Top 5 Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

Top 5 Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

Natural treatment doesn’t always mean that it is good for you, especially if you’re pregnant. Essential oils are known for having powerful medicinal properties that can treat many types of health issues such as digestive disorders, body and joint pains, insomnia, stress, headaches, cold symptoms, and many more. However, it is still important to find out if it is safe before using it. There are certain essential oils that should only be used sparingly, while others should be completely avoided, depending on your health condition. Some essentials oils contain constituents that can be harmful to the body. This article will focus more on the essential oils to avoid during pregnancy.

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The Risks of Using Essential Oils

When you are pregnant, you have to be extra careful about everything you eat, ingest, and apply to your body. Remember that essential oils have varying strength of concentration. Be cautious about essential oils that have strong concentration. Here are some important things to consider when you want to know what essential oils to avoid during pregnancy.

Essential oils contain highly concentrated properties of the plant they are derived from. Just a tiny amount or one drop of essential oil is equivalent to many cups of herbal tea. This is not to discourage the use of essential oils, but you have to be careful when using them. Try to know the safe amounts of essential oils that are suitable for pregnant women.

Most essential oils are safe on your skin in diluted amounts. In most cases, it is risky to use essential oils undiluted on your skin. They can easily enter the skin and into the bloodstream, which is not recommended for pregnant women. As a general rule, essential oils should always be diluted in a carrier oil, such as almond oil or coconut oil. Usually, you need 1 teaspoon of carrier oil for every 3 to 5 drops of carrier oil, and this should be much less if you are pregnant.

Undiluted essential oil can cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some people. There are oils that are considered safe to use undiluted such as lavender, chamomile, and rose, but it is still recommended to dilute them.


Another thing to keep in mind is that essential oils can increase your skin’s sensitivity to UV rays, which may lead to skin discoloration, blistering, and sunburn. Some of the essential oils that can increase your sensitivity to the sun are grapefruit, bergamot, lime, and orange.

Regarding the internal use of essential oils, health experts caution people to only take them internally when it is absolutely needed and with extreme care, usually with the guidance of a professional. If you really want to get the same benefits of these essential oils when taken internally, just use the herb itself, or drink the tea.

Essential Oils During Pregnancy

Essential oils have the ability to affect your hormones, which is risky for pregnant women. Studies have found that essential oils can go through the placenta and get to the baby. Extreme care should be taken if you are going to use essential oils while pregnant. Most women who are pregnant prefer aromatherapy, while others use diluted essential oils in their baths and skin care.

When using diluted essential oil for massage, you can try an initial skin test to see if it is safe for your skin. There are still many essential oils that are safe to use during pregnancy, especially after your first trimester. It is always recommended to check with your doctor and practice a lot of caution when using oils and herbs. Some essential oils can be considered safe, but they may pose a risk for other women.

5 Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

It is important for pregnant women to be aware of the essential oils that may pose a threat to their health. Here is a list of 5 essential oils to avoid during pregnancy and why they are not recommended for you.

Basil Essential Oil for Eczema

Basil Essential Oil

Basil is one of the essential oils to avoid during pregnancy because it can alter your mood and behavior. Some essential oils are recommended for pregnant women due to their pleasant and aromatic fragrance that can uplift the mood and remove stress. Basil is not one of those essential oils, and it can have a negative effect on the mood of the person, which is not good for pregnancy. Basil essential oil contains high levels of methyl chavicol, which can induce psychoactive effects that change the brain function. This can dramatically change the behavior and mood of the person. Avoid this essential oil and just stick to the ones that can help you feel more relaxed and calm.

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine Essential Oil

Jasmine is known for its fragrant flower, but it one of the essential oils to avoid during pregnancy. It is dangerous for pregnant women because this oil can cause uterine contractions. However, jasmine essential oil is useful when the woman is already in labor and ready to give birth.

Rosemary and cinnamon are essential oils that can also trigger uterine contractions. Experts warn that these essential oils should never be used to induce labor in pregnant women. For pregnant women who are already overdue, it may be tempting to use these essential oils, but it is very risky without the guidance of a doctor or healthcare experts.

Nutmeg Essential Oil

Nutmeg Essential Oil

One of the side effects of pregnancy is nausea and morning sickness. You don’t want an essential oil that can contribute to your nausea during these delicate times. Nutmeg is one of the essential oils to avoid during pregnancy because it can induce nausea and hallucinogenic effects.

This essential oil can also cause an increase in your heart rate, which may elevate your blood pressure. This is not good for pregnant women. You need an essential oil that is calming and relaxing and not something that would keep making your heart beat faster. It should also be avoided when the pregnant woman is in labor because it can react with the pain-relieving drugs.

Thyme Oil

Thyme Essential Oils

Essential oils to avoid during pregnancy are the ones that can have a negative effect on your health. Thyme essential oil is risky for pregnant women because it can cause high blood pressure. This condition can be a serious concern for pregnant women because it can cause health complications for both the mother and the baby.

Clary Sage

Clary Sage

Clary sage essential oil is not supposed to be used at any time during the pregnancy. This is one of the essential oils to avoid during pregnancy because it may induce contractions of the womb or uterus. But just like jasmine essential oil, Clary Sage can also be used during childbirth. It can help ease the pain during labor and reduce cramping. Myrrh is another essential oil to avoid during pregnancy because it also tends to promote uterine contractions in women.

Other Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

Aside from the ones listed above, there are other essential oils to avoid during pregnancy:

  • Juniper
  • Citronella
  • Laurel
  • Cumin
  • Fennel
  • Wintergreen
  • Aniseed
  • Angelica
  • Hyssop
  • Cinnamon
  • Rosemary
  • Black Seed
  • Cassia
  • Carrot seed
  • Birch
  • Wormwood
  • Yarrow
  • Zedoary
  • Parsley leaf
  • Araucaria

There are circumstances wherein pregnant women should completely avoid all essential oils. If you are under these categories, then you should not use any essential oils during your pregnancy.

  • If you experience vaginal bleeding during your pregnancy
  • If you suffer from epilepsy
  • If you have heart problems
  • If you have had a miscarriage in the past
  • If you are diabetic
  • If you have kidney disease, problems with blood clotting, and has thyroid issues

Important Tips to Remember When Using Essential Oils During Pregnancy

Even if you know the essential oils to avoid during pregnancy, it is still important to practice extreme caution when using these oils. Follow these tips below to stay safe when using essential oils.

  1. Never ingest essential oils during your pregnancy or when breastfeeding.
  2. Use essential oils sparingly because they are highly concentrated.
  3. Only buy your essential oils from trusted and reputable sellers. Don’t buy cheap and discounted essential oils because they are often compromised with unknown fillers and ingredients that can be harmful to you and the baby.
  4. Always dilute the essential oils when using it topically or applying it to your skin. You can use grapeseed oil or sweet almond oil as your carrier oil. Dilute one drop of your essential oil with one teaspoon of your carrier oil before adding it to your bath or massaging it to your skin.
  5. Don’t use essential oils during your first trimester. The first three months of pregnancy is critical because women are at high risk of miscarriage. Once you’ve passed the first trimester, talk to an aromatherapist or physician regarding the essential oils to avoid during pregnancy and the essential oils that are safe to use.
  6. Only diffuse essential oils for 10 minutes at a time. If you diffuse essential oils longer than 10 minutes, it could cause nausea and headaches.
  7. Try to research and find out more about the different essential oils to avoid during pregnancy. If you are unsure about the essential oil that you want to use, don’t hesitate to talk to your physician.