Q&A: is cedarwood oil safe in pregnancy?

Nancy B. writes

Hello Robert,
I met you at the AIA conference in Denver, CO 4 years ago.
I follow your blog and have subscribed to your posts and comments. You are such a wealth of knowledge and I love the way to combine research and common sense.

I have a question about juniperus ashei. My company is called Touch of Earth. I have several products in the marketplace, including an insect repellent called Bugz Be Gone. I am thinking of adding about 1.5% Texas Cedarwood to the formula. The reason for this is I have seen some interesting posts and sites on its use for fleas, ticks and especially bed bugs.
This product has traveled world wide and I have lots of questions from folks about bedbugs these days, especially with the latest news that they may carry MRSA.
I have also read that cedarwood is contraindicated in pregnancy.
I am wondering what your thoughts/opinion of this may be since I have found little to really substantiate this.

Thank you in advance.


Hi Nancy,

There is no known reason to avoid any type of cedarwood oil in pregnancy. I have also seen this occasionally, and I don’t know where it comes from, but there’s no scientific basis for it. Texas cedarwood has not been tested on pregnant rodents, which is the way a substance is normally tested for reproductive toxicity, nor have either of its major constituents, thujopsene and alpha-cedrene. However, thujopsene is a sequiterpene, and as such is unlikely to possess any significant reproductive toxicity. Acetyl cedrene, a molecule similar to alpha-cedrene, has been tested on pregnant rats, and there were no adverse fetal effects at the highest oral dose used – 100 mg/kg, equivalent to an adult human ingesting 7 g, or 1/4 oz.

Best wishes,

By |2018-04-24T20:26:07+00:00August 18th, 2011|Q & A, Safety|Comments Off on Q&A: is cedarwood oil safe in pregnancy?

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