Essential Oils Generally Safe for Children

SALT LAKE CITY—February 6, 2013—The therapeutic use of essential oils has a long tradition dating back to at least 4500 BC, and their accessibility and relevance in modern, alternative health care is growing. Scientific research increasingly shows the efficacy of essential oils.

Hospitals throughout the country, including Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C., have integrated essential oils into medical aromatherapy programs to promote physical and psychological well-being in children.

In a study on the use of aromatherapy in children at the St. Mary’s Hospital in London, several topically applied essential oils were found to enhance the experience of children in the hospital environment.

“Aromatherapy massage has the potential to induce relaxation and reduce the stressful aspects of hospitalization,” said the lead author J. L. Styles. “Thus, the author would like to propose the use of this valuable skill as an extension of the nursing role.”

In an article published by The Journal of the American Botanical Council, Dr. Jane Buckle warns that the vast array of low-cost aromatherapy products on the market usually contain synthetic fragrances. Synthetic compounds are not part of aromatherapy, and such compounds have been linked to the growing emergence of fragrance sensitivity.

Consumers can search PubMed (the U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health) for more than 12,000 peer-reviewed research reports on the benefits of pure essential oils.

Many high-quality, pure essential oils are gentle enough to be used on children. A reputable essential oil provider will advise which oils are safe for the whole family. Treat the oils as you would any product for medicinal use, and keep them out of the reach of children.

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