Eucalyptus and Rosemary Essential Oils…Safe or Not?
You may have seen an article floating around the internet about Eucalyptus, Rosemary and any essential oil with higher concentrations of 1,8 cineole being dangerous to put (diluted or otherwise) near an infant or small child’s face.
I researched the issue and found a couple of things. Some of the concern refers to varietals which have camphor in it. Neither of the two essential oils above have Camphor in them (Oregano does have Caphor but not 1,8 Cineole, although I’d never put it near a child’s face even diluted unless they couldn’t touch and transfer it).
The second concern talks about a connection with respiratory distress. The warning is based on a mother in Europe accidentally putting 1 ml of Eucalyptus (unknown brand, origin, or % or 1,8 Cineole) up her 2 month old’s nose. The child did have a toxic reaction. [There was a reference to 9 cases of reaction from having an 1,8 Cineole oil directly up the nose causing reactions. I cannot find the other 8 cases documented. Regardless, we don’t put essential oils up our noses, infant or otherwise. [I suspect this was a UK product being used improperly based on the information.] Keep in mind, 1 ml is a lot of essential oil and there is no reference to the brand, whether it was synthetic or pure natural quality essential oils or the chemical constituency of the oil.
That said, one drop is a treatment for an adult. A fraction of a drop (aka pinky swish) or dipping a toothpick in the bottle and diluting it is the appropriate amount for an infant or small child. We never put essential oils directly in our eyes, nose or ears. Eyes have a very sensitive fragile membrane that we never want to oils to contact. Should this accidently occur pour fractionated coconut oil or other vegetable based oil in your eye until it is flushed out. If you want the oils in your nose or ears put the oil on a bit of a cotton ball.
I can’t emphasis enough that I’m only speaking about brand essential oils. One of the reasons I feel so comfortable about using branded essential oils is the time they invest in making sure the chemical constituencies of their oils are safe. There is so much science behind making sure the plant being processed has safe amounts that work is amazing. I love that they do that for me and I don’t have to carefully research each of their oils before trusting them. If all else fails, just read the bottle and it will tell you how to use the oils safely. Another reason I feel so comfortable with brand essentials oils is their testing methods. I am comforted knowing that they are as pure as humanly possible with no synthetics, pesticides, GMOs or fillers. Synthetics are what most people have a reaction to and why we see horror stories on the web.
[1,8 Cineole is a chemical constituency in some essential oils. More information in the Modern Essentials book].
Note this is my research and I do not have a degree in Chemistry (even though I think Chemistry is sexy), nor access to publications that are not public. http://toxnet.nlm.nih.gov/ is one of the sources I use in addition to Essential Oil Safety by Tisserand.