Children can greatly benefit from aromatherapy. In fact, many of the common ailments that children encounter can be relieved with essential oils.
1. Sleeping and Calming. Lavender
is calming and meant for children of all ages. Spray their sheets with lavender to assist with anxiety, calm and sound sleep. Place a sachet with lavender oil drops in their stroller. Put a few drops onto a tablespoon of mineral salts and add to the bath to soothe muscles and enable the child to relax.
is wonderful when placed on the temples or earlobes in treating headaches. Studious kiddos might study into the wee hours of the night, and peppermint can awaken their senses and minds the next day allowing them to concentrate for the test or challenging assignment.
3. The Blues.
Kids get into fights, don’t get their way or experience puppy love meltdown when a crush goes wrong. Orange
oil added to water and placed into a spray bottle as a spritz gives the child an uplifting, energizing jolt of renewal.
4. The Flu and Upset Stomach. One drop of ginger per cup of water settles the stomach. It can stop cramping, nausea, acid reflux and aid in digestion. This remedy should be used only on children over 3
Around the age of 9 or 10 pre-teens begin to experience bodily changes that often result in some type of acne. Use one drop grapefruit
, one drop tea tree
and one drop lavender
blended with one ounce of aloe vera or baking soda. This blend may be added to clays or egg whites to prepare a treatment masque to be applied weekly.
6. Bug Bites.
Virtually all bites from wasps to mosquitoes to spiders are treated with tea tree
oil. Both are wonderful at reducing inflammation and preventing infection. These oils are best diluted one drop to one tablespoon carrier oil. Try placing the oil into baking soda or natural clay to make a paste application. In tandem these ingredients will work to draw out the venom.
7. Diaper Rash.
Babies and young toddlers are plagued by skin rashes, oftentimes relating to the damp and confined diaper region. Chamomile
, when put into a soothing medium like coconut oil, calms the rash and soothes the baby.
8. Ear Infections. Frankincense
is an excellent choice for ear infections. A bacteriostatic oil, Frankincense should be diluted one drop to one ounce of carrier oil. While some recipes say that you can directly drop the oil into the ear with a medical eyedropper, it is much safer to soak a cotton swab in the oil and apply it gently in the outer portion of the ear. Inflammation and pain could subside quickly. However, if the problem persists there could be an infection in the inner ear requiring medical attention.
9. Colic. Peppermint
can aid in calming the intestines and soothing the baby. Use one drop per cup of solution. This can be added to milk or water.
Essential Oils in Daily Living.
Essential oils are effective, healthy, practical and fun. In an age-appropriate manner allow your child to make choices about the oils they prefer and how they want to use them. Monsters in the closet? Just zap them with a spritz of lavender.
Make it a part of everyday family life. If the family routinely uses essential oils for uses like: celebration, camping, relaxing or meal time, children will accept that essential oil use is normal. Later in life, the scents of lavender or vanilla will remind young adults of fond memories with their parents, friends, and siblings. Get creative! Use essential oils to make soap, bath balms, candles, and gifts.
Children are more sensitive in general to aromas and more receptive to the therapeutic use of essential oils. Young children’s immune systems have not fully developed and they are overall less able to deal with adverse effects when concentrated substances, such as essential oils, are used in the air around them (via diffusion).
Because a child’s skin is more permeable, thinner and sensitive, a dilution of .25% is recommended for children up to age 6. A .25% dilution would mean adding just 1 drop of essential oil (or a combination of pre-mixed essential oils) to 4 teaspoons of carrier oil. Coconut, jojoba, and almond oils are popular choices, beeswax is excellent for creating salves and castor oil is the go-to carrier for poultices.
DO A PATCH TEST. The safest way to determine if your child has an allergy or aversion to an oil is to place a drop of diluted essential oil in a carrier oil on their neck or on a baby’s inner thigh two inches below the diaper line. Keep an eye on the area and immediately remove if a rash appears or discomfort occurs. After an hour if all is well, it is safe to say the child is compatible with the blend.
Whenever there is an ailment that persists or becomes worse seek immediate medical attention. Essential oils are tremendously useful for most common uses; however, if the issue is deep-rooted or simply a symptom of a more serious problem, a medical professional should attend to the child.
Essential oils are personal. Educate your child about various oils as they grow. Just like with sampling with different foods, allow your child to go to aromatherapy bars to smell essential oils on fragrance strips. Try to work with a supplier that uses wildcrafted or organic sources for their oils. Ideally, find retailers that sell oils is sample sizes so you and your child can experiment.