9 Essential Oils You Should Avoid During Pregnancy
Using essential oils can be one of the most therapeutic things you can do, particularly if you’re going through a tough time physically or emotionally. For example, adding a few drops of grapefruit or orange to a diffuser can invigorate you or ease feelings of nausea.
And what better time to use these wonderful oils than pregnancy, right? Well…not quite.
Unfortunately, some essential oils are notorious for being unhealthy for moms-to-be. It goes without saying these are important to avoid. This little list shows the most common oils to be aware of but always check with your doctor or aromatherapist beforehand. It’s important to understand their side effects and any other issues you may have with any medications you’re taking!
Peppermint is probably everyone’s go-to oils to use because it’s so invigorating, but unfortunately, this oil can precipitate menstruation. Avoid using it in late pregnancy, or if you easily get skin irritations.
2) Evening Primrose Oil
Evening primrose oil is sometimes used by midwives as a way to reduce the length of labor. It’s currently being studied for adverse effects for pregnant women.
3) Rosemary Oil
This is a big one to avoid. This herb was traditionally used to boost menstrual flow, but in certain circumstances, it can cause a miscarriage. Rosemary oil is highly concentrated, so definitely good to steer clear of it.
4) Clary Sage Oil
Clary sage oil is actually great in the last days of pregnancy to strengthen contractions. But for the exact same reasons, it’s a good idea to avoid using it during the early and mid stages of pregnancy.
5) Basil Oil
Estragole, a chemical that causes contractions, is found in high amounts in basil. Definitely avoid this one.
6) Cinnamon Oil
The ’emmenagogue effect’ is the ability for a substance to stimulate menstruation. Cinnamon oil has this property in abundance, and can greatly increase the risk of miscarriage if it’s in high quantity.
7) Thyme Oil
Thyme isn’t as bad as some of the others on this list, as it *might* stimulate menstrual flow. Hence it’s not recommended. More studies are being done, but it’s better to be cautious.
8) Fennel Oil
Just like basil oil, fennel oil contains estragole and sometimes stimulates menstrual flow.
9) Clove Oil
In some cases, clove oil has been shown to slow the clotting of blood. This could potentially cause more bleeding during birth, especially if you are using other blood medications, such as thinners.
10) Other Oils To Avoid
Other oils with potential negative effects include wintergreen, sage, myrrh, wild ginger, white fir, chamomile, juniper, sandalwood, parsley, wild marjoram, and nutmeg. Other commonly used oils to avoid: jasmine, aniseed, camphor, and oregano. They can trigger contractions or be toxic to a growing baby.
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