Essential Oils to Avoid Using Internally and Externally

Essential Oils to Avoid Using Internally and Externally

Most essential oils can be used, even if there are strong safety concerns, as long are they are diluted properly (see: Essential Oils and Cancer – potentially carcinogenic, and anti-carcinogenic essential oils). But there are some essential oils that are simply best avoided due to their toxicity.

According to Essential Oil Safety, the following essential oils “should not be used, either internally or externally.

  • Almond (Bitter, unrectified) Prunus dulcis, Prunus communis, Prunus amygdalus, Amydalus communis, Amygdalus dulcis
  • Boldo Peumus boldus, Boldoa fragrans
  • Cade (unrectified) Juniperus exycedrus
  • Camphor (Brown)* Cinnamomum camphora, Laurus camphora
  • Fig Leaf Ficus carica
  • Horseradish Armoracia rusticana, Chochlearia armoracia, Armoracia lapathifolia
  • Mustard Brassica nigra, Brassica juncea
  • Pine (Huon) Dacrydium franklinii, Lagarostrobos franklinii
  • Sassafras Sassafras albidum, Nectandra sanguinea, Ocotea odorifera, Ocotea pretiosa, Cinnamomum porrectum, Cinnamomum rigidissimum
  • Savin Juniperus sabina
  • Snakeroot Asarum canadense
  • Tea Tree (Black)** Melaleuca bracteata
  • Wormseed Chenopodium ambrosioides

*Tea Tree (Black) “Melaleuca bracteata” is not the same as the commonly used Tea Tree “Melaleuca alternifolia” which is safely used. If you are unsure which you have, check the Latin name.

**Camphor (Brown), Camphor (White), and Camphor (Yellow) all have the same Latin name of “Cinnamomum camphora.” So how do you tell the difference? If you have a GC/MS report available, check the constituents. Camphor (Brown) contains up to 60% safrole; Camphor (White) contains 40% or more limonene; Camphor (Yellow) contains 20% safrole.

Essential Oils to Avoid using internally and externally

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Lea Harris Jacobson is a Certified Clinical Aromatherapist Scholar's Program graduate from Aromahead Institute. This website is home to educational advice and empowering information about using essential oils safely. The Using Essential Oils Safely facebook group founded and run by Lea and her team has over 140,000 members and hundreds of new members joining each week. Lea is the author of her bestseller Essential Oil Profiles (available as a full color print book as well as an ebook). Based off the information in the popular Top 60 Essential Oils APP, the print version has sold out in days each time it's been offered. Other books by Lea: The TRUTH About Essential Oil Safety, and the Hydrosols Quick Start Guide.

Lea is the creator of Safe Essential Oil Labels, designed to wrap around any size or brand bottle, as well as apps for essential oils and carriers, and hydrosols.

You can find FREE classes here: Free Essential Oil Classes, and sign up for the Using Essential Oils Safely BASICS course Lea teaches where you can earn your "Essential Oil Safety Advocate" title.

Lea is Professional level member of the Alliance of International Aromatherapists and received her herbalist certification through The Herbal Academy of New England.

Businesses, groups, and individuals can hire Lea to consult on safety, product formulation, and more on her website Lea Jacobson CCA.



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