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Facts About Essential Oils and Epilepsy

Updated on April 7, 2010

Prevention for Epileptics

Did you know about 3 million people suffer from epilepsy! I am one of them...Listed below are some interesting facts some people may not be aware of and should avoid exposure to if you or someone you know suffers from epilepsy.

Fact #1-

Essential Herbal Oils can cause seizures! Here is the list of 11 oils that trigger seizures;

  1. Wormwood
  2. Tansy
  3. Thuja
  4. Turpentine
  5. Sage
  6. Savin
  7. Rosemary
  8. Pennyroyal
  9. Hyssop
  10. Fennel
  11. Eucalyptus

Believe it or not! These oils need to be avoided by all epileptic sufferers...

Although these are natural and some can be taken orally and also cooked with in foods, those type may not cause or trigger a seizure because they are mixed with other compounds but still have a chance of triggering or causing a seizure.

Camphor should be avoided for people with seizures.

Note: These oils should also be avoided if you are pregnant. Use caution and/or consult your doctor if you plan to use these oils. Also, keep in mind that massage therapists typically use these oils in their aromatherepy treatment.

Fact #2-

Caffeine should be monitored. Too much stimulant can increase the risk of a seizure. Caffeine is found in sodas, coffee, tea, cocoa, and other food and beverages.

Borage Oil should be avoided and is used for rheumatoid arthritis.

Chamomile although it is a relaxant, it too should be avoided for epileptics.

Ephedra is a big NO! NO!

Evening primrose may interact with other seizure medications.

Ginkgo is a 50/50 chance for triggering seizures and only a few reports show it has cuased seizures. I am epileptic & I decided to just avoid it. I just want to provide all the facts & not opinions.

Ginseng increases the levels of hormones (ACTH) corticosteroids which raise the chance of a seizure.

Kava can cause serious liver damage if mixed with seizure medication, anti-depressants, and/or benzodiazepines.

St. John's wort causes liver enzymes changes mixed with seizure medication. Studies show that it doesn't cause or trigger seizures but does effect the enzyme levels when mixed with seizure medicine.

Valerian just adds fatigue and more drowsiness when mixed with other seizure medications.

I hope these tips where helpful in maintainig proper prevention for those of us that suffer from this illness.

Safety Tip:

We all got to eat but it can turn out to be a life-threatening situation in a matter of seconds. Depending on the type of seizures you are diagnosed with from your doctor. Listed below are a few tips to provide safety....

  • Never eat slumped over or laying down! Always, sit upright.
  • Always make sure that the people you are with know the basics in case you start to choke.
  • Nonskid surfaces will definitely help, just in case...
  • Arm rests on chairs will help prevent a fall to the ground or at least slow the fall.

Interesting Facts:

Famous people who are claimed to have had Epilepsy:

  • Aristotle
  • Hercules
  • Socrates
  • Plato
  • Ajax
  • Julius Caesar
  • Muhammad
  • Bud Abbott (Abbott & Costello) He drank to hide it!
  • Danny Glover (Had it from the age of 15 to 35)
  • Martha Parke Custis (George Washington's stepdaughter)
  • Ida McKinley (First Lady of the United States)
  • Neil Young (singer-songwriter)
  • Jimmy Reed (blues singer)
  • Harriet Tubman (African-American Abolitionist)
  • Ezekial (Holy Bible)
  • Joan of Arc

The list goes on.....There are more people who suffer from epilepsy than most are aware of in this great big world......

Thanks for visiting my HUB!

Michael Gladden


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    • profile image

      Cesar 2 years ago

      Thank you for the great review of my peelnoasizrd pillow case. I am so glad that Isaiah likes it. I know by your comments that your plate is very full. Thanks for taking the time to do these reviews and sharing a little of your life. I commend you for doing an awesome job of raising your three children. May God bless you and yours.

    • profile image

      Cheryle 3 years ago

      wondering about things like purification will it decrease the effect of seizure medication

    • profile image

      Myca 5 years ago

      Lee and Grammy frankincense, orange, lemon and basil essential oils can be used, frankincense applied to the temples and at the back of neck every day can also prevent them (still have to take proper care of yourself it isn't a cure all), if you feel a seizure coming on inhale the frankincense and or basil deeply, the lemon and orange can be applied to the bottom of big toes, lemon is for left brain function and orange is for right brain function, can use these for massage also however with orange avoid sunlight as it may cause light sensativity, hope this helps :)

    • profile image

      GrammyTo Epileptic 6 years ago

      I wondered the same question as Lee, Are there any essential oils you CAN use?

    • profile image

      lee 6 years ago

      my mother suffers from it, and has had it about 30 years, you say the essential oils to avoid, which is really good information, but you don't say which oils can be used, are there any?

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      Thanks mdlawyer for stopping by......

    • mdlawyer profile image

      mdlawyer 7 years ago

      Very useful information. Thank you for sharing.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama


    • profile image 7 years ago from England

      great read again.

    • Michael Shane profile image

      Michael Shane 7 years ago from Gadsden, Alabama

      That's another source that I wasn't aware of till now...I'll be glad to check out your hubs. Thanks for the comment.

    • aguasilver profile image

      John Harper 7 years ago from Malaga, Spain

      Hi Michael,

      Our daughter has been diagnosed as epileptic, but we have managed to keep he stable for the last few months since we stopped all gluten and MSG from her diet. I have two hubs on the matter on my pages, 'Epilepsy - Jessicas story'

      Try cutting gluten.