Clary sage in Radox isn’t dangerous for pregnant women

Published: 8th Mar 2019

In brief

Claim

A Radox bath product contains the ingredient clary sage which can induce labour in pregnant women and should never be used during pregnancy, especially in the first and second trimester.

Conclusion

The Office for Product Safety and Standards told us there’s no evidence that clary sage would be dangerous for pregnant women in the quantities found in bath products.

A viral post claiming a Radox bath product contains a potentially labour-inducing ingredient—without any appropriate warning labels—has been shared around 112,000 times on Facebook.

One of the ingredients of the Radox Muscle Soak is Salvia sclarea oil—otherwise known as clary sage. It is this ingredient that the Facebook user was referring to.

The Office for Product Safety and Standards told us “There is no evidence that clary sage would be dangerous for pregnant women in the quantities found in bath products.”

We also spoke to Unilever—which owns the Radox brand—it told us “Our Radox Muscle Soak With Sage & Sea Minerals is completely safe to use and the very low quantity of clary sage present in the product does not lead to any adverse effects. All our products are thoroughly assessed to ensure they meet our high quality and safety standards as well as British and international regulatory standards.”

Buckinghamshire and Surrey Trading Standards have a primary authority partnership with Unilever in the UK, meaning they work with them offering advice and notifying them of complaints about their products. It told us it has “not to date had any reason to doubt that Unilever’s statement is untrue or misleading.”

Some NHS trusts do publish information suggesting that clary sage can be used as part of aromatherapy sessions to potentially “encourage labour”. This is likely to be in higher concentrations than those found in bath products. We’ve asked the trusts in question for more information.

This article is part of our work factchecking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as a mixture as there’s no evidence the concentrations of clary sage in Radox products are likely to induce labour but some NHS trusts do suggest in higher concentrations it could be used to encourage labour.


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