Aromatherapy & Pregnancy

by Jade Shutes

Aromatherapy & Pregnancy: Exploring the controversy to uncover the healing potential of essential oils.

Written by: Jolene Meum, MBA

Research paper for The School for Aromatic Studies

Pregnancy is a pivotal point in a woman’s life. One will seek out information about how to provide the best for the tiny child they have yet to meet. They may look to professionals for advice, research online, read books, and ask friends for opinions to feel comfortable about the choices they make during pregnancy. Unfortunately, some topics have polarized views with passionate opposition. At these times it is difficult to determine the right thing to do. This paper highlights the different views on the topic and provides insight regarding specific oils and constituents that are contraindicated during pregnancy. Ideally, after reading this paper a person can feel informed about the use of Aromatherapy during pregnancy.

The debate over essential oil use during pregnancy has been evolving, but it remains a highly controversial topic. There are many views that state expectant mothers should refrain from essential oils all together, while there are many women that have used essential oils throughout their pregnancies to ease discomforts and maintain a healthy terrain. With more research and understanding about quality, chemical composition and methods of application, one has the ability to make an informed decision about essential oil use during pregnancy.

Essential oils are highly concentrated and extremely powerful. They have the ability to penetrate cell membranes and travel throughout the body in a matter of minutes. During pregnancy, an expectant mother passes nutrients to her baby from implantation until birth. Thus, when a pregnant woman uses essential oils the constituents of that oil may reach the unborn child. This is not necessarily detrimental to the baby, but without more information a frequent recommendation has been to refrain from the use of essential oils during pregnancy.

In his book, Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails, S. Johnson (2014) writes, “Very little information exists regarding the safety of essential oils during pregnancy and lactation. Because of this, caution and common sense is advised, especially during the first trimester, with a sensible approach being to focus on essential oils that are mild and avoid more than normal doses” (p.21). In many reference books there is little or no explanation of why one should refrain from using essential oils other than lack of information. The statement to avoid use of essential oils during the first three months of pregnancy is mentioned in many reference books without supporting data. Statistics show that between 10-25% of clinically recognized pregnancies will terminate prior to the 20th week of gestation with 80% of those in the first trimester. Thus, it is a valid statement that this is a fragile time during the pregnancy. Reasons given to refrain from use include fetal toxicity, uterine stimulation, and impaired cell development. However, these are issues that one would be concerned with through pregnancy as the cell development and growth continue through the three trimesters. The first trimester is a more fragile state, but if an essential oil is dangerous during these first three months, it should be avoided for the entire pregnancy.

Rather than condemning all essential oil use during pregnancy, many guides specify certain oils that should be avoided. “Some oils contain compounds that can be toxic and prevent conception, harm the fetus, or result in birth defects. The use of the following common oils should be avoided by any methods of application throughout pregnancy and while nursing: aniseed (anise), birch, blue cypress, carrot, clove, fennel, hyssop, mugwort, myrrh, oregano, parsley seed and leaf, pennyroyal, rue, sage, tansy, thuja, tarragon, wintergreen, and wormwood” (Johnson, 2014, p.21). Unfortunately, this list does not include the reasons why each of these oils should be avoided or if they should be avoided prior to or during pregnancy. Some oils may prevent implantation, but once the pregnancy is established the studies do not show adverse effects. It is also important to note that some of the oils included on this list should be avoided in totality, not just by pregnant women. Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium) should not be used internally or externally as it can lead to acute toxicity in humans, and Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) can cause hepatotoxicity when used internally. The IFPA Pregnancy Guideline also includes Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia), Mustard (Brassica nigra), and Elecampane (Inula helenium) as essential oils that should not be used with clients regardless of if they are pregnant.

The safety guidelines are intended to promote responsible use and remind everyone that essential oils are powerful substances and should not be used in excess. However, the overly cautious guidelines lead to increased fear, doubt and confusion. Essential oils by nature work with the body. As stated in the International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (2013) Pregnancy Guidelines, “Therapists should recognize that the human body is intelligent and that essential oils (found in every day food and drink) are no stranger to the human metabolism. The body knows how to break them down and utilize them to balance the human physiology” (p. 3). Though it is advisable to be cautious, there are a very small number of oils that cannot be used during pregnancy.

A generalized recommendation prior to use of any form of therapeutic treatment while pregnant is to have prior consultation with an OB/GYN. However, there are very few medical doctors that are educated in Aromatherapy. The recommendation to use oils responsibly with common sense is difficult if one does not understand the fundamentals of Aromatherapy. Therefore, it is important to understand any essential oils that one may be interested in using during pregnancy including the quality and chemical composition of that specific oil. Each method of application should be reviewed separately since they pose different safely precautions.


The most important consideration that one should take when using an essential oil is the quality. One must research the company producing oils to make sure they are authentic, pure, and therapeutic quality. To prevent adverse reactions it is important that the essential oil is unaltered, organic, and free from pesticides. Chances of adverse reaction to essential oils greatly increase when there are synthetic materials present.

Chemical Composition

Essential oils are very complex and may consist of hundreds of distinct chemical compounds. The chemical composition of an oil will determine potential safety concerns. Monoterpenes and sesquiterpenes do not present significant rick to pregnancy and are generally well tolerated. Alcohols are usually non-irritating to the skin and non-toxic. Oxides are generally well tolerated, but can lead to skin irritation when administered topically. Essential oils containing furanocoumains are phototoxic so one needs to be cautious of topical application to sun exposed skin. Esters and ethers have many similar properties and characteristics, but while esters only occur in small quantities in essential oils, ethers are much stronger. One should not use essential oils with ethers for a prolonged period of time and use of these oils should be given careful consideration during pregnancy. Aniseed (Pimpinella anisum), Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), and Anise Star (Illicium vernum) all contain phenyl menthyl ethers and should be avoided during pregnancy. Ketones are not easily metabolized by the liver and can be toxic. Therefore, oils containing high levels of aromatic ketones should be avoided because they can be stored in the body and could cause problems after prolonged daily use. These oils include Sage (Salvia officianalis), and Hyssop (Hyssopus officinalis). Essential oils rich in aldehydes or phenols can cause skin sensitivity. Phenols can be burning or warming to the skin and should be avoided due to skin sensitivity during pregnancy unless there is an infection present. Oregano (Origanum compactum), Thyme (Thymus vulgaris ct thymol), Savoury (Satureia montana), Clove (Syzygium aromaticum), and Cinnamon (Cinnamomum camphora), contain high levels of phenols and should be avoided during pregnancy. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum camphora) also contains aldehydes along with Cumin (Cumimum cyminum) so these oils are contraindicated during pregnancy.


There is very limited information showing exactly how essential oils can impact pregnancy since human testing is considered unsafe and unethical. There is reproductive toxicity testing done on animals to provide some data on how essential oils impact a pregnancy. However, there are significant differences in the reproductive systems of humans and these test subjects. The gestation period for a mouse is three weeks which makes it difficult to parallel human gestation at over twelve times that duration. Likewise, the majority of these test subjects carry multiples while the majority of human gestation is supporting one embryo. We may never have the scientific studies to prove safety protocol directly with essential oils in human pregnancy, but this is in alignment with the state of pharmaceuticals. Evan with all of the research and development that goes into pharmaceutical drugs, testing on pregnant women is almost never done. “If we apply the same standards to essential oils and pharmaceutical drugs, then either most drugs (whether prescription or over the counter) and most essential oils should never be used in pregnancy, or we should continue with the status quo, meaning that most drugs and essential oils are considered safe to use, with some degree of caution, during pregnancy” (Tisserand and Young (2014) p. 148).

There are no studies that show essential oils deter conception, but one should be aware of certain oils when trying to conceive. Animal studies have revealed that the use of certain essential oils could prevent implantation which aligns more with pregnancy prevention, but should be noted. Extremely high doses of Carrot Seed Oil (Daucus carota) in rats and mice prevented implantation of a fertilized egg. Likewise, when Zedoary Oil (Curcuma zedoaria) was delivered to rabbits via vaginal tampon during the first week of pregnancy implantation did not take place. Savin oil (Juniperus sabina) prevented implantation in mice at 45 mg/kg and 135 mg/kg when given on gestation day 0-4, but did not have the same result on later gestational dates or at lower doses.

Once conceived and implanted the embryo is still in a very delicate state. Toxicity during gestation leading to impaired cell development, birth defects, or termination of pregnancy could occur if a large enough dose of a certain essential oil constituent crosses the placenta. Fetotoxicity could take place if one of more contraindicated constituent cross the placenta, but there are only a few constituents identified that would have this result. It is also important to note that the doses in test studies are extremely excessive and the number of oils containing these potentially detrimental constituents is relativity minute. Safety guidelines for normal internal use of essential oils specify that typical oral dosage for an adult is 0.22-0.66mL and many guidelines suggest that daily internal use of essential oils should not exceed twelve drops. In animal tests, a rodent that weighs less than 1-5% of an average human is given upwards of one hundred times the recommendations for safe use. There are no documented cases resulting in miscarriage with normal use of essential oils. However, it is important to note the oils that have adverse effects during animal studies and avoid those during pregnancy.

Oregano (Origanum compactum), Cinnamon Bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), and Cassia (Cinnamomum cassia) oils have been contraindicated during pregnancy due to embrotoxicity. In animal studies these oils showed detrimental effects to nuclei and increased rate of cell death. This was only seen in very high doses, but without further information the recommendation is to avoid these essential oils. Dalmation Sage Oil (Salvia officinalis) could cause neurotoxicity and embryotoxicity so it should also be avoided.

Essential oils with high levels of camphor should be avoided because in high doses camphor is a neurotoxin. Oils with high levels of camphor include Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium), Ho Leaf (Cinnamomum camphora), and Lavender (Spanish) (Lavandula stoechas). “The neurotoxicity data suggest a human daily oral maximum does of 2 mg/kg/day for camphor, or 140 mg per adult, equivalent to a dermal exposure of 4.5%”(Tisserand and Young (2014) p. 155). In the cases documented, the amount of camphorated oil ingested by pregnant woman was 45ml-57ml which is ninety times more than suggested use. Two of the woman ingested when they were already full term and one of these cases resulted in death of the infant. The other woman ingested during the first trimester and had an unaffected full term baby six months later. It is possible that other complications led to the one death, but camphor was detected in major organs and thought to have a role in the outcome.

Several constituents have shown the ability to inhibit the development of new blood vessels (angiogenesis); therefore, essential oils with greater than 10% of these constituents have been contraindicated during pregnancy. “These include costunolide, dehydrocostus lactone, β-elemene, β-eudesmol, furannodiene and thymoquinone” (Tisserand and Young (2014) p. 155). Essential oils contraindicated due to these constituents include Costus (Saussurea costus), Myrrh (Commiphora myrrha), Atractylis (Atractylodes lancea), Cypress (Blue) (Callitris intratropica), Araucaria (Neocallitropsis pancheri), and Black Seed (Nigella sativa).

Essential oils with sabinyl acetate should not be used during pregnancy. Sabinyl acetate is found in Plectranthus (Plectranthus fruticosus), Savin (Juniperus sabina), Sage (Spanish) (Salvia lavandulifolia), Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium), and Yarrow (green) (Archillea nobilis). “Oils rich in sabinyl acetate are among the most dangerous in pregnancy” (Tisserand and Young (2014) p. 155). A teratogen is a factor that causes structural malformations of an embryo. The only essential oil known to cause these types of birth defects is Plectranthus (Plectranthus fruticosus) which is not commercially available. In these animal studies abnormalities included small eyeballs or lack of eyeballs, kidney and heart defects, and skeletal alternations. Sabinyl acetate is present in higher concentrations in Plectranthus (Plectranthus fruticosus) than in any other oil which is thought to be the cause of these defects.

Preterm labor or termination of pregnancy has been a topic of debate for years in regard to essential oil use. Clary sage (Salvia sclarea), Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Marjoram (Origanum majorana), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Rose (Rosa damascena), Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica), Jasmine (Jasminum officinale), and Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) have all been included through the years on lists of essential oils that are not safe to use during pregnancy. The reason being that these oils are emmenagogic and promote menstrual bleeding. The assumption that this could lead to abortion of the fetus is inaccurate.

“Almost all of the alleged emmenagogic or uterine stimulant essential oils either do not have such an effect (there is often no basis for these claims) or if they do, it is not powerful enough to cause miscarriage” (Tisserand and Young (2014) p. 160).

There are cases where extremely high doses of certain essential oils have been consumed in an attempt to terminate a pregnancy. Many of these cases also resulted in death for the mother. Parsley oil (Petroselinum crispum) contains parsley apiole as a main constituent which is an abortifacient. “The lowest daily dose of parsley apiole that induced abortion was 900 mg taken for 8 consecutive days” (Tisserand and Young (2014) p. 160). Pennyroyal oil (Hedoma pulegioides) is rich in the toxic keytone, pulegone, has also been taken to trigger abortion. These attempts show that the miscarriage occurs from acute hepatotoxicity to the mother who has poisoned herself and can no longer support a pregnancy. Rue oil (Ruta graveolens) could potentially cause maternal toxicity, but tests are currently inconclusive. This toxicity is due to pregnant women knowingly attempting to abort the fetus by taking large, toxic doses of specific essential oils.

Method of Application

The method of application one decides to use for treatment will determine what safety measures need to be considered. The three main applications methods are inhalation, topical, and internal so the most appropriate way to review safe use of essential oils during pregnancy will be to look at each of these methods individually.

Inhalation. Inhalation poses the fewest safety concerns. Essential oils are highly volatile substance so inhalation is a very simple and effective method of use. Placing a drop of essential oil on a pillowcase, cotton ball, or diffuser allows for delivery through the air. “According to Dr. Pam Taylor, when oils are inhaled they interact with cells at the back of the nose to stimulate a change in the areas of the brain that control nausea and vomiting as well as sleep and mood” (Schnaubelt (2011) p. 136). Since nausea, sleep disorders and mood are influenced by hormones during pregnancy the delivery of Aromatherapy through inhalation is a good option for pregnant women. Inhalation method is often recommended for respiratory issues, headaches, sleep disorders, stress, and air purification. During pregnancy many women do have a heightened sense of smell so it is important to take that factor into consideration. However, even during pregnancy aromatic use of essential oils presents a very low risk.

Topical. Topical or dermal application refers to the use of essential oils on the skin which is the most common way to administer oils. Typically a 1-5% dilution does not present safety concerns, but it is generally recommended that pregnant women use a 1% dilution. To achieve a 1% dilution one would mix 6-9 drops of essential oil with 1 ounce of carrier oil. When applied to the skin only 10-20% of the essential oil is actually absorbed into the body due to evaporation and the high volatility of essential oils.

During pregnancy many woman have increased skin sensitivity so the lower dilution rate reduces the chance of irritation. The dilution also allows for reduces evaporation and slower absorption into the body. Pregnancy can also cause new allergies and sensitivities so it is important to do a skin patch test prior to application of an oil even if it has been used with no issue prior to pregnancy. In a bath a pregnant woman should use no more than 4 drops of essential oil along with a dispersant to maintain a low dilution.

Photosensitivity is another reaction to consider with topical administration of oils since women may have increased melatonin due to melanin stimulation hormones. This can increase the chance of sunburn on skin that has not previously had issue with sun exposure. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the oils that cause photosensitivity and avoid use to sun exposed areas.

The following excerpt is noted in the IFPA (2013) Pregnancy Guidelines. “Essential oils by their very nature, being organic substances, will cross the placental barrier and have the potential to affect the foetus. However, the amount of essential oil that actually accessed the mother’s skin is very tiny and therefore the amount that reaches the placenta is miniscule if proper dilutions are being used” (p. 2).

Internal Use. Internal use of essential oils refers to ingesting orally, or using vaginal/rectal suppositories to administer treatment. While in topical application only a fraction of the essential oil is actually absorbed into the skin, with internal application 100% will enter the body. The vast majority of guidelines do not recommend the internal use of essential oils during pregnancy; however, there are some exceptions with proper dilution and knowledge of the specific oil. The possibility of internal use with adequate dilution is suggested by Johnson (2014), “In addition, one should be very cautious with oral administration because it is highly likely that essential oils cross the placenta to the fetus. Knowing this, it is recommended to limit oral consumption of essential oils to a dosage range of 10 to 25 percent of the standard adult dose” (p.21). One should never self-prescribe internally administered essential oil treatment during pregnancy.

Use during pregnancy

Though this is not a comprehensive list, essential oils that appear to be safe to use during pregnancy include Benzoin (Styrax tonkinensis), Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Black Pepper (Piper nigrum), Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus smithii), Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum), German Chamomile (Chamomilla recutita), Ginger (Zingiber officinale), Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), Juniper (Juniperus communis), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Lemon (Citrus limon), Mandarin (Citrus reticulata), Marjoram (Origanum majorana), Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara), Orange (Citrus sinensis), Petitgrain (Citrus sinensis), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), Rose (Rosa damascena), Sandalwood (Santalum album), Spearmint (Mentha cardiaca), Tangerine (Citrus reticulata) Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia), Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata), and other non-toxic essential oils.

There are several discomforts during pregnancy that can be treated with Aromatherapy. Prior to any treatment plan it is necessary for a full, personal assessment. However, the following information shows that there are many essential oils that can be useful during pregnancy safely when used responsibly.

Morning sickness and nausea can occur anytime during pregnancy, but tend to be more troublesome during the first twelve weeks. Essential oils with strong digestive properties such as Mandarin (Citrus reticulata), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), Spearmint (Mentha cardiaca), and Ginger (Zingiber officinale) can be used aromatically or topically. For topical administration dilute to 1% and apply behind ears and over abdominal area.

The hormone progesterone is produced during pregnancy to relax the uterus, but it also relaxes the valve between the esophagus and the stomach which causes heartburn. Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara), Spearmint (Mentha spicata), and Ginger (Zingiber officinale) contain digestive and anti-inflammatory properties that can ease this discomfort. To apply topically dilute to 1% and apply on location or place oil on a warm compress and apply over the stomach.

Many women struggle with acne due to elevated hormone levels during pregnancy. Tea Tee (Melaleuca alternifolia) has strong antimicrobial properties and can be used safely during pregnancy with proper dilution for acne treatment. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Sandalwood (Santalum album), and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) can also help pregnancy related acne issues due to antibacterial properties and the healing qualities of these oils.

The increase of both hormones and blood volume during the first trimester of pregnancy can lead to frequent headaches in some women. Essential oils with strong anti-inflammatory, circulatory, anti-spasmodic, and relaxant properties can aid in this common discomfort. Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), Peppermint (Mentha x piperita), and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) are essential oils that can be applied topically on temples, back of the neck and across the forehead. After application it may also be helpful to inhale the oils deeply by breathing into cupped hands.

Feeling stress is common during pregnancy, but high levels of this anxiety lead to sleep issues. Calming essential oils will aid in this area. To help reduce stress and promote healthy sleep Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), or Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) can be used aromatically or incorporated with massage.

Hemorrhoids and Varicose Veins are dilated veins in the legs or anus. Essential oils that promote circulation like Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Sandalwood (Santalum album), Orange (Citrus sinensis) and Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) can be diluted to 1% and applied topically to aid in treating these issues. Preventing constipation is another way to avoid hemorrhoids which is generally treated by proper diet, but Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) oil can also be diluted to 1% and applied on the abdomen as a form of prevention.

Swelling of the fingers or ankles, known as edema, is common during pregnancy. A synergistic blend of Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Lemon (Citrus limon), Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum), and Tangerine (Citrus reticulata) can help to combat this issue. This blend of oils contain properties that improve circulation and discourage fluid retention. Furthermore, to assist with overall water retention and bloating Petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara), and Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) can be helpful.

Stretch marks tend to occur during pregnancy as the body expands. Promoting skin elasticity and regeneration is key to prevention. A synergistic blend with Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Frankincense (Boswellia carteri), and Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) work together to prevent stretch marks from appearing. Neroli (Citrus aurantium var. amara flos.), Rose (Rosa damascena), and Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) also have great skin regeneration abilities. Using a base oil or Shea Butter dilute to 1% and apply daily to abdomen, thighs and buttocks.

Case Study (A)

Mrs. A is a thirty six year old Caucasian female currently in the second trimester of her fourth pregnancy. Three prior pregnancies resulted in live births in 2012, 2013 and 2015. Mrs. A is familiar with essential oils, but has not used them during past pregnancies. In her third pregnancy she had issues with varicose veins toward the middle of the third trimester. The veins are both unsightly, and painful as they cause the legs to throb constantly. After prolonged periods on her feet, Mrs. A would also feel sharp pains on location. She did speak with her OB/GYN about the issue to confirm that there were no blood clots and he confirmed that it was varicose veins and stated that there was very little one can do other than stay off their feet and/or try compression stockings.

In this pregnancy she started having the same issues around 15 weeks gestation leading her to inquire about Aromatherapy possibilities. A synergy made up of Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens), Orange (Citrus sinensis) and Geranium (Pelargonium x asperum) was created at a 1% dilution using Coconut Oil. Directions were to apply on the legs starting at the ankles and massaging upward toward the heart prior to bed. After applying the mixture for two nights Mrs. A decided to stop because the increased circulation had a warming effect on her legs which made it difficult to sleep. At this time directions were modified and she started applying in the evening at least two hours prior to bed. After application she was instructed to sit with her feet up for at least thirty minutes. After six weeks there has been no noticeable change to the veins appearance, but the pain/throbbing has subsided dramatically. Case study results show that the use of essential oils can work as an alternative for pain relief associated with varicose veins during pregnancy.

Case Study (B)

Mrs. B is a thirty-eight year old Caucasian female beginning treatment in the 10th week of her first pregnancy. She has inquired about Aromatherapy for mild to moderate morning sickness and an increase in facial acne. At 8 weeks gestation she met with her OB/GYN who was not familiar with essential oils, but did note that Tea Tee (Melaleuca alternifolia) was listed as an alternative to acne medications containing Accutane. He was not concerned with topical or aromatic application as Mrs. B did not have any pre-existing conditions. Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) oil was given to Mrs. B to use aromatically in the evening. Since she did not have a diffuser, instructions were given to place 1-2 drops on her pillow case before going to bed. A topical alternative was also provides with a mixture of 15 drops Ginger (Zingiber officinale) essential oil in two ounces of Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis). Directions were to apply over the abdomen and behind the ears during the day to prevent and alleviate discomfort.

After one week, Mrs. B reported results to that point. After using Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) aromatically for three consecutive nights she still felt nausea through the day. When she felt it coming on she would drink a large glass of water and use the topical application which did give her some relief. By the fifth day she noticed that the nausea during the day had subsided. She continued to apply the mixture behind her ears in the morning and used the Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) at night for the following two weeks, but did not continue the abdominal application.

To combat acne, Mrs. B was given Tea Tee (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil in a 1% dilution with Witch Hazel (Hamamelis virginiana). Directions were given to apply the mixture directly to the affected area twice daily with a cotton ball. After one week there was a significant reduction in acne, but Mrs. B had some concerns with skin dryness. She was advised to reduce application to once daily (prior to bed) which she reported back helped to balance the skin. Case study results show that the use of Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) and Ginger (Zingiber officinale) were effective over time in reducing morning sickness and Tea Tee (Melaleuca alternifolia) oil improved facial acne.


Accurate information regarding the reasons certain essential oils are contraindicated during pregnancy is vital in the debate over safe use. With this data it becomes evident that while there are essential oils that should be avoided, the vast majority are safe when used responsibly. Thus, pregnant woman do have the ability to explore and embrace the healing potential of essential oils.


International Federation of Professional Aromatherapists (2013) Pregnancy Guidelines
Retrieved from

Johnson, S. (2014) Surviving When Modern Medicine Fails, 8-58,
San Bernadino, CA, Scott A. Johnson Professional Writing Services, LLC

National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy Safety Information
Retrieved from

Schnaubelt, K. (2011) The Healing Intelligence of Essential Oils, 75-140
Rochester, VT, Healing Arts Press

Tisserand, R. & Young, R. (2014) Essential Oil Safety Second Edition, 147-163
New York, NY, Churchill Livingston Elsevier