Yes, aromatherapy is an all-natural treatment using oils extracted from plants. But just because it’s all-natural doesn’t mean it is free of producing potentially hazardous side effects. Although they’re proven to have beneficial effects to both the mind and body, essential oils, just like any medications, should be used with care.
Essential oils are readily available in many natural health and beauty products stores. Of course you can always do a little research or consult the vendor which essential oils are the right ones for your needs. But what if you read the wrong article or asked an amateur therapist or practitioner who doesn’t have sufficient experience with handling essential oils?
It’s always recommended to consult your doctor or any professional first before beginning to treat any kind of disorder through this method. This is especially true if you are currently undergoing a course of treatment using medications; the essential oils may interfere with the natural actions of the drugs, thus causing more harm than help. When shopping for oils, always keep in consideration their characteristics and the kind of disorders they can help remedy.
Essential oils are basically employed through external application on the skin or through inhalation. Some therapist or practitioner will also recommend ingesting teas made from the flowers or other parts of herbs known to be beneficial to the mind and body. However, always make sure that you avoid oral consumption of essential oils because they can be hazardous to your internal organs. Not all the oils available out there are the same; some of the oils you can purchase may be alcohol-based. The alcohol used may be toxic or not intended for ingestion. It is best if you purchase the pure form of essential oils, the ones that contain nothing else but the distilled plant extracts.
Some people might experience adverse reactions when rubbing essential oils on their skin. Skin irritations or allergies may arise, especially when the oils are applied around the mouth, eyes, nose, or near any mucous membranes. These areas should be spared form the application of aromatic oils. If possible, use the diluted form of oils instead of their concentrated form; you can purchase carrier oils, in which you add concentrated essential oils drop by drop to reduce their concentration. People suffering from asthma and other respiratory problems should avoid using aromatic oils as they could cause serious problems to the airway.
Essential oils are generally sold in small bottles. When storing them, always make sure to store them in cool and dark places, as sunlight may affect their potency. They should be also kept where children may not be able to reach them. Remember that some of these essential oils smell sweet; your children might be tricked into thinking they are sweet beverages and might drink them. Some oils like camphor and bitter almond are just too dangerous to be stored at home. The bitter almond oil contains formaldehyde, which is very dangerous for the skin and internal organs.
There are oils that are generally safe to be used on children. They include lavender, chamomile, rose, orange, tea tree and some others. However, they should be diluted with carrier oils by using 2 tsp. of carrier oil for every 1 drop of essential oils. There are recommended dosages for each age group of children.
It’s best that you consult with an aromatherapy professional first before using them on your kids.