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Can essential oils & antibiotics be used together?

Hi Robert,

My husband has just been diagnosed with endocarditis. His doctor wants to start him on intravenous antibiotics followed by oral doses of antibiotics. I was hoping to support him with essential oils. Do you think that’s safe, or could they interfere with the effectiveness of the antibiotics?

I would appreciate your advice.
Karin

Hi Karin,

In this situation you can do no harm with essential oils. They often help considerably, as many essential oil/antibiotic combinations are more effective than the antibiotic treatment alone. And if they don’t help at all, you have lost nothing. There is no such thing as eradicating an infection […]

By |October 22nd, 2012|Safety|8 Comments

Hygienic massage with essential oils

Human skin carries some 900 species of bacteria, and when one person massages another, a two-way microbial exchange takes place. I’m not suggesting that there is significant risk here, and shaking hands with another person is no less risky. But, thorough hand-washing before and after a massage session is recommended. In a hospital environment, infection can be spread by medical staff from one patient to another if hygiene routines are not followed, and this can lead to fatal illness if antibiotic-resistant strains are transferred. Hospital patients however, are more likely to be immune-compromised, and therefore vulnerable. And, hospitals are the […]

By |April 9th, 2012|Aromatherapy / Research, Safety|Comments Off on Hygienic massage with essential oils

Ingredient obsession

I am not against transparency in labeling. I think it’s a subject that could use a lot of discussion. But I am against ingredient obsession. In a society that allows alcohol, tobacco and firearms to be freely purchased, and that turns a blind eye to the widespread use of illegal drugs, why are we concerned about whether a consumer product might contain a few parts per million of chemical X? Should we not be concerned, rather about whether the product itself is safe?

Ingredient tunnel vision is seriously bad for your health. It will turn you into an obsessive, […]

By |March 29th, 2012|Fragrance, Rants, Safety|10 Comments

Wintergreen oil safety

Hello Robert,
I’d like to ask your opinion if I may. Recently I’ve had a western herbologist join my business and I am finding discussions with him to be very enlightening as well as confusing in a way. For instance, we were talking about wintergreen and how it is contraindicated in Aromatherapy because of its content of methyl salicylate. He then told me that they use wintergreen specifically for its methyl salicylate and this is true for some other “hazardous” oils. Although they don’t use essential oils in their practice but herbs, tinctures and herbal extracts – is this perhaps where […]

By |March 28th, 2012|Q & A, Safety|17 Comments

Interaction with SSRI medication?

Dear Mr. Tisserand,

I was treating a young woman with back pain recently. This young woman is on selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitor (SSRI) type of anti-depressant medication. Because her pain was acute I used a 10% blend on the specific site of pain that included German chamomile, black pepper, ginger and everlasting. About 30 minutes after the application she vomited and told me she suspected the essential oils may have caused her to be sick. She mentioned serotonin syndrome which is caused by an overload of serotonin in her system.

I referred to quite a few texts (including your book) and could […]

By |March 20th, 2012|Aromatherapy / Research, Q & A, Safety|11 Comments

Heavy metal lips

I just discovered a facebook page called “There’s lead in your lipstick”. Maybe I should start one called “There’s even more lead in your drinking water”. Heavy metal poisoning should not be taken lightly, it’s a serious issue, but the lead in lipstick fiasco no longer has any traction. Trace levels of lead are ubiquitous in our environment – in the soil, the plants that grow in it, the water that passes through it. We should be vigilant. But when you realize that you ingest more lead by drinking water every day, than you would if you consumed a whole […]

By |February 10th, 2012|Myth-busting, Safety|5 Comments

Lavender oil and negative innuendo

In a recent blog post an Environmental Working Group (EWG) research assistant suggests that lavender oil may be unsafe, saying: “the science is still evolving and safety can’t be assumed.” The science is still evolving? Isn’t that true of anything? Are we just sowing the seeds of doubt here?

I have written a number of posts about the EWG and sloppy science. Their modus operandi involves highlighting negative information, along with liberal use of the phrase “has been linked to”. Facts are so often distorted that their reputation in scientific […]

By |December 9th, 2011|News, Safety|19 Comments

Lavender and estrogen

Help please…today i was told that lavender essential oil can not be used when using estrogen cream therapy because of it’s phytoestrogen content…do you know of any research i could read about this or is this just an outrageous sweeping statement?
Lauren, via Facebook

Lauryn, lavender oil has an in vitro estrogenic action, as do many foods and natural substances (phytoestrogens) but most of these have a negligible effect in reality. To start putting out contraindications for lavender oil until we know more is scaremongering in my opinion. No-one yet knows which constituent(s) of the oil interact with estrogen receptors, nor what […]

By |December 1st, 2011|Q & A, Safety|7 Comments

Q&A: Essential oils for internal use?

Hi Robert, I wondered what the current advice/research is regarding the internal use of essential oils – specifically using oils on tampons? Any guidance would be much appreciated. Many thanks.
Adele

Adele – one important point is that, as with all other ways essential oils are applied to the body, they must first be diluted in a suitable medium, such as a gel. The risk of not doing this is that any concentrated essential oil could cause irritation, or even an allergic reaction. I suggest using no more than one or two drops […]

By |September 29th, 2011|Q & A, Safety|2 Comments

Q&A: I’m choking on wildfire smoke! Can EO help?


I am especially mindful of those in harm’s ways from the wildfires in Texas, USA. Today’s Question is very timely, and if you know anyone in a wildfire-prone area, this would be great information to forward along.


Mike O. sends along a concern from Roswitha L.
Been using your Eucalyptus and Myrtle EO blend, does help some. This morning went outside, smell of smoke/fire so strong eyes burnt, throat sore after 1 minute. We are surrounded by wildfires; not only trees burning but …homes, plastics, chemicals. Major toxins 4 million […]

By |September 9th, 2011|Q & A, Safety|3 Comments
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