View Full Version : Thyme and sage essential oils... toxic???

December 2nd, 2012, 12:32 PM
I am reading a lot of conflicting information about the toxicity of thyme and sage essential oils. They are included in a lot of recipes for combating hair loss, but then I hear that they should never be used for the skin or hair at all because they are toxic. Very confusing! Can anyone shed some light on this?

December 2nd, 2012, 12:57 PM
Essential oils are toxic for use on skin. The plants benefit from them different ways, as fungicides, anti bacterials, defence from being eaten by caterpillars or even bigger animals, insect repellants, war against other plants growing to close to them etc. In my thinking people dont take these warnings seriously enough.

Of course there will always be the odd ones trying everything out and stating "it didn't hurt me at all". I would stay away from putting essential oils directly on your skin and dilute them carefully with carrier oils if putting them in fragrances or other products. Never use essential oils another way than recommended. Some oils are directly contradicted by default, and only used in home-fragrances (never on skin), but even then they can have effects on the nervous system etc.

Thyme and sage can be used for human consumption in small concentrations, but we are not talking about the concentrated essential oils here, and putting those on the skin is not safe. Take care!


December 2nd, 2012, 01:02 PM
Thyme and sage (plant extracts) both have been used for making hair darker in the old days, perhaps this is the reason for some modern manufacturers putting the essential oils in hair-loss products. And for the nice (slightly medicinal) smell of course. I dont really think it is doing anything against the hair loss though.


December 2nd, 2012, 01:18 PM
Well, I know to always use EO's with a carrier oil. I just found it so odd that sage and thyme are in SO MANY scalp oil recipes. I should probably stay away from these just in case! Thanks for the info.

December 2nd, 2012, 01:41 PM
I love the smell of sage myself. I sometimes make an evening tea of the leaves and add honey from bees out here :)

If you are interested, you may look up the contents of sage oil. Sage contains 0,5 - 2,5 % essential oils, consisting out of the following components:

30-50% thujon,
15% cineol,
8-14% borneol and kamphor.
Also there are amongst others 2-8% katekin-tannines, saponin, flavonoglycosides, 0,35% bitter substances, picrosalvin (carnosol), tri-terpene-acids and other various organic acids, niacin and also a oestrogenic-mimicing compound.

Usually, the good stuff comes with some bad stuff too. Some of the negative effects after over consumtion were dry throat (and various effects depending on that like karies, inflammations and sores on the skin, as well as allergic reactions in the throat) and bad epileptic-like seasures. There are also effects on the blood-sugar as well as the musculature. Anything from this plant has to be used cautiously and very diluted.

Got this from various medical pharmacopoecias. Not sure this comes out correctly in english, but you may look it up for better understanding anyways. I have found sage very interesting myself to learn more about.


December 2nd, 2012, 02:04 PM
I just found it so odd that sage and thyme are in SO MANY scalp oil recipes.

Lavender oil is cytotoxic but appears in skin care recipes/products all the time. (Breaks my heart because I love the smell ;_; I guess people haven't caught up to the science yet.

December 2nd, 2012, 02:18 PM
I'am probably going to do something stupid this christmas: There is a cookie-reciepe with lavender that I absolutely MUST try :p


December 2nd, 2012, 02:26 PM
Haha, I still use perfume with lavender in it (Caron's Pour Une Homme-- the most elegant and comforting combination of lavender and tonka/vanilla you've ever smelled) directly on my skin. And I love lavender flavored pastilles. Lavender cookies sound delightful... if you make them can you let me know how they turn out? Now I'm curious.

December 2nd, 2012, 02:57 PM
(Caron's Pour Une Homme--.

Ahh - a classic! :o

Sure thing, I will write down the reciepes if they turn out good. I have one very promising cake reciepe also.


December 2nd, 2012, 05:11 PM
A friend of mine made lavendar ice cream with honey and it was divine.

December 2nd, 2012, 07:11 PM
To me its kind of anything will eventually kill you so its more about being cautious and not using significant amounts (which with eo's is easy to do) and dont use it everyday. Keep track of any reactions you do have and decide for yourself.

December 2nd, 2012, 07:33 PM
Wow I've been using lavender oil for scalp massages and in food for years!

December 2nd, 2012, 10:04 PM
I've always understood that essential oils should be used sparingly and carefully on skin for several reasons, not the least of which is toxicity. They are irritants for good reason...

December 2nd, 2012, 11:30 PM
Is there a general rule for how much EO to add to a carrier oil?

December 3rd, 2012, 02:36 AM
Generally 1%-3%. To work out a percentage a teaspoon is 5ml and 5ml = 100 drops. So 1 drop in 5ml is 1%.