The Benefits of Aromatherapy for Children
Published on Friday, July 2nd, 2021
Aromatherapy has been around for centuries. There is vast scientific evidence that aromatic plant and flower extracts have many therapeutic benefits for mental health, not just for adults, but for children too.
For many of us, Covid-19 restrictions are coming to an end, but for children, especially those that are not old enough to be eligible for vaccines, pandemic stresses still might be in the forefront of their minds. Much has been made about supporting children’s mental health and many experts agree that implementing aromatherapy to a child’s routine can have many positive effects on their mental health and overall mood.
Here are some scents that are commonly used in aromatherapy for children:
- Lavender. It is a calming scent that can be used in multiple ways by calming nervous anxiety, as well as physically calming a rash, or irritation. This is also a good beginner scent for children new to aromatherapy.
- Mandarin and Sweet Orange. These scents are invigorating and can be used to energize children who are feeling tired. They can also be used to help with relaxation.
- Peppermint. This scent can be used for headaches and nausea.
Aromatherapy can be fun, but not all children will appreciate it. These following crafts can get your child started. Just reapply the oils every few days based on your child’s scent preference.
- For Stress and Headache, make peppermint Puffy Paint. In a bowl, combine about 3/8 cup white glue, 3/4 cup unscented shaving cream, a few drops of food coloring, and peppermint essential oil. Add 1/4 cup flour and mix well. Pour the puffy paint into plastic squeeze bottles, or spoon it into a plastic baggie and snip off the corner.
- For Focus and Relaxation, make Mandarin-Scented Dough. In a saucepan, combine 1 cup flour, 1 cup warm water, 1/3 cup salt, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1.5 teaspoons tartar, and a few drops of food coloring (optional). Heat on medium-low until it thickens, then remove from heat and let it cool. Knead a few drops of mandarin essential oil into the dough until it’s smooth. Seal it for freshness. Also, it might smell good enough to eat, so remind kids that it’s not food!
Safe use of essential oils is also important and experts recommend that bottles be locked away from young children. Because human scent plays a vital role in parent-child bonding, it is not recommended that aromatic oils be used with infants.