What essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy?

Being pregnant is one of the most beautiful feelings a woman has ever felt, but at the same time, it can be quite scary. 

While reading on the internet, you might stumble upon various lists of foods, cosmetic products and habits you need to ditch in order to have the healthiest pregnancy.

You might’ve already read it, but scented candles and essential oils are a kind of a red flag in pregnancy – but not all of them!

Today we’re bringing you a list of essential oils you need to avoid during pregnancy.

Before you start using essential oils

It is essential to speak to your doctor before using any essential oils because many doctors have different opinions.

There are many benefits of using essential oils during pregnancy, but some of them need to be handled carefully or avoided completely. When choosing an essential oil, you need to make sure it is 100% natural and with no added chemicals. 

The same rule goes for scented candles, as they are known to be toxic if they contain some of the toxic ingredients. If you want to know what candles are safe to use around babies, click here.

Essential oils to avoid while pregnant

Some essential oils are calming and make you feel better, but some of them might cause contractions so you need to avoid them at all costs. 

Essential oils you need to avoid during your pregnancy journey are:

  • Aniseed
  • Arnica
  • Basil 
  • Birch (sweet) 
  • Bitter almond 
  • Boldo leaf 
  • Broom
  • Buchu 
  • Calamus 
  • Cassia 
  • Cedarwood/thuja 
  • Chervil 
  • Cinnamon 
  • Clary sage 
  • Clove (bud, leaf or stem) 
  • Coriander 
  • Costus 
  • Deertongue 
  • Elecampane 
  • Fennel 
  • Horseradish 
  • Hyssop 
  • Jaborandi leaf 
  • Juniper berry 
  • Melilotus 
  • Mugwort 
  • Mustard 
  • Nutmeg 
  • Origanum 
  • Parsley (large doses)
  • Pennyroyal 
  • Pine (dwarf) 
  • Rosemary 
  • Rue 
  • Sassafras 
  • Savin 
  • Tansy 
  • Thyme red (large doses) 
  • Tonka 
  • Wintergreen 
  • Wormwood

We need to mention it again, if you’re unsure just ask your doctor. It is their job to answer all your questions and help you go through your pregnancy.

Many essential oils are pregnancy approved and have shown to be helpful with a variety of pregnancy symptoms.

To combat morning sickness you can try ginger or cardamom. For calmness and better sleep try lavender, rosewood, or chamomile, and for a better mood reach out for some lemon or wild orange.

Avoid synthetic oils

Buying high-quality, all-natural products is the best way to go even if you’re not pregnant, so pay close attention when buying essential oils and scented candles.

You can buy aromatherapy sets of candles that are safe for you and your baby on this website.

Many essential oils on Amazon and other big websites are synthetic and can do more harm than good. 

How to spot fake essential oil? Quite easy when you know what to look for.

  1. The pure essential oil will NEVER be in a plastic bottle. It will have a dark glass bottle to keep the oil from going bad.
  2. Pure oils have a common and Latin name on the label, fake ones usually have the common name only.
  3. Pure oils have safety information on the label.


There is one more trick you can do. Place a few drops of oil you want to test on a white piece of paper and let it dry completely. When it is dried, essential oil leaves almost no trace on the paper. There will be a stain if it’s a fake oil or has an added carrier.


Essential oils are a great way to improve your mood or relax, but during pregnancy, you need to be careful with them. Always buy all-natural, pure oils and avoid synthetic ones.

We wish you a relaxing and happy rest of your pregnancy!

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