When I first started researching how to use essential oils during pregnancy, I got overwhelmed by the information out there very quickly. It was incredibly frustrating to read one source that says an oil is ok to use and then another source that says its not. So, I just dug deeper into the hole trying to sort through the trial-and-error worked-for-me reports and the sources based on scientific evidence. I weeded through some unfortunately well meaning crappy sources and was able to find some gems like Dr. Robert Tisserand's book, Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. Those gems were able to provide actual scientific aromatherapy studies to back the information provided! Hooray!
After sorting through the information, I have been able to compile a list and some extra useful tips based off of these sources. And just to be clear here, I am not an aromatherapist or a doctor, I am an essential oil user that is great at researching stuff and wanted to be sure the oils I am using aren't going to cause issues for myself or others. Check out my information below, but also check out my sources listed in the Resource Credits.
Use High Quality Essential Oils. The risk of an adverse reaction to essential oils increases with synthetic low grade products.
There are three ways to use essential oils: Aromatically, Topically, and Internally. During pregnancy a women’s senses are heightened and she can be more sensitive to essential oils, therefore it is important to use caution in all applications. The aromatic application of essential oils is a relatively low risk way to receive the benefits of the plant based products. In topical applications use a diluted 2% Essential Oil mixture, which is about the equivalent to 2 drops of an Essential Oil to 1 teaspoon of a base solution. Suggested base solutions to dilute your essential oils include: Fractionated Coconut Oil, Unscented Lotion, Almond Oil, Baby Oil, or Aloe Vera. Internal application is the riskiest method of use for essential oils because 100% of the oil will be absorbed into the body and has a higher chance to cross the placenta. If used internally during pregnancy, dilute to a 10-25% essential oil mixture. This mixture can be in food, beverage, or capsule form.
Which Oils are Safe During Pregnancy?
Amyris, Angelica, Black Pepper, Caraway, Cardamon, Carnation, Cedarwood, Chamomile, *Citrus Oils (All), Copiaba, Coriander, Davana, Echinacea, Elemi, Fern, Geranium, Ginger, Goldenrod, Hinoki, Honeysuckle, Helichrysum, Lavender, Ledum, Manuka, Marigold, Mastrante, Neroli, Orris/Iris, Osmanthus, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Peppermint, Petitgrain, Pine, Rose, Sandalwood, Spearmint, Spikenard, Spruce, Tea Tree, Valerian, Vanilla, Verbena, Vetiver, Ylang Ylang
*Topical use may cause sun sensitivity
Every oil should be used with caution, but the oils listed below can be used in some circumstances, under the guidance of an aromatherapist or doctor.
Benzoin, Cajuput, Cistus, Citronella, Clary Sage, Cumin, Cypress, Dill (European), Eucalyptus, Fir (all), Frankincense, Jasmine, Juniper Berry, Lemongrass, Marjoram, Palo Santo, Ravensara, Rosemary, Savory, Thyme
Avoid contact with with oils listed below.
Arborvitae/Thuja, Anise, Araucaria, Artemisia Vestita, Atractylis, Basil, Bay, Birch, Black Seed, Calamint, Camphor, Carrot Seed, Cassia, Champaca, Chaste Tree, Cinnamon Bark, Clove, Costus, Cypress (Blue), Dill (Indian), Fennel, Feverfew, Genipi, Hibawood, Ho Leaf, Hyssop, Lanyana, Lavender (Spanish), Lemon Balm, Lemongrass, May Chang, Melissa, Mugwort, Myrrh, Myrtle, Oregano, Parsley, Pennyroyal, Rue, Sage, Savin, Tansy, Tarragon, Thyme, Verbena (Lemon), Western Red Cedar, Wintergreen, Wormwood, Xiang Mao, Yarrow, Zedoary
Hey Reader! I'm glad you are curious about essential oils during pregnancy. You better believe that I offer some of these Certified Therapeutic Grade oils! If you'd like to shop my doTERRA site, just click on this link! Feel free to reach out if you are interested in setting up a membership account to get wholesale prices and potentially earn commission!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Pregnant or lactating women should consult a physician or aromatherapist prior to the use of essential oils.
National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy
Federation of Holistic Therapist
The School for Aromatic Studies
Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, by Robert Tisserand
Aromatherapy in Midwifery, by Denise Tiran
Aromatherapy for Women and Children, by Jane Dye