Learn About Aromatherapy

Monday, December 9, 2013

Birch & Wintergreen Are Not For Children!

My friend Tonya of  Created2fly (Facebook - Created2Fly) and I collaborated to create this post as a source information source for you and your growing knowledge of Aromatherapy and essential oil usage.

“The U.S. Surgeon General, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Pediatrics the National Reye's Syndrome Foundation, and WHO recommend that aspirin and combination products containing aspirin not be given to children under 19 years of age during episodes of fever-causing or viral illnesses. Acetylsalicylate is another word for aspirin; some medicine labels may use the words acetylsalicylate, acetylsalicylic acid, salicylic acid, or salicylate instead of the word aspirin.” 1

When asked about the possibility of the use of Birch & Wintergreen and the development of Reye’s Syndrome.  Robert Tisserand commented, "We do say in Essential Oil Safety that sweet birch and wintergreen oils should not be given or applied to children because of this risk. The safety information also applies to using Sweet Birch aromatically." 2

"Our Safety Advice
Our oral and dermal restrictions are based on a total of 95.9% total salicylate and methyl salicylate limits of 2.5 mg\kg\day and 2.4% (See Methyl salicylate profile, Chapter 14). Oral use of methyl salicylate - rich essential oils should be avoided in GERD, and the salicylates are contradicted in children due to the risk of developing Reye's Syndrome. Essential oils with a high methyl salicylate content should be avoided in pregnancy and lactation, and by anyone currently taking anticoagulant drugs. Caution is advised in those with hypersensitivity to salicylates, or dermatological conditions where the integrity of the skin is impaired." 3

1 - http://reyessyndrome.org/aspirin.html
2 - Tisserand, Robert Conversation in Private Facebook Group
3 - Essential Oil Safety, 2nd Edition pg 215 & pg 469 Our Safety Advice http://reyessyndrome.org/pdfs/ReyesSyndromeandSalicylateUse.pdf 

1 comment:

  1. I had Reye's Syndrome at about 12 years old (I'm 49 now). I was one of the first in West Michigan to come out of it without any "damage". I was lucky. My doctor's daughter had it (she came out of it with some brain damage) so he recognized it and sent me to specialists in Ann Arbor, MI. It was caught in time, before any brain swelling or liver damage occurred. As an adult, I developed severe asthma and became allergic to aspirin (they think - they are afraid to test me because the asthma was so severe, I had to be intubated and put on a ventilator for several days). Believe it or not, they don't think it had anything to do with the Reyes Syndrome I had. Anyway, it was after I bought Birch (but before I got a chance to use it) that I found articles about avoiding it if you are allergic. I talked to one of my doctors about it. After he poo-poohed my use of essential oils, I told him about Birch and it having methyl salicylate, he agreed that I should avoid it - even if I diluted it, he doesn't want me to have anything to do with it. I guess, despite all my reading about EOs, it didn't hit me how potent they are until then. I agree that children should definitely avoid Birch. Reyes Syndrome is extremely scary. It doesn't only come from children taking aspirin (it can also come from a bout of chicken pox or the flu - so watch your children carefully even after the worst has passed), but why even take a chance.