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Aromatherapy For Children

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Aromatherapy For Children

Childhood is a time of bumps, bruises, scraped knees and other afflictions. Applied externally, aromatherapy can help minimize many of these common ailments.

Childhood is a time of bumps, bruises, scraped knees and other afflictions. Applied externally, aromatherapy can help minimize many of these common ailments.

The term "standard amounts" refers to the usual number of drops of essential oil used in a blend. For a 15 millilitre blend, use a total of nine drops essential oil. This will create the maximum three per cent dilution. If you are following blends suggested in a book, the quantities will usually be given in standard amounts.

When using aromatherapy for children, take into consideration the fact that they are smaller than adults. They have much less body weight and their bodily systems are undergoing significant development. You can therefore either increase the amount of carrier oil to achieve the necessary dilution or decrease the number of drops of essential oil. A pipette, a device similar to an eyedropper, delivers approximately one-quarter the standard amount. In other words-one-quarter drop of essential oil. You can buy pipettes at drugstores or science supply stores.

How To Apply Oils

Always keep essential oils out of eyes and store them out of reach of children. Remember that essential oils are flammable, so use care when using a pot pourri burner or a light bulb ring. Finally, remember that when dealing with essential oils, more is not better!

While children can benefit from most of the same essential oils as adults, there are a few that are especially useful and worth keeping on hand. Lavender, Roman camomile, lemon and manuka are all excellent choices.

Lavender is good for all sorts of skin diseases, sores and wounds. It is effective against insect stings and bites (bees, wasps and mosquitoes), is analgesic and works to prevent or reduce infection. For burns, lavender is the first choice to reduce the redness, pain and extent of the burn. Lavender also calms and soothes kids, reducing anxiety and stress.

Camomile (both the Roman and German varieties) is also good for a variety of skin conditions, including hives, acne, dermatitis, eczema and psoriasis–any sort of irritated or inflamed skin. It too is a calming oil and helps with nervous tummies, colic and the trials of teething.

Lemon oil provides an effective alternative to hydrogen peroxide when dealing with cuts. It helps stop bleeding, disinfects the cut and works to prevent further infection. Lemon oil also works against warts, athlete’s foot and fungal infections. An upset stomach or heartburn is calmed with lemon, as are frustration and anxiety. Lemon’s uplifting effect and mental energizing properties make it a good oil to have in the air when there is homework to do!

Another oil, manuka, also has a wide range of skin applications. It helps bruises to heal quickly, works to disinfect cuts and wounds and counters bleeding. It helps heal stubborn skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Manuka also soothes burns and sunburns. Like lemon, manuka helps with athlete’s foot and fungal infections. It is effective against cold sores and blisters from chicken pox. It is an excellent choice for colds and flu.

Combined with camomile, manuka helps reduce teething pain and redness. Use three drops of each essential oil in 30 mL of carrier oil, achieving a one per cent dilution. Apply externally, gently stroking the cheeks, jaw line and upper neck.

Making Creams and Salves

One easy and convenient way to use all of these oils is to combine them into a cream or salve. That way they are always available and ready to use and older kids can use them as needed.

To make 30 millilitres of your own cream, combine in a heat-safe bowl seven grams (just short of seven mL) unrefined beeswax, grated, with 23 mL vegetable oil--almond and grapeseed oils work well. Place the bowl in a pan of hot water over gentle heat and stir until the wax has melted and blended with the oil. Then transfer the bowl to cold water. As the wax mixture begins to cool and solidify, stir in 20 drops total essential oil (choose three or four of the oils mentioned above). Pour into a clean container and let cool. The cream is quite solid at room temperature, but will "melt" on skin contact. Use it for the skin conditions mentioned above. Blends for stress and hyperactivity can also be applied to the back of the neck or used in the air with the help of a light bulb ring which acts as a diffuser for essential oils, a pot pourri burner or room spray.

Essential Oils

Newborn: Do not use essential oils on newborn babies until they are at least a week old. Then you can use lavender or Roman camomile well-diluted to a maximum of one-quarter of the standard amounts given.

Three to 18 months: Use one-quarter standard amounts given or increase carrier oil by four.

18 months to seven years: Use one-half standard amounts or double carrier oil.

Seven years to 14 years: Use from one-half standard amounts to full standart anaounts with a maximum of two to three per cent diluaon.

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