Dr. Pamela Smith, ND 

Dr. Pam has a family practice at The Nest Family Wellness Centre which offers naturopathic and midwifery care. She combines science-based natural medicine with conventional medical therapeutics. Learn more about Dr. Pam and the services offered by her clinic here, or book an appointment at www.drpamelasmith.com.

Check out the latest Ask Dr Pam Q&A and posts by topic below as well as her health and wellness posts.

Ask Dr Pam   

Is it safe to use essential oils during pregnancy?

There are so many wonderful ways to use herbs during pregnancy, including aromatherapy, but not all essential oils are considered safe. Read this post for more about the benefits of aromatherapy during pregnancy as well as which essential oils are considered safe. 

There are many ways to use essential oils but as a general rule do not ingest or use internally while you are pregnant. If you are going to apply topically, ensure to avoid eyes and mucus membranes and always do a patch test first with the essential oil diluted in carrier oil such as coconut or almond. Inhaling an essential oil is one of the fastest ways to benefit therapeutically. Simply breathing the essential oil in through the nose can quickly get rid of, or at the very least, decrease the severity of a headache. One of my favourite recommendations is to use a steam inhalation for sinus and chest colds as it’s a great way to clear congestion. Diffusers clean and purify the air but also create a more relaxing space for those with anxiety and stress. When choosing essential oils, the quality of the product is important as there is no formal body regulating companies that produce the oils. Look for labels that state purity and list only the common or botanical names of the herbs and caution with phrases like “perfume oil” or “fragrance oil” as these might be synthetically derived. The better quality oils tend to come with a higher price but consider what it takes to make an essential oil: 2000 kg of rose petals produce 1 kg of rose essential oil!