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Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

Stay Away From These

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Essential oils are amazing products of our natural world and, aromatherapy aside, they add wonderful qualities to our soap making and candle making. The oils of aromatic plants have been used for centuries for both their smell and their medicinal applications. But just because something is natural doesn't mean it's good for you. I can't think of a time this is more critical to understand than during pregnancy. Some essential oils have hormone-like effects, others stimulate the uterine muscles, others are just plain toxic. My rule of thumb, especially when there is a growing baby to consider, is an emphatic "better safe than sorry." If you are at all uncertain as to the safety of an essential-oil containing product, be sure to consult your doctor!

In addition to the essential oils that are commonly listed as toxic essential oils or hazardous essential oils, the following essential oils (many of which are commonly used in soap making and candle making) are generally recommended to be avoided during pregnancy:

  • angelica
  • anise (star)
  • aniseed
  • basil
  • bay laurel
  • birch
  • black pepper
  • cassia
  • cedarwood (all types)
  • cinnamon (leaf)
  • citronella
  • clary sage
  • clove
  • cumin
  • fennel (sweet)
  • hyssop
  • jasmine
  • juniper
  • labadanum
  • lemon
  • lovage
  • marajoram
  • melissa
  • mugwort
  • myrrh
  • nutmeg
  • parsley
  • peppermint
  • rose
  • rosemary
  • snakeroot
  • sage (Spanish)
  • tarragon
  • thyme (white)
  • wintergreen
Note: This list is not comprehensive of every single essential oil that may cause harm. It is for general information and reference only.

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