Essential Oils and Pregnancy

What to Use and What to Avoid During Pregnancy

While essential oils have amazing healing properties and provide a natural remedy option, there are some that should be avoided during pregnancy, when nursing, and with infants and young children. They can interfere with hormones, negatively affect your gut, and cause other health concerns. Reference this graphic to make sure you are aware of what to avoid.

In addition to being aware of which essential oils to avoid during pregnancy and with young children, there are certain oils that can cause photosensitivity and miscarriage. Inform yourself or bookmark this page for easy reference at any time.

These oils are not safe during pregnancy because of an abortifacient property which may cause a miscarriage:

  • Mugwort
  • Parsley Seed
  • Pennyroyal
  • Rue
  • Sage
  • Sassafras
  • Savin
  • Tansy
  • Thuja
  • Wormwood

These oils also have strong emmenagogues (a fancy word for substances) the can cause severe bleeding, or trigger a period. Additional essential oils with these strong properties are:

  • Angelica
  • Cinnamon
  • Clary Sage
  • Fennel
  • German Chamomile
  • Ginger
  • Jasmine
  • Juniper
  • Marjoram
  • Myrrh
  • Nutmeg
  • Peppermint
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Rose
  • Rosemary

While these won’t directly cause a miscarriage, they often stimulate menses, which is why they should be avoided.

Additional essential oils and plants to be aware of are those with photosensitivity properties. These include:

  • Angelica
  • Anise
  • Bergamot
  • Celery
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemon
  • Lemon Verbena
  • Lime
  • Mandarin Orange
  • Orange
  • Parsnips
  • Tagetes
  • Tangerine
  • Yuzu

Take caution when pregnant, as skin is more susceptible to the sun and photosensitivity, resulting in hyper pigmentation.

If you have any questions or concerns, please always consult with your healthcare provider before using herbs and essential oils. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Sources: The Modern Herbal Dispensatory: A Medicine-Making Guide by Thomas Easley; Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing by Althea Press; and Essential Oils for Beginners: The Guide to Get Started with Essential Oils and Aromatherapy by Althea Press


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