Here at the Apothecary we comply with Health Canada’s regulations, which require that we include a statement to the effect of “Not for oral use” and “Avoid contact with eyes and mucous membranes” on every bottle of essential oil. This Health Canada requirement is also why you will see these same or similar claims on most essential oils you buy in Canada.
Aside from this legal and ethical due diligence, we are also well aware that there hasn’t been enough research showing the safety of ingestion of essential oils. And we know for sure that if nothing else, essential oils are most effective when inhaled or used topically (diluted, for the most part).
So far, most research has pointed toward body massage being one of the best methods of absorption. When essential oils are applied topically, your body doesn’t need to go through the digestion process of breaking down the oils before accessing any beneficial components (if they can even be utilized at that point).
Add to that the fact that when taken internally, even suspended in water (essential oils do not, of course, dissolve nor emulsify in water), oils can burn your delicate digestive tract when you swallow them and there can be potential side effects from long term use. There have not been many studies done examining how essential oils are stored in our body when we ingest them.
My advice for when you want a refreshing beverage with the benefits of all that lovely plant magic? Infuse your water with some lovely fresh mint, ginger, lemon, cucumber, or your favourite fruit. Give your body essential oils straight from the source at manageable levels, and in a useable form to boot!