Essential oils to avoid during pregnancy

Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy

Clary Sage Oil should be avoided up until 38 weeks of pregnancy.

The use of essential oils during pregnancy can be safe once you have educated yourself.


No essential oils should be applied straight onto the skin as this can cause damage to the liver and other organs. For topical use, essential oils can be diluted in a carrier oil such as Apricot Kernel, Sweet Almond, or Jojoba oil. Even just the plain old olive oil from your kitchen will be fine depending on what you're planning to use the oils for. 


How to Dilute Your Oils

As a good general guide:

for general use - 3% dilution = 6 drops in 10mL of carrier oil

Pregnancy - 1% to 1.5% max dilution = 2 to 3 drops in 10mL of carrier oil

Post-Natal and Breastfeeding - 1.5% dilution = 3 drops in 10mL of carrier oil

Babies and Children - 0.5% = 1 drop in 10mL of carrier oil


Essential Oils to Avoid During Pregnancy:

  • Basil

  • Cedarwood (Atlas and Virginian)

  • Clary Sage*

  • Clove

  • Fennel

  • Hyssop

  • Jasmine*

  • Myrrh

  • Sweet Marjoram

  • Nutmeg

  • Parsley

  • Pennyroyal

  • Rose*

  • Sage

  • Wintergreen

*Clary Sage, Jasmine and Rose can stimulate uterine contractions and should only be used topically after 38 weeks of pregnancy to help encourage labour or during childbirth.

Essential Oils to Use With Caution

Consult with a qualified aromatherapist before using the following:

  • Cypress

  • Juniper Berry

  • Peppermint

  • Rosemary


It’s good to note that perfumes, body washes and other body products are usually fine, because they don't cover the entire body and are normally made with a low dilution of essential oils. However, I would steer clear of bath soaks and foot soaks containing risky oils, as they’re more likely to be absorbed into the skin.

Diffusing Oils

All essential oils are safe to inhale and to use in the diffuser. Caution only needs to be taken when applying oils to the body.