You don’t often hear very many negative things about essential oils. The word essential is right there in the name after all.

For the most part, we view essential oils as things that we can incorporate into our diets and daily lives that will be somehow beneficial.

And for the most part this is accurate. There’s a wide variety of essential oils out there that can help you quite a bit.

You’ve got the ones that people have been using for years such as lemon oil, rosemary, cinnamon, tea tree and eucalyptus and then there are new ones being discovered.

One that’s regarded as being hugely beneficial is coconut oil, and while that’s been used in various tropical countries for years, the Western world is just picking up on its advantages.

And depending on which one you use it can benefit your health, your mood, or even your appearance in some cases.

But like we said, no one talks about the risks. And while they are generally easy to control, these potential dangers do exist.

Here’s five ways that essential oils could be harmful:

1. Incompatibilities With Medication

Whenever you take prescription medicine, there is always information on the box or on some kind of documentation about what other medicines you have to avoid while taking a prescription.

Rarely will you get more than that. It’s never taken into account what kind of supplements people might be taking.

And that’s basically what essential oils are, you’re using them as supplements. Because these things are both intended to improve your health in some ways, they may not mix well.

An essential oil you’re taking could interfere with the medication and could prevent it from doing its job. Depending on how serious your condition, this could be disastrous.

Take grapefruit oil for example. It’s good for stress reduction and for relief from digestive issues, but if you take it with certain medications such as statins, it could get in the way.

This is just one of the potential blends. If you have an essential oil plan then make sure you do some research whenever you are prescribed medication.

2. Skin Irritation

Though there are a lot of essential oils that are great for your skin, such as lavender, lemongrass and chamomile, some oils will actually cause damage.

Depending on the type of oil and what you use it for, how you administer it is going to be different.

Sometimes you will be rubbing it into your skin to get the benefit even if the intended result is not some kind of skin treatment.

The oils should always be diluted and in many cases they will be when you buy them, but that’s not necessarily always the case.

You should always have a stash of something that we call a ‘carrier oil’, which will be coconut oil or almond oil or another less severe substance.

Mix any oil with this if you’re going to be putting it on your skin. Also, some people may be sensitive to specific oils and even dilution won’t prevent irritation in that case.

You can test an oil by putting a small drop of it on your skin and then waiting to see if it affects you. Use very little for the testing process.

3. Sun Sensitivity

There are some oils which are considered to be photosensitive oils that will increase your chances of getting a sunburn.

It’s not something that will be permanent, but if you have traces of one of these photosensitive oils when you are exposed to direct sunlight then you have a higher likelihood of being affected.

There are a few different oils in question here and a lot of them are actually the ones that come from citric fruit.

What connection these two things have is unclear, but if you are going to the beach then you should make sure to avoid lemon, orange, lime and grapefruit oils.

Even if you heavily apply sunscreen, it’s still probably not worth the risk. You should also keep these oils off your skin if you are visiting a tanning salon.

Any exposure to UV rays aggravates the citrusy oils and can cause some serious, highly painful skin damage.

4. Unsafe for Pregnancy

When you’re pregnant you have to change many things about your diet and your lifestyle to ensure both you and your baby remain healthy.

You can add essential oils to that list. Even if something is actually healthy and beneficial for you, it might not be for the child.

A lot of oils actually aren’t that problematic, especially not the ones that you won’t be ingesting, but you should do some research and find out which ones are not recommended.

The main popular ones that should definitely be avoided are the likes of cinnamon, sage, aniseed, parsley and tarragon.

The biggest complication that you could face would be that these oils could cause uterine contractions in the first trimester.

Any kind of contraction that early is going to but the fetus under stress and impede on his or her early development.

Once you are in the second and third trimesters, this should become less of a problem but you still might want to keep these particular oils at bay just in case.

5. Internal Consumption

So we’ve talked a lot about oils that you would be rubbing into your skin, but it’s also worth thinking about whether or not your should be taking them orally.

Problems could arise for similar reasons to why you may end up with irritations on your skin. It’s because the oils are so highly concentrated.

The toxins in them have a chance to grow and your body won’t be able to break them down as easily once they’re in your system.

Unfortunately, some of them are even fatal. Wintergreen is an essential oil that has a ton of benefits, but if you take it orally it could kill you.

Outside of the likes of coconut and almond oil, you’re probably better not ingesting any oils, or at least doing it quite rarely.

What I would suggest you do, is get a diffuser. This is something that you can fill with an essential oil and it will release particles of it into the air.

If you have this in your bedroom or whatever room of your house you spend the most time in, then you’ll be inhaling it constantly.

Check out this guide on Complete Home Spa about how much oil you should put in a diffuser to reap the benefits.


So in short, you are probably okay with most of the popular essential oils out there, but it’s always wise to err on the side of caution.

Just consider these potential risks beforehand and then plan accordingly when you are putting these oils on or into your body.

Author's Bio: 

This is Arifur Rahman. Who is a professional SEO Specialist & Blogger. He has been working since 2015. He loves to share his stories, tips, tricks and teach online readers.