Should I Avoid Using Aromatherapy Oils When Pregnant?

I believe in aromatherapy. I like to rub a small amount of lavender oil on my temples to help me relax or peppermint oil to revive me when I am tired.

I recently read a warning label on a bottle of essential oil suggesting that a pregnant woman should not use the product, but it gave no reason why. Is this practice something I should be concerned about?

Your bottle of essential oil must have come from a highly responsible manufacturer. I think I can throw some light on your question. Just recently the Royal College of Nursing in London issued a warning that aromatherapy can be dangerous.

Of course, if used properly, aromatherapy massage can have substantial medical benefits such as lowering a patient’s blood pressure before surgery; and relieving headaches, indigestion and even irritable bowel syndrome. But many users, including nurses, don’t appreciate that some essential oils are powerful chemicals which, if undiluted, can pass through the skin and enter the bloodstream.

The Royal College of Nursing says this could possibly present a risk to unborn babies. It’s also conceivable that the oils are potentially dangerous to people taking prescription medication for heart conditions or high blood pressure, and to young children. So always follow manufacturers’ instructions and warnings to the letter.

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