How aromatherapy can help your children
How can aromatherapy help children? Penny Price, who has been an aromatherapist for 25 years, explains, and gives her own remedies for common childhood ailments.
Maybe because I have four children of my own and four stepchildren, I have tended to ‘bend’ my career as an aromatherapist and aromatherapy tutor towards the treatment of babies and children. Having used essential oils on all eight, I am absolutely convinced that aromatherapy for childhood complaints does work. And this is how.
Aromatherapy is the art of using essential oils to help balance health. Generally the oils are applied in a base cream, lotion or oil and blended by a qualified therapist. If you visit the clinic the most usual way of application is by massage. The therapeutic essential oils pass through the skin in very small amounts to do their healing work within!
In a base lotion or oil we would normally add up to 30 drops of essential oils especially chosen for specific healing effects on the body. For small children and babies we normally reduce the amount of essential oil.
Over the years I have been pleased to note the effects that certain essential oils have on babies and children – they can make them so happy and uplifted that they actually laugh out loud!
Because of my years of experience working with aromatherapy oils and seeing the effects they can have, I was happy for my company, Penny Price Aromatherapy Ltd to work in conjunction with Mohdoh, an innovative new company that supplies coloured play clay with essential oils for children.
The idea is that while playing with the Mohdoh, the child will breathe in the aromatic molecules and absorb very tiny amounts through the skin to help conditions such as coughs and colds, tiredness, insomnia, travel sickness and much more.
The blends have been carefully developed to use only organic, pure oils, in the smallest therapeutic amounts, to give the benefits required.
Working together on this project has led to quite a lot of fun, researching the oils for aroma and effect and then mixing them together to create unique aromas for a common effect. After much trial and error, the blends now being used in the Mohdoh have proved to be very successful indeed with individual families, playgroups and other children’s groups. The Mohdoh varies in colour for each condition, to match the condition with the colour associated with that part of the body or system of the body being treated. With colour therapy and aromatherapy in one unique product, no wonder the effects are so amazing!
What can I use to help my child?
Here I have given some advice for three childhood conditions, all of which can be treated with Mohdoh, although I have given supplementary methods of treatment.
Children are often travel sick, the first symptoms being a pallid colour, accompanied by the child being unusually quiet and perhaps experiencing nausea, dizziness, headaches and fatigue. Diet can help here by giving the child a light protein meal before the journey and limiting fizzy drinks. Chocolate and sweets must also be avoided. Pack plenty of toys to keep your child busy and less aware of the motion of the car or bus.
• ‘Are We There Yet?’ Mohdoh for travel anxieties
• Lotion application (before journey)
• Recommended carrier: white lotion
• Recommended essential oils: Aniba rosaeodora (rosewood), Chamaemelum nobile (chamomile Roman), Citrus aurantium var. sinensis (orange sweet), Citrus limon (lemon), Citrus bergamia (bergamot), Santalum album (sandalwood), Zingiber officinale (ginger)
Inhalation from a tissue - 2 drops Citrus aurantium var. sinensis (orange sweet)
1 drop Citrus bergamia (bergamot)
1 drop Zingiber officinale (ginger)
There's nothing quite as exhausting as having to wake up in the night to look after a sleepless child! There can be many reasons why a child will wake in the night and all of these should be checked out as well as giving aromatherapy treatment.
Usually a warm bath at bedtime using oils such as Cananga odorata (ylang ylang), Origanum majorana (marjoram sweet) and Santalum album (sandalwood) can be very helpful. Also, put some oils onto a tissue to tuck under his pillowcase for inhalation. If your child is usually lively and energetic, a massage after his evening bath is a gentle way to relax and soothe him and encourage sleep. Lavender, if not the genuine oil, or if used in excess, can cause wakefulness, so always use only 1 or 2 drops (maximum) for children.
• ’40 Winks’ Mohdoh to encourage sleep
• Recommended carriers: lime blossom, sunflower, white lotion
• Recommended essential oils: Cananga odorata (ylang ylang), Chamaemelum nobile (chamomile roman), Citrus reticulata (mandarin), Citrus limon (lemon), Citrus bergamia (bergamot), Lavandula angustifolia ((lavender), Origanum majorana (marjoram sweet), Santalum album (sandalwood)
• Massage oil - 30ml lime blossom oil
20ml sunflower oil
3 drops Cananga odorata (ylang ylang)
3 drops Chamaemelum nobile (chamomile nobile)
2 drops Origanum majorana (marjoram sweet)
Not strictly speaking an "ailment", though it seems like a crisis at the time - especially if it is in the supermarket on a busy day!
Regular tantrums need regular attention. This means spending some time every day talking to your child, perhaps massaging his back or hands and generally defusing any stress build-up between you. If your child is unable to talk to you because he is too young, this does not mean he will not recognise a soothing tone in your voice. Bathing together with essential oils is relaxing - and keeping a tissue with the same oils on it in a plastic bag in your coat pocket can then work in the supermarket. Your child will associate the "nice" smell with moments spent in harmony with you.
• ‘Calm’ Mohdoh for stress and anxiety
• Recommended carrier: lime blossom
• Recommended essential oils: Cananga odorata (ylang ylang), Citrus reticulata (mandarin), Lavandula angustifolia (lavender), Rosa centifolia (rose otto), Santalum album (sandalwood)
• Bath - 2 drops Cananga odorata (ylang ylang)
2 drops Citrus reticulata (mandarin)
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Find out more
Penny Price Aromatherapy Ltd offers courses and information about aromatherapy and other forms of alternative medicine.
MohDoh makes healthy playdough which is infused with essential oils to create a safe and fun way of helping children suffering from various childhood ailments.