Aromatherapy for Children
The aromatherapy recipes and guidelines that you see on AromaWeb and elsewhere are intended for use on average-sized, healthy adults who have consulted with a medical professional.
Most over-the-counter and prescription drugs list different dosages based on the size of a child or warn not to use the medicine with children. Essential oils used with children must be respected in the same way.
Essential oils and essential oil blends for use with children must be used at significantly lower dilutions than when used by an adult. Additionally, many essential oils should not be used at all with children.
Essential Oil Topical Dilution Ratios for Babies and Children
Educators can differ in their topical dilution recommendations for babies and children. Below are the recommendations of several outstanding educators for comparison. Referring to their complete texts is recommended.
|Age||Recommended %||Maximum %|
|Up to 3 Months||0.1%||0.2%|
|Tisserand and Young include the following disclaimer: "These concentrations are not research-based, and should be taken as helpful suggestions rather than absolute rules. The particular oils used and the health status of the individual are also important factors."|
|Source: Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Essential Oil Safety (Second Edition. United Kingdom: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier, 2014), 47.|
|2 Weeks - 2 Months||1 Drop Essential Oil Diluted Into 30ml (1 oz.) Carrier Oil||0.17%|
|3 to 6 Months||2 Drops Essential Oil Diluted Into 30ml (1 oz.) Carrier Oil||0.33%<|
|7 Months to 2 Years||3-4 Drops Essential Oil Diluted Into 30ml (1 oz.) Carrier Oil||0.5%-0.67%|
|3 to 5 Years||4-6 Drops Essential Oil Diluted Into 30ml (1 oz.) Carrier Oil||0.67%-1.0%|
|6 to 8 Years||5-7 Drops Essential Oil Diluted Into 30ml (1 oz.) Carrier Oil||0.67%-1.0%|
|9 to 12 Years||6-8 Drops Essential Oil Diluted Into 30ml (1 oz.) Carrier Oil||1.0%-1.33%|
|*Valerie Ann Worwood specifically recommends Camellia Seed Oil and Sweet Almond Oil as carriers for babies and young children.|
|Source: Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016), 141-143.|
|Premies||Floral Waters Only||N/A|
|Newborn - 6 Months||1 Drop Essential Oil Diluted Into 20ml (.67 oz.) >Carrier Oil||0.25%|
|6 Months - 2 Years||1 Drop Essential Oil Diluted Into 10ml (.33 oz.) Carrier Oil||0.5%|
|2-5 Years||1 Drop Essential Oil Diluted Into 5ml (.17 oz.) Carrier Oil||1.0%|
|5-10 Years||1-2 Drops Essential Oil Diluted Into 5ml(.17 oz.) Carrier Oil||1.0-2.0%|
|10 Years and Older||1-5 Drops Essential Oil Diluted Into 5ml(.17 oz.) Carrier Oil||1.0-5.0%|
|Source: Jane Buckle, Clinical Aromatherapy: Essential Oils in Healthcare (St. Louis, MO: Elsevier, 2015), 340.|
|Under Age 3||Do Not Use Essential Oils. Use Hydrosols Only.||Do Not Use Essential Oils. Use Hydrosols Only.|
|3-6 Years||2-3 Drops Diluted Into 30ml (1 oz.) Carrier Oil||0.5%|
|6 Years and Older||5-6 Drops Diluted Into 30ml 1 oz.) Carrier Oil||1.0%|
|Source: Fulcher, Liz. 2016, July 24). Aromatic Wisdom Podcast #024: Safe Aromatherapy for Children [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://aromaticwisdominstitute.com/024/ on August 4, 2016.|
Safe Essential Oils for Children
Valerie Ann Worwood provides a helpful table of appropriate essential oils, organized by age within the release of her updated book. Source: Valerie Ann Worwood, The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, 25th Anniversary Edition (Novato, CA: New World Library, 2016), 141-143.
Liz Fulcher, essential oil educator and owner of the Aromatic Wisdom Institute School of Creative Aromatherapy offers a wonderful series of free essential oil podcasts. Amongst Liz's podcasts is Aromatic Wisdom Podcast #024: Safe Aromatherapy for Children. She lists the following ten essential oils for children over age three. She elaborates on the benefits and applications for each oil. Listening to Liz's podcast is highly recommended:
Essential Oils for Children Over Age 3:
- Roman Chamomile
- Sweet Orange
- Cedarwood, Virginia
- Ylang Ylang
- Scotch Pine
Source: Fulcher, Liz. 2016, July 24). Aromatic Wisdom Podcast #024: Safe Aromatherapy for Children [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from http://aromaticwisdominstitute.com/024/ on August 4, 2016.
Recipes for Babies and Children
I would love to include many recipes and suggestions for aromatherapy use with children, but children range greatly in their weight, health and needs. As such, I prefer not to supply recipes for children.
For additional information, Valerie Ann Worwood's 300+ page book entitled Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child focuses specifically on babies and children. For more information, please look below:
Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child is a hefty and comprehensive book that covers aromatherapy for children. It addresses a multitude of aromatherapy uses for children. Easy enough for beginners to read, this book is also practical for advanced users considering the limited amount of resources available on children's aromatherapy.