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Aromatherapy & Essential Oils

Aromatherapy for Adults | Aromatherapy for Kids

What is Aromatherapy?

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils from plants (flowers, herbs, or trees) as a complementary health approach. The essential oils are most often used by inhaling them or by applying a diluted form to the skin. Many essential oils are used in aromatherapy, including those from Roman chamomile, geranium, lavender, tea tree, lemon, ginger, cedarwood, and bergamot.

Aromatherapy is sometimes used for insomnia, but we don’t know whether it’s helpful because little rigorous research has been done on this topic.

Aromatherapy is sometimes incorporated into massage therapy for various conditions, such as knee pain from osteoarthritis or pain, anxiety, and other symptoms in people with cancer.

One study of aromatherapy using two contrasting scents, lemon and lavender, in people under stress found that lemon had a positive effect on mood but neither scent affected stress indicators, biochemical markers of immune system changes, or pain control. Experts think aromatherapy activates areas in your nose called smell receptors, which send messages through your nervous system to your brain. The oils may activate certain areas of your brain, like your limbic system, which plays a role in your emotions. They could also have an impact on your hypothalamus, which may respond to the oil by creating feel-good brain chemicals like serotonin. Some experts think that when you put essential oils on your skin, they cause a response in your skin and other parts of your body, like your joints.

Benefits of Aromatherapy

You shouldn’t use aromatherapy instead of your regular medical treatment. But for some conditions, research shows that aromatherapy can have health benefits. It may:

Brands We Trust in Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy for Kids

Just like adults, children can benefit from aromatherapy through use in a diffuser or properly diluted topical application. However, caution should be used since essential oils naturally are heavily concentrated. Children may have unknown allergies that will make use of certain essential oils off-limits for them, even essential oils that may be deemed generally safe for children of their age. Always exercise caution when introducing children to essential oils. When in doubt, get it approved by a licensed practitioner before use. Please consult an essential oil book or other professional reference source for suggested dilution ratios. Also note that some essential oils can make the skin more sensitive in the sun and should not be used outdoors.

Dilution ratios for children for both diffusion and topical application are much lower than those for adults, as children are more susceptible to the effects of some essential oils. In general, using a properly diluted essential oil on an adult first and letting the child get used to it through skin contact is a good place to start. When using a diffuser, make sure the room is well ventilated and begin with the minimum number of essential oil drops. You can gradually work your way up to creating a proper dilution in a carrier oil for topical applications ─ anywhere from 0.1 – 2%, depending on their age (once you are certain that your child has no allergies to that particular oil). Caution should always be exercised when combining oils to ensure the proper ratio of essential oil to carrier oil for topical applications or water to oil in a diffuser.
Precautions for Use Around Children
  • Ensure diffusers are used in an open, well-ventilated area of the home.
  • If diffusing an oil for the first time, carefully monitor your child for the first several minutes to see how they react to the scent. If they show signs of discomfort cease diffusion immediately and air out the area by opening windows and doors.
  • Never leave a running diffuser and a child unattended; diffusion should only be done when you or another adult are present.
  • Keep your essential oils in a secure place where children cannot reach the undiluted product.