For over 5000 years the amazing benefits of aromatherapy have been known to mankind. Essential oils, which are an integral part of aromatherapy are known for their health benefits. However, many essential oils are contraindicated during pregnancy and not many people know about it. It is important to understand which essential oils are contraindicated during pregnancy and why?

About Essential Oils & its Use during Pregnancy

Aromatherapy has been proven to work wonders in curing several diseases, disorders and conditions. One of the major aspects of aromatherapy is essential oils which work like magic and have a plethora of advantages associated with it. Being derived from various elements of a plant whether it is the leaves, roots, stem, fruits or flowers, these essential oils boast of quite powerful healing qualities.

Essential oils are considered effective as they help to strengthen and awaken the important energies of your body. This help in regulating the physical imbalance and also ensuring its mental wellbeing for a long time.

Essential oils are available in several diluted forms and there are many ways in which they can be used. These would include baths, massage, compress, inhalation and less commonly oral intake. However, if you are using any kind of essential oil you must take care to mix it with carrier oil or else the former can cause sensitivity or irritation in the body.

Though essential oils are otherwise considered absolutely safe and are quite useful to the human body, there are certain essential oils which are contraindicated during pregnancy. It is important to know which essential oils are contraindicated in pregnancy and are best avoided by a pregnant woman as it can cause harm to her along with the fetus in her womb.

Essential Oils that are Contraindicated during Pregnancy

Essential Oils that are Contraindicated during Pregnancy & Why?

The below mentioned essential oils are contraindicated during pregnancy and are best avoided by a pregnant woman.

  • Basil – Having a negative effect on the uterine muscles of your body, basil essential oil stimulates these muscles to contract rapidly which can prove dangerous for the fetus. This essential oil is contraindicated during pregnancy, particularly during the early stages of pregnancy when the fetus is in its initial stages of development.
  • Rosemary – Another essential oil which is contraindicated during pregnancy is rosemary oil. It contains a chemical known as camphor which can prove injurious to the fetus in the womb even in small quantities. This essential oil can easily travel through the placenta if present in the mother's blood and harm the fetus. Camphor has the ability to cross the mucus membrane and skin barriers too.
  • Jasmine – Jasmine essential oil can also increase the ability of uterus muscles to contract. It is contraindicated during pregnancy as it can cause miscarriage in a pregnant woman if inhaled or applied on the body during the early stages of pregnancy. However, this essential oil finds some use during labor as it helps the mother to expel the fetus without trouble; must be used as advised.
  • Nutmeg – The main ingredient in nutmeg is myristicin which has a toxic effect, causing hallucination and nausea. This is why nutmeg essential oil is contraindicated during pregnancy and a pregnant woman must not use it for any purpose whatsoever.
  • Bitter Almond – Poisonous chemicals such as prussic acid and benzaldehyde are found in bitter almond essential oil. These poisonous chemicals can prove extremely dangerous and even fatal for both the pregnant woman and the fetus. It should never be used for any therapeutic purposes and are strongly contraindicated during pregnancy.
  • Angelica – Angelica essential oil is one which has the ability to fasten the flow of blood during a woman's menstrual cycle by increasing the uterus contractions to a large extent. Angelica essential oil is contraindicated during pregnancy as such increased blood flow may lead to expelling of the fetus and therefore miscarriage.
  • Marjoram – This is another essential oil which is contraindicated during pregnancy as it has the potential to stimulate the menstrual cycle in women. It can lead to bleeding and miscarriage even if used in small quantities.
  • Other Essential Oils – Other essential oils which are contraindicated during pregnancy to keep both the mother and fetus away from harm are roman chamomile, cinnamon, cypress, elemi, fennel, geranium, juniper, lemongrass, pine, thyme, yarrow and yang yang.

It is necessary to understand which essential oils are contraindicated during pregnancy and avoid their usage. If you wish to follow aromatherapy and essential oils for their benefits, it is best to consult an expert to know which essential oils can be useful at which stage and the appropriate ways to use them.

Why are Certain Essential Oils Contraindicated during Pregnancy?

Since essential oils are derived from various parts of a plant, they contain certain ingredients and chemicals which may prove harmful to the fetus and the pregnant woman. As these substances have varied properties as they can cause muscle contractions, increase blood supply, etc. their effects on the growing fetus can be dangerous, which is why certain essential oils are contraindicated during pregnancy.

On oral consumption or tropical application of these oils, the harmful ingredients present in it may enter the pregnant woman's blood stream and cause extensive harm by entering the placenta and affecting the health of the fetus. Such ingredients and chemicals are powerful enough to cause miscarriage or a birth defect in the unborn child.

This is why these essential oils are contraindicated during pregnancy from the huge range of oils being available abundantly. Some essential oils are absolutely unsafe for your pregnancy and must be avoided.

Conclusion

Now that you know which essential oils are contraindicated during pregnancy as they can cause harm to you and your unborn child, it is best to avoid those. Some of these essential oils can also be harmful during lactation and are best avoided for around one year after giving birth as well. It is advisable to seek medical opinion and follow expert's advice regarding the usage of essential oils. After all, the well-being of your little one is of utmost importance to you.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD, FFARCSI

Last Modified On: July 7, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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