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Posts: 10
Reply with quote  #1 

Hi! Does anyone have a listing of oils that are contraindicated for pregnancy? Also, are they to be avoided topically or also aromatically? Thanks for your help!


Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #2 

Gosh - what a can of worms you've opened up here! There's sooo much controversy about the safety of eo's during pregnancy, and really it's not possible to give a definitive list of contraindicated eo's. Common sense is the rule here - so don't take any eo internally unless it has been prescribed by a medically qualified aromatherapist or herbalist. Internal ingestion of eo's during pregnancy is not necessarily contraindicated - depending on the nature and composition of the specific eo, it's dosage and frequency of use and the 'terrain' or constitution of the recipient. Don't forget that we ingest varying quantities of over the counter pharmaceuticals and daily personal care products. I remember receiving notification from a student I was tutoring through a distance-learning aromatherapy certification program that she was withdrawing from the course because her notes stated that so many of the eo's she would have to smell and work with were 'contraindicated in pregnancy'. Simply smelling these eo's - and even tasting a drop on her tongue - would pose no more of a problem to her and her growing baby than cleaning her bathroom with standard products from the supermarket. However, her teaching program had definitely spooked her. I would strongly suggest that you read the work of Ron Guba and Martin Watt on the AGORA website for a realistic and well supported account of what constitutes the actual risks for essential oil use. There are a number of myths that have been propagated over the years simply through poor reference sourcing and the unfortunate fact that many people simply believe everything they read without checking out the backing for claims. Normally the levels of essential oils used in massage, inhalations, compresses, baths, spritzers, lotions and so on are well within safety levels for the quantites that actually get absorbed into the body. However, of course a pregnant woman is often ultra-sensitive for obvious reasons and so it is generally understood that the % concentrations of eo's be reduced to half of the standard accepted norm. This means that you would be expecting to use between 1 - 2.5% total eo's to whatever carrier you are using for a full body administration say in a massage for example. This is very little indeed. Levels for inhalation may be increased - but avoid eo's high in phenols or the black-sheep ketone oils as a generalization. Some of the more potentially hazardous eo's that probably are best avoided during pregnancy - and there should be perfectly suitable and acceptable alternatives anyway - are Tansy, Thuja, Camphor, Ho Leaf, Buchu, Wormwood, Armoise, Dalmatian Sage, Western Red Cedar, Buchu, Pennyroyal and possibly camphor chemotype of Rosemary - the Spanish Rosemary, also Rue, and the potentially irritant and sensitizing oils. These actually pose more of a problem to a pregnant woman than most of the suggested emmenagogic or neurotoxic oils. A woman becomes much more sensitive - olfactorily and skin wise - and so be cautious and aware of old, oxidized citrus and pine needle oils - plus standard irritants and sensitizers such as Cinnamon bark, Lemon verbena, Benzoin resinoid, Elacampane, Inula, Peru and Tolu balsams and potentially aggressive oils like Oregano, Mountain Savory, Red Thymes (thymol and carvacrol) high estragole Basil such as the Exotic type and well there are all sorts of references for others. ONe thing is for sure - not many authorities can agree completely. Be sensible - use less than more - get advice and guidance from a qualified aromatherapist about which routes of administration and use are best for you for your specific needs and objectives on a daily basis. Use those oils that you are naturally and instinctively drawn towards - the mindbody has an innate intelligence for what is nourishing and what is not - so be guided by your own affinities for eo's by smell. There are enormous benefits to be enjoyed by the sensitive and discerning use of eo's throughout pregnancy and afterwards. If your pregnancy is normal and stable, then you should be able to enjoy the standard 'safe' oils like lavender, chamomile, mandarin, sweet orange, rose, neroli and so on every day and comfortably prepare for the wonderful day when you and your baby will meet face to face for the first time. Hope this helps. Best Carolyn


Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #3 

Hi all, My daughter is about 7 months pregnant. I have been making her eo blends for different things all along (and through her previous pregnancys as well). We've had morning sickness, swelling of feet, nausea, depression, the birthing, so many things, that different blends can help with. Recently some friend of hers told her that this was DANGEROUS and she should NEVER use ANY essential oils while pregnant. Atx gets such insults from the uninformed. I sat her down at my computer and had her read this whole thread. Thank you all for asking the question and thank you Carolyn for your, as always, terrific answers. You know that I have been using eo's most of my life, and of course I've been almost all the way through Carolyn's wonderful Atx class. But, I'm her mother, so of course, what do I know. I was so happy to find this thread. It really helped my daughter to go back to letting me help her when I can. Now, again, she is looking forward to this birthing, she knows that mom will be there with the helpful essential oils which she's used in her two previous pregnancys and birthings. In addition, using cautions as necessary, we "dose up" her small children when ever they need something as well. This is not to say we take a ton of peppermint and slave it on a child -- children are small and many caustions should be observed. But, we do use inhalations and sometimes very low dose lotions and my grandchildren are as healthy and active (if not more) than other kids. So again, thank you all for keeping this message board alive, it's always informative and interesting. Leigh

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