Aromatherapy uses essential oils to help balance your health. The oils are applied in a lotion, cream or base oil and most usually through massage by a qualified therapist. The small amounts of oil pass through your skin to heal you within. Aromatherapy can be used effectively for childhood complaints. For babies and children you need to reduce the drops of essential oil that you add to a base oil or lotion.
Aromatherapy oils can be used to treat childhood ailments and also to enhance your little one’s moods and emotions. Some oils are so uplifting they can make your children laugh out loud! There are various ways of using aromatherapy including playing with aromatic play dough ‘Mohdoh’, massage, inhalation, compresses, pillows and bathing. You can use various aromatherapy treatments to help with common childhood ailments such as:
- Sleeplessness – you should investigate all possible reasons why your child may be having trouble sleeping. If you want to try aromatherapy, you can try bathing your child before bedtime using oils such as ylang ylang (Cananga odorata), marjoram sweet (Origanum majorana) and sandalwood (Santalum album). You can also put some drops of these oils onto a tissue and place under your child’s pillowcase at night so he can inhale the aroma. ‘40 Winks’ Mohdoh can be played with releasing soothing aromas. For massage a nice recipe would be – 30ml lime blossom oil, 20ml sunflower oil, 3 drops ylang ylang, 3 drops Chamomile nobile and 2 drops marjoram sweet
- Temper Tantrums – not exactly an ailment but some help to deal with such moments would not usually go amiss! Spending relaxing times with your infant and soothing him using oils in his baths and massaging him will help diffuse his stress. When you go out, say to the shops take the same oils you use to relax at home with on a tissue and your child will inhale the aromas and associate the nice smell with calm and relaxing times at home. You can give your child Mohdoh, the ‘Calm’ variety to play with or use the following oils via massage, inhalation, or bathing – ylang ylang, mandarin (Citrus reticulate), lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), rose otto (Rosa centifolia) and sandalwood. For baths a good recipe is 2 drops ylang ylang and 2 drops mandarin
- Travel Sickness – this is a common ailment with children and the symptoms can be your child going very quiet, pallid in colour, he feels dizzy and nauseous sometimes accompanied with a headache and tiredness. A small meal with protein and no fizzy drinks, sweets or chocolate before a journey helps. In terms of aromatherapy help you can give your child ‘Are We There yet?’ Mohdoh. You can try one of the following oils to be mixed with a base lotion for massage or inhaled from a few drops on a tissue – rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora), chamomile Roman (Chamaemelum nobile), orange sweet (Citrus aurantium var. sinensis), lemon (Citrus limon), bergamot (Citrus bergamia), sandalwood or ginger (Zingiber officinale). A good recipe for putting on a tissue to keep in the car is 2 drops orange sweet, 1 drop bergamot and 1 drop ginger
Children only need low dosages of essential oils and they respond very well to them. Usually you use about a third of an adult dose but always check that the oils you are using are safe for children and their delicate skin. Some oils are not to be used with children so always check with a professional aromatherapist as to how the oil should be used. When adding oil to your infant’s bath water you should always add the correct amount of drops to about half a litre of water, shake and then add this to their bath.
By Eirian Hallinan