Aromatherapy with Child-Safe Essential Oils

The benefits of essential oils are innumerable, from improved relaxation to potentially easing multiple forms of pain. However, some essential oils are simply too potent for children to use.

Luckily, there are several essential oils that are gentle enough for aromatherapy and topical use for children. However, it is highly recommended to check with a health professional first, especially if your child has a health condition.

In her book, Aromatherapy for Babies and Children, Shirley Price lists essential oils that are safe for children. These include lavender, as well as citrus oils including lemon and orange.

When using these oils topically on children, be sure to dilute a couple drops in approximately one tablespoon of organic, cold-pressed coconut or olive oil before applying. Always use pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils.


Lavender is considered one of the gentlest essential oils. This oil has a wide array of uses, and has traditionally been used topically to help ease joint and muscle pain, as well as acne, insect bites, burns, rashes and eczema.

A highly soothing essential oil, lavender may help ease stress, promote restful sleep, and diminish teeth grinding. For this purpose, the best way to apply is to dilute the oil and rub on the bottoms of your child’s feet.

One study, reported by New York University (NYU) Langone Medical Center, found that a combination of lavender essential oil and tea tree oil was more effective in treating head lice in children than traditionally prescribed insecticides.

Lemon and Orange

Citrus essential oils, including lemon and orange oils, can usually be used safely for children preschool age and over, although checking with a health professional first is always best.

lavender and childThese oils may help with slow digestion and constipation when applied diluted to the stomach and the bottoms of the feet.

Citrus oils have been linked to improved immune function. For sniffles and colds, try mixing a couple drops of lemon or orange essential oil into a handful of organic bath gel, and adding to your child’s bath.

Note: When using citrus essential oils, avoid sun exposure to skin that has come into contact with the oils for at least 12 hours.

Another great way for your children (and you!) to get the benefits of these essential oils is to add them to a diffuser, and enjoy the aromatherapy throughout your entire home.


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