Essential Oils to Avoid and Why

Essential Oils to avoid during certain seasons

The following essential oils should not be used with anyone suspected of being vulnerable to epileptic seizures: Western Red Cedar, Wormwood, Genipi, Hyssop, Sage, Thuja, Pennyroyal, Buchu, Calamint, Tansy, Mugwort, Layana, Ho Leaf, Boldo, Wintergreen, Birch, Rosemary, Yarrow, Lavandin, Feverfew, and Spike Lavender. (Tisserand and Young p.134, table 10.2)

Diffusing gentle essential oils around babies and younger children is a good option, too. Ambient inhalation (inhaling oils that are diffused into the air) is generally safe.

Birch or Wintergreen should not be used on or given to children in any amount due to risk of developing Reye’s syndrome. (Tisserand and Young p.656).

Phototoxic: Bergamot (0.4%), Lemon (2%), cold pressed Lime (0.7%), Grapefruit (4%), Bitter Orange (1.25%), Mandarin Leaf (0.17%), Cumin (0.4%), Angelica Root (0.8%), Laurel Leaf absolute (2%), Rue (0.15%) and Taget (0.01%). Sunlight or tanning bed rays must be avoided for at least 12–18 hours after application if any of these oils are used at levels higher than indicated. These oils applied to the skin at over the photo-toxic safety level will increase the chance of severe burns from ultraviolet light. (Tisserand and Young p.659)

Essential oils to Avoid throughout Pregnancy, Labor, and while Breastfeeding

This is not an exhaustive list nor an absolute but it is a recommendation to take caution and possibly alter your use during this season of life.


Essential Oil          Latin Name

Anise                      Pimpinella anisum

Basil                       ct. estragole Ocimum basilicum (not Basil linalool like we use)

Birch                      Betula lenta

Camphor               Cinnamomum camphora

Hyssop                  Hyssopus officinalis

Mugwort                Artemisia vulgaris

Parsley seed        Petroselinum sativum or leaf

Pennyroyal           Mentha pulegium

Sage                    Salvia officinalis

Tansy                   Tanacetum vulgare

Tarragon              Artemisia dracunculus

Thuja                   Thuja occidentalis  

Wintergreen        Gaultheria procumbens

Wormwood         Artemisia absinthium

During pregnancy and breastfeeding using oils diluted at a 1% dilution ratio is always recommended. If you are not sure about dilution ratios or a safety of an oil please contact us or research the oil before using. We are happy to answer any questions you may have with the information we have available to us.

Per the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy

Essential Oil Safety by Tisserand and Young

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