Essential oils are generally extracted from medicinal plants and used in aromatherapies. But some of these oils, for example, the use of rosemary oil during pregnancy, may require expert consultation. Although rosemary oil imparts many health benefits, such as stress relief, muscle relaxation, pain reduction, and alleviation of respiratory issues and skin ailments, you may need to be extra careful about its use during pregnancy (1).
Read on to know more about rosemary oil for pregnant women, including its pros and cons and tips to use it safely.
What Is Rosemary Oil?
Rosemary essential oil is derived from the leaves of the rosemary herb. The herb is also known as Rosmarinus officinalis.
Uses Of Rosemary Oil
Not only does rosemary oil have aromatic properties, but you can use it as a medicinal herb to cure various ailments. It is also a very famous culinary herb in Mediterranean regions, and its oil is added to various dishes to add flavor. Romans used the herb in many of their religious ceremonies as well.
Health Benefits Of Rosemary Oil
Rosemary oil has been around for ages, ancients used it for various purposes, and it can be used to alleviate many ailments. Here are some common benefits below.
1. Effective Mouthwash:
Rosemary oil is a brilliant disinfectant and therefore used as mouthwash (2).
2. Alleviates Respiratory Problems:
3. Stress Relief:
When you are stressed, the glands secrete cortisoliXHormone produced by the adrenal glands that regulate stress, blood pressure and sugar, metabolism, and reduces inflammation . If the amount of cortisol in the bloodstream increases, you are likely to feel more anxiety. Moreover, stress causes hormonal imbalance. So, if you are in stress, you can inhale a drop or two of Rosemary oil to reduce stress levels (3).
4. Boosts Immunity:
If you want a robust immune system, then go for aromatherapy that includes rosemary oil massage (3).
5. Prevents STDs [Sexually Transmitted Diseases]:
Some studies reveal that Rosemary oil has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties and helps reduce inflammation caused due to the herpesiXAn infection caused by herpes simplex virus (HSV) that spreads through oral or sexual contact and affects the mouth and genital area virus (3).
6. Reduces Pain:
If you have pain in your muscles, headache, joint pain or sprain, then massage that area with Rosemary oil. It stimulates blood circulation and reduces pain. Also, it helps quicken the healing of wounds (3).
Some Other Benefits Of Rosemary Oil Include
- Prevents Indigestion
- Boosts hair growth
- Provides skin nourishment and helps with skin care
- Can be used in aromatherapy as a mood enhancer
Is Rosemary Oil Safe During Pregnancy?
You tend to be a bit doubtful about using a product if you are pregnant, considering the safety of your growing baby. Consider the health-related issues before using not just Rosemary oil but any other aromatic essential oil as well. Check with your physician before using any such oil during your special months.
Rosemary oil, in particular, is considered unsafe during pregnancy due to the following reasons (4):
- It contains camphoriXA white crystalline substance used in making plastic, mothballs, and numerous medications .
- It is a uterine stimulant. Thus, expecting moms shouldn’t consume large amounts of it as it can lead to miscarriage.
- It is a diureticiXA substance that enables the kidneys to produce more urine and get rid of the excess fluid from the body and also emmenagogue in nature i.e. it causes menstruation and depletes amniotic fluid essential for fetal growth.
Also, use it in dilute form and don’t consume or apply the concentrate. Consuming the herb in small amounts does not impede or negatively affect fetal growth.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Which essential oils should be avoided during pregnancy?
Some essential oils that you should avoid during pregnancy are aniseed, basil, birch, camphor, hyssop, mugwort, pennyroyal, peppermint, rue, sage, tansy, tarragon, thyme, wintergreen, and wormwood (5). Apart from these, there may also be other essential oils to avoid. Therefore, seek your doctor’s advice before using any essential oil.
2. Is rosemary oil in shampoo safe during pregnancy?
3. How does rosemary oil support a healthy immune system during pregnancy?
Rosemary oil may help maintain a healthy immune system due to its antibacterial and antioxidant qualities, but more research is needed to properly understand its effects in pregnancy (9).
Before using rosemary oil during pregnancy, you must take an expert’s opinion. Though this essential oil is well-known for its wide range of health benefits, such as alleviating stress and pain, it may not be safe in pregnancy. Furthermore, some of the ingredients in this oil could be unsafe for an expectant mother, may pose a risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, and affect fetal development. Therefore, it is best to consult a herbal medicine expert before using any essential oil, such as rosemary oil, while pregnant.
Infographic: Possible Risks of Using Rosemary Oil During Pregnancy
Rosemary is a popular spice in the kitchen and is also used as a common medicinal herb. However, when it comes to pregnant women, some potential risks are associated with using rosemary oil. So, check out the infographic below to learn about them.
- Rosemary essential oil is commonly used for its aromatic properties and medicinal benefits.
- Using diluted and small amounts of rosemary oil during pregnancy is generally safe, but it is best to seek expert opinion before using.
- Rosemary oil has antimicrobial properties and can be used as an effective mouthwash, and to combat colds, allergies, and STDs.
- It also boosts immunity, hair and skin health, reduces pain, and offers stress relief.
- However, rosemary oil contains camphor and is a uterine stimulant, which is why its use during pregnancy is not recommended. It may also induce menstruation and deplete amniotic fluid.
Curious about using essential oils during pregnancy? Discover the answers in this enlightening video. Delve into the pros and cons of incorporating essential oils into your pregnancy routine.
- Babar Ali et al.; (2015); Essential oils used in aromatherapy: A systematic review.
- Marcela A. A. Valones et al.; (2019); Clinical Assessment of Rosemary-based Toothpaste (Rosmarinus officinalis Linn): A Randomized Controlled Double-blind Study.
- Rosemary oil is one of the most essential oils for its wide array of health benefits.
- Safety Assessment of Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary)-Derived Ingredients used in Cosmetics.
- Noura S. Dosoky and William N. Setzer; (2021); Maternal Reproductive Toxicity of Some Essential Oils and Their Constituents.
- B. Sasikumar; (2004); Rosemary.
- Herbs and Pregnancy.
- Ghasemzadeh Rahbardar, Mahboobeh, and Hossein Hosseinzadeh. Therapeutic effects of rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) and its active constituents on nervous system disorders.