11 Essential Oils to Avoid during Pregnancy


There is nothing like a relaxing aromatic bath, is there? And, when you are pregnant a bath in essential oils or a light massage can be really heavenly. Many women also use essential oils as remedies for myriad common ailments. But, is this safe? Not all essential oils are safe to use. Listed below are a few that are best avoided during pregnancy.

Use of essential oils during pregnancy is one of the most common questions asked by many pregnant women. Well, before we move to the list of oils to be avoided during pregnancy, it is better to know about the reasons to avoid essential oils during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Read More: 5 Essential Oils to Increase Milk Supply

List of Essential Oils to Avoid during Pregnancy and Nursing

Although essential oils contain numerous benefits and form an inevitable part of many women’s daily routine, there are certain essential oils that need to be avoided during pregnancy and phase of nursing. As a matter of fact, even the herbs and oils that are considered safe for use need to be used with caution during pregnancy. For instance, instead of applying them directly over the body, it is better to use them in diluted form using carrier oil.

Oils to Avoid during Pregnancy

1. Bitter Almond Oil Essential Oil

This oil is prepared using bitter almonds which can increase the risks of birth defects among babies. This oil needs to be avoided as it can cause birth defects in the child.

2. Camphor Essential Oil

Camphor is characterized by a strong odor. It is used in a variety of products ranging from medical stimulants to industrial lacquer. The chemical properties and side effects can be a matter of concern if you are pregnant or lactating. Excessive use of this essential oil can break down the red blood cells. It is, therefore, better to avoid it.

3. Basil Essential Oil

Although home remedies prepared using this leaf are considered completely safe, the essential oil can result in irritation and should be, therefore, avoided during pregnancy.

Read More: 11 Health Benefits of Basil Seeds in your Child’s Diet

4. Basil Essential Oil

Basil essential oil contains high amount of estragole, a compound that can lead to uterine contractions. For this reason, pregnant or expecting mothers are advised to avoid the use of basil essential oil completely.

5. Aniseed Essential Oil

This essential oil should be avoided for the content of anthills in it. This element can raise the level of estrogen, which is not good in pregnancy.

Oils to Avoid during Pregnancy

6. Chamomile Essential Oil

This is an emmenogue. Therefore, use it with caution only after your doctor’s green signal.

7. Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil

This essential oil contains saffrole that can lead to kidney or liver issues in the fetus. Besides, it is also believed that cinnamon bark essential oil can trigger contractions or even induce preterm labor. Adding further, this essential oil is also believed to stimulate menstruation (known as the emmenogue effect) thus increasing the risk of miscarriage. Since essential oils are highly concentrated, it is better to steer clear of cinnamon bark essential oil completely.

8. Clove Essential Oil

Generally, the use of clove oil is considered completely safe during pregnancy. However, many research studies also recommend that clove essential oil is can cause contractions thus leading to miscarriage. Secondly, it has been proved through research that clove oil slows down the clotting of blood in many cases. Consequently, it can cause more bleeding during delivery, more specifically if you are using other blood medications.

Therefore, it is better to avoid them during pregnancy. You can, however, consult your doctor for the same and take the decision accordingly. Safety should be the primary concern.

9. Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is considered as one of the safest oils. Despite this, it is not recommended for use in the initial 20 weeks of pregnancy. Even though this oil helps women with menstrual issues, it can pose negative effects on pregnant women. It is considered as an emmenogue, i.e. it can induce menstrual flow thus increasing the risk of miscarriage.

Read More: 7 Best Lavender Oil Benefits for Kids

10. Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil is an emmenogue and can reduce lactation. Besides, it can also cause an allergic reaction if you are allergic to menthol or peppermint. This can turn dangerous if the reaction is severe during pregnancy. Therefore, avoid it during pregnancy and lactation period.

11. Wintergreen Essential Oil

This essential oil contains a compound called methyl silicate. This can affect the normal growth of the fetus and cause serious deformities.

However, if you still feel like using them, make sure to use them through aromatherapy. Diffusing them aromatically is a safe way to use them. Essential oils like frankincense and lavender promote a peaceful mood while reducing the level of stress as well.