Tag Archives: Natural Ingredients

Essential Oils to Avoid While Pregnant and Breastfeeding

Expectant and new moms are always careful to eat and do the right things to protect the health of their babies. We often take for granted that the many products we put on our body can affect the fetus and breast milk as well. This is because skin care product ingredients are absorbed instantly through our skin and directly into the blood stream impacting the health of both mommy and baby.

Even if you’re seeking an all natural skin care line while you are pregnant or breastfeeding (which is recommended), you should also know that certain essential oils should be avoided.

essential oilsWhat are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are a concentrated liquid that are derived from a plant by using the flowers, leaves and/or roots in a distillation process. The term “essential” signifies the aroma or “essence” of that plant. They are found in a variety of products more commonly including skin care, perfume, cleaning products, soaps, and food flavorings. Traditional and alternative medicine may incorporate essential oils into medical and healing applications, and have various regulations for use depending on the country. Generally speaking, essential oils can be infused in products, used directly on the skin, or used in a nebulizer to diffuse the essence into the air. Not all essential oils are created equal. This means, some oils shouldn’t be used directly on the skin, and some should only be used as aromatics.

Essential Oils to Avoid While Pregnant & Breast Feeding
While some would say approach with caution, we say, “Why take the risk?”

On a side note, it’s important to understand that the amount of time, concentration, method of absorption and other considerations need to be made. Check out our article on How Substances Enter Your Body  and How We Accumulate Toxins in our Bodies.

Below is a list of some ingredients that should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding (partial list). While pregnant and breastfeeding, always consult with your medical doctor before using these or any essential oils. Consult your physician before using any essential oil in a diffuser while pregnant.

  • Aloe (drinking juice): Do not use during pregnancy, lactation.
  • Anise (essential oil): Avoid internally and externally in pregnancy, breast-feeding.
  • Basil (essential oil): Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Bay (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Bergamot (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Cassia (essential oil): Should be avoided during pregnancy.
  • Cedarwood (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Dandelion (root, tincture): Do not use during pregnancy or nursing.
  • Roman Chamomile (essential oil):  Avoid chamomile in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Cinnamon (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy, breast-feeding.
  • Clary Sage (essential oil):  Use with caution during pregnancy.  Only use after the first trimester.  Do not use when lactating.
  • Clove (essential oil):  Use with caution in pregnancy; externally, only after the first trimester.
  • Cypress (essential oil):  Avoid in pregnancy, breast-feeding.
  • Elemi (essential oil):  Avoid in pregnancy, with infants and young children.
  • Fennel (essential oil):  Avoid in pregnancy.
  • Garlic (essential oil):  Do not administer essential oil to babies. Best to avoid in pregnancy.
  • Geranium (essential oil):  Contraindicated in the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Ginger (essential oil, teas):  Should not be used for morning sickness.
  • Jasmine (essential oil): Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Juniper (essential oil):  Contraindicated during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Lavender (essential oil):  Only after first trimester.
  • Lemongrass (essential oil): Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Marjoram (essential oil):  Has the potential to stimulate menstruation, do not use during pregnancy.
  • Nutmeg (powder):  Avoid in pregnancy.
  • Parsley (leaf): Avoid in excess during pregnancy and breast feeding.
  • Peppermint (essential oil):  Do not use during the first trimester of pregnancy or while breast-feeding.  Do not use with children younger than two years old.
  • Pine (essential oil): Contraindicated during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Red Clover (tincture): Avoid during pregnancy.
  • Rose (essential oil):  Contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy.
  • Rosemary (essential oil):  Contraindicated in the first trimester of pregnancy and should not be administered to babies or children younger than the age of four.
  • Sweet Basil (essential oil, leaf): Contraindicated for use while pregnant, breast-feeding, and with infants or toddlers. Do not use the essential oil during pregnancy or nursing.
  • Thyme (essential oil):  Contraindicated during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Yarrow (essential oil):  Contraindicated during pregnancy and breast-feeding.
  • Ylang Ylang (essential oil):  Avoid during pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Using Naturally Unscented Skin Care
Naturally unscented skin care is quite easy to find. You can even make your own with some basic carrier oils such as grape seed, olive, sunflower and coconut oils. You can also use butters such as shea, jojoba, almond, macadamia, Brazil nut, and others.

Salvenaturals.com offers a natural and organic line of unscented body care products including scrubs, face care, and soap. You can always go online and search for additional unscented skin care manufacturers.

Written by: Dahlia Kelada

Source: http://traditionswellness.com/Herbs_and_Essential_Oils.html
Image: blahtherapy.com

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What is Vitamin E?

An Overview
Vitamin E is fat-soluble vitamin (the most abundant antioxidant stored in body fat) and is found in a variety of natural sources such as vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables and whole grains. Vitamin E is primarily used as an antioxidant to protect cells against free radicals. Free radicals are created during metabolism and by environmental factors such as pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and herbicides. Free radicals can damage cells, and has been suggested to contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Normally, the body can handle free radicals, but if antioxidants are unavailable, or if the free-radical production becomes excessive, damage can occur. Of particular importance is that free radical damage accumulates with age. Antioxidants act as scavengers, helping to prevent cell and tissue damage that could lead to cellular damage and disease. (a)

Vitamin E in Skin Care

Vitamin E in Skin Care
With regard to skin care, vitamin E is listed simply as “tocopherol.” It is used as an antioxidant to protect skin against pollutants and help prevent premature aging. It aids in protecting the skin and prevents moisture loss. Vitamin E can further encourage wound, burn and scar healing. Exposure to sunlight, however, can reduce the amount of vitamin E found on the skin.

At Salve, we use natural tocopherol in our products for the above reasons; but also because it is a natural preservative, delaying the onset of rancidity in fats and oils, extending product shelf life.

When you see the term “tocopherol acetate,” this is the synthetic form of Vitamin E. Synthetic tocopherol  has also been linked to prostate cancer in men (when consumed orally).

Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta
Vitamin E is the collective possession for a family of eight naturally occurring chemically related substances: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta.) Alpha tocopherol is the only one of these that is maintained in human blood; although gamma tocopherol is the major form of vitamin E found in the diet. (b)

Each tocopherol is a type of antioxidant. And as you now know, antioxidants can inhibit oxidation in cells, thereby reducing the risk of cell degradation and diseases like cancer. All four tocopherols are available in the food items mentioned above.

Why is it better to have a mix of tocopherols?
“Mixed” tocopherols are vitamin E products that contain not just the usual alpha tocopherol, but also the beta, delta, and gamma forms.

There is growing evidence that it is necessary to use all forms to get the most benefit out of vitamin E, and it may even be harmful to use a plain alpha tocopherol since it could displace some of the more beneficial gamma tocopherols in the diet.  (c)

Benefits supplied by mixed tocopherols range from increased immunity to faster healing. They have also been implicated in stopping tissue inflammation. By consuming mixed tocopherols rather than just one type of tocopherol, a person can reap a wide variety of specialized benefits since each tocopherol has different abilities. (d)

Some of Salve’s products have a low-alpha mix of tocopherols that contain eight naturally occurring compounds (the fractions are called alpha, beta, delta, epsilon, eta, gamma and zeta tocopherol, and the four tocotrienols).

Content of Tocopherol in Salve Products:
d-alpha tocopherol: 20 max mg/g
d-beta tocopherol: 35 max mg/g
d-gamma tocopherol: 300 min mg/g
d-delta tocopherol: 80 min mg/g
Total Content Tocopherol: 500+ mg/g

Since the alpha tocopherol activity is most responsible for the effectiveness of the product, the potency of Vitamin E oil is measured by its alpha tocopherol content (e.g. d-alpha) While each of these compounds exhibits different biological activities, d-alpha tocopherol has the highest biological activity and is the most widely available form of vitamin E in food.

Sources
(a) http://www.ivy-rose.co.uk/Articles/about-vitamin-E
(b) http://www.health2009.com/Alternative-Medicine/10324-3.html
(c) http://www.healthchecksystems.com/antioxid.htm
(d) http://www.wisegeek.com/what-are-mixed-tocopherols.htm
(e) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_E

(f) Fuchs J, Huflejt ME, Rothfuss LM, Wilson DS, Carcamo G, Packer L. Acute effects of near ultraviolet and visible light on the cutaneous antioxidant defense system. Photochemistry and photobiology. 1989 Dec;50(6):739-44

Written by: Dahlia Kelada

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