Essential Oils and Pregnancy - What is Safe and What Isn't?


Such an incredibly exciting, joyful time, but for some women, it can bring discomfort or distress at certain stages throughout the pregnancy.

Safe use of essential oils during pregnancy can help alleviate certain discomforts such as backache, constipation, fatigue or insomnia, flatulence, hemorrhoids, heartburn, leg cramps, morning sickness, oedema, and stretch marks, as well as the actual labour. An appropriate form of massage and aromatherapy (given that the sense of smell can be heightened for most women during pregnancy), can be beneficial for the mother at times, especially when she is feeling fragile. 

It's important to remember that there are some essential oils that should be completely avoided during pregnancy and nursing:

*Anise, Star Anise, Araucaria, Artemisia vestita, Atractylis, Birch (sweet), Black seed, Buchu (diosphenol CT), Buchu (pulegone CT), Calamint (lesser), Carrot seed, Cassia, Chaste tree, Cinnamon bark, Costus, Cypress (blue), Dill seed (indian), Fennel (bitter or sweet), Feverfew, Genipi, Hibawood, Ho leaf (camphor CT), Hyssop (pinocamphone CT), Lanyana, Lavender (Spanish), Mugwort (common, camphor/thujone CT), Mugwort (common, chrysanthenyl acetate CT), Mugwort (great), Myrrh, Myrtle (aniseed), Oregano, Parsley leaf, Parsley seed, Pennyroyal, Rue, Sage (Dalmation), Sage (Spanish) S lavandulaefolia, Savin, Tansy, Thuja, Western red cedar, Wintergreen, Wormwood (all chemotypes), Wormwood (sea), Wormwood (white), Yarrow (green), Zedoary.
*(Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014)

 The following list are essential oils that should have restricted usage throughout the pregnancy and lactation:

**Basil, Boswellia papynifera, Champaca (orange) absolute, Lemon balm (Australian), Lemon leaf, Lemongrass, May change, Melissa, Myrtle (honey), Myrtle (lemon), Nasturtium absolute, Tea tree (lemon-scented), Thyme (lemon) Berbena (lemon).
**(Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition, Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014)


Delivery Room

Aromatherapy can also help relieve stress and soften the atmosphere in the delivery room. Essential oils such as Lavender and Chamomile are the more popular oils that have a calming effect and enhance the mood. 

Below is a list of oils that can have a calming effect in the delivery room:

Rose, Neroli, Lavender, Clary Sage, and Jasmine.


This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please review all information regarding any medical condition or treatment with your physician. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment.




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