There are certain Essential oils which are considered to be hazardous and should be avoided or used with caution. Keeping the safety guidelines on a priority level, this article mentions essential oils used by most aromatherapists, yet oils such as Sage. Mugwort, Thyme, Rue and Pennyroyal are toxic and hazardous.
A lot of people are susceptible to allergic reactions from certain essential oils which cause no problems to others. As an example, I had a lady who got a severe allergic reaction just with inhalation of the geranium oil. A check of the literature showed a history of toxicity, thus I categorised this up to be an idiosyncratic (personal) allergic reaction. Pregnant women should especially avoid certain essential oils.
Use all-new essential oils with caution and never take essential oils internally. Dilute all essential oils with the carrier oil before using it on the skin.
This information has been collected from Robert Tisserand’s "The essential oils safety data manual" and from Patricia Davis "Aromatherapy An A-Z", and from personal experience.
|List of Hazardous Essential oils|
|Basil||Should not be used by pregnant women.|
|Bergamot||Phototoxic, If used on skin and then exposed to the sun, severe sunburn may result.|
|Camphor||Prolonged inhalation may cause a headache.|
|Skin irritant, never use it on the skin.|
|Clary Sage||Not to be used with alcohol. Prolonged inhalation may cause headaches. Clove bud or leaf Skin irritant, Do not use it in massage or in a bath.|
|Fennel||Skin irritant causes epileptic attacks, not to be used by pregnant women.|
|Hyssop||Not to be used if pregnant and can cause epileptic attacks.|
|Lemon||Irritant, not to be used in massages and bath.|
|Lemon balm||Skin irritant.|
|Lemon Grass||Skin irritant.|
|Lemon verbena||Skin irritant.|
|Marjoram||Not to be used by pregnant women.|
|Mugwort||Highly toxic, avoid using it.|
|Myrrh||Can cause skin irritation, not to be used in pregnancy.|
|Pennyroyal||Toxic, not to be used at all.|
|Rue||Dangerous, not to be used in any way.|
|Sage||Toxin. epileptic and not to be used in high blood pressure.|
|Thyme||Skin irritant, hazardous, not advisable to use.|
|Ylang Ylang||Prolong inhalation may cause headaches.|
|Frankincense||May cause skin irritation.|
Cineole - Good or Bad
The percentage contents of 1,8-Cineole in essential oils have always been speculated as a potential skin irritant and have led to markets seeking ever decreasing levels of 1,8-Cineole in essential oils. Several studies have shown this belief to be totally unfounded and contrary to the belief has no irritant effects whatsoever. In 1991 William’s and Barry showed that 1,8-Cineole enhanced the dermal penetration ability of a model hydrophilic drug (5-fluorouracil) up to 94% while other studies have found that the solvency effects of 1,8-Cineole could be useful in the control of sebum in skin and scalp disorders. Whilst further studies still need to be done on the benefits of 1,8-Cineole clearly it should not be seen as a quality determinant by merely one of the many components that give essential oils its unique characteristics. Few Essential oils like Rosemary, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree contain 1,8-Cineole.
Humans have always used flowers and fragrant plant material throughout the recorded history of mankind and were aware of the effects of the fragrance on mind, body and beauty. Magical aromatherapy is an offshoot of the conventional holistic techniques and this system is best practised alone and a massage is not necessary. The user visualises a specific needed change such as emotional relations or success. This visualisation is done while inhaling the fragrance of essential oils. While doing this the fragrance generates bioelectrical energy and is the programmer or a fine tuner for visualisation. For e.g. A person wishing to increase his physical awareness can inhale the fragrance of Sandalwood while imagining a huge door opening the pathway to the physical mind. Essential oils can be used in this way to increase mental and physical energies, alertness, reduce stress and protection from evil, sickness, diseases, animals, insects and reptiles. The real power behind this technique can be found in the essential oils itself. Once the technique has been mastered, it is one of the easiest branches of the magical arts to successful practice. This ancient technique has recently been rediscovered in the west and is considered as a gift from the past ages, which can be used to improve our lives.
Clinical Trials of Tea Tree Oil Against Head Lice
The Australian Tea Tree Oil Research Institute (ATTORI) recently announced that it will shortly be commencing clinical studies into the efficacy of Tea Tree oil against head lice. (Pediculus humanus capitis) Indications on the research show a significant benefit against head lice and it is hoped that the clinical trials will provide sufficient scientific data to substantiate such claims for product registration.
Diffusing Essential Oils
Essential oils when diffused in the atmosphere act as air antiseptics, especially those oils which contain monoterpenes (various citrus and pines) disinfect the atmosphere and cleanse the air of bacterial or viral contamination such as infectious pathologies like flu and other viral diseases in general. Essential oils rich in oxides such as Eucalyptus, Cajeput, Rosemary act as a bronchopulmonary cleanser and decongest lungs, and can be used as a compliment to the treatment of winter pathologies (cold, bronchitis etc.). This method of use is particularly effective for children and infants. However one should not inhale too close to the diffuser because the excess of aromatic molecules in the respiratory tracts is often irritating.
- Essential oils containing phenols (thyme, clove bud oil etc.) are to be avoided for atmospheric diffusion being irritant for nasal and ocular mucus membranes.
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Everyday Essential Oils
A link between essential oils with planets of each day. Recommendation to the use of essential oils according to the planetary ruler of the days in a week.
- Monday: (Moon) Jasmine, Lemon, Sandalwood
- Tuesday: (Mars) Basil, Coriander, Ginger.
- Wednesday: (Mercury) Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Lavender.
- Thursday: (Jupiter) Clove, Melissa, Anise.
- Friday: (Venus) Cardamom, Palmarosa, Rose.
- Saturday: (Saturn) Cypress, Myrrh, Patchouli.
- Sunday: (Sun) Cedarwood, Neroli, Rosemary.
Every pregnant woman dreads the thought of being left with stretch marks and this can be prevented with the twice daily use of an essential oil mix from the fourth month onwards, wherein this blended oil usually proves to be most effective. The suggested blend is as follows.
- Ashwagandha oil 20ml
- Avocado oil 10ml
- Almond oil 70ml
- Orange oil 5 drops
- Lavender 7drops
- Roman Chamomile 3 drops
- Frankincense 8 drops
- Sandalwood oil 7 drops
Effectiveness is achieved by applying the blend twice a day.
Relaxation and Calming Babies
To calm babies, take one drop of a sweet-smelling essential oil on a tissue and place it near the child while feeding. This leads the child to learn and associate the smell with love, warmth, comfort etc. Now you can use the aroma for fretful children in the night for calming and helping them to get back to sleep or makes it much easier to leave the baby with a sitter. Essential oils recommended: Sandalwood, Rose, Roman Chamomile, Lavender.
Blue Cypress Oil
It is grown in Northern Australian territories and is valued for its woody fragrance. The oil is extracted from the wood of the tree and is blue in colour having a subtle woody fragrance. This essential oil is considered unique as it is the only known oil that contains Azulene extracted from wood, though generally all other oils containing Azulene are from the flowers. The oil contains selinenes and eudesmols which add minor fragrance notes, as well as guaiazulene and Azulene Methanol, which gives the oil its azure blue colour.
This new oil has so far been registered as suitable for use in cosmetics though no claims have yet been made for the oils as an active ingredient, although it is looked upon as having anti-inflammatory properties.
Hemp oil (Cannabis sativa)
A number of new and interesting oils are being introduced, though new to modern research is linked with medicinal and cosmetic practices that go back to many hundreds of years. Yet the trend for natural ingredients continues. One such plant derivative is Hemp Oil which can be used as a carrier oil. The oil is extracted from the seeds of the plants, despite its long association as a narcotic the new seed varieties that have now been developed have very low content of the narcotic agent tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The oil is considered to have similar properties to evening primrose oil. It is rich in essential fatty acids (EFAs) Omega 3, Omega 6, Gamma Linolenic Acid. The topical use of these ingredients is said to be just as easily absorbed by the skin that includes the promotion of tissue regeneration, hormone manufacturing and joint lubrication.