Aromatherapy is the practice of using the natural oils extracted from flowers, bark, stems, leaves, roots or other parts of a plant and using aroma to enhance psychological and physical well-being.
Aromatherapy is extremely beneficial to children of all ages and personality types. I qualified as an aromatherapist in 2009 and am using that knowledge and training to help Neiva in her journey.
Please bear in mind that although they are natural extracts, essential oils are extremely potent and should always be kept sealed tight and away from little hands at all times.
Another point to consider is that children, compared to us, have a heightened sense of smell (and children with sensory processing issues even more so) and can have sensitive skin. In this situation less is more. So the rule of thumb is to halve the stated standard dose.
If you are new to aromatherapy and want to have a taster of what the benefits of using essential oils are for you and your family, just remember “TLC”:
- Tea Tree
- Chamomile (Roman)
These three essential oils are safe to use and the benefits are extremely effective on children. There are other oils that work and treat many things but I would recommend these are the three to start with.
Nature is the one place where miracles not only happen, they happen all the time – Thomas Wolfe
How to Apply Essential Oils to Children
There are a number of different ways all with important roles you can incorporate into daily life.
- baths; Neiva absolutely loves water. Whenever she is ill or out of sorts, the first thing we do to assess how poorly she may be is by putting her in the tub. All you need to do is add a few drops of essential oil straight into the bath water.
- massage; this is a truly lovely way to connect with your child. I attended a baby massage course with Neiva when she was 3 months old and it was such a lovely experience for both of us. Dilute drops of essential oil into a carrier oil.
- diffusion; probably the method I use daily. Using a tea light oil burner, add a few drops of chosen essential oil to a little water and let the scent infuse the room.If you would rather not play around with tea lights an ultrasonic diffuser has the same effect but is safe enough to leave in a child’s room
- inhalations; particularly good for coughs and cold’s however in children (young children in particular), the safest method is to add the essential oil to a wet muslin cloth and place over a warm radiator in your child’s room.
Before you begin to use essential oils its important to remember;
- Always buy essential oils from a reputable source. If the oil is not pure, it will not have the effect you need. I buy my oils from Neals Yard
- Aromatherapy oils should never be taken orally;
- If the oils come into direct contact with the eyes, wash thoroughly with cold water or milk and seek medical advice if needed;
- If you are concerned about skin sensitivity, try a patch test first. Apply the diluted oil (which means the oils have been added to a carrier oil) to a small patch of skin on the inner wrist. Wait an hour and if there is no redness or irritation, the continue to apply the oil as normal.
Following this, there will be a series of posts highlighting essential oils and oil blends that have been most beneficial to Neiva from calming temper tantrums to improving concentration. You can read the next post on lavender here.
Finally, aromatherapy will open you up to a whole new experience of the healing power of nature. Unlike man made methods, everything that has been grown on this earth is here to benefit our bodies in one way or another.
The photos in this post were taken during a trip to Yorkshire Lavender last year. We look forward to visiting this beautiful place again soon.