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  • Writer's picturebrunybotanica

(Essential) Oil me up, baby!

Updated: Feb 6

Let's talk about essential oils and pregnancy.

While most mums-to-be are aware that there are certain essential oils to avoid during pregnancy, they may not know which ones in particular they should be giving a wide berth (pardon the pun), or even why.

Here’s what the science says:

When you inhale an essential oil, the molecules it contains send signals to the brain, triggering different physiological responses within the body. When applied topically, the essential oils are absorbed through the skin and into the body, where they then trigger physiological responses.

So why are some oils unsafe during pregnancy?

Well, that’s because the physiological responses certain oils can trigger are definitely not ideal during pregnancy! For instance, some may promote uterine contractions or may negatively affect your baby during important early developmental stages.

It is recommended that the ingestion of essential oils should be avoided entirely while pregnant and inhalation and topical application should be limited and occur only during

the second and third trimesters.

If you do choose to apply essential oils topically however, make sure they are diluted with a carrier oil and that you conduct a skin patch test before use. For inhalation of essential oils, it is recommended that oils are placed into a diffuser to reduce their potency.


Essential Oils to Avoid Entirely While Pregnant:

❌ Aniseed ❌Peppermint

❌ Basil ❌ Rosemary

❌ Birch ❌ Rue

❌ Camphor ❌ Sage

❌ Clary Sage ❌ Tansy

❌ Hyssop ❌ Tarragon

❌ Mugwort ❌ Thuja

❌ Oak Moss ❌ Thyme

❌ Parsley Seed or Leaf ❌ Wintergreen

❌ Pennyroyal ❌ Wormwood


Essential Oils deemed to be generally safe during the second and third trimester of pregnancy:

✔️ Chamomile ✔️ Mandarin

✔️ Eucalyptus ✔️ Patchouli

✔️ Geranium ✔️ Rose

✔️ Grapefruit ✔️ Sandalwood

✔️ Lavender ✔️ Sweet Orange

✔️ Lemon ✔️ Tea Tree

✔️ Lemongrass ✔️ Ylang Ylang

✔️ Lime


But again, caution is always recommended during this important time in both you and your unborn child’s lives. Before using any essential oils or essential oil-containing products, it is important you speak with your GP and undertake your own research to ensure it is safe and right for you. While certain essential oils are generally deemed to be safe during pregnancy, this is not the case for every individual.

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