Essential Oils and Children!

Kids-People-Lavender-FarmThe therapeutic use of essential oils has a long tradition dating back to at least 4500 BC, and their accessibility and relevance in modern, alternative health care is growing. Scientific research increasingly shows the efficacy of essential oils, that which our ancestors have known for centuries.  Essential oils are the oils from the plants they were extracted from in concentrated form. Essential oils have been used in skincare, folk and alternative medicine, aromatherapy, cosmetics, soaps, perfumes, foods and drinks for centuries.

Hospitals throughout the country, including Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., have integrated essential oils into medical aromatherapy programs to promote physical and psychological well-being in children.

In a study on the use of aromatherapy in children at the St. Mary’s Hospital in London, several topically applied, superior quality, essential oils were found to enhance the experience of children in the hospital environment.

“Aromatherapy massage has the potential to induce relaxation and reduce the stressful aspects of hospitalization,” said the lead author J. L. Styles. “Thus, the author would like to propose the use of this valuable skill as an extension of the nursing role.”

Aromatherapy Oils and Cheap Oils are Vastly Different than Therapeutic Oils

In an article published by The Journal of the American Botanical Council, Dr. Jane Buckle warns that the vast array of low-cost aromatherapy products on the market usually contain synthetic fragrances. Synthetic compounds are not part of aromatherapy, and such compounds have been linked to the growing emergence of fragrance sensitivity.

Scientific Studies on Therapeutic Essential Oils

Consumers can search PubMed (the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health) for nearly 12,000 peer-reviewed research reports on the benefits of unadulterated essential oils.

Application: Before You Start

Many high-quality, unadulterated essential oils [such as Young Living] are gentle enough to be used on children*. Treat the essential oils as you would any product for medicinal use, and keep them out of the reach of children.

You can use many essential oils anywhere on the body except on the eyes and in the ears.

Essential oils may irritate certain sensitive tissues and should always be diluted with children or adults with carrier oils.

For children, the dilution ratio would be 15-30 drops of essential oil to 1 oz. of carrier oil.

One type of application for children (or adults with very sensitive skin) which is very mild is a compress.

How to make an essential oil compress for children

One type of application for children (or adults with very sensitive skin) which is very mild is a compress. Here is how one is made:

  • Place 5-15 drops of your essential oil into a basin filled with warm water.
  • Water temperature should be approximately 100 degrees F (38 degrees C), unless the person suffers from neurological conditions; in that case, use cool water.
  • Vigorously agitate the water and let it stand for 1 minute.
  • Place a dry washcloth on top of the water to soak up the essential oils that have floated to the top of the water.
  • Wring the water out the washcloth and apply the washcloth on the location (never apply the washcloth on the eye area). To seal in the warmth, cover the location with a thick towel for 15-30 minutes.

Note: it is possible that the essential oil chosen for the compress causes a warming or burning sensation, especially where the greatest benefits are occurring. If the burning or too hot sensation becomes uncomfortable, apply some carrier Oil to the location. You may want to not reapply the essential oil washcloth, if that is the case; after applying the carrier oil cover the location with the thick towel to keep warmth in.

Cold Pack Application

For children, dilute your chosen essential oil with carrier Oil, then apply the mixture to the location of inflammation or swollen tissues. Frozen packs of peas or corn make excellent ice packs that will mold to the contours of the body part and will not leak. Keep the cold pack on until swelling diminishes.

For neurological problems, always use cold packs, never hot packs.

Massage for Aches and Discomforts

Again for children, dilute your chosen essential oil with carrier Oil, then apply the mixture to the location of muscle discomfort.

Insect Bites and Stings

Bites and stings on children are almost always lessened by using Lavender essential oil.


Peppermint essential oil  is widely used to bring down a fever in both children and adults. For a fever, apply 4-7 drops on the soles of each foot with carrier oil.

Using a Diffuser

Using a diffuser around the home can be a very effective way to keep the entire family healthy. When essential oils are diffused in the Diffuser a micro-fine mist of essential oil is put into the air.TheraPro-Diffuser-Thieves-2

Diffusing can also be useful for congestion, due to colds or flu. The inhalation of the essential oil can help break-up congestion and provide some relief from cold and flu symptoms.

Never use ‘heat’ to diffuse your  essential oil as the heat destroys the beneficial molecules rendering them useless (it will still smell nice if you use heat but there will not be any therapeutic benefits).

Note: do NOT dilute your essential oils for diffusing as this could ruin your diffuser. Instead, use the timer and diffuser more often and for shorter periods of time to conserve your essential oils.


  1. Never dilute an essential oil that is already on the skin with water, essential oils at NOT diluted with the use of water. ALWAYS use your carrier oil.
  2. Never allow a child to ingest an essential oil unless otherwise instructed by Medical Doctor!  I personally say, “Never Ingest Essential Oil – Period!”
  3. Never apply any essential oil, even if it is diluted, near or to the eyes or in the ear.
  4. Never allow children to play with your essential oils, they are not play-things.
  5. Never apply essential oils topically to an infant or baby, their bodies are too delicate and too young for such potent things.
  6. Never leave your diffuser running all night close to a child. And never allow them to directly inhale from the diffuser.

These 17  essential oils can be used on most children over 2 years old in all but the most sensitive cases with carrier oil:

  1. Carrot Seed
  2. Celery Seed
  3. Roman and German Chamomile
  4. Cistus
  5. Copaiba
  6. Elemi
  7. Lavender
  8. Ledum
  9. Melissa
  10. Neroli
  11. Patchouli
  12. Petitgrain
  13. Rose
  14. Sandalwood
  15. Spikenard
  16. Valerian Root
  17. Ylang Ylang

For children, the dilution ratio would be 15-30 drops of essential oil to 1 oz. of carrier Oil.

*Never use any essential oil on anyone especially a child without speaking to a Medical Doctor first.

Essential Oil should not be applied directly to the skin but in carrier oils, putting the oils directly on the skin is too harsh due to their concentrated form. Add a few drops of essential oil to the carrier oil and massage into the face or specific area. Remove excess oil with a toner specific to your skin type or condition with a cotton pad if necessary.

If you are pregnant, receiving cancer treatment, or have a weakened immune system the use of essential oils is not recommended!  Never use essential oils on children under the age of 2.

While essential oils will not go rancid, carrier oils can. Store your carrier oils in a cool, dry, and dark place.



While I’ve attempted to use credible sources for information, this is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment. If there is a disparity between the information presented within this blog and the advice given by your medical professional, please follow the medical professional’s advice as he/she will know you and your medical circumstances.

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