Each weekend, in addition to sharing all the awesome links and news from around our network, we also share and answer a reader’s question. This week we’re talking about which essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy.
This week, Jill asked:
Essential oils are an important part of my daily routine. Several others have realized the benefits of essential oils and use them on a regular basis, too. But while these oils are a wonderful safe alternative for preventing and treating illness, there needs to be special care taken during pregnancy (as with everything else).
Here are a few ways to use essential oils safely during pregnancy (and a few to avoid):
Use Pure, Therapeutic-Grade Essential Oils
No matter which oil brand you are loyal to, one thing every essential oil lover will agree to is that you need to use pure, therapeutic-grade oils. That means you need to choose a brand that does rigorous testing of their oils to ensure that there are no harmful properties present (that could be especially problematic during pregnancy).
These tests also ensure that the oils are as potent as they need to be. Because essential oils are so potent, you need to be aware of what the essential oil might do before you use it. Some could stimulate uterine contractions, just as some herbs would. I use Everything Essential as a quick reference and the book Modern Essentials for more in-depth information.
Also, be sure to choose an essential oil that isn’t “cut” with a carrier oil. Chances are, if you’re buying a large bottle of essential oils at a pretty low price, it’s not a pure oil. Pure essential oils tend to come in smaller vials and carry a little higher price tag. Thankfully, because they are so potent and only need one to two drops per dose, they will last quite some time.
Take extra caution during the first trimester
The first three months, even the first three weeks, are a precious time of rapid development for your baby. It’s important to take extra caution during this time in regards to what you eat and put on your body. Even herbs and essential oils considered safe for pregnancy should be used with caution during this time.
For example, rather than applying an oil directly to your body, you should dilute it first in a carrier oil, like coconut oil. You can then apply it to the problem area ( lavender or peppermint for a headache). Or, you can also apply oils to the bottoms of your feet, which is a common way to use essential oils on children.
Also, if you have any concern about an essential oil causing a reaction on particularly sensitive skin, start with a skin test.
Diffusing oils aromatically is a safe way to use essential during pregnancy. Essential oils like lavender and frankincense promote a peaceful mood and help reduce stress. Essential oils like lemon or wild orange are uplifting and make your house smell awesome. Eucalyptus works well as a decongestant.
Most concern is over the topical and internal use of essential oils.
Essential Oil Guide for Pregnancy
The following list is from Everything Essential as a guide for using essential oils for pregnancy. If you have any question about using essential oils, seek out the guidance of a holistic healthcare practitioner.
Oils that are generally ok:
- Wild Orange
- Ylang Ylang
Oils that for some would be better used diluted with a carrier oil:
- Roman Chamomile
Consult with your healthcare practitioner before using these oils:
- Cinnamon bark
- Clary Sage
- White Fir
Check out the connection between Sleep and Heart Health at Modern Alternative Health.
Looking for ways to lose weight either before or after pregnancy? Read these 3 Steps to Effortless Weight Loss, also at Modern Alternative Health.
Ready to conquer your fear of illness? Be sure to check out Monday Health & Wellness: A Holistic View of Illness from Modern Alternative Mama.
While you’re there, check out the post How to Show Respect Even When You Disagree.
Sometimes, food snobbery gets the best of us. (Except for me … Ok, it happens to me a lot.) Modern Alternative Kitchen covers this issue in Food Snobbery Gets us Nowhere: Thoughts for Real Food Newbies.
Also, read the great ideas in 8 Ways to Be Hospitable to Someone with Food Allergies, also from Modern Alternative Kitchen.
From Our Contributors
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