There are some divided ideas on the dangers of certain essential oils used in aromatherapy during pregnancy, but since this time should be a time to enjoy and to prepare for the upcoming birth of your child, it would be wise to rather give some essential oils a miss. Aromatherapy can be a great benefit during pregnancy and assists in minimizing some of the discomfort and aches. There are however some compounds in certain essential oils that have hormone-like behavior because of their molecular structure and although there is no conclusive evidence on the effect of estrogenic oils it would be prudent to avoid anethole rich oils, like fennel and aniseed during pregnancy.



Although some oils are listed as abortifacient oils, it is mainly due to their toxic nature, and should in any case not be used in aromatherapy massage at any time.

Some essential oils are however not toxic, but have emmenagogue action, which is to help to promote and regulate the menstrual flow (periods), and should be avoided during pregnancy.

We have compiled a list below, in which we endeavored to list all the oils which we think should not be used for massage while you are pregnant.

We have compiled the list from all known oils that may in some way or other interfere with this very special time, but give nor infer any guarantee or warranty of safety for any oil not included on this list.

If you are unsure if an oil can be used, kindly refer it to your licensed medical practitioner for his or her advice and directions.

Essential oils to be avoided in pregnancy Pregnancy and essential oil safety in aromatherapy

Almond - bitter Toxic

Aniseed - Anethole rich

Angelica - Emmenagogue

Basil - Possible irritant

Birch - Possible irritant

Black pepper - Skin sensitization

Boldo leaf - Toxic

Buchu - Liver hazardous

Calamus - Toxic

Camphor  -Toxic

Cassia - Skin sensitization

Cedarwood - Emmenagogue

Chamomile - Emmenagogue

Cinnamon - Skin sensitization and emmenagogue

Clary sage - Emmenagogue

Clove - Skin sensitization

Elecampane - Skin sensitization

Fennel - Anethole rich

Fir - Possible irritant

Ginger - Emmenagogue

Horseradish - Toxic

Hyssop - Could cause toxicity

Jaborandi leaf - Toxic

Jasmine - Emmenagogue

Juniper - Emmenagogue

Lemon - Possible irritant

Lemongrass - Possible irritant
Marjoram - Emmenagogue

Melissa - Possible irritant

Mugwort - Toxic

Mustard - Toxic

Myrrh  -Emmenagogue

Nightshade - Toxic

Nutmeg - Skin sensitization

Oregano - Skin sensitization

Parsley seed - Apiol rich

Pennyroyal - Toxic

Peppermint - Emmenagogue

Pine - Skin sensitization

Rose - Emmenagogue

Rosemary - Emmenagogue

Rue - Toxic
Sage - High thujone content

Sassafras - Toxic

Savin - Toxic

Savory - Could cause toxicity

Southernwood - Toxic

Stinging nettle - Toxic

Tansy - Toxic

Thuja - Toxic

Thyme both Red and Linalol) - Possible irritant

Wintergreen  -Toxic

Wormseed - Toxic

Wormwood - Toxic