I want to introduce Porche Berry, she is an author passionate about essential oil safety and natural medicine. She developed The Oil Apothecary to clear up conflicting safety information around essential oils. She is working to expand the database to include other natural medicines. Here she highlights Eucalyptus oil and seizures.
There are over 700 species of eucalyptus, most are native to Australia. Only 15 are found outside of Australia, 9 are not on that continent at all.
Many species are water loving and fast growing, this has resulted in the trees being spread well past their native environments as a method to drain water logged land as well as being used as a source of wood pulp for paper. Most paper produced in North America comes from eucalyptus pulp.
Unfortunately, despite the benefits it’s also become invasive in places like Florida, this can have significant negative impact on native species.
In Australia there is roughly 92,000,000 (not a typo) hectares of Eucalyptus forests. The trees are known as allopathic plants because they release compounds that prevent other plants from growing in their vicinity.
On particularly warm days the leaves will release small amounts of the oils which produces a fine, blue haze in the forest.
One particular variety of eucalyptus is called “tea tree”. It’s called this because the Aboriginals would make a tea from the leaves which made the colonists call it “tea tree”. Tea tree is not known for inducing seizures like other varieties of eucalyptus essential oil.
Eucalyptus Oil and Seizures
Funny enough the title "Eucalyptus Oil and Seizures" isn’t clickbait. Certain essential oils aggravate seizure disorders, even if they are not active!
Let me explain.
The Epilepsy Society of the UK explains there are some essential oils which can trigger seizures, among that list is most species of eucalyptus. Will every epileptic react that way? No. But do you really want to learn the hard way?
Are any essential oils not recommended for use in epilepsy?
"Rosemary, fennel, sage, eucalyptus, hyssop, camphor and spike lavender are not recommended as essential oils if you have epilepsy. This is because these essential oils may trigger seizures in some people with epilepsy." - Epilepsy Society
I should probably explain why I said in a previous sentence why it didn’t matter if a seizure disorder was active.
Like many new mums, I took great pains to research everything that I could. Typically, this means many of us will seek to use natural products with our children, including essential oils.
When anyone encounters someone speaking with confidence and depth on a topic we tend to assume they have accurate information.
Regrettably, this is often not the case with essential oils unless they have taken formal training. When my child was only a few months old I tried to relieve some congestion by waving an essential oil blend under their nose. In my sleep deprived state I somehow managed to tip the bottle and get a single drop on their upper lip. While I was trying to carefully wipe it away, their father came in and wiped it up inside their nose before I could stop him.
This lead to a frightening experience with the child’s airways swelling shut and copious amounts of mucus pouring out of the child to try and clear the oils out.
I had to keep the child’s airways open using my fingers while they screamed from the burning pain inside their nose. The swelling subsided by the time the ambulance arrived and everything was cleared out of their nose.
The oils in the blend are often recommended for children by those without training due to a lack of accurate information being given by the companies they represent.
Unfortunately, the effects of the eucalyptus would be felt for years afterwards because it triggered epilepsy that would go unchecked until just before their 3rd birthday. It went unchecked because they were absence seizures which are difficult for doctors to catch, however it is in control now.
Prior to this event the child had no seizure activity or other physical health abnormalities. The oil blend was also from a reputable company.
Eucalyptus oil is a great choice for breathing complaints when no seizure disorder is present and the child is old enough. The leading expert, Robert Tisserand, has revised previous recommended age limits around eucalyptus but with epilepsy rates climbing in children this can come with growing risk.
When a child is congested and I wish to relieve it using diffused oils, I opt for evergreen oils, like pine or fir. Both work just as well and they are safe for young children, as well as pregnant people.
To learn more about safe essential oil usage you can visit The Oil Apothecary. It’s free to use, covering 136 oils in total. There is a subscription area covering 126 of the oil profiles for those who want to read more. The site is optimized for mobile browsers only, it will work on a computer but it looks weird.For more info on seizures and essential oils see the following:
About The Author
Porche Berry developed a deep and abiding respect for natural medicine by repeatedly watching pharmaceutical drugs fail to treat long term health conditions in family members and friends.
It started with a unique interest in watching shows on nutrition at the age of 10 and grew exponentially upon becoming a mother to a child who reacts strongly to pharmaceutical drugs.
Through experience and careful research she has developed a skillfulness in translating detailed and technical topics into simpler formats to make it accessible to more people. It is her sincere wish and vision to see more people take command over their own health.
The Oil Apothecary
The Oil Apothecary is an in-depth educational resource for any essential oil user developed by Porshe Berry. Whether a beginner or trained professional there is value in accessing the app.
It walks the user through every area of usage and includes 136 individual oil profiles in the unique “Quick Reference Data Sheet” format. The Quick Reference Data Sheet, or QRDS, splits the information into 6 easy to read sections
- Latin/technical name
- Chemical components
- Technical properties
- Route of application with suggested symptoms
- Immediate first aid requirement
The app is web based and optimized for mobile browsers, it will work on a computer but it will look a little odd. Accessing the app is free, no ads, and no brand affiliation. There is a subscription area to access 126 of the oil profiles for those who want more ($10.99 CAD).
- Visit her website: https://theoilapothecary.ca/
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/porcheberry56
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/PorcheBerry1
Snapshots From The Oil Apothecary
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