When using essential oils on babies and children, it is always best to dilute 1-2 drops of pure essential oils with 1/2-1 tsp. vegetable oil. If the oils are used in a bath, always use a bath gel base as a dispersing agent for the oils.
Keep essential oils out of children's reach. If an oil is ever ingested, give the child an oil-soluble liquid such as milk, cream, or half & half. Then call your local poison control center or seek emergency medical attention. A few drops of pure essential oil shouldn't be life-threatening, but for your protection, it is best to take these precautions.
In Shirley Price's book, Aromatherapy for Babies and Children, she mentions 19 oils that are safe for children. These oils are:
• Bergamot (Citrus bergamia)*
• Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)**
• Chamomile, Roman (Chamaemelum nobile)
• Cypress (Cupressus sempervirens)
• Frankincense (Boswellia carteri)
• Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens)
• Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
• Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
• Lemon (Citrus limon)*
• Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)*
• Marjoram (Origanum majorana)
• Melaleuca-Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
• Orange (Citrus aurantium)*
• Rose Otto (Rosa damascena)
• Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)**
• Rosewood (Aniba rosaeodora)
• Sandalwood (Santalum album)
• Thyme (Thumus vulgaris CT linalol)
• Ylang Ylang (Cananga odorata)
*These oils are photosensative; always dilute. To prevent a rash or pigmentation of the skin, do not use citrus oils when exposed to direct sunlight.
**These oils should never be used undiluted on babies and children.
Colic: Bergamot, ginger, mandarin, marjoram, Roman chamomile, rosemary, or ylang ylang. Blend: Combine 2 Tbsp. Almond oil with 1 drop Roman chamomile, 1 drop lavender, and 1 drop geranium. Mix and apply to stomach and back. Note: Burping the baby, and keeping the abdomen warm with a warm (not hot) water bottle will often bring relief.
Common Cold: Cedarwood, lemon, Melaleuca ericifolia, rosemary, rose, sandalwood, or thyme. Blend: Combine 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil with 2 drops melaleuca (Tea Tree), 1 drop lemon, and 1 drop rose otto. Massage a little of the blend on neck and chest.
Constipation: Ginger, mandarin, orange, or rosemary. Dilute one of the oils and massage on stomach and feet.
Cradle Cap: Blend: Combine 2 Tbsp. almond oil with 1 drop lemon and 1 drop geranium or with 1 drop cedarwood and 1 sandalwood. Mix and apply a small amount on head.
Croup: Marjoram, ravensara, rosewood, sandalwood, or thyme. Dilute for massage or diffuse. Bundle baby or child up and take outside to breathe cold air.
Crying: Cypress, frankincense, geranium, lavender, Roman chamomile, rose otto, or ylang ylang. Dilute for massage or diffuse. NOTE: do NOT use a carrier oil in your cold-air nebulizer diffuser as the fatty oils will ruin it!
Diaper Rash: Lavender (dilute and apply). Blend: Combine 1 drop Roman chamomile and 1 drop lavender with vegetable oil and apply.
Dry Skin: Rosewood or sandalwood. Dilute and apply.
Earache: Lavender, melaleuca (Tea Tree), Melaleuca ericifolia, Roman chamomile, or thyme (sweet). Put a diluted drop of oil on a cotton ball and place on the surface of the ear; rub a little bit of diluted oil behind the ear.
Fever: Lavender. Dilute in vegetable oil and massage baby or child (back of neck, feet, behind ear, etc.). Peppermint (diffuse only) - peppermint is too strong for topical applications infants and toddlers.
Flu: Cypress, lemon, Melaleuca ericifolia. Dilute 1 drop of each in 1 Tbsp. bath gel base for a bath or diffuse.
Jaundice: Geranium, lemon, lime, mandarin, or rosemary. Dilute and apply on the liver area and on the liver Vita Flex feet points.
Premature: Since premature babies have very thin and sensitive skin, it is best to avoid the use of essential oils.
Rashes: Lavender, Roman chamomile, rose otto, or sandalwood. Dilute and apply.
Teeth Grinding: Lavender (rub on feet).
Tonsillitis: Ginger, lavender, lemon, or melaleuca (Tea Tree), Roman chamomile. Dilute and apply.
Thrush: Geranium, lavender, lemon, melaleuca (Tea Tree), Melaleuca ericifolia, rosewood, or thyme. Dilute and apply. Blend: 2 Tbsp. garlic oil, 8 drops lavender, 8 drops Melaleuca ericifolia, 1 ml. Vitamin E oil. Apply to nipples just before nursing, or with a clean finger into baby's mouth.
Reprinted from "The Very Essence," a free weekly E-Newsletter on 'Green' and Harmonious Living, you can subscribe at http://theveryessence.com/essential-oil-newsletter-signup.php