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Aromatherapy for kids

Tiernan McKay is a freelance writer based in Denver, Colorado. Her writing has appeared in magazines such as Alive!, Occupational Health and Safety, Restaurants and Institutions, Tampa Bay and Arizona Woman. Right now, she is either ridi...

Using essential oils at home

If you are dedicated to green living, you've probably heard of essential oils, but have you tapped into their potential? Essential oils have aroma-therapeutic properties than can benefit kids in many ways.

Using essential oils at home

The topic of aromatherapy usually spurs debate between those who swear by it and those who think it's "hocus pocus." If it's not for you, you know who you are. Still, there are plenty of people who make essential oils a part of their daily lives and regularly see the benefits of aromatherapy, even in children.

What is aromatherapy?

Sure, many essential oils smell good, but aromatherapy goes beyond the heavy scent of candles or room fragrance. Roz Zollinger is a certified Aromatherapist and owner of the Heal Center in Atlanta, Georgia. According to Zollinger, "Essential oils affect both the physical and psychological functions in the body, because when the aroma of the essential oil is introduced into nasal passages, it travels to the brain's limbic center to affect neurological and physiological functions." Essential oils are used to address a myriad of issues including fussiness, lack of focus, digestive issues, skin ailments and muscle pain.

Aromatherapy and kids

People of all ages can benefit from using essential oils, but aromatherapy is often ideal for children because they usually enjoy the experience and connect certain scents with positive feelings.

Aromatherapy can help kids relax, support their digestive health and the immune system and generally promote a sense of balance. "These essential oils are certainly not medicines, nor do they take the place of any medication, they simply help the body and mind to find homeostasis and balance," says Zollinger.

Aromatherapy and Autism

The ability of essential oils to trigger the senses often makes them ideal for kids with autism. Margaret Hyde is an aromatherapy expert and author of the Mo's Nose book series for children. "In the case of autistic children, aromatherapy enables them to remain calm and keep their body coordinated when feelings of anxiety begin to win them over," she says. "Making essential oils a part of the daily routine help keep everything balanced, calm and happy."

Practical uses

There are a wide range of essential oils and many uses for each. Zollinger suggests the following practical uses, but suggests that parents seek out a certified Aromatherapist for advice specific to their circumstances:

  • To help a baby or child sleep peacefully, add a drop of each of the following pure essential oils: Lavender, Roman Chamomile or Sweet Marjoram to a warm bath to promote a deep sense of relaxation.
  • To relieve colic or digestive issues, a drop or two of Fennel Essential oil in a little Sweet Almond or Jojoba oil could be rubbed on the belly to soothe and relieve colic and spasms.
  • To promote a sense of joy and contentment, diffuse a little Sweet Orange, Bergamot and Ylang Ylang or Geranium.
  • To promote better focus and concentration, a blend of Spearmint, Bergamot, Rosemary and Grapefruit may be useful.

FYI: Don't use essential oils on children younger than six months old. Aromatherapy is not meant to be substitute medical treatment. For best results, check with the manufacturer regarding to be sure that the oils you chose are of the best quality.

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