Pregnancy and Essential Oil Use

Oils to avoid during pregnancy and lactation — toxic components

Information from Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young’s Essential Oil Safety book, second edition. 

  • Anise, Pimpinella anisum — trans-anethole
  • Anise (star), Illicium verum — trans-anethole
  • Araucaria, Neocallitropsis pancheri — beta-eudesmol
  • Artemisia vestita, Artemisia vestita — alpha + beta-thujone
  • Atractylis, Atractyllodes lancea — beta-elemene + beta-eudesmol
  • Birch (sweet), Betula lenta — methyl salicylate
  • Black Seed, Nigella sativa — thymoquinone
  • Buchu (diosphenol ct.), Agathosma betulina ct. diosphenol — alpha + beta-pulegone
  • Buchu (pulegone ct.), Agathosma crenulara ct. pulegone — beta-pulegone
  • Calamint (lesser), Calamintha nepeta — beta-pulegone
  • Carrot Seed, Daucus carota — not identified
  • Cassia, Cinnamomum cassia — not identified
  • Chaste Tree, Vitex agnus castus — not identified
  • Cinnamon Bark, Cinnamomum verum — not identified
  • Costus, Saussurea costus — costunolide + dehydrocostus lactone
  • Cypress (blue), Callitris intratropica — beta-eudesmol
  • Dill Seed (Indian), Anethum sowa — apiole (dill)
  • Fennel (bitter), Foeniculum vulgare — trans-anethole
  • Fennel (sweet), Foeniculum vulgare — trans-anethole
  • Feverfew, Tanacetum parthenium — camphor
  • Genipi, Artemisia genepi — alpha-thujone
  • Hibawood, Thujopsis dolobrata — beta-thujaplicin
  • Ho Leaf (camphor ct.), Cinnamomum camphora ct. camphor — camphor
  • Hyssop (pinocamphone ct.), Hyssopus officinalis ct. pinocamphone — pinocamphones
  • Lanyana, Artemisia afra — alpha + beta-thujone
  • Lavender (Spanish), Lavandula stoechas — camphor
  • Mugwort (camphor/thujone ct.), Artemisia vulgaris ct. camphor/thujone — alpha-thujone
  • Mugwort (chrysanthenyl acetate ct.), Artemisia vulgaris ct. chrysanthenyl acetate — alpha + beta-thujone
  • Mugwort (great), Artemisia arborescens — beta-thujone
  • Myrrh, Commiphora myrrha — beta-elemene + furanodiene
  • Myrtle (aniseed), Backhousia anisata — trans-anethole
  • Oregano, Origanum vulgare — not identified
  • Parsley Leaf, Petroselinum crispum — apiole (dill) + possibly p-menthatriene
  • Parsley Seed, Petroselinum crispum — apiole (parsley)
  • Pennyroyal, Hedeoma pulegioides, Mentha pulegium — beta-pulegone
  • Rue, Ruta graveolens — not identified
  • Sage (Dalmatian), Salvia officinalis — alpha + beta-thujone
  • Sage (Spanish), Salvia lavandulifolia — sabinyl acetate
  • Savin, Juniperus sabina — sabinyl acetate
  • Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare — alpha + beta-thujone
  • Thuja, White Cedar, Thuja occidentalis — alpha + beta-thujone
  • Western Red Cedar, Thuja plicata — alpha + beta thujone
  • Wintergreen, Gaultheria fragrantissima — methyl salicylate
  • Wormwood (all chemotypes), Artemisia absinthium — thujones + sabinyl acetate
  • Wormwood (sea), Artemisia maritime — alpha-thujone
  • Wormwood (white), Artemisia herba-alba — alpha + beta-thujone + camphor
  • Yarrow (green), Achillea nobilis — sabinyl acetate
  • Zedoary, Curcuma zedoaria — not identified

Oils that should be restricted during pregnancy and lactation — toxic constituents — maximum dermal dose*

Information from Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young’s Essential Oil Safety book, second edition. 

  • Basil (lemon), Ocimum x citriodorum — citral — 1.4%
  • Boswellia papyrifera  — octyl acetate — 1.7%
  • Champaca (Orange) Absolute, Michelia champaca — 2-phenylethanol — 17.5%
  • Lemon Balm (Australian), Eucalyptus staigeriana — citral — 3.4%
  • Lemon Leaf, Citrus x limon — citral — 1.2%
  • Lemongrass, Cymbopogon citratus — citral — 0.7%
  • May Chang, Litsea cubeba — citral — 0.8%
  • Melissa, Melissa officinals — citral — 0.9%
  • Myrtle (honey), Maleleuca teretifolia — citral — 0.9%
  • Myrtle (lemon), Backhousia citriodora — citral — 0.7%
  • Nasturtium Absolute, Tropaeolum majus — benzyl isothiocyanate — 0.26%
  • Tea Tree (lemon-scented), Leptospermum peteronii — citral — 0.8%
  • Thyme (lemon), Thymus lanuginosus var. citriodorum — citral — 3.7%
  • Verbena (lemon), Aloysia citriodora — citral — 0.9%

* Calculated to allow for whole-body, once-daily application. This limit was determined for skin sensitization, and also a safe concentration in pregnancy.