1) Aromatherapy/essential oil use is becoming increasingly popular (a good thing)
2) Far too few people in the epilepsy community have been informed of the dangers of using certain oils because of the epileptogenic properties
3) Far too few parents know that certain oils are not safe for use in small children
4) Far too few sellers of essential oils know these dangers or warn their customers of them. (the multilevel marketing companies with "independent consultants" are the biggest culprits in this, i think)
The easiest way to avoid these dangers while using these oils is to be under the care of a trained and licensed Aromatherapist. But I know not everyone is going to do that, so I'll share what I know. Please know I'm not a doctor, and not giving medical advice. I'm simply a mom who uses essential oils a lot, and has a daughter with severe epilepsy. First the dangers...then read to the end for some free oil-recipes that I've found REALLY helpful.
Essential oils tend to have lots of different chemical "constituents"...Without getting into too many details, you want to avoid any oils that are "camphoraceous". This list is actually quite long. Some of these are *known* to cause seizures in studies; others the evidence is less certain but given the oils' constituents is likely to cause seizures in those with a low seizure threshold. I want to also add that many of these oils are totally safe for the general population, it's just sometimes there's a different set of rules for those with epilepsy, and this is one of those times.
You can find a listing of camphoraceous oils HERE.
In addition to these camphoraceous oils, I've read in several places that others to be avoided are:
Basil, Wintergreen, Camphor, Hyssop, Sweet Fennel, Pennyroyal, Savin, Tansy, Thuja (also called White Cedar, not to be confused with Cedarwood or Red Cedar which is beneficial), Turpentine, or Wormwood.
And of course, just use common sense. If you start using an oil, even one that seems to be "safe"...and seizures are increasing...*stop using it*. Just as some antiepileptic drugs stop seizures for some and increase seizures in others, for unknown reasons, no doubt natural treatments are capable of doing the same.
Still, there are some oils that have been found to help and are usually quite safe, and I wrote about that HERE.
I also just wanted to mention that some oils are not safe for all small children because of the effect they have on the lungs. Peppermint and Eucalyptus are on that list, and I would spend some time researching oils before using them on my children. When in doubt, Lavender is really safe, and can even be used in some preparations on babies if diluted in another oil...it's calming, allergy-reducing, antibiotic, helps with headaches, etc. And it's the safest oil out there.
Ok, so now on to the RECIPES! :)
There are two very common oil blends used particularly with the multilevel marketing companies (whose names I probably can't list without permission, but if you use oils a lot and bought them from an independent seller/work at home mom, it's probably one of these companies). One is used for breathing issues...opening up the lungs during colds, flu, allergies, bronchitis, etc. While this is a great blend, almost all the oils in the blend are camphoraceous and not safe for those with epilepsy.
When my daughter is having difficulty breathing, i've found that
lavender, lemon or sweet orange and black cumin essential oils
And the second recipe is a blend known to help the immune system. There are different names for this blend...the most well known one having to do with another name for "robbers" (not allowed to say the name)....and while this oil is great for killing just about any cold or flu or preventing it....the oils are not safe for those with epilepsy. So i made my own blend that works REALLY REALLY well! The oils included are:
lemon, black cumin, cinnamon bark, and clove
*Please note that cinnamon and clove are "hot" oils and should ALWAYS Be diluted in a carrier oil or they WILL burn the skin.*
IMMUNE BOOSTER SEIZURE SAFE RECIPE
7 mL chosen oil (jojoba, sweet almond, fractionated coconut oil, olive oil)
20 drops Lemon essential oil
15 drops Black Cumin essential oil
10 drops Clove essential oil*
10 drops Cinnamon essential oil*
Mix together and put in a roller ball applicator, or in an empty essential oil dropper bottle (this is more than a roller ball applicator will hold, and almost fills a 10 mL essential oil bottle).* Apply to the bottoms of the feet (most absorbent place on the skin) to fight off colds, flus, or any infectious illness.
*Leave clove and cinnamon oil out of the blend if you have kidney or liver failure, are taking anticoagulants, or are an alcoholic. the Black cumin and lemon oils alone will still be very beneficial.
And last, you can take those same oils (without the carrier oil) and blend them with a half/half mix of pure aloe and water, and use it as a natural hand sanitizer!! :-D
Blessings, and please comment below if you use any of these and notice any benefit!