Essential Oils : Contraindications

Essential Oils : Contraindications

  • By - Adam
  • 8 August, 2018

Always consider the contraindications of an essential oil before use. Consult your doctor or physician before use in cases of pregnancy, breastfeeding, serious disease or illness, children and babies, prescribed medication and elderly. Refer to the list below for contraindications of common essential oils.



Root- phototoxic, possible skin irritant and sensitizer. Avoid with diabetes or pregnancy. Overuse causes insomnia.

Seed- some sources say phototoxic, possible skin irritant and sensitizer.


Orally- Avoid in alcoholism, breastfeeding, estrogen dependant cancers, liver disease, pregnancy, endometriosis and with paracetamol.

Dermally- avoid with hypersensitive, disease or damaged skin, pregnancy and children  under 2.


Avoid on sensitive skin and pregnancy. High concentrations is moderately toxic (methyl chavicol) and may cause stupefying effect.

Bay Laurel

Avoid in pregnancy, hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin and children under 2. Possible carcinogenic and narcotic effects. Possible sensitization in skin. Moderate mucous membrane irritant. Avoid overuse.


Use with caution, strong skin sensitizer. Not recommended for use in baths, heat and humidity increase the absorption of benzoic acid (sensitizing agents).


Can be phototoxic and irritate sensitive skin. Do not expose skin to UV or sunlight for 12 hours after applying.

Black Pepper

Use in low doses. Large doses may irritate or damage kidneys. Possible skin irritant, use caution in skin application, massage or bath.


Caution in pregnancy. May irritate skin in high doses. Highly odoriferous.


May have convulsant and neurotoxic effects. Avoid in epilepsy, fever, pregnancy, and children under 5. Brown and yellow Camphor should never be used.


Use in low doses. May irritate sensitive skin.

Carrot Seed

Avoid in pregnancy.


Avoid in pregnancy. High doses may cause skin sensitization.

Chamomile, German

Possible skin sensitivity. Highly odoriferous.

Chamomile, Moroccan

None known.

Chamomile, Roman

Some say avoid in early pregnancy. Caution with people allergic to Ragweed.


Bark- Dermal toxin, irritant and sensitizer. Avoid use on skin and mucous membranes, pregnancy and children.

Leaf- Exercise caution when exposing to the skin and mucous membranes. Avoid in pregnancy and children.


Possible skin sensitization and dermatitis. Avoid in pregnancy, application to the skin to those with allergies to perfume and in hot/humid climates.

Clary Sage

Narcotic in large doses. May cause headaches in some people. Avoid when drinking alcohol or driving. Do not use in pregnancy. Avoid with endometriosis, breast, ovarian and uterine cysts, estrogen dependant conditions (cancer), low blood pressure and heavy menstrual flow.


Use in low doses due to mucous membrane irritant and skin irritant. Caution in hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin, children under 2 and use in bath. Highly odoriferous.


Avoid during pregnancy, high blood pressure, cancers, uterine and breast fibrosis.

Eucalyptus Citriodora

None known.

Eucalyptus Globulus

Avoid with high blood pressure and epilepsy. May antidote homeopathic remedies. Air use only with small children and babies. Risk of choking due to fast cooling on respiratory system.

Eucalyptus Radiata

No former testing.

Fir Needle

Possible irritant in sensitive skin.


Avoid in pregnancy.


Avoid in pregnancy. Possible cross sensitization to Peru Balsam and Benzoin.


Avoid in early pregnancy.


High concentration may irritate skin. Slightly phototoxic. Highly odoriferous. May have cross allergic reactions when blended with Peru Balsam, CO2 oils, oleoresins and absolutes.


Low doses on skin being exposed to UV or sunlight. Tumor promoter on skin, avoid in skin cancer.


Avoid use with anti-coagulant medicine.


Avoid in pregnancy. Caution in people hypersensitive or allergic to perfumes, cosmetics or spicy foods. Highly odoriferous.

Juniper Berry

Avoid in pregnancy. Some studies suggest avoiding in cases of kidney disease, acute kidney and bladder infections. Juniper berries are abortifacient, the oil has no studies to support this.


Avoid in early pregnancy.


Avoid in 1st trimester of pregnancy.


Phototoxic. Avoid UV and sunlight exposure 12 hours after application to skin. Avoid if possibility to skin irritation or allergic reaction to lemons.


Avoid in pregnancy. Caution with use on hypersensitive, diseased or damaged skin and on children under 2. Rare cases of sensitization.


Avoid if allergic to citrus.


Avoid in pregnancy, low blood pressure and depression as it is very sedative. Caution in asthmatic conditions, may provoke asthma attack.


Avoid in pregnancy and if allergic to cosmetics and perfumes. Keep away from children.


May irritate mucous membrane or skin with prolonged or high dose.


Generally safe.

Orange, Bitter

Phototoxic. Prolonged use may irritate sensitive skin. Avoid exposure to UV and sunlight 12 hours after application to skin.

Orange, Sweet

Has not been tested as phototoxic, however this is controversial.


Caution with cosmetic sensitivity.


May curb appetite. Avoid if allergic to spicy foods. Caution with allergies to cosmetics or perfumes. Overuse may cause loss of appetite, insomnia and nervous attacks.


Avoid in pregnancy and lactation, homeopathic remedies, epilepsy, cardiac fibrillation and children under 5. No formal testing for skin irritation and sensitization, use low doses on skin and avoid use before tanning beds or hot and humid conditions as this increases absorbtion and may cause epidermal damage. Be mindful of the use in evening, causes wakefulness.


Cross sensitisation with existing allergies to balsams.


Caution on damaged or sensitive skin. Avoid with allergic conditions and prostate cancer.


Avoid in pregnancy, babies and children.


Rare cases suggest the cause of dermatitis/allergy in hypersensitive individuals. Some suggest avoid use in 1st trimester and children under 5, others say safe to use babies 2-6 months.


Avoid in epilepsy, high blood pressure, pregnancy and before sleep. Some suggest not to be used on children under 5 and pets. May antidote homeopathic remedies.


None known.


Rare cases of dermatitis/allergic reaction in those allergic to balsams. Some say avoid with severe depression.


Avoid in pregnancy, young children and if using homeopathic remedies.


None known.

Tea Tree

May be irritating to sensitive skin. May induce sweating in high doses. Exercise caution when using neat or high dilution on skin.


Caution on skin, use very diluted. Not for use in baths. Mucous membrane and moderate skin irritant. Avoid in pregnancy and high blood pressure. Keep away from eyes and children.


None known.

Ylang Ylang

Excess use may cause nausea and headache. Some suggest avoiding in low blood pressure.


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