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Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

Essential oils and pregnancy

Use of essential oils should be extremely limited or avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy, but they have many wonderful uses in the last two trimesters and especially during labor.

The following list contains oils that should be avoided* during pregnancy:

  • Almond

  • Basil

  • Cedarwood

  • Cinnamon

  • Clary sage (OK during labor)

  • Clove

  • Cypress (OK after 5 months)

  • Fennel

  • Hyssop

  • Jasmine (OK during labor)

  • Juniper

  • Lemongrass

  • Myrrh

  • Parsley

  • Pennyroyal

  • Peppermint

  • Rosemary

  • Sweet marjoram

  • Thyme

*Note: Since it would be highly unethical to test on pregnant women, the list of essential oils to avoid during pregnancy is based on knowledge of the general properties of each essential oil. For obvious reasons, during pregnancy it is recommended to avoid essential oils which are known to thin the blood or cause cramping or contractions. Used under proper dilution, most of these oils should not cause any problems during a healthy pregnancy, but it is always best to err on the side of caution.

If you are currently pregnant and have been using any of the "to be avoided" essential oils but are not experiencing any bleeding or cramping, then there most likely is nothing wrong. However, we strongly encourage you to consult your doctor or midwife and discontinue use of the "to be avoided" essential oils.

Recommended Essential Oils for Pregnancy Aromatherapy

Listed below are some of the benefits and therapeutic effects of the essential oils recommended for use during pregnancy:

Bergamot- Analgesic, antiseptic, antidepressant, uplifting, and refreshing. Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.

Chamomile- Antiseptic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic. Soothes pain from muscular aches, headaches, toothaches and indigestion.

Cypress - Antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent and diuretic. Helpful for varicose veins,hemorrhoids and swollen ankles.

Eucalyptus- Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral. Helpful with respiratory congestion.

Frankincense- Antiseptic, astringent, sedative, warming.

Geranium - (OK after 3 months) Antiseptic, antidepressant, astringent, refreshing, uplifting. Eases aching legs and is good for poor circulation.

Grapefruit- Astringent, digestive aid, lymphatic stimulant. Helps with water retention.

Lavender- Antiseptic, antibiotic, analgesic, antidepressant, healing, relaxing. Helps soothe aches and pains of pregnancy, encourages cell renewal and helps with fluid retention.

Lemon- Antiseptic, antibacterial, anti fungal, astringent, stimulant, tonic. Useful as an inhalant for morning sickness and in massage for varicose veins.

Mandarin- Antiseptic, refreshing, tonic, mild relaxant. Can ease fluid retention in leg and ankle massages.

Neroli- Antiseptic, antidepressant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, relaxing. Useful in pregnancy to promote healthy skin cell regeneration and for easing nervous tension.

Patchouli- Antiseptic, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, nerve sedative. Eases confusion, indecision and apathy.

Petitgrain- Antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative, refreshing, tonic. Helpful in dealing with pre or postpartum depression.

Rosewood- Antiseptic, sedative.

Sandalwood- Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant, sedative. Helpful for cystitis during pregnancy.

Tangerine- Antispasmodic, lymphatic stimulant, calming, sedative. Helps to prevent stretch marks.

Tea Tree- Antibiotic, antiseptic, antifungal, antiviral, disinfectant. Can be used to treat thrush during pregnancy.

Ylang Ylang- Antiseptic, antidepressant, aphrodisiac, sedative, lowers blood pressure. Restorative when overworked or tense.

As always, use caution if you have allergies or a family history of allergies. If you think you may be allergic to an oil, do a patch test first.

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