AROMATHERAPY FOR CHILDREN
Aromatherapy for children is fun and enjoyable experience. Along with that it also treats so many common childhood ailments. In this section I will show how you can introduce the pleasures of aromatherapy to the younger members of your family. Kids love trying out anything new, especially when it’s fun and enjoyable, and if it involves good smells then all the better! I have yet to come across a child who hasn’t enjoyed an aromatherapy bath using zingy citrus oils in the water.
Baby massage is quiet traditional in the east, and particularly in India. It may take you a little time to get used to the idea of massaging a wriggling baby, but you will find he or she will gradually relax and respond to your touch. Aromatherapy for children is a lovely way of strengthening the bond developing between you, too.
When using aromatherapy for children, make sure you use only half the normal amount of aromatherapy essential oil in your chosen carrier. For babies I would cut this down even further to just two drops in 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil. Remember, you are working on a much smaller surface area, and too much aromatherapy oil can have a slightly toxic effect.
REMEDIES FOR COMMON CHILDHOOD AILMENTS
Although I am not suggesting you use aromatherapy to treat your child’s measles and tonsillitis (though you can use oils to relieve some of the symptoms) there are many times when aromatherapy for children can give just the relief your child needs. Problems such as travel sickness, chapped skin, grazes and coughs can all be helped with the choice of the right oil and a little loving administration.
I have found most children like the idea of trying something which isn’t a pill or an unpleasant tasting medicine. Psychologically, aromatherapy for children is a good thing because by believing in the treatment they are already on their way to feeling better. And, if they feel better, you feel better!
TRAVEL SICKNESS –
Rather than giving travel sickness pills which cause drowsiness, try the following aromatherapy for children:
Blend six drops of peppermint oil into 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil.
Massage it into your child’s tummy and temples prior to your journey. Also apply a little under his or her nose to inhale. Take the peppermint oil with you so he or she can inhale on the journey, too.
Sometimes grazes can be slow to heal, particularly on knees and elbows where the constant bending pulls the skin. This aromatherapy blend can help.
Firstly clean the graze with half pint (300 ml) of warm water, to which you have added four drops of lavender oil. Then, use more lavender oil in carrier oil (wheat germ is good for this) to soothe the graze. Repeat the oil application two or three times daily until the graze has healed.
Apply either of the following:
Add three drops of marigold and three drops of camphor oil to carrier oil. Apply to the bruise several times a day.
Make a compress out of cotton wool soaked in cool water. Apply a couple of drops of neat camphor oil to it and place on the bruise. This will quickly bring out the bruising.
Add four drops of tea tree oil to half pint (300 ml) of warm water and use it to rinse the cut. Then apply neat tea tree oil to the cut.
NOSE BLEEDS –
While your little child is casually sitting forward, pinching his or her nostrils together, make up the following cold compress.
Soak a flannel in one pint (600 ml) of very cold water, to which you have added six drops of frankincense oil. Fold it in half and place it over the bridge of the nose. Bleeding usually stops very quickly.
The ole remedy we are all familiar with – oil of cloves – is just the job, here. It has an anesthetizing effect on the nerve, lessening the pain and bringing a lot of relief until you can get your child to a dentist.
Dip a cotton bud in neat clove oil, and then apply to the offending tooth. Repeat as necessary.
For a teething baby, rub the sore gum with a little neat chamomile oil several times a day.
MOUTH ULCERS –
Mouth ulcers can be a nuisance, and sometimes quiet painful. I remember having a bout of them as a young teenager.
Dip a cotton bud in neat myrrh oil and apply to the ulcer. Repeat as necessary.
Try using this mouthwash as a preventive measure. Add six drops of myrrh oil to a cup of warm water and rinse the mouth out really well.
BITES AND STINGS –
Dab the bite or sting with neat lavender oil as needed.
SORE THROAT –
Either of the following remedies helps soothe irritation, or you can use both together if the patient doesn’t object. Obviously, very young children can’t gargle, so use the oil instead.
To make a mouthwash or gargle, add two drops of lemon, two drops of eucalyptus and two drops of lavender oil to a cup of warm water.
Alternatively, you can add the above oils to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil and rub the mixture into the throat and chest, and then up into the glands behind the ears, at regular intervals.
This is a very common childhood complaint and aromatherapy is a very effective way of helping it.
Dry Eczema –
Add six drops of geranium oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of avocado oil and apply to the affected areas several times daily. You can also add six drops of geranium oil to your child’s daily bath.
Weeping Eczema –
Add six drops of bergamot oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of avocado oil and apply to the affected areas several times daily. You can also add six drops of bergamot oil to your child’s daily bath.
Children often finds hiccups a novelty, but they can be irritating and if they don’t stop quickly, you can try this aromatherapy for children.
Add six drops of fennel oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil.
Rub the mixture along your child’s diaphragm, then up his or her chest and throat. You can also allow him or her to inhale neat fennel oil from the bottle (you can use this remedy yourself, increasing the amount of fennel to 12 drops).
TUMMY ACHE –
Gentle massage is soothing on its own, but is even more beneficial with the help of aromatherapy for children using special blends.
Add two drops of chamomile oil, two drops of fennel and two drops of peppermint oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil. Gently rub this into your child’s tummy, using soothing massage strokes. Also, try adding the above oils to a warm bath – the heat helps pain and there is no need for carrier oil.
Aromatherapy for children suffering from asthma, can help in several ways.
Add four drops of benzoin and four drops of rosemary oil to the daily bath.
Make massage oil using three drops of benzoin and three drops of lavender oil. Rub it into the chest at regular intervals daily.
Also, try using a vaporizer in the child’s bedroom at night, with benzoin, pine and rosemary oils (or, any one of them).
Aromatherapy for children suffering from cough has very soothing effect.
Add three drops of eucalyptus and three drops of thyme oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of carrier oil.
Massage, or rub, it into your child’s chest and throat. These oils are also helpful when inhaled in steam and you can use them in a vaporizer in your child’s bedroom at night. Simply place it beside the bed.
If you have ever been unfortunate enough to suffer a boil, you will know how important it is to find some relief.
Make a small compress out of a cotton wool pad and soak it in hot water. Apply neat lemon or myrrh oil to the boil, and then cover with the hot pad. Repeat applications regularly to draw the boil.
However careful you are with protective creams and lotions, sometimes a little patch of skin seems to burn. Instant relief is at hand by using aromatherapy for children.
Apply neat lavender oil if the area is small. For larger areas, make up a spray by adding 12 drops of lavender oil to half pint (300 ml) of cold water. Spray the affected areas as needed. This is really good for sore skin because it is very soothing and avoids having to touch the affected area.
NAPPY RASH AND SORE CHAFED SKIN –
Commercial baby oils are made with mineral oil, which can eventually be drying to delicate skin: sweet almond oil is much kinder. To make aromatherapy baby oil, add four drops of rose or chamomile oil to 4 fl oz (100 ml) of sweet almond oil. This is very soothing when stroked on nappy rash or irritated skin.
CHAPPED SKIN –
Because children are always in hurry, they don’t dry themselves properly. This can lead to chapped, sore skin, especially in winter.
Add six drops of benzoin or myrrh oil to carrier oil and rub into the affected areas several times daily.
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