-->

Aromatherapy and Kids

aromatherapy for kids

For lovers of the benefits that can be obtained from aromatherapy it’s always tempting to use the essential oils that are widely available to help soothe and protect kids.

However, great care should be taken if you decide to apply the principles of aromatherapy to children.

Most experts warn against using essential oils on very young children. Babies before the age of six months should not be exposed to essential oils. Their skin is far too thin and delicate and their immune systems are not developed enough.

Upwards of 6 months to 2 years old children can be exposed to essential oils, but for limited periods of time and you should only be using child safe oils and a diffuser.

Older than 2 and you can begin to use essential oils, but if you are going to be applying them topically (say for instance on a bug bite) make sure that the solution that you are using is diluted.

Here are some of the essential oils that are considered safe for use on and around children. This list is not exhaustive. If you want further guidance it is best to speak to either a medical professional or an experienced aromatherapy consultant.

  1. Bergamot
  2. Black Pepper
  3. Blue Tansy
  4. Cedarwood
  5. Clary Sage
  6. Copaiba
  7. Coriander
  8. Cypress
  9. Frankincense
  10. German Chamomile
  11. Geranium
  12. Ginger
  13. Grapefruit
  14. Juniper Berry
  15. Helichrysum
  16. Lavender
  17. Lemon
  18. Mandarin
  19. Marjoram (Sweet)
  20. Neroli
  21. Palmarosa
  22. Patchouli
  23. Petitgrain
  24. Pines - except for Ponderosa Pine or Huon Pine
  25. Roman Chamomile
  26. Sandalwood
  27. Siberian Fir Needle
  28. Spearmint
  29. Spruces
  30. Sweet Marjoram
  31. Sweet Orange
  32. Tangerine
  33. Tea Tree
  34. Vetiver

Just as there are essential oils that are considered safe for use by kids there are also types that should not be used. Once again, this list is not exhaustive – a professional aromatherapy practitioner should be consulted if you have any doubt as to which oils are safe. Especially when you are considering using essential oils on babies or toddlers.

Also, note that many essential oils are distilled from a number of different species but often marketed under the same name. Where possible this list will include the Latin names for the various species. Again, consulting a professional who is aware of the ingredients and their origins is essential when using aromatherapy products with children.

If the essential oil on this list advises not using in any way this would include topical use, use with a diffuser or in fact exposing the child to that essential oil in any manner.
An asterisk (*) indicates that the particular essential oil contains high levels of 1,8-cineole which has been implicated in causing breathing difficulties in small children.  

  1. Anise/Aniseed Pimpinella anisum – avoid using in any way on children under 5
  2. Anise (Star) Illicium verum – avoid using in any way on children under 5
  3. Basil (lemon) Ocimum x citriodorum – avoid topical use on children under 2
  4. Benzoin Styrax benzoin, Styrax paralleloneurus and Styrax tonkinensis – avoid topical use on children under 2
  5. Birch (sweet) Betula lenta – avoid using in any way on children
  6. Black Seed Nigella sativa – avoid topical use on children under 2
  7. *Cajuput Melaleuca cajuputi, Melaleuca leucadendron – avoid using on children under 6
  8. *Cardamon Elettaria cardamomum – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  9. Cassia Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum aromaticum – avoid topical use on children under 2
  10. Chaste Tree Vitex agnus castus – avoid using in any way on prepubertal children
  11. Clove Bud, Clove Leaf, Clove Stem Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia caryophyllata, Eugenia aromatica – avoid topical use on children under 2
  12. *Cornmint Mentha arvensis, Mentha canadensis – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  13. *Eucalyptus Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus maidenii, Eucalyptus plenissima, Eucalyptus kochii, Eucalyptus polybractea, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus Autraliana, Eucalyptus phellandra, Eucalyptus smithii – avoid using in any way on children under 10
  14. Fennel (bitter), Fennel (sweet) Foeniculum vulgare – avoid using in any way on children under 5
  15. *Galangal (lesser) Alpinia officinarum, Languas officinarum – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  16. Garlic Allium sativum – avoid topical use on children under 2
  17. Ginger Lily Hedychium coronarium – avoid topical use on children under 2
  18. *Ho Leaf/Ravintsara Cinnamomum camphora (cineole chemotype) – avoid using on children under 6
  19. Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis (pinocamphone chemptype) – avoid using in any way on children under 2
  20. *Laurel Leaf/Bay Laurel Laurus nobilis– avoid topical use on children under 2; avoid use for children under age 6
  21. Lemon Leaf/Lemon Petitgrain Citrus x limon, Citrus limonum – avoid topical use on children under 2
  22. Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosus, Andropogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon citratus, Andropogon citratus – avoid topical use on children under 2
  23. *Marjoram (Spanish) Thymus mastichina – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  24. Massoia Cryptocarya massoy, Cryptocaria massoia, Massoia aromatica – avoid using in any way on children under 2
  25. May Chang Litsea cubeba, Litsea citrata, Laura cubeba – avoid topical use on children under 2
  26. Melissa/Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis – avoid topical use on children under 2
  27. *Myrtle (red) Myrtus communis – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  28. Myrtle (aniseed) Backhousia anisata – avoid using in any way on children under 5
  29. Myrtle (honey) Melaleuca teretifolia – avoid topical use on children under 2
  30. Myrtle (lemon)/Sweet Verbena Backhousia citriodora – avoid topical use on children under 2
  31. *Niaouli (cineole chemotype) Melaleuca quinquinervia – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  32. Oakmoss Evernia prunastri – avoid topical use on children under 2
  33. Opopanax Commiphora guidottii – avoid topical use on children under 2
  34. Oregano Origanum onites, Origanum smyrnaeum, Origanum vulgare, Origanum compactum, Origanum hirtum, Thymbra capitata, Thymus capitatus, Coridothymus capitatus, Satureeja capitata– avoid topical use on children under 2
  35. Peppermint Mentha x Piperita – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  36. Peru Balsam Myroxylon balsamum, Myroxylon pereiraw, Myroxylon peruiferum, Myrospermum pereirae, Toluifera pereirae – avoid topical use on children under 2
  37. *Rambiazana Helichrysum gymnocephalum – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  38. *Rosemary (1,8-cineole chemotype) Rosmarinus officinalis – avoid using in any way on children under 10
  39. Saffron Crocus sativus – avoid topical use on children under 2
  40. *Sage (Greek), Salvia fruiticosa, Salvia triloba Sage (White) – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  41. *Sage (White) Salvia apiana – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  42. Sage (Wild Mountain) Hemizygia petiolata – avoid topical use on children under 2
  43. *Sanna Hedychium spicatum – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  44. *Saro Cinnamosma fragrans – avoid using in any way on children under 6
  45. Savory Satureia hortensis, Satureia montana – avoid topical use on children under 2
  46. Styrax Liquidambar orientalis, Liquidambar styraciflua – avoid topical use on children under 2
  47. Tea Leaf/Black Tea Camellia sinensis, Thea sinensis – avoid topical use on children under 2
  48. Tea Tree (lemon-scented) Leptospermum petersonii, Leptospermum citratum, Leptospermum liversidgei,– avoid topical use on children under 2
  49. Treemoss Pseudevernia furfuracea – avoid topical use on children under 2
  50. Tuberose Polianthes tuberosa – avoid topical use on children under 2
  51. Turpentine Pinus ayacahuite, Pinus caribaea, Pinus contorta, Pinus elliottii, Pinus halepensis, Pinus insularis, Pinus kesiya, Pinus merkusii, Pinus palustris, Pinus pinaster, Pinus radiata, Pinus roxburghii, Pinus tabulaeformis, Pinus teocote, Pinus yunnanensis– avoid topical use on children under 2
  52. Verbena (Lemon) Aloysia triphylla, Aloysia citriodora, Lippa citriodora, Lippa triphylla – avoid topical use on children under 2
  53. Wintergreen Gaultheria fragrantissima, Gaultheria procumbens – avoid in any way on children due to methyl salicylate content
  54. Ylang-Ylang Cananga odorata – avoid topical use on children under 2

Feel free to check our essential oils or check our necklaces, bracelets, car diffusers and more!


Share this post



← Older Post Newer Post →