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3 Essential oils types to avoid when pregnant!

Certain essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy.
Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Essential oils are amazing, therapeutic tools used to promote self-healing, but they not safe at all times.

Pregnancy is one of those special circumstances during which women should avoid certain oils that may harm the baby or interfere with a healthy pregnancy.

Some essential oils contain substances that are considered allergens, unsafe or potentially toxic. Three categories of contraindications come to mind when protecting mom and her baby during pregnancy: irritants, emmenagogue and abortifacients.

Check out the List to see each category of oils.

Possible Oil Irritants
Possible Oil Irritants Julie A. Cerrato

Possible Oil Irritants


Essential oils are composed of numerous chemical compounds that may be completely safe and untraceable for women, however, during pregnancy, may cause significant skin or internal irritation for the mother or fetus.

The National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy cautions against using irritants and potentially toxic oils.

Some irritants include lemon, lemongrass, basil, birch, clove, nutmeg and thyme oils.

Emmenagogue Oils- Induce Menstruation
Emmenagogue Oils- Induce Menstruation Julie A. Cerrato

Emmenagogue Oils- Induce Menstruation


Certain essential oils contain properties that will stimulate menstruation or ease the symptoms of menstruation like cramping, clotting or heavy bleeding.

These essentials oils are considered emmenagogues and should be avoided at all cost during pregnancy.

If exposed to an emmenagogue during, the oils may stimulate an unsafe onset of the menstrual cycle and result in a disruption of the uterus or placenta, thus causing a miscarriage.

Some oils that are emmenagogues include angelica, cedarwood, chamomile, cinnamon, clary sage, marjoram, peppermint and rosemary.

Avoid Abortifacients like Camphor Oil
Avoid Abortifacients like Camphor Oil Julie A. Cerroto

Avoid Abortifacients like Camphor Oil


Essential oils are powerful, concentrated substances that have significant biological abilities.

Some rare oils may have a strong effect on the body and directly contribute to the abortion of the fetus.

These oils should also be avoided at all costs during pregnancy.

Some oils in the abortifacient category include camphor (from cinnamon tree), calamus, hyssop, mugwort and wintergreen.

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