When patients walk in at Whole Child Texas, they notice the pleasant, relaxing aroma in the waiting room. The use of essential oils to treat different conditions is called “Aromatherapy.” Many parents prefer it for children with colds, cough, ear pain, stomach aches, anxiety, sleep, and focus troubles. Essential oils are safe if used correctly, effective, and are well-tolerated and loved by most children.
Aromatherapy has been used since humans discovered that plants have healing properties. Essential oils are the ones that give plants their characteristic smell, and the oil extracts can be up to 100 times more potent than the plant itself, increasing both therapeutic benefit and risk of adverse effects.
When using essential oils at home or in a healthcare practice – first, do no harm!
These are safety rules that every patient who uses essential oil with their children should know:
- Internal use of essential oils is not generally recommended.
- Do not apply essential oils to any mucosa (i.e., nostrils, mouth, genital areas). Essential oils are incredibly potent and can cause severe lesions that look like burns.
- Do not apply undiluted oils directly to the skin. Always dilute 3-5 drops of oils in a teaspoon of carrier oil, like Jojoba or coconut oil.
- Do not use at all for infants <3 months. For older infants and children < 3-4 years, use cautiously and preferably after consulting with a health care professional trained in aromatherapy. Some essential oils can worsen breathing issues, so use very carefully, especially in younger children.
- Pregnant women should use essential oils only after consulting with an aromatherapist. Some essential oils can induce labor, so use very cautiously in pregnancy, after consulting with a health care professional genuinely knowledgable about the safe way to use essential oils.
Inhalation or topical preparations on the skin (again, I have to emphasize: always diluted!) are the most common way to use essential oils. Although there are hundreds of different types of essential oils, here is a shortlist of the top 3 favorites, safe, well-studied, and versatile oils used for children. Once you become confident in using these oils, you can become more adventures and try different ones for your family. You don’t have to spend a lot on fancy brands or blends of essential oils. Using just these three oils, from a reputable source, goes a long way.
- One of the SAFEST of all essential oils for children.
- Recommended for tummy complaints and is very calming for the nervous system.
- It works very well for children with anxiety, mild depression, insomnia.
- A very CALMING oil
- It has anti-inflammatory and anti-pain properties.
- It works well for anxiety, nausea, insomnia, premenstrual symptoms.
- There are many different types of lavender. Lavandula angustifolia is very RELAXING.
- A highly VERSATILE oil used for its calming, sedating, anti-pain, skin healing properties.
- It works well for anxiety, headaches, ear pain, sleep difficulties, skin issues.
Dr Alina Olteanu is here to provide you a trustworthy perspective on pediatric health that is rare to find anywhere else.