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Essential Oil Safety for Children

Using essential oils safely not only keeps the user free from harmful side effects but promotes quicker healing! Essential oil use on children is one area to be cautious and that is what this post is dedicated to!

 

Essential oils high in menthol and/or 1,8-cinole such as Eucalyptus and Peppermint should be used with care around children under the age of 5. Babies and infants, as well as some small children, have trouble regulating their body temperature and these oils cause a cooling sensation when applied. This cooling of the body can cause respiration to slow, or even stop. Oils high in menthol and/or 1,8-cinole should never be used on or around the face, although rubbing them into the bottoms of feet is considered safe.

 

It is important to note that not all children will have a negative reaction when inhaling these oils but since results vary from child to child, I believe the warning must be provided so the parent can make an educated choice for their child and family. Essential oils should be treated as you would any other powerful medicine and kept out of the reach of children. Any questions please feel free to contact me at any time!

 

Please note: The names of the essential oils are in bold but the Latin name, the more important name as far as the chemical compounds are in italics.  These individual oils can be part of an essential oil blends as well so be sure to check your blends before using them on children.

 

  • Anise/Aniseed Pimpinella anisum – avoid using on children under 5
  • Anise (Star) Illicium verum – avoid using on children under 5
  • Basil (lemon) Ocimum x citriodorum – avoid using on children under 2
  • Benzoin Styrax benzoin, Styrax paralleloneurus and Styrax tonkinensis – avoid using on children under 2
  • Birch (sweet) Betula lenta
  • Black Seed Nigella sativa – avoid using on children under 2
  • *Cajuput Melaleuca cajuputi, Melaleuca leucadendron – avoid using on children under 6
  • *Cardamon Elettaria cardamomum – avoid using on children under 6
  • Cassia Cinnamomum cassia, Cinnamomum aromaticum – avoid using on children under 2
  • Chaste Tree Vitex agnus castus – avoid using on prepubertal children
  • Clove Bud, Clove Leaf, Clove Stem Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia caryophyllata, Eugenia aromatica – avoid using on children under 2
  • *Cornmint Mentha arvensis, Mentha canadensis – avoid using on children under 6
  • *Eucalyptus Eucalyptus camaldulensis, Eucalyptus globulus, Eucalyptus maidenii, Eucalyptus plenissima, Eucalyptus kochii, Eucalyptus polybractea, Eucalyptus radiata, Eucalyptus Autraliana, Eucalyptus phellandra, Eucalyptus smithii – avoid using on children under 10
  • Fennel (bitter), Fennel (sweet) Foeniculum vulgare – avoid using on children under 5
  • *Galangal (lesser) Alpinia officinarum, Languas officinarum – avoid using on children under 6
  • Garlic Allium sativum – avoid using on children under 2
  • Ginger Lily Hedychium coronarium – avoid using on children under 2
  • *Ho Leaf/Ravintsara (cineole chemotype) Cinnamomum camphora – avoid using on children under 6
  • Hyssop (pinocamphone chemptype) Hyssopus officinalis– avoid using on children under 2
  • *Laurel Leaf/Bay Laurel Laurus nobilis– avoid using on children under 6
  • Lemon Leaf/Lemon Petitgrain Citrus x limon, Citrus limonum – avoid using on children under 2
  • Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosus, Andropogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon citratus, Andropogon citratus – avoid using on children under 2
  • *Marjoram (Spanish) Thymus mastichina – avoid using on children under 6
  • Massoia Cryptocarya massoy, Cryptocaria massoia, Massoia aromatica – avoid using on children under 2
  • May Chang Litsea cubeba, Litsea citrata, Laura cubeba – avoid using on children under 2
  • Melissa/Lemon Balm Melissa officinalis – avoid using on children under 2
  • Myrtle (aniseed) Backhousia anisata – avoid using on children under 5
  • Myrtle (honey) Melaleuca teretifolia – avoid using on children under 2
  • Myrtle (lemon)/Sweet Verbena Backhousia citriodora – avoid using on children under 2
  • *Niaouli (cineole chemotype) Melaleuca quinquinervia – avoid using on children under 6
  • Oakmoss Evernia prunastri – avoid using on children under 2
  • Opopanax Commiphora guidottii – avoid using onchildren under 2
  • Oregano Origanum onites, Origanum smyrnaeum, Origanum vulgare, Origanum compactum, Origanum hirtum, Thymbra capitata, Thymus capitatus, Coridothymus capitatus, Satureeja capitata – avoid using on children under 2
  • Peppermint Mentha x Piperita – avoid using on children under 6
  • Peru Balsam Myroxylon balsamum, Myroxylon pereiraw, Myroxylon peruiferum, Myrospermum pereirae, Toluifera pereirae – avoid using on children under 2
  • *Rambiazana  Helichrysum gymnocephalum – avoid using on children under 6
  • *Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis – avoid using on children under 6
  • Saffron Crocus sativus – avoid using on children under 2
  • *Sage (Greek), Salvia fruiticosa, Salvia triloba Sage (White) – avoid using on children under 6
  • Sage (White) Salvia apiana – avoid using on children under 6
  • Sage (Wild Mountain) Hemizygia petiolata – avoid using on children under 2
  • *Sanna Hedychium spicatum – avoid using on children under 6
  • *Saro Cinnamosma fragrans – avoid using on children under 6
  • Savory Satureia hortensis, Satureia montana – avoid using on children under 2
  • Styrax Liquidambar orientalis, Liquidambar styraciflua – avoid using on children under 2
  • Tea Leaf/Black Tea Camellia sinensis, Thea sinensis – avoid using on children under 2
  • Tea Tree (lemon-scented) Leptospermum petersonii, Leptospermum citratum, Leptospermum liversidgei,– avoid using on children under 2
  • Treemoss Pseudevernia furfuracea – avoid using on children under 2
  • Tuberose Polianthes tuberosa – avoid using on children under 2
  • Turpentine Pinus ayacahuite, Pinus caribaea, Pinus contorta, Pinus elliottii, Pinus halepensis, Pinus insularis, Pinus kesiya, Pinus merkusii, Pinus palustris, Pinus pinaster, Pinus radiata, Pinus roxburghii, Pinus tabulaeformis, Pinus teocote, Pinus yunnanensis– avoid using on children under 2
  • Verbena (Lemon) Aloysia triphylla, Aloysia citriodora, Lippa citriodora, Lippa triphylla – avoid using on children under 2

Safe-Essential-Oils-for-Kids_QC

*Indicates an essential oil high in 1,8-cineole and can potentially cause slow respiration in children

 

Tisserand, Robert; Balazs, Tony (2013-10-30). Essential Oils Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals

 
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