First of all, I would like to apologise for my ignorance; as a Christian, for me the purpose of the Law is to bring us closer to understanding the mentality, so to speak, of the Almighty, and therefore it is not of direct application to my life. So I'm sorry if I ask a silly question.

I have just purchased a bottle of glycerin for various purposes, cosmetic and medicinal also. The latter would mean it would be ingested internally---by a six month old, specifically! So I really want to be safe about this.

This glycerin is derived from non-GMO vegetable oil (NOT animal fat in any way) and is stated to be Kosher. However, it is also stated that the safety certifications allow its use for cosmetic purposes.

My question is---does the fact that it is Kosher automatically make it appropriate for internal consumption? Or can Kosher also be for things you put on your body, for instance? Are these laws only for dietary concerns?

Thank you very much in advance!

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    Welcome to Mi Yodeya! As our Sages teach, “the one who is embarrassed cannot learn” - don’t feel bad about your ignorance; we’re all here to learn, each on their own level. Make sure to take a look at our tour for some useful information about how the site works. Thank you so much for this insightful question!
    – DonielF
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 15:49
  • To clarify, are you asking if a kosher certification means that a product is safe? Or are you asking if the kosher rules apply to non-eating as well? Or both?
    – Alex
    Commented Sep 16, 2018 at 0:43
  • I am asking whether kosher rules also apply to non-eating. To be more precise, I am asking if the fact that the glycerin is kosher means that the company does think it is safe to eat (for a Jew, but what is safe for a Jew is safe for anyone else too).
    – lambda
    Commented Sep 17, 2018 at 13:21

2 Answers 2


There are often kosher certifications on the dish soap and toothpaste I buy. This doesn't mean they are safe to eat, rather the certification is given in case one ingests a trace amount of the soap/toothpaste (which is likely to happen during normal use). I wouldn't assume the glycerin is safe to ingest based only on its kosher certification.

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    While this is correct, to address the specific question technically speaking there could be obscure kosher issues with putting things on your body so it's theoretically possible that a certification would be checking something for topical use.
    – Double AA
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 15:13
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    I have also seen hechsherim on plastic bags, valve oil for musical instruments, and silver polish. But I would not recommend eating any of these things. To my knowledge, sometimes hechsherim are given to items that are used on things which come in contact with the mouth. In the abovementioned items, plastic bags are often used to hold food, a musical instrument is played with the mouth, and silverware can be used to eat with.
    – ezra
    Commented Sep 12, 2018 at 17:39
  • Thank you all for your welcome and comments. The question wasn't directed as to the glycerin being safe to consume per se, as it is routinely used by herbalists in glycerites, as a substitute for alcoholic tinctures. So I consider glycerin to be safe, if it hasn't been processed in a factory that uses harmful products and if it is pure enough.
    – lambda
    Commented Sep 13, 2018 at 19:09

Simple: Kosher means "acceptable".

Complex: If a shirt has a mixture of wool and linen, it is not Kosher to wear.

Though, you obviously wouldn't consume a wool or linen object, it's still not Kosher.

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