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Whether it's bathtime, bedtime, or getting through the day, children can also benefit greatly from the wonderous effects of aromatherapy. From newborn through high school, we have plenty of children's aromatherapy products to keep your little ones healthy and clean!
Bubble Bath, Galaxie Goo, Bath Toys And Other Fun Bathtime Products For Infants And Children
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Using Aromatherapy For Children

Although there are any number of safe ones, care must always be taken when treating children with essential oils. Use one-third to one-half the adult dose, or a 1-percent dilution (five or six drops of essential oil per ounce of carrier oil), and don't forget that citruses may irritate the skin. Common sense must also be used when deciding whether a symptom can be treated properly with aromatherapy or whether the child should be seen by a family physician.

Chamomile, melissa and fennel used as massage oil, or taken as herb tea, soothe a variety of tummy-aches-and the problems that can lead to stomachaches, such as frayed nerves, anxiety and overexcitability. Colic, gas pains, nausea and food allergies are also good candidates for these remedies. A study from Israel found that a chamomile, fennel and melissa herb tea with licorice helps stop crying and fussing in infants with colic.

Researchers think that essential oils relieve muscle spasms caused when babies swallow air as they eat. Nineteenth-century parents gave colicky babies a "gripe water" of dill, fennel or anise, and East Indian and Lebanese mothers still use dill to ease colic. A European carminative water contains fennel, chamomile, caraway, coriander and bitter orange peel, all known to kill bacteria and relieve flatulence.


A Few Simple Aromatherapy Treatments For Children

The following formula may be used for swollen tonsils, mumps and other lymphatic swelling in the neck area:

Neck Wrap
2 cups warm water
8 drops lavender essential oil
Mix the water with the essential oil. While the water is still warm, soak a soft cloth, preferably flannel, in the water and wring it out. Wrap the cloth around the neck. Cover with a towel to hold in the heat. Remove before it gets cold. Repeat as many times as you wish.

Most digestive woes are helped by a simple tummy massage using the following recipe:
Tummy-Rub Oil
2 drops Roman chamomile
1 drop fennel
2 drops dill
1 drop melissa
1 ounce carrier oil
To use, simply mix ingredients together and massage the tummy gently.

A relaxing treatment for children before bedtime is a warm lavender and chamomile essential-oil bath. Most children love taking aromatherapy baths, particularly if they have their own personal blends, and may want to get involved in choosing and blending scents. Popular fragrances include orange, grapefruit and tangerine, all of which are natural antidepressants and relaxants. Nature's gentle relaxant teas, such as melissa, lavender and chamomile, can calm a nervous, over-stimulated, cranky child, make headaches go away, or gently induce sleep-as well as help soothe a worn-out parent!

A child suffering from a headache, sleeplessness or over-exertion will find relief in a cool compress of lavender placed on the forehead. Frankincense, used in a vaporizer or as a massage oil, is safe and effective for respiratory congestion or infection, even for infants. Other safe essential oils for children include mandarine, marjoram, neroli, jasmine and petitgrain. Treat a fever, measles, chicken pox or mumps with a tea of yarrow, catnip, peppermint and elder flower; ginger with a touch of lemon juice is also effective. The soreness of mumps is relieved by syrups and gargles made from teas of thyme, rosemary or sage. Antiviral oils of melissa and bergamot have proven effective against the mumps and chicken-pox viruses. (If you use melissa, be sure it is the real thing and not citronella or lemongrass; these don't have the same healing properties.) Use these essential oils in a steam or make a tea from the herbs. For teething pain, give chamomile tea and rub the gums with a little diluted clove oil on your finger.

European children were once given "dilly pillows" filled with aromatic herbs such as lavender and dill to send them off to dreamland. The scent was also considered a digestive. Add chamomile and thyme to prevent nightmares.

Dilly Pillow
(prepare one cup total)
lavender flowers
hops strobiles
lemon-balm leaves
chamomile flowers
dill seeds
Fold a 5" x10" piece of cloth in half and sew up the edges, leaving just enough room to stuff the herbs inside. Combine the herbs in equal parts to make 1 cup. Stuff the herbs into the material, then finish sewing it up. Place beside or under the child's regular pillow.


Adolescence is one of the most difficult stages of our lives. During this dynamic period, we not only encounter awkward physical changes -- such as skin problems and weight issues -- but we also see a rise in the expectations we face from family and society, which brings emotional conflict. In fact, one-third of American teens claim they suffer daily from stress-related issues, including sleep deprivation, anxiety and depression. The other two-thirds say they feel stress-related symptoms at least once a week.

Teenagers in general have a tendency to shut down their emotions as a method of coping with the influx of change in their lives. They may also become irritable, angry, provocative, or resort to drugs and alcohol as a coping mechanism. This stage is also extremely difficult on the parents, who must also come to terms with their teens, who are no longer children.

Aromatherapy offers a wide variety of treatments for the many different problems associated with the mental and physical changes a teenager experiences. However, because there are no two people alike, each of us are unique in how we handle the changes that puberty and young adulthood brings. So we can only suggest that you write or call with a description of your situation so that we can offer you the best aromatherapy solutions to help you "ride out" this extremely difficult period in your life.

Some information found on this page and courtesy of Mindy Green, Kathi Keville (Excerpted from Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art, Crossing Press, 1995)

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