Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Dangerous Essential Oils

Most essential oils should never be use undiluted on the skin and can be toxic if taken orally. Some should not be used at all, they have been manufactured for industrial purposes and are extremely dangerous to have around the house.

Ajowan (Trachyspermum copticum) toxic thymol, powerful irritant
Bitter Almond (Prunus dulcis var amara) toxic cyanide (prussic acid) present in unrectified oil - only use FFPA grade
Boldo Leaf (Peumus boldus) very orally toxic
Calamus (Acorus calamus) carcinogenic oral toxin ß-asarone, methyleugenol; FDA banned from flavorings
Camphor, Brown or Yellow (Cinnamomum camphora) carcinogenic safrole; EU banned
Colophony (Pinus spp.) stong sensitizer
Costus (Saussurea costus) strong sensitizer; IFRA banned
Croton, Cascarilla (Croton tiglium) methyleugenol, blistering agent; EU banned
Elecampane, Allantroot (Innula helenium) strong sensitizer; IFRA banned
Fig Leaf absolute (Ficus carica) phototoxic sensitizer; IRFA banned
Horseradish (Armoracia rusticana) severe irritant allyl isothiocyanate

This was taken from Elaine's Aromatheraphy. Please go here for the full list. Also check out this list of essential oils which are known to be skin sensitizers.

Cyanide is a highly toxic poison and the word "carcinogenic" is used to describe a substance that is capable of causing cancer.

Please be extremely careful when handling essential oils. It is mentioned in the article that a 15ml bottle of Birch and Wintergreen essential oil has enough methyl salicylate to kill a person if ingested. They are particularly dangerous to children because of their sweet and minty smell.

In fact, any essential oil should be kept out of reach of children and thoroughly researched before being used. It is better to err on the side of being TOO careful.

Maybe not the best topic to start the new year with uhh hehe.



Michelle said...

Thank you for this list and the link!

LoveMichie said...

You're very welcome!