Aromatherapy for Kids

What would the ideal child be like in a perfect world? As a baby, he would sleep happily without fussing. She would meet all the set goals in development. Later the child would sit down and quietly study with full concentration. The bedroom would always be neat… Well, I’m not going to say that using essential oils will bring all that about, but I will put forward that including essential oils in the child’s routine can help to balance and stimulate or calm the child’s brain and therefore aid in advancement.

Even as early as pregnancy, oils can be used to help the baby’s well being. In massage, essential oils in a carrier oil are absorbed through the skin of the mother and then circulated through the blood stream. A fetus can enjoy the effects of these healing oils in this way. By massaging the mother’s body and encouraging her to go into a relaxed, calm state, the child can then mimic this state and find balance and peace in their own inner floaty world. (Common essential oils not to be used in pregnancy are: basil, fennel, clary sage, cinnamon, juniper, rosemary, black pepper, cedarwood and peppermint).

Once the baby is out in the real world, essential oils can play a significant role in their health. Burning "lavender": or "chamomile": in their bedrooms before sleep can encourage a restful and peaceful slumber. If the baby is fractious and over-tired, massaging the bottoms of his feet with a little lavender in massage oil can calm him down and give his little body the rest it needs to grow. Oils like "tea tree":, lavender, "lemon":, and "frankincense": burned in an aroma lamp in the baby’s room can kill germs in the air and the environment, keeping baby safe from sibling’s colds and other infectious childhood diseases.

For the sleepy child who doesn’t like to get up in the morning, instead of enticing him or her out of bed with yummy smells of pancakes as they do in commercials, why not stimulate the brain by introducing a citrus or mint aroma into the room. Both will revive the child from his or her dream state and have them alert and ready for the day. I once tried spritzing a little essential oil in a spray bottle around my child’s room in the morning and although it wasn’t initially received well, it did have the desired effect of getting my boy out of bed.

Aromatherapy oils, because of their connection with the limbic system, help to create new pathways of memory in the brain. By burning a specific oil at the time of study, then reintroducing the scent when the information is later required, the needed information is brought forward in the mind. This is particularly good for students, studying for exams and needing to remember specific pieces of information. To use this technique, choose an oil that has no previous associations. Some good ones to use would be "basil":, "bergamot":h, lemon, "lemongrass":h, "peppermint":, "rosemary": or "verbena": oil. Either place a few drops of essential oil in a bowl or on a tissue and sniff the scent when memorizing the needed info, then at the time of the test, have an already impregnated tissue discretely available with the same scent, and inhale the aroma when the information is needed to come forward. A separate oil can be used for each school subject. But of course, one can’t rely on this method alone for good grades. There are many other factors like diet, proper sleep and concentrated study that help children to pass exams…

With children who have learning difficulties, essential oils could possibly play an important role in encouraging alertness without over stimulation. By burning balancing oils such as "cinnamon":h, "ginger":, rosemary, "black pepper": or bergamot, in an aroma lamp either alone or in combination, the child can settle better and apply himself more easily to the task at hand. Mental clarity, responsiveness, feeling connected in the head; these are some of the qualities one can hope for when using essential oils. Moodiness, apathy, frustration can all be soothed by massaging the child with a combination of essential oils in a carrier oil, especially around the shoulders and neck where stress and tension tend to collect. Massaging the soles of the feet also calm and soothe a fractious child. Oils like "rose":, frankincense, lavender, chamomile and "ylang ylang": might help the child become more reposed and centered. A few drops in a warm bath can also introduce the oils into the child’s limbic system, encouraging balance and connectedness. Again, diet, proper rest, physical activity and ‘mentastics’ are also helpful when working with a child with learning difficulties.

Essential oils can have a place in one’s life from pre-birth through to death. What a great addition to life!