, check the FDA’s ingestible essential oils list of “Substances Generally Recognized as Safe.”

The following are a few simple ways to incorporate the aromatic beauty and power of essential oils into your food:

Cardamom Coffee 

Not only do the scents of cardamom and coffee go well together, but cardamom is said to help neutralize the overstimulating effects of caffeine. For an easier and softer tasting experience to the traditional preparation (where whole cardamom pods are ground up with the beans), try adding a couple of drops of cardamom oil to your pour-over decanter before making your morning cup. The smell when the hot coffee hits the scented vessel is heaven.


  • Homemade pour-over coffee
  • *2 drops cardamom essential oil

Blood Orange Vinaigrette

When blood oranges are in season, this vinaigrette is the perfect way to dress a simple winter salad of arugula, avocado and fennel. The blood orange essential oil really brings their unique flavor through and is a natural anti-inflammatory.


  • ¼ cup fresh blood orange juice
  • 1 tsp white wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • *2 drops blood orange essential oil
  • salt & pepper 

Minty Hot Cacao

For a delicious way to elevate your homemade hot chocolate and mood, try adding a couple drops of spearmint essential oil to the mix. 

Ingredients (to warm, but not boil):

  • 1 tbs raw cacao powder
  • 1 cup nut milk
  • maple syrup to taste
  • *2 drops spearmint essential oil

Emily L’Ami is the founder of ceremony- and scent-driven modern wellness product collection, Bodha.


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