Is There A Conflict With Taking Medicine While Using Essential Oils?

If I am taking medicine while using essential oils at the same time, will there be any conflict?

If you are taking medicine as prescribed by your doctor, do not stop using essential oils; they will not conflict with other Western medicines and will assist in relieving the pain and reduce the side effects of Western medicine.

Why taking medicine while using essential oils would not conflict?

Because the molecules of essential oils are extremely small, at the nanoscale, while the molecules of medicines are larger, so they do not easily clash directly with medicines. 

Instead, it is the molecules of herbs and western medicines that tend to conflict with each other.

But it doesn’t seem that simple…

Proof of interaction of essential oils on drugs has been seen in several sources.

“The interaction of essential oils on drugs can be potentiating, synergistic, or antagonistic” – Abebe 2002

We know that it is not good to create antagonistic effects that compromise the efficacy of the drug. But more often than not, it is augmented and synergistic, stacking or multiplying the effects.

In a few cases, this is actually not good, as it is equivalent to an unwarranted increase in dose, which may burden the body’s metabolism or produce some other side effects.

When essential oils are used in conjunction with medications, one of the side effects that can occur is that the side effects of the medication are heightened. This can happen if the essential oil component is an inhibitor of the drug-metabolizing enzymes.

For example, the use of antidiabetic medications with cinnamon, fennel, lemongrass, marjoram, oregano, and vanilla essential oils, the components of which affect blood glucose levels and may cause hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. 

When taking ephedrine and amphetamine medications internally with clove essential oil, there may be high blood pressure, increased heart rate, and irregular heartbeat.

Skin medications (including medication patches), when applied with essential oils, must be used with caution; essential oils can promote the skin’s ability to absorb medications thereby making the medication dose higher than needed.


The information that can be gathered on this issue is not sufficient and opinions vary, but the amount of information and the type of drug that has been confirmed through experiments in cases of drug-essential oil interactions, as mentioned in Safe Essential Oils, is very limited.

From this, it can be assumed that conflicts between essential oils and drugs are a small probability. Moreover, in most of the clinical trials related to essential oil therapy, we have seen that essential oils are a good adjunct to treatment.

If you are still concerned, you can take advantage of the fast metabolism of essential oils and make good use of the time lag: use the essential oil first and take a western or herbal medicine an hour later.

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