Is this safe? It was one of ten essential oils offered to 8,058 women in an 8-year study at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, UK. When it was administered by stomach tube to pregnant rats at 250, 500 or 1,000 mg/kg/day, on gestational days 7-17, no fetal toxicity or teratogenicity occurred at any dose level (Politano et al 2008). stimulates menstruation, but he was referring to spike lavender, not true lavender. Thomas Kelly, London, Davis P 1999 Aromatherapy an A-Z. In this postpartum period, some problems may include back and perineal pain, uterine cramps and fatigue. Lavender can be a great help to a pregnant mother, but it is a powerful oil and care should be taken when using it during pregnancy. The research shows that lavender oil (L. angustifolia) is not a uterine stimulant. Culpeper (1652) did say that “lavender….provokes women’s courses”, i.e. Therefore the camphor in lavender oil presents no risk. It can also act as a natural antiseptic and insect repellent which is useful as you will find many pharmaceutical ointments come with a warning to be avoided during pregnancy. Essential oils (either inhaled or applied to the skin) are sometimes used by women during labour. I use lavender oil mixed with water in a spray bottle on my pillow to promote restful sleep. I use it in my shampoos. Kristy, one drop of lavender oil on your baby’s cot sheets is totally fine, so long as the oil does not directly come in contact with her face. I’m so glad you shared your knowledge on the science behind lavender and pregnancy! I also see the same properties being attributed to essential oils that are attributed to herbs – and that is not always the case. Thanks a lot. The caveat must refer to transfer of substances from lavender to the child. There is little sense of responsibility to perform even a cursory investigation of whether the ‘facts’ they are quoting have any basis – nor even to cite references. Thank you Robert! In fact the amount of camphor in true lavender oil is very small and camphor only presents a risk in pregnancy in massive doses (see below). However, wanting to have an accurate essential oil data base on my website, also gives me occasion to make sure, as you have done here, that the routine practice of “an assumption was made, and then a further assumption – thus are myths conceived” doesn’t happen with what I disseminate. Happy searching! An antispasmodic action on the uterus suggests a substance that is helpful in menstrual pain, and not one that would stimulate menstruation. Warning: Lavender should not be used in labor at the same time as Pethidine, or epidural, or with Oxytocin/Pitocin infusions, as it may interfere with their function. To know if you can use lavender oil when pregnant… That's because lavender … Thank you Alex for your support, and for correcting me – I did not know about using parentheses, so very useful to know for future myth-busting episodes. According to Robert Tisserand 3 different studies have shown that Lavender flowers are safe and one study included the essential oil. Again, another vote of positivity that someone has done the work to evaluate and educate on this subject. I know you know all this. Finally…while searching the internet for the alleged dangers of lavender oil in pregnancy, I came across this advice on a Vitamins and Health Supplements Guide page: “Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid using lavender, as it is a uterine stimulant.” What, breastfeeding women too? Using parentheses, the largest number of hits is 299 for “lavender is an emmenagogue.” And no, I didn’t read every one – it was an attempt at sarcastic humor. Lavender can be a great help during labor, as both a calming oil and as a pain reliever. I was looking that up to see if women might be using this in pregnancy and applying to skin and that’s how I stumbled across this page… do you have any ideas if pregnant women might be using this for skin discomfort? Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.. Glad to know it’s safe & I haven’t done any damage. So – thank you once again. Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine 6:141-147, Culpeper N 1652 The English Physitian, or an Astro-physical discourse of the vulgar herbs of this nation. I can’t see any reason to support a risk of miscarriage. I´ll give your post to my students and colleagues. Treat yourself to a prenatal … At last, some good-sense among all the non-sense, relative to the clinical benefits of lavender. I have linked it to my blog article regarding the use of essential during pregnancy. However, there is no evidence that lavender oil has any adverse effects on human hormonal activity. In another in vitro study, lavender oil inhibited the growth of MCF-7 cells (Zu et al 2010) suggesting that, while it may bind to estrogen receptor sites in the body, it is not an estrogen mimic, and so does not promote estrogen. CRC Press, Boca Raton, p68, Mills S, Bone K 2005 The essential guide to herbal safety. She has had work published in "Writing Magazine" and "Writers Forum" in the UK. These include lavender, chamomile, and ylang ylang—all of which … Here in Brazil we have so many minsunderstandings about essential oil during pregnancy or childhood. For example, one 2015 study found that orange essential oil helped lessen anxiety in … I think developmental toxicity from lavender oil through breast feeding is very unlikely, especially as it is not neurotoxic. And I love research! The lavender and rose oil formulation was prepared by diluting 2 drops of an essential oil blend containing 75% lavender oil and 25% rose oil diluted in 5 mL of jojoba oil. Oils that may be safe for you to use As long as your pregnancy is going well, it's probably fine for you to use: neroli; tangerine; German and Roman chamomile; common lavender; peppermint; ylang-ylang; There is a lot of confusion over the safety of lavender essential oil in pregnancy. Patricia Davis, I’m sure, felt her caution was well-founded, but with the benefit of hindsight we can see that it was an over-reaction. Great following your information Robert, again thanks! I’m just voicing my frustrations and am thankful that you address many of these issues yourself. Thank you so much for this! Doing research on Rosemary drives me crazy! Lavender oil works wonders for your body during pregnancy. The conclusions, published in the International Journal of Preventive Medicine, were that mothers given lavender oil aromatherapy, started immediately after giving birth, had better physical and mood status compared to the control group. Linalool is not reproductively toxic. Jollois, Limoges, p364, Henley DV, Lipson N, Korach KS, Bloch CA 2007 Prebubertal gynecomastia linked to lavender and tea tree oils. Citrus essential oils (orange, lemon, and grapefruit) may help to increase energy and improve mood. Other Google search results about lavender in pregnancy include: “Lavender oil uterine stimulant” – 31,900 hits. So many contradictions written on this subject. Want to try them? I wondered what you thought about Clary Sage in the first trimester? I also infused flowers in coconut oil for my skin, and wanted to continue to use it as well, especially for my belly. I am always happy to share your well researched information with my aromatherapy and massage students. Thank you for writing this. There‘s a lot of confusion over the safety of lavender essential oil in pregnancy. And – from what part of the plant is the oil being distilled? I hear you on rosemary. I’m worried now about the possibility of a XY fetus being feminized by such products and turning out transgender (MTF transgender women have been shown to have digit ratio on average like cis gender women do on average, suggesting that hormone exposure in utero may connect to transsexuality). For example your phrase “Lavender oil is a uterine stimulant” has only 8 exact matches in Google’s index (perform the search with inverted commas to see only the pages that include that phrase with those words in that order), not 15,800; whereas pages that include all those words, in any order, number around 15,800. I have just one nit-pick with your report – the figures for the Google search results you cited at the beginning of the article are for “broad match” rather than “exact match” queries. I do not think lavender is harmful to pregnant women. Thanks and blessings, Sara Holmes. Thank you again on the quality of your articles. It was one of the only ways I could relax with my second and for her to relax too when she was awake when I wanted to sleep. Based in the UK, Alison Boots has been writing professionally since 2007. Lavender is probably the most adaptable of all essential oils. Personally I do not see a problem in using clary sage oil during pregnancy. I will be happy to share it! Although lavender is classed as one of the safest oils, it is not recommended for use during the first 20 weeks of pregnancy. Efficient collection and analysis. Some women worry about using lavender during pregnancy because it is known to regulate menstruation, however, lavender essential oil is perfectly safe to use during pregnancy when used correctly. The ease of its application makes it a very favourable skin treatment for all stretch marks and so on as well during your pregnancy. Many blessings, As all other respondents have already said, “thank you”! Even though , I already had no fear to use Lavender on pregnant women. From notable sources Lavender IS SAFE during pregnancy. Internally. by Robert Tisserand | Jul 22, 2011 | Myth-busting, Safety | 39 comments. I can assume that your being a part of that committee has certainly been very helpful. Thank for this wonderful article. I have always supported the intelligent use of lavender – both oil and herb – throughout all phases of life, including during pregnancy. Congratulations! Lavender is one of the best oils to use to combat the daily stresses and strains of late pregnancy. Most are uterine tonics and stimulants to restore normal function of the female reproductive system. It’s super relaxing and calming and great for sleep support. Oh Robert – so good to once again hear the voice of educated and diligently researched reason. The chances of any fragrance ingredient in a personal care product causing a hormonal effect are extremely small. It’s complex, time-consuming, and not cheap, but it’s ultimately rewarding. The online references to lavender oil as a uterine stimulant presumably originated from the few books (probably beginning with Valnet in 1964) that describe it as having an emmenagogic action. Add a total of 12 drops of essential oil to 2 tablespoons of a base oil, like jojoba or almond oil, Galper advises. Basil essential oil contains high amount of estragole, a compound that can lead … probably not affect lactation. I work with them daily and will be getting your updated book. Librairie Maloine, Paris, p225 (English translation: Valnet J 1990 The practice of aromatherapy. Of all the essential oils, lavender is one of the most well researched and most promoted options that is also widely available for pregnant women to use. Camphor is neither reproductively toxic nor abortifacient except in almost fatal doses, and a lethal human dose is approximately 200 mg/kg. Tiran (2000) mentions that lavender oil “contains a small amount of the ketone camphor, which can be emmenagogic” and that it “should be used with caution in early pregnancy”. Essential oil use in pregnancy is rather controversial, but experts, and we, agree that the use of a few select oils in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy … Proving safety in pregnancy is always a challenge, but all the indications are that lavender oil is completely safe to use. Lavender essential oil is extracted by steam distillation from the flowers and tops of the herb lavender (Lavandula angustifolia). Marlene Mitchell The high dose is equivalent to an adult human ingesting 70 g of linalool, or approximately 200 g (7 oz) of lavender oil. To help prevent them, and to reduce their appearance, combine four drops of lavender with three drops each of neroli and mandarin oil in a carrier of 50 ml jojoba oil and massage gently into the skin daily. Hi Robert, This includes internal use of 1-4 drops (20-80 mg) of the essential oil as a daily dose (Blumenthal et al 1998). I was so desperate I used a bit of the lavender oil to help ease the itching which did help (just enough to help me sleep). So many of even the classic books on aromatherapy haven’t bothered to give us this information- they just say “lavender” and there are so many different lavenders with different properties! One of the most gentle and mild essential oils, lavender can be used for a myriad of pregnancy symptoms, including easing stress and anxiety. Lavender, ginger, peppermint, and lemon essential oils relieve symptoms of morning sickness and … Mills and Bone (2005) state that using lavender flowers (L. angustifolia and L. spica) is compatible with breastfeeding, and is safe in pregnancy: “No increase in frequency of malformation or other harmful effects on the foetus from limited use in women.”. It contains more natural chemical constituents than any other plant (as many as 200) and therefore has a great range of … Essential oils ca n be added to food, drinks or taken in capsules. I often see that an oil is both a stimulant and a relaxant, which can happen with different dosages, but they don’t say that! Churchill Livingstone, St. Louis, p493, Politano VT, Lewis EM, Hoberman AM et al 2008 Evaluation of the developmental toxicity of linalool in rats. “Lavender oil emmenagogue” – 31,200 hits. The absence of lavender from Bartram’s list is not surprising since it has not traditionally been regarded as a herb to avoid in pregnancy, or as a uterine stimulant. Its added benefits include fresh and healthy-looking skin and reduced stress. It is certainly not a uterine stimulant – in any dose. Thank you! It was probably caused by the essential oil leaching phthalates out of the plastic trays used in the testing. Another thing – the botanical name and chemotype should be required every time an essential oil is mentioned if one is making ANY claims about it. Lawless (1992) also cites lavender oil as an emmenagogue, though not limited to internal use, and there is similarly no pregnancy contraindication. The Commission E Monographs are generally regarded as the most adaptable of all essential oils that women might especially. On this subject been reading your myth busting pages with great interest about essential helped! 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