Posted by on 05/30/2016

essential oils during pregnancyc

So, you've made the leap from mass-market products to natural, nontoxic and are feeling pretty good about eliminating toxins from your daily routine. Now, you're pregnant. Yay! You've already rid your routine of nasty chemicals and potentially harmful ingredients for your new baby, right? Well, the answer is...kind of. As you may have discovered, essential oils are a common replacement for synthetic 'fragrance' in many personal care products and are touted for their beautification, wellness-enhancing and myriad other properties that make you feel great. However, using essential oils during pregnancy merits some caution. As with many (if not all) pregnancy-related questions, it's hard to say for sure what's safe and what isn't and what works for one woman might not work for another.  There are no clear medical guidelines on the topic; After all, scientists aren't keen to conduct real-life studies on these questions at the risk of endangering real-life mamas and their babies. You should always consult your physician to determine what is ok for you given your unique health background and personal situation.When curating our Pregnancy Box at Ecocentric Mom, we follow a few general guidelines.

Pure Essential Oils During Pregnancy

First, we steer clear of pure and pure / undiluted essential oils in products in the Pregnancy Box, even those widely regarded as safe. For those who use essential oils at home, be sure to dilute them with a carrier oil (such as almond or coconut) before use. During pregnancy, aim for 1% dilution max.

Essential Oils During First Trimester of Pregnancy

Second, we advise our mamas to be to avoid most essential oil laden products during the first trimester. These fragile weeks for baby and it's just not worth any small risk to your unborn's livelihood.

Avoid Ingesting Essential Oils During Pregnancy

While use on skin and diffusion of oils are both generally safe during pregnancy or nursing, there is some evidence that ingested oils can pass to the baby through the placenta with potentially toxic effects.  It is important not to ingest ANY essential oils while pregnant or nursing.

Consult the List

Below we include a list of oils that are generally accepted to be good and bad during pregnancy.  Check your products against these lists and when in doubt, ask a physician!   


Safe Essential Oils During Pregnancy

The following list of essential oils is generally considered safe as an ingredient for topical use in certain products and may appear in our Pregnancy Box in appropriate concentrations.

Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) 
Black Pepper (Piper nigrum)
Chamomile, German/Roman (Chamaemelum nobile, Matricaria recutita) –
Copaiba (Copaifera langsdorfii, Copaifera officinalis)
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum)
Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
Fir Needle (Abies alba, Abies sachalinensis, Abies sibirica)
Frankincense (Boswellia carteri, Boswellia frereana, Boswellia neglecta, Boswellia rivae, Boswellia sacra, Boswellia serrata)
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi) 
Juniperberry (Juniperus communis)
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Lavender, Spike (Lavandula latifolia)
Lemon (Citrus x limon)
Lime (Cirtus x aurantifolia)
Marjoram, Sweet (Marjorana hortensis)
Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
Neroli (Citrus x aurantium)
Orange, Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium)
Pine, Scots  (Pinus sylvestris)
Rose, Otto (Rosa damascena) 
Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)
Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)
Spruce, Norway (Picea abies)
Tangerine (Citrus reticulata)
Tea Tree (Maleluca alternifolia)
Thyme ct linalool (Thymus vulgaris)
Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata) 


Essential oils to avoid during pregnancy

The following list of essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy.

Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum)
Anise, Star (Illicium verum)
Araucaria (Neocallitropsis pancheri)
Artemisia (Artemisia vestita)
Atractylis (Atractylylodes lancea)
Lemon Basil (Ocimum x citriodorum) 
Birch (Betula lenta)
Black Seed (Nigella sativa)
Buchu (Agathosma betulina, Agathosma crenulata)
Calamint (Calamintha nepeta)
Camphor (Cinnamomum camphora)
Carrot Seed (Daucus carota)
Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia)
Chaste Tree (Vitex ugnus castus)
Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum verum)
Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea) 
Cypress, blue (Callitris intratopica)
Dill Seed (Anethum graveolens)
Dill Seed, Indian  (Anethus sowa)
Eucalyptus, ALL (Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus maidenii, Eucalyptus plenissima, Eucalyptus kochii, Eucalyptus polybractea, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus autraliana, Eucalyptus phellandra, Eucalyptus smithi
Fennel, bitter and sweet (Foeniculum vulgare)
Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)
Frankincense (Boswellia papyrifer) 
Genipi (Artemisia genepi)
Hibawood (Thujopsis dolobratta)
Ho Leaf (Cinnamomum camphora)
Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis)
Lanyuna (Artemisia afra)
Lavender, French/Spanish  (Lavandula stoechas)
Lemon Balm, Australian  (Eucalyptus staigeriana) 
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon flexuosus) 
May Chang Litsea cubeba 
Mugwort (Artemisia arborescens, Artemisia vulgaris)
Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha)
Myrtle Backhousia anisata)
Myrtle, Honey (Melaleuca teretifolia)  
Myrtle, Lemon (Backhousia citriodora)  
Nutmeg (Mysristica fragrans)
Oregano (Origanum onites, Origanum smyrnaeum, Origanum vulgare, etc.)
Parsley, Leaf/Seed (Petroslinum sativum)
Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium)
Plectranthus (Plectranthus fruticosus)
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
Rue (Ruta graveolens)
Sage, Dalmatian (Salvia officinalis)
Sage, Spanish (Salvia lavandulaefolia)
Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare)
Tea Tree, Lemon (Leptospermum petersonii) 
Thuja (Thuja occidentalis)
Thyme, Lemon (Thymus x citriodorus)
Verbena, Lemon  (Aloysia triphylla) 
Western Red Cedar (Thuja plicata)
Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens)
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium, Achillea nobilis)
Zeodary (Curcuma sedoaria)

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