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Scientists find new evidence linking essential oils to seizures: Analyzing 350 seizure cases, researchers found that 15.7% of seizures may have been induced by inhalation, ingestion or topical use of essential oils. After stopping use of oils, the vast majority did not experience another seizure.

Scientists find new evidence linking essential oils to seizures: Analyzing 350 seizure cases, researchers found that 15.7% of seizures may have been induced by inhalation, ingestion or topical use of essential oils. After stopping use of oils, the vast majority did not experience another seizure.

  • By - mvea

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ScottFreestheway2B

Hasn’t camphor been used to intentionally induce seizures as part of the twisted early 20th century psychiatry?


thepoogs

[The chemical induction of seizures in psychiatric therapy](https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25029329/)


DiosaRubia12

But what was the point of inducing seizures? Not sure of the application here...


tellme_areyoufree

Induced seizures are actually the single most effective treatment for severe depression, and a valid treatment for catatonia when other methods have failed. Typically we utilize direct application of an electrical current (electroconvulsive therapy or ECT), and it is very much still a thing. I have performed ECT about 250 times or so.


glimmer27

I just finished 6 months of ECT, ( Electro Convulsive Therapy) to treat severe depression and suicidal .... thoughts? tendencies? I badly wanted to die. Anyhow, I'm actually doing insanely better between new meds and the ECT I'm getting back to normal life.


MaidMirawyn

Thank you for being open. I hope you can continue with a more normal life.


glimmer27

Thank you so much! I'm an open book when it comes to the bundle of crazy that is my mental health. Theres no hiding forever things like self harm scars, manic episodes, panic attacks, or just extreme rage. So I was direct with most people who had to interact with me daily. It's worked out so well so far and I'm thrilled to not be melding into a couch while I dreamed of how I would finally end it all.


tellme_areyoufree

I'm glad to hear you're doing well!


glimmer27

Thank You! The ECT seems to have been the key to flipping my moods. Plus, you get to go under anesthesia which is always fun.


samohonka

What sort of memory loss do you tell patients to expect? My Dr. said I wouldn't be able to form memories during the treatment, but I lost many memories going about 18 months back, some of which have never returned. I did 12 sessions and apparently switched to bilateral at some point.


tellme_areyoufree

I tell patients there is a very broad range, and we don't know how to predict where you will fall. I lay out scenarios ranging from mild memory loss around treatment, to severe memory loss including things far from the time of treatment. I try to facilitate, when possible, an informed conversation about risks and benefits and how to weigh them, including weighing them against alternatives. Sometimes this is not possible, such as with a patient with catatonia not responding to standard treatment. Because malignant catatonia has a mortality rate of >50% if untreated, we consider this a medical emergency and proceed to treatment with ECT if other options have failed.


samohonka

Thanks for the response. I really feel like I should have had a family member take power of attorney or something like that. I don't feel like I was able to properly consent to additional treatments or going bilateral at some point. I'm glad my family intervened before I could do any more.


astonesthrow

I hear this. 19 treatments and my mom is the one who told me to stop going.


samohonka

Mine too! Although I guess we would have run out of money eventually... Hope you're doing well :)


astonesthrow

Doing well now. It was very effective at the time but at a certain point seemed to plateau. It's been over 8 years and I still have some long term memory loss but at least I'm not dead and wanting to die all the time. I hope you're doing well now too.


pethatcat

Sucks to hear the treatment was hard on you. It must have been tough on top of the disorder. How are you now? Did it work?


samohonka

I think it did more harm than good, but after getting a new doctor and quitting school and other changes, 3 years down the line I am holding down a full-time job! It's definitely one of my biggest regrets but hopefully that was my rock bottom.


Shaushage_Shandwich

I was catatonic for several months and I remember my mum arguing with the neuropsych in the hallway outside my hospital room. The neuropsych wanted to try ECT and she was firmly against me getting it. I was aware what was going on around me but not able to move or communicate to anyone. It was pretty scary not knowing what it was, just knowing what I'd seen in the movies (its nothing like that) they didn't bother explaining what it was to me since they probably assumed I was too out of it. I've learned since then that it's a very effective tool for extreme depression and catatonia and if they'd explained it to me I wouldn't have been as freaked out about it. I'm still glad I didn't need to have it. They tried putting me on Olanzapine first and it got me moving again within a few weeks. Even if it did mean I gained 30kgs in two months because of it.


hellomireaux

Wow, I never knew that you can still have full awareness during a catatonic episode. It sounds like you were treated a like someone in a coma - talked about rather than spoken to. I can't imagine how bizarre and lonely that would be. What kinds of things would have been helpful to hear from your treatment team? How did the episode start? Was it a gradual process or something that came on suddenly?


x0NenCROXEXI3TY1

One aspect of the memory loss I experienced from ECT was, it was like some memories from the time and a few years prior were just inaccessible. Like my brain forgot the path to them. But years later a friend was telling me about a movie we watched together which I had zero recollection of. But the more he explained what happened in the movie and the time we watched it, pictures from it slowly started coming back, then bits of scenes. Which made me think maybe some of the memories I thought were lost are still in there, but my brain needs help finding them (like my friend explaining many different details of the movie).


Fivelon

A good friend of mine just went through three rounds of ECT for his 48-year-long trouble with schizophrenia/manic depression and it's such a night-and-day difference, holy smokes. He's still very much the same person but... Stable. Far less impulsive and excitable, far less likely to fall into deep funks, and just generally seems like he shed about two tons of stress. Plus he can quit taking lithium now, which was literally killing him.


x0NenCROXEXI3TY1

It truly is a night and day contrast. After ECT I woke up in the same world, with the same opinions about society and life, but my perspective had completely shifted. Before the procedure I was always ruminating about the absurd complexity and emptiness of the universe, as well as the brutal reality of nature. But when I woke up I was so curious about the universe and how we got here, and thought life was this amazing, brief flash in time we're lucky to experience.


tellme_areyoufree

I'm glad your friend is doing well!


onjayonjay

Yup. There are plenty of seizure stories that start with mom using a whole jar of Vick’s on the child, and even more stories of seizures in children from eating it (in places where it’s common to place it around the living space - ie India) ... they think its a candy.


ScottFreestheway2B

I want to vomit just thinking about eating Vicks


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classic4life

The oils are the 'essence'


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sberger2

Hello fellow person allergic to Vick's! Although mine it due to an anaphylactic mint/menthol allergy. It's super fun telling people who rub peppermint oil all over themselves for headaches that they are causing my mouth, lips, and throat to itch....


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postsgiven

People ate Vicks? We put it on our nose when we are sick and it works really well... Or like muscle pains.


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yumineko

I'd not be surprised if it wasn't just camphor and eucalyptus. Scents are very much considered a trigger with migraines, and it's not just these two oils that can trigger them. Migraines and seizures are thought to be related phenomena, so it might be more than just these two for seizures as well.


SelarDorr

Here is a 2019 review on the topic [https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2019/6216745/](https://www.hindawi.com/journals/ecam/2019/6216745/) " Internal use of EOs like sage, hyssop, rosemary, camphor, pennyroyal, eucalyptus, cedar, thuja, and fennel can cause epileptic seizures because they contain thujone, 1,8-cineole, camphor, or pinocamphone, which have been identified as convulsive agents. "


Antelope010

I pointed out that study in a comment as well - this was, interestingly, a study paid for by Doterra, as well. Our daughter is epileptic so we avoid these oils being anywhere near us. We also avoid lavender because I've read too much about it interfering with hormones, despite studies saying that lavender can help prevent seizures.


ColinParro

Where do you see that it was payed for by doterra my mom works for them and won't believe me if I tell her but if her company payed for it there's a chance


mediummeg

Scroll to near the bottom of the page to conflicts of interest. "Conflicts of Interest Tyler A. Bahr, Damian Rodriguez, Cody Beaumont, and Kathryn Allred are employees of dōTERRA, a company that manufactures essential oils." This study was funded by them as well, in the acknowledgements section: "Acknowledgments This study was funded by dōTERRA Intl. (Pleasant Grove, UT, USA). Estee Crenshaw, Casey Harding, and Devin Martinez participated in the revision of the paper." Edit: spelling and additional info from the acknowledgements as pointed out by u/IAmJewhawk


hysys_whisperer

So what this says is that they, like big tobacco, know their products are harmful and continue selling them anyway? Shocker.


smacksaw

Well considering that MLMs are harmful for genuine human relationships and we've known that since Amway, I would argue that they just don't care. Now you understand why I won't ever buy *any* product from an MLM. How can I trust the integrity of a product or service from someone who is fundamentally lacking integrity due to the parasitic nature of a business that leverages unguarded trust from friendships into guilt and coercion?


eRetArDeD

How do I save this comment to always refer to?


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F1B3R0PT1C

It was specified in the article; people eating and inhaling camphor and eucalyptus were later hospitalized for seizures. Doctor told them to stop doing that, and no more seizures. Don’t eat those two, they’re poisonous. They’re okay to smell in small doses. We had a hun warn us of this when my wife bought some.


Lesty7

Isn’t smelling technically the same as inhaling? What is classified as a small dose? Are these people just putting diffusers everywhere or something?


Threesqueemagee

Yes but usually it’s a matter of dosage. Smell of a flower/plant = pleasant, inhaling concentrated fumes in air over long periods = trouble.


rhetorical_twix

It's not just a matter of not too much exposure to essential oils (like scents, as you mention). Some oils extracted from plants are also potent drugs. Eucalyptus and camphor are also classified as drugs and are convulsants. These people aren't convulsing because they took essential oils exposure in general, but because they were specifically taking eucalyptus and/or camphor, which are apparently popular to use in personal health and medicinal products in India.


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hysys_whisperer

The number of MLM shills in this thread is astounding. They're worse than big tobacco when we found out that caused cancer!


cookie_crisp

We've known this for years in veterinary medicine.


timbreandsteel

Yeah aren't there tons of warnings not to diffuse eucalyptus oils if you have pets?


ecrous-deez

Yup. The main way to euthanize fish is with clove oil also.


CamelSpotting

I always figured it involved a gun and a barrel.


Thebitterestballen

They did a Mythbusters episode on it. Turns out it's really hard to shoot a fish in a barrel, because the refraction means you can't aim right and the water stops the bullets. But it doesn't matter, because the shockwave from one bullet hitting the water will kill all the fish in the barrel anyway...


classy_barbarian

oh. So in other words, "shooting fish in a barrel" is actually a euphemism for "if there's enough of them inside a tiny area, you can probably cause a big enough explosion to kill everything even if you don't hit them directly"


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Gonna have to keep that one on hand for next time


QuerulousPanda

tea tree oil too is wildly toxic for cats, to the point where if you use tea tree oil shampoos and the cat sleeps on your pillow, it could die


timbreandsteel

Oh wow that's crazy. I don't have cats but good info to have.


JimboDanks

The asterisk here is: if the cat or pet consumes the tea tree oil, then it’s super toxic. So if you put some on them as a “treatment” it won’t be death, but if they lick it as pets do constantly then they’ll die. I’ll include some form of [source with a helpful gram per pound of pet](https://vetmeds.org/pet-poison-control-list/tea-tree-oil/)


confetti27

It also says in your source that low concentration tea tree oil such as shampoos are generally considered not toxic, so that other commenter may have been exaggerating a bit. Still probably best to avoid if you have a cat though.


Ms_Emilys_Picture

I use oils in a diffuser because I like the scent and, when I researched it beforehand, I was surprised how many of them are unhealthy for dogs and especially cats.


jejcicodjntbyifid3

But they cure cancer in humans! Just gotta take your daily lavender enema


eRmoRPTIceaM

Yep. Took me forever to figure out what was going on with a couple of my cat patients when they just became popular. All kinds of weird neurological signs. And people put them on themselves and their pets! Some are known animal toxins. Poor kitties


lala989

A lady I know is completely a slave to the essential oil garbage, she posted a photo of her using it on her snake. It makes me so angry.


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tiger_girlx

Just gonna drop this here for the lazy: >Analyzing 350 seizure cases that spanned a four-year period, the researchers determined that 15.7%, or the seizures of 55 patients, may have been induced by the inhalation, ingestion or topical use of essential oils. After advising the patients to discontinue their use of the oils, they found that the vast majority of those patients did not experience another seizure during a follow-up period. And this: >Of the 55 patients in the study who were determined to have had an essential oil-related seizure, 40% of them had never experienced a seizure before, so the researchers considered their seizure to be essential oil-induced. And 60% of them had a history of seizures, so their seizure was considered essential oil-provoked. The age of the patients ranged from 8 months to 77 years, though the majority were adults. With this: >All of the non-epileptic patients had been treated with anti-seizure medication for two to four weeks following their first seizure, and none of them had a recurrence of seizures after stopping their exposure to essential oils. And 94% of the epileptic patients also remained seizure-free during the follow-up period. Along with this: >**The authors emphasized in the paper that this is a topic that has not been well studied, and that it needs significantly more research**, as essential oils are used all over the world. They noted that their observational study involved a small number of patients from one region in India, and **they said their findings must be corroborated by larger, more diverse studies in the future**. And: >"The essential oils appear to be provoking these seizures, **but whether they are truly causative or associative must be clarified by further evidence from larger blinded studies**," the authors reported. "However, despite these limitations, \[this\] is one of the largest studies on essential oil-related seizures in adults." They're actually pretty careful with their phrasing. That's a good thing.


mvea

The post title is from the linked academic press release here: Scientists find new evidence linking essential oils to seizures Analyzing 350 seizure cases that spanned a four-year period, the researchers determined that 15.7%, or the seizures of 55 patients, may have been induced by the inhalation, ingestion or topical use of essential oils. After advising the patients to discontinue their use of the oils, they found that the vast majority of those patients did not experience another seizure during a follow-up period. The source journal article is here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0920121121000796 Essential oil related seizures (EORS): A multi-center prospective study on essential oils and seizures in adults Epilepsy Research Volume 173, July 2021, 106626 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2021.106626 Highlights • Essential oil-related seizures (EORS) can result from exposure to pro-convulsant essential oils, especially those containing eucalyptus and camphor. • Topical application, inhalation, or ingestion of these pro-convulsant essential oils can trigger seizures in otherwise normal individuals (EOIS) or in patients with epilepsy/epilepsy syndromes (EOPS). • Physicians should enquire about the exposure to these essential oils in any form in all patients with the first episode of seizure or breakthrough seizure. • Identifying the true cause of seizure will prevent future recurrence and unnecessary antiepileptic drug therapy. Abstract Objective Essential oils (EOs) like eucalyptus and camphor have pro-convulsant properties. These EOs are present in many over- the- counter balms and oils. The effect of exposure to these EOs and occurrence of seizure is not systematically studied. The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between essential oils and the first episode of seizure and breakthrough seizures in known epileptic patients. Methods This was a multi-center prospective study, conducted in four hospitals over four years. Every person presenting with the first episode of seizure or breakthrough seizure was asked about exposure to EOs, mode of exposure, time to onset of a seizure in relationship to exposure, duration of seizure, type of seizure, and antiepileptic drug therapy. Results During the four-year period there were 55 patients with essential oil-related seizure (EORS). 22(40 %) had essential oil-induced seizures (EOIS) and 33(60 %) had essential oil-provoked seizures (EOPS). The female: male ratio was 1:1.1, the age of the patients ranged from 8 months to 77 years. In the EOIS group, 95 % had generalized tonic-clonic seizures and 5% had focal impaired awareness seizures. In the EOPS group, 42.4 % had focal impaired awareness seizures, 27.3 % generalized tonic-clonic seizures, 15 % focal to bilateral tonic-clonic seizures, and 15 % focal aware motor seizures. EOs implicated were preparations containing eucalyptus and camphor. Conclusion Exposure to essential oils of eucalyptus and camphor is an under-recognized cause of the first and breakthrough seizure. Identifying the true causative factor will prevent unnecessary antiepileptic drug therapy and future recurrence.


Djinn42

>the age of the patients ranged from 8 months Imagine learning that you caused your baby to have seizures by using Vicks / essential oils. I'd be so upset.


DKLancer

That is exactly why people who are deep into essential oils will go into denial about it and double down instead. They won't want to deal with potentially hurting their baby and it's easier to simply distrust science.


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Zcoombs4

I was with this girl nearly seven years. She was getting deep into essential oils/crystals, you name it. Mostly harmless hobbies so she’d spend her spare time concocting.. whatever to do whatever else. Lots of eye rolling from me but I told her that’s her thing and I won’t judge. Now. Being that we were together so long it was time to have a serious discussion about marriage and kids. Early on we agreed children weren’t in our cards but that marriage probably so. One night we’re having a talk and her oil hobby comes up. Ok. Then starts recommending I do this or rub this in to help with that. Long story short it came down to where she was near conspiracy theory level crazy about them. When confronted she said she would absolutely attempt to fix our hypothetical baby with oils rather than seek out a doctor. I was floored. I gave it a couple days to see if she’d back down. She didn’t. Ended it and moved on. There’s no reasoning with these people.


toastbot

Which one of you got hypothetical custody?


Zcoombs4

Great question really. I certainly didn’t. Hoping she never had any real ones at this point. Oh. And she kept the dog. Who I found out via Instagram about eight weeks later passed away and she couldn’t be bothered to shoot me a text or anything.


LetThereBeNick

I hope the dog didn’t die of a seizure


ButASpeckofDust

Wow...sorry you spent so much time with her before finding out, but also glad you dodged that bullet at the end.


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Vectrex452

Exorcise the bad juju.


noisyNINJA_

The fact that you are probably correct is incredibly disheartening


Deem216

Eekkk. This is concerning. I saw some articles on pubmed that some essential oils are also neuroendocrine modulators. I think it was lavender oil can disrupt the endocrine system and immediately ceasing using it. These things should be regulated ETA: meant to say I read the article and immediately ceased using it.


Ethanol_Based_Life

I mean, pretty much all essential oils are pesticides manufactured by the plant to kill or repel other organisms. You're another organism.


Deem216

When you put it like that.....


Hendlton

So is capsaicin, but we're apparently collectively insane as a species, so that didn't work out so well.


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vegetable-grit

It's most likely a really small ammount of essential oil, if it doesn't reek of eucalyptus its probably nothing to be worried about, just check the ingredients order, they're usually ordered by percentage, first one being the main ingredient, the essential oils should be some of the last ones, the carrier oils (like argan, sunflower, olive, etc) should be the first.


newthrash1221

I think essential oil is referring to the highly concentrated oils that you’re supposed to cut with some other oil or something. Hair and beard oil are are already heavily cut with milder oils.


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Chrisf1bcn

Why is everyone’s post deleted?


machinegunsyphilis

maybe there was too much speculation or not enough citations. can't be spreading misinformation on a science sub!


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Alrichillcrusher

They should be labeled essence oils... Essential seems like they're essential for something.


ruum-502

This on top of the fact that essential oils don’t do much to actually heal you is a MAJOR blow to the essential oils community


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VividFiddlesticks

It irritates me to no end that essential oils are basically treated like magic potions. The thing is - some essential oils really are able to affect your body; and like anything else, if you use too much or use it in the wrong way it becomes a poison. But these huns just treat it all like magic water. I used to make soap and I was VERY careful which essential oils I used in my soaps. I did as much research as I could, read articles at the very limit of my scientific understanding, to make sure I wasn't poisoning anybody. I also always wore gloves when handling most raw essential oils - even "harmless" oils can eventually start causing you problems if you're exposed to them too much. People love all-natural and I totally get that, but honestly I feel safer putting a product with fragrance oil on my skin than most essential oils. Fragance oils are manufactured specifically for skin contact and are consistently made. Essential oils are a natural product - even the "right" oils can vary in strength from batch to batch and who knows how well any of that is being monitored. Plus so much essential oil is fake and/or adulterated anyway. WAY more lavender essential oil is sold each year than could possibly ever be harvested. So what is the rest of it?? If your lavender essential oil smells like lavender...it ain't lavender essential oil. Probably lavendin and/or some artificial fragrances. Sorry, I'll stop ranting now. It's just so IRRITATING. Much like when you put the wrong oils on your skin.... OK, stopping now for real.


LumpyShitstring

So. Once upon a time I took a class on essential oils as part of my curriculum for massage therapy. The most important thing we learned about essential oils is that pregnant women can *not* be around them, as some of them are potent enough to induce miscarriage. There were two pregnant women that were a part of our program, and they were not allowed to attend the class. We opened all the windows and turned on the fans to air out the classroom after each class. I’m not saying it was the essential oils, but both women ended up miscarrying. Now, most essential oils on the market are not pure. Doterra or whatever it is, I’m sure is not quality. However that almost makes me even more nervous about these MLM oils because there’s no regulation for them as far as I can tell (the second most important thing we learned is about quality and regulation of Essential oils and the proof of such assessments). But I’m honestly shocked at how reckless people are with things like this. I know someone who drinks them for fucks sake (I did gently try to explain that she could die).


Roscoe_P_Coaltrain

>However that almost makes me even more nervous about these MLM oils because there’s no regulation for them as far as I can tell This is basically true of the entire supplements/vitamins/alt health industry. As long as they don't claim to treat a specific health issue, like real medicine, there's very little regulation. Even the rare ones that actually do something useful, you never know what dosage you're getting, or if it is contaminated with other stuff. People like to whinge on about "big pharma" but the alt-health/supplements industry is a colossal scam.


ruum-502

You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make them... not drink rose petal oils.


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DaStalkingBiscuit

To be clear, essential oils are basically just really concentrated plant juice right? Aren't they pretty diverse in their content, and by extension, effects? Not that I'm advocating essential oils


GummyKibble

That’s right. They’re the *essence* of the plant. The next time you hear someone talk about them being good for you because they’re “natural”, imagine what “essence of poison ivy” would be like, and then you can more easily ignore everything else they’re saying.


512165381

Essence of [oleander](https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/poison/oleander-poisoning).


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