Wednesday, May 13, 2009


All the various methods of using essential oils discussed through the book- baths, inhalations, massage oils, compresses and creams- can be used for children as well as adults, with a few safety provisos.

Do not use any oil undiluted on a child, except for Lavender oil on small burns or bruises.

Dilute essential oils in a base oil before adding them to a bath for a child; they tend to enjoy splashing around in the bath more than adults and could get the oils in their eyes otherwise. Reduce dosage too, to a maximum of 4 drops per bath. For young infants, perhaps simply make a tea, of Lavender flowers for example, and add that to the bath.

In massage, use lower dilutions of essential oils: a maximum of 1 percent for ages 12-16; ½ per cent for ages 8-12; and ¼ percent for ages 4-8. Under 4-year-olds will need just a drop or two in 100 ml(4 fl oz/½ cup) of base oil.

Never leave a young child alone with bottles of essential oils, and always supervise their use .

Use steam inhalations only briefly, and not at all if breathing is affected. Sometimes it is better to put a drop or two into a wash-basin of steaming water and sit with the young child next to it, rather than bending over a bowl.

A good way to help to fight infection, suitable for all ages, is to use a few drops in a plant spray, typically 600 ml(1 pt/ 2½ cups) capacity, fill with water, shake and spray the room at regular intervals. Use oils such as Lavender, Eucalyptus and Tea Tree.

Probably the two most suitable essential oils for use in childhood ailments are Chamomile and Lavender. They are both soothing, relaxing and anti-inflammatory, and help to calm the child as well as help to fight the illness. For instance, in a condition such as chickenpox, 2 drops of Lavender oil in 5 ml(1 tsp) of water can be dabbed on to the emerging spots to soothe the irritation and heal them at a much faster rate; Chamomile cream is very versatile, soothing many inflamed skin disorders. Additionally, the aroma of these oils helps to calm the child and give them a more restful sleep.

For colds and such like you may consider Benzoin, Frankincense and perhaps tiny amounts of Eucalyptus or Peppermint.

Although aromatherapy oils may appear harmless, they are very strong and should always he kept out of the reach of children.

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