Can You Eat Petroleum Jelly: What Happens if You Eat Vaseline?

Can You Eat Petroleum Jelly: What Happens if You Eat Vaseline?
July 20, 2021 Ellis James
Petroleum jelly, commonly referred to as Vaseline can do wonders for the skin and lips. It is moisturizing and can help soothe and heal dry or cracked skin, but can you eat petroleum jelly? Is Vaseline toxic or likely to cause harm to your body? We’ll get to all of these questions and more in the next few sections!

Vaseline Petroleum Jelly, Original 13 oz, Pack of 3

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Can you eat petroleum jelly?

You may be surprised to find out that petroleum jelly is vegan, but does that mean it is edible?

Truthfully, the answer to this question can vary depending on who you ask.  Many petroleum jelly manufacturers stress that petroleum jelly is safe if  ingested.

Vaseline, one of the most well-known manufacturers, points to the fact that their Vaseline petroleum jelly satisfies the requirements laid out by the FDA for something to be considered safe for humans to consume.

However, these manufacturers also stress that petroleum jelly is not designed for consumption.  If some gets in your mouth as you are applying it to your lips, that is fine, but they do not suggest purposefully eating it.

Other individuals and organizations believe that you should not eat petroleum jelly.  While it is unlikely to cause serious harm, there is still a risk of loose stools or choking (especially with young children).

If you are interested in history, you may be intrigued by the fact that Robert Chesebrough, the person who invented Vaseline, used to eat a spoonful of it each day!


What happens if you eat petroleum jelly?

If you eat petroleum jelly, chances are you will be fine.  However, the amount you ingest can impact the exact results you’re likely to experience.

Before discussing what is likely to happen if you eat petroleum jelly, think about what you know about petroleum jelly and its consistency.  Petroleum jelly is very thick.  While it is not completely solid, it is also not very liquidy.  It is an example of a semi-solid ointment.

If you can imagine putting a big spoonful in your mouth and thinking about the consistency and how it may feel going down your throat, you should be able to get a good sense of what could happen if you eat petroleum jelly.  Due to its thick consistency, eating too much can put you at risk of choking.  It may also cause you to cough due to the way it may feel going down your throat.

Another possible side effect of eating petroleum jelly is that it can cause your stool to become soft or loose.  This could potentially result in diarrhea.  This is because it works as a laxative.  Our digestive systems also aren’t used to us eating petroleum jelly, which can lead to digestive issues.


Vaseline 1 Blueseal Pure Petroleum Jelly Original 100ml


Is petroleum jelly toxic to humans?

Petroleum jelly is considered minimally toxic.  This means that it is not likely to cause serious harm to the body, especially if only a small amount is ingested.

However, just as hand sanitizer shouldn’t be purposefully consumed, it is also not a good idea to purposefully eat petroleum jelly.  As we shared above, some potential petroleum jelly dangers include the potential for digestive issues or loose stools.

Additionally, because of its thick consistency, it poses a potential choking hazard, especially for children.


What are the side effects of petroleum jelly?

Most of the side effects of using petroleum jelly are pretty mild, especially if only a small amount is ingested.  You may notice loose stool (petroleum jelly was once used as a treatment for constipation) or some mild digestive issues.

However, if too much petroleum jelly is swallowed and you experience a petroleum jelly overdose, it may pose a greater risk.  Some of the petroleum jelly side effects you may experience in this case include pain in the abdomen and diarrhea.  You may also feel short of breath, develop a cough, or notice irritation in your throat.

If you or someone else has ingested a large quantity of petroleum jelly and are concerned, you may want to reach out to a doctor or even consider heading to the emergency room.  It is important not to try to throw up or encourage the person who ingested the petroleum jelly to try to throw up.  If the petroleum jelly is inhaled while throwing up, it can cause greater problems.

Additionally, it is important to note that you should also avoid getting petroleum jelly in your eyes or in your nose.  It may cause irritation to these areas of your body.


Can you use petroleum jelly internally?

No, using petroleum jelly internally is not advisable.

As we shared above, while petroleum jelly is only minimally toxic, it can still lead to undesirable side effects.  If you have an ailment you are considering treating using petroleum jelly, it is best to schedule an appointment with a medical professional.


Eating Vaseline

Vaseline is a popular brand of petroleum jelly.  If you ingest Vaseline, you are eating petroleum jelly.  This means that the information we shared above about eating petroleum jelly also applies to eating Vaseline.

Is Vaseline edible?

While the inventor of Vaseline, Robert Chesebrough, famously ate a tablespoon of Vaseline each day, the company does not advise that their customers purposefully consume Vaseline.  Rather, it should be used to help moisturize the skin, heal chapped lips, or offer protection for scraps, burns, or cuts.

Is Vaseline toxic to eat?

Is Vaseline toxic?

Vaseline is considered minimally toxic.  It is made using mineral oils and natural waxes that are not designed for ingestion.

Ingesting very small quantities, such as some small transfer from your lips, should not pose a major health concern.  However, if too much is consumed, it may cause your stool to become softer or looser than normal.  Ingesting too much Vaseline can also cause abdominal pain, shortness of breath, or coughing.  Children, especially, may also choke if they put too much Vaseline in their mouth due to its thick consistency.

What happens if you eat Vaseline?

If you swallow Vaseline, especially a very small amount, it is unlikely that anything bad will happen.  Vaseline is considered minimally toxic, so ingesting a very small amount should be fine.  However, if you eat too much, it can cause you to have loose stools, abdominal pain, shortness of breath, or other negative side effects.

Vaseline is semi-solid.  This means that it is a thick ointment.  Given its texture and consistency, it can also pose a choking hazard for children, or even adults.  When a large amount of Vaseline is ingested, it could potentially get stuck in the throat and cause an individual to choke or have trouble breathing.

Can you eat Vaseline to lose weight?

No, it is not a good idea to eat Vaseline to try to lose weight.

Vaseline can work as a laxative, but it is not a healthy solution for losing weight.  Eating too much Vaseline can irritate your throat, lead to shortness of breath, or cause abdominal pain.  If you want to lose weight, eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise are the best ways to do so.

Can you eat Vaseline on toast?

While you could spread Vaseline on a piece of toast, doing so is not advisable.

It may be called petroleum jelly, but Vaseline is much different from edible fruit jellies.  If you eat Vaseline on toast, you could still suffer from the same side effects as you may be ingesting it straight.  These side effects can include diarrhea, irritation of the throat, abdominal pain, and shortness of breath.

Eating Vaseline for sore throat?

Swallowing Vaseline to try to soothe a sore throat is not a great idea.  Vaseline can actually irritate your throat, so it may have the opposite effect that you’re intending.  If you have a sore throat and are looking for a more natural remedy, consider drinking a hot tea with honey or gargling salt water.

Benefits of eating Vaseline

There aren’t many benefits of eating Vaseline, but some people have used it as a laxative to combat constipation.  This was one of its primary uses when it was first invested, and some people still use it as a laxative today.  However, since there are some potential side effects associated with ingesting Vaseline, there are other better options to consider if you are constipated.


Petroleum Jelly for Dry Cracked Skin and Eczema Relief Original 3.75 oz (1-Pack)


Is Vaseline bad for you?

Vaseline offers a variety of benefits of the skin.  It can help moisturize skin and features a hypoallergenic and non-irritating formula that should be safe for most skin types.  Vaseline can also help soothe and heal cracked lips.  However, while Vaseline offers many benefits to the skin, you should not purposefully ingest large quantities of it.  There is no harm in ingesting a bit that transfers off of your lips, but more than this is not advised by most experts.


Eating Petroleum Jelly: Not Safe but Not Deadly

Now that you’ve read through this article, hopefully you understand that consuming petroleum jelly isn’t a great idea.  While ingesting a bit that rubs off your lips won’t hurt you, it is not advisable to purposefully eat any or put large quantities in your mouth.

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Comments (2)

  1. Sophie 1 year ago

    I can’t imagine ever wanting to experience that texture eating it like that, I try to avoid products with petroleum as a main ingredient x

    • Ellis James Designs 1 year ago

      Does seem a bit slimy, doesn’t it? Not very appetizing!

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