Are There Any Side Effects of Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is a complementary medical practice that has been around for a very long time. Essential oils are utilized in a natural healing technique to address a variety of health issues, including headaches, insomnia, as well as weight loss.

Although essential oils are made using plant extracts and therefore are safe to use, they do have some adverse effects, just like any other medication. Some of the common side effects happening due to aromatherapy will be mentioned in this article, so continue reading.

What is Aromatherapy?

Using fragrant essential oils therapeutically is known as aromatherapy. The oils can be applied topically, used in the bath, or inhaled. They are diluted inside a carrier oil before being applied as a massage oil.

You can utilize a wide range of oils. For example, if you have back discomfort, an aromatherapist may choose ginger if you have circulation issues or lavender as well as marjoram to treat muscle spasms. Other oils, including peppermint as well as rosemary, are supposed to have stimulating qualities.

Essential oils: What are they?

Bark, roots, peels, as well as petals from flowers, herbs, and trees, are used to make essential oils. The “essence” of a plant is its odor-producing cells. Essential oil is produced by extracting the essence from the plant. Essential oils require a lot of plant material to be produced. One pound of lavender essential oil requires over 200 pounds of lavender flowers to produce.

Essential oils are not present in all plant-based goods. True essential oils don’t contain any additional substances as well as fragrances in their blend. They are produced utilizing a unique procedure that doesn’t alter the plant’s chemicals. It is worth mentioning that among the essential oils frequently used in aromatherapy include bergamot, lemon, chamomile, lavender, as well as cedar wood.

Side effects of aromatherapy

The majority of essential oils can be used without any harm. However, there are some safety measures you must take when utilizing them as well as negative effects you need to be mindful of, particularly if you use any prescribed medications.

Applying essential oils directly on the skin is not advised. Whenever blending oils, use only carrier oil. Never use essential oils without first performing a skin patch test. Citrus essential oils should always be avoided if you are exposed to sunshine because they may make the skin more vulnerable to the sun.

When should you and shouldn’t use essential oils?

Essential oils should only be used under the guidance of a doctor and often with extreme caution on children, including women who are pregnant, as well as nursing. Some oils should not be used, and essential oils should never be ingested.

Using essential oils has some negative effects, such as:

•       Rashes

•       Asthma attacks

•       Headaches

•       Allergy symptoms

•       Skin sensitivity

•       Nausea

If you have: Use essential oils cautiously.

•       A hay fever

•       Asthma

•       Epilepsy

•       If blood pressure is high

•       Eczema

•       Psoriasis

Negative effects of aromatherapy

1.    Skin sensitivity

Even though essential oils are safe and natural, not many people, however, have allergies. It can be brought on by either inhaling essential oils as well as massaging them into various body areas. An allergic reaction may cause little redness and discomfort. Allergies develop when your immune system reacts negatively to an allergen, which can result in rashes as well as itching.

2.    Nasal irritation

Even nasal discomfort might result from inhaling essential oils. Some of the most typical signs of an essential oil allergy include sneezing, runny nose, as well as congestion. If you have asthma, avoid using essential oils.

3.    Hormonal problem

Some essential oils have effects similar to hormones. These oils mimic the effects of estrogen as well as prevent the impact of androgens. Therefore, it is advised to seek professional advice before using any form of essential oil.

4.    Nausea and headaches

Another side effect of receiving aromatherapy treatments is nausea. Other side effects include headaches as well as drowsiness. However, these signs are not dangerous and usually go away when the person wipes the oil off.

Besides these side effects, it is also worth mentioning the problems of using lavender as well as tea tree essential oils. It has been discovered that the essential oils of lavender, as well as tea tree, have certain hormone-like properties.

They block or lessen the effects of androgens, the male sex hormones, and have effects that are similar to those of oestrogen, the female sex hormone.

One study found a connection between long-term skin application of lavender as well as tea tree essential oils and enlarged breasts in prepubescent boys. Patients with malignancies that require estrogen to grow are advised against using lavender or even tea tree essential oils.

Is it safe?

Because the oils are so strong, it is never a good idea to apply them directly to the skin. Large doses of these could be hazardous, especially if you’re pregnant. Except for rare adverse responses, aromatherapy is largely safe in practice.

Although there is some evidence that aromatherapy is therapeutic in other painful disorders as well as helping with anxiety, there is limited proof that it is good for arthritis.

Speaking of therapeutic, you should also check out auras and their meanings here if you are curious to find out what aura you have and how much it makes a difference to your body. Numerous individuals who experience chronic pain claim that an aromatherapy massage provides weeks-long relief.

What must you do after exposure?


•       Wash your mouth out.

•       Refrain from vomiting 

•       Don’t administer oral fluids until the Poisons Information Centre says it is safe to do so. As a result, there may be a higher chance of vomiting as well as lung fluid aspiration.

Eye exposures:

Rinse the eye(s) by running water right away, letting the water flow towards the outside from the corner of the eye closest to the nose. Continue doing this for fifteen minutes. A doctor should examine any persistent eye problems.


The skin should be washed with water and soap after removing contaminated clothes. If your symptoms still don’t go away then see a doctor.


Take affected individuals outside for some fresh air. Call the Poisons Information Centre if signs do not go away.


Aromatherapy is a great way to feel relaxed, plus it’s a great way to help yourself sleep if you have insomnia. However, one cannot ignore the side effects linked to aromatherapy, as they can cause serious problems. The above-mentioned side effects should help you understand ways it can and cannot be used and also help you be careful the next time you try it. 

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