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Huiles essentielles et grossesse

Why are most essential oils not recommended for pregnant and breastfeeding women?

During this unique period in some women's lives, it is often tempting to turn to natural remedies, and thus to aromatherapy. However, essential oils contain aromatic compounds with potent effects; they can be counterproductive and pose a real risk to the health of the woman and her baby.

What could be the risks associated with the use of essential oils during pregnancy?

Whether taken orally or applied topically, essential oils should be avoided during the first trimester of pregnancy.

The first risk is associated with the neurotoxic potential of certain essential oils, particularly the ketones they contain. These compounds can cause nervous or respiratory spasms, as well as nausea which can increase the risk of miscarriage. Furthermore, it is possible that the active ingredients in essential oils can cross the skin barrier and the placenta, affecting the developing embryo.

What could be the potential risks associated with the use of essential oils while breastfeeding?

According to a study, essential oil penetrates the skin barrier at a concentration equal to or greater than 3% in a topical formula. As a result, traces of it can be found in breast milk, which can cause respiratory spasms and/or nausea in infants.

What precautions should be taken when using essential oils after the first trimester of pregnancy?

Some essential oils should be avoided throughout the entire duration of pregnancy : Ajowan, Dill, Angelica, Bergamot, Bergaptene-free Bergamot, Juniper, Cajeput, Wild Chamomile, Cinnamon, Caraway, Atlas Cedar, Javanese Lemongrass, Clove, Kaffir Lime, Coriander, Sea Fennel, Turmeric, Frankincense, Tarragon, Eucalyptus Globulus, Eucalyptus Smithii, Sweet Fennel, Galbanum, Juniper, Madagascar Helichrysum, Italian Helichrysum, Khella, Lavandula Stoechas, Greenland Moss, Lemongrass, Lovage, Wild Marjoram, Lemon Balm, Peppermint, Spearmint, Nutmeg, Green Myrtle, Red Myrtle, Lemon Myrtle, Himalayan Spikenard, Sweet Orange, Compact Oregano, Green Oregano, Spanish Oregano, Palmarosa, Grapefruit, Patchouli, Douglas Fir, Scots Pine, Black Pepper, Hemlock, Camphor Rosemary, Cineole Rosemary, Siberian Fir, Balsam Fir, Mountain Savory, Lavender Leaf Sage, Clary Sage, Turpentine,Linalool Thyme, Thymol Thyme, Goldenrod, Exotic Verbena, Vetiver.

In other instances, the use of certain essential oils may be permitted from the fourth month of pregnancy onwards. This usage is then only through topical application. Certain essential oils require a doctor's recommendations: Basil, German Chamomile, Cistus, Provence Cypress, Black Spruce, Wintergreen, Rose Geranium, Ginger, Lavender Spike, Pistacia Lentiscus, Field Mint, Niaouli, Rosemary Verbenone, Tansy, Thyme with Savory leaves. If the use of these essential oils is authorized for you, adhere to the instructions and prescribed dosage, particularly in regards to:

  • Application: Avoid the abdominal belt and areas close to the baby.

  • The number of drops ;

  • the duration of use;

  • The frequency of use.

Note! Particularly low in ketones, certain essential oils do not require a doctor's approval before being used topically after the fourth month of pregnancy. These include Roman Chamomile, Cardamom, Lemon, Lemon Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Radiata, Fragrant Inula, Bay Laurel, True Lavender, Fine Lavender, Super Lavandin, Green Mandarin, Shell Marjoram, Neroli, Petitgrain Bigarade, Ravintsara, Saro, Tea Tree, Thyme with Thujanol, and Fragrant Verbena.


  • FAUCON M. Traité d'aromathérapie scientifique et médicale - Les huiles essentielles - Fondements et aides à la prescription (2017).


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