This week is Aromatherapy Awareness Week, so we thought it would be good to look at effortless ways that you can use aromatherapy (essential oils) to help your children and soothe any minor illnesses/aches and pains they might be complaining about.
During Aromatherapy Awareness week, some therapists offer 10 per cent off treatments, – a list is available on request from the website if you’d like to try it. This year’s theme is ‘Aromatherapy and Dementia’.
Essential oils have been used for thousands of years, if not more, to help reduce stress, improve sleeping habits, and even help to calm a teething child. When they are used properly, they can be a safe and effective therapy.
Although lots of people use aromatherapy products and essential oils on themselves, understandably some parents might be a little apprehensive about using them on children. Providing they are used as they should be, they are a very safe natural remedy. If you’re not sure about anything, consult your healthcare provider and remember that aromatherapy isn’t a replacement for a GP diagnosis or prescribed medicines.
Dealing with sick, teething or poorly children can be challenging – one benefit of treating minor ailments with aromatherapy is that most essential oils have several qualities – for example lavender can help to relax you as well as having antibacterial properties, making it an ideal oil to use if you have a distressed child with a sting or a scrape. Children do have a stronger sense of smell than adults so if you use an oil in a burner to help soothe a child to sleep, you only need a few drops, not the 8-12 drops which is the amount suggested for adults. Go easy and if you need to add an extra drop or two, add slowly.
Which essential oils are best for kids?
If you only get one essential oil, make it lavender. Lavender can help to calm emotions, help children with sleeping problems, and you can also use it as an antiseptic on cuts, grazes and insect bites. It’s perfectly safe to use on nappy rash for little ones, too.
It’s a calming influence if you’re dealing with challenging behaviour; lavender essential oil can help with temper tantrums, teething, being grumpy and over tired.
Roman Chamomile is another great option for your aromatherapy toolkit – it calms and soothes, and is sometimes used to help heal skin conditions in children including dermatitis and eczema.
You’ve probably also heard of or used the products that contain Tea Tree – another very handy essential oil. Tea tree can be used as an antiseptic, it’s a strong antiviral, antibacterial oil and is great for cleaning surfaces and toys. During cold and flu season, pop a couple of drops on a tissue and it will help to unblock the sinuses that go with chesty colds. Always use tea tree oil diluted in a carrier oil as it can dry the skin out.
How to use essential oils
Depending on the age of your child, adding a drop or two of your chosen oil neat to a tissue can help with cold symptoms and with sleep problems.
Add two drops to a bath to help relieve aches and pains.
Don’t use essential oils directly on the skin – add one or two drops to a tablespoon of carrier oil (sweet almond, or apricot kernel) and massage it into their skin. If you haven’t used oils before, always test on a small patch of skin inside the elbow just to make sure there are no adverse reactions. These are unusual but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
For more advise, check out the website at: Explore Aromatherapy