What can be noted in many publications are statements that are based on the attitude that if an author does not know about the realities of the possible negative effects of an essential oil, then, if any possible negative effect might be noted, the invariable recommendation is to avoid the use of that essential oil or to use extremely low dosages.

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The most common test of potential human toxicity is that of the "LD50" test or the "median lethal dose".

This test is routinely applied to laboratory animals (humans do not usually volunteer) in the testing of compounds used in pharmaceuticals, agricultural chemicals, flavours, fragrances and cosmetics, to name a few.

In this testing procedure, laboratory animals, usually rats, are given measured doses of compounds until approximately half of the test population die.

The "median dosages" are then generally given in the ratio of grams of test compound per kilogram of bodyweight.

Hence, dosages are kept extremely low and any essential oil that might be construed to have any possible negative effect, such as during pregnancy, is routinely advised to be best left alone.

If we inspect such books, we also find that these publications, easily accessible to the public, are often used as "textbooks" in Aromatherapy practitioner training.

Developing from the domain of beauty therapy, we can see a particular "dogma" has evolved, one that is "gentle" and oriented from an "energetic" perspective towards both "low-dose" applications and the avoidance of internal and other "high-dose" applications.

As such, I suggest that this particular bias has served as the "philosophical base" on which many of the common statements regarding essential oil toxicity are based.

Hence, a LD50 rating of 1.0 represents that 50% of the test animals died on a dosage of 1 gram per kilogram of body weight.