Essential oils are not just for adults. Certain essential oils can be used in infants from the age of 3 months, others from 6 years old to take care of the little daily worries: colds, nasopharyngitis, gastroenteritis, teething… Update with Dr. Daniel Caroff, naturopathic general practitioner, author of the Living Earth Guide to Naturopathy, published by Terre Vivante.
At the baby and thechild the essential oils should be used with caution. “Only certain oils are accessible,” says Dr. Daniel Caroff. Others are not recommended because of the dangers they present. ”
Essential oils to use in babies from 3 months to 6 years old
There are eight main ones:
- Essential oil matricaria chamomile and noble chamomile (soothing).
- Essential oilerased eucalyptus (for ENT problems).
- Essential oil true lavender and of fine lavender (soothing).
- Essential oil shell marjoram (soothing).
- Essential oil petit grain bigarade (soothing).
- Essential oil ravintsara (antiviral).
- Essential oil tea tree (antibacterial).
- Essential oil thyme thyme (against tonsillitis).
Essential oils to use in children over 6 years old
“To the previous ones, we can add seven others”, specifies the naturopathic general practitioner.
- Essential oiltarragon (antispasmodic) can be used for a short time.
- Essential oillemon eucalyptus (anti-inflammatory).
- Essential oil Provence cypress (against dry cough).
- Essential oil khella (against asthma).
- Essential oil green myrtle or red (against fatty cough, expectorant).
- Essential oil niaouli (anti-infectious, expectorant).
- Essential oilhelichrysum Italian or Corsican (against blows, bruises, bumps).
What are the dangers of essential oils in babies and children?
They are diverse.
A risk of skin irritation
“First of all, there is the risk of irritation to the eyes, to the skin,” explains Dr. Caroff. Some parents pour the essential oil directly into the baby’s bath. The latter is not water soluble, it remains on the surface and can cause burns of the skin up to the second degree. “
Neurotoxic essential oils
“Oils based on ketone (menthone for example), like the officinal sage, of thuja, of Atlas cedar… are neurotoxic for the the nervous system still immature of the child. They can lead to seizuresepilepsy, stunted growth », Specifies the doctor.
Attention also at the pregnant woman : ” they are abortive », Warns the practitioner.
Hepatotoxic essential oils
“Essential oils based on phenols like compact oregano, savory, cloves can cause liver damage. They are to be reserved for adults ”, specifies the doctor.
And those based oncitrus are photosensitizing. Without a good knowledge of essential oils, it is impossible to know, because there is no precision on the labeling.
The oral route: no interest in children
Essential oils can be used in diffusion, through dermal and by oral. “The latter is of no interest to the child, specifies Dr. Caroff, except, in a pinch, for digestive disorders. Otherwise, through the skin, they act in a few minutes and are found in the blood in a very short time. ”
The cutaneous route and diffusion: two good absorption routes
“In babies and children, the cutaneous route is a very good absorption route,” specifies the general practitioner. About the diffusion, it cannot be used for all oils. It has above all an interest, in prevention, for the relaxation and theantiseptic. You can put a few drops in the diffuser for 15 minutes in the baby’s room, then air it out before placing it in its bed. The child can stay in the room during the broadcast. ”
The effectiveness of different essential oils in babies and children
Dr Daniel Caroff details essential oils and how to use them according to the pathologies most often encountered in babies and children.
Against colds, nasopharyngitis, bronchiolitis
In prevention, in diffusion, we can mix 2 ml ofradiated eucalyptus essential oil, with 1 ml ofravintsara essential oil and 2ml ofsweet orange essential oil. We diffuse 15 min once or twice a day to kill the viruses present in the air.
By the cutaneous route, to cure: the essential oil of ravintsara is antiviral and very well supported. It can be associated with the radiated eucalyptus. In the 3 month old baby: mix 1 drop of ravintsara and / or radiated eucalyptus essential oil in ½ teaspoon of sweet almond oil. Massage the chest, back, or soles of the feet 3 times a day. From 6 months: you can go to 2 or 3 drops, always mixed in ½ teaspoon of sweet almond oil and massage up to 5 times a day.
Several essential oils can be used: myrtle, thetarragon in children over 6 years old, the Provence cypress, theerased eucalyptus (except in babies and children with epilepsy). Mix 2 drops of radiated eucalyptus and myrtle in ½ teaspoon of sweet almond oil in case of fatty cough, and 2 drops of radiated eucalyptus and tarragon in case of dry cough. Massage the soles of the feet, back or chest 3 times a day.
Essential oil ravintsara is antiviral and the one at noble laurel is antiseptic. Mix 1 drop in ½ teaspoon of sweet almond oil and massage the baby’s or child’s tummy with it several times a day for 4 days. You can use one or the other.
From the age of six, you can also use the essential oil of tarragon and clove. Mix 1ml of tarragon essential oil with 1ml of clove essential oil and 1ml of ravintsara essential oil in 7ml of sweet almond oil. Take 6 drops of the mixture and massage the belly with it 4 to 5 times a day for 4 days.
As long as they last beyond the age of three months since it is not possible to use essential oils before this age.
We can, after 3 months, have recourse to the essential oil of lemon balm ortarragon that act against cramps, as well as that of Roman chamomile (chamaemelun nobile).
Mix 1 ml of Roman chamomile essential oil with 3 ml of tarragon or lemon balm essential oil in 6 ml of calophyll or sweet almond vegetable oil. Take 4 to 6 drops of this mixture and massage the stomach in a clockwise direction, 3 times a day.
Good to know :
“As for the mother, if she is breastfeeding, she can drink chamomile tea,” recommends Dr. Caroff.
Massage the gum with 1 drop ofpure clove essential oil 1 time per day, in the evening before going to bed. No use for more than 5 consecutive days.
You can also massage the gum with 1 drop of pure essential oil of Roman chamomile which is calming and soothing, mixed with 1 or 2 drops of olive or hazelnut oil, and massaged 2 times a day.
Think about hydrosols The hydrosol consists of the water that remains from the distillation intended to make the essential oil. It has the same virtues as essential oil, but it is less powerful and has no toxicity. It can be used in babies over 3 months old. It is sufficient to treat the restlessness of the baby, for example, or problems falling asleep. We then choose a hydrosol of fine lavender, orange blossom. We can add to the bottle, once the food diversification has started, 5 to 15 ml of hydrosol.
You can use the essential oil of bronchodilator khella, at the very beginning of a crisis, in addition to conventional bronchodilator treatment. “Be careful, it is photosensitizing,” warns Dr. Caroff. Mix 1 ml of khella essential oil with 9 ml of sweet almond oil. Take 10 to 20 drops of this mixture and massage in the bronchi or back 2 to 3 times a day.
To make it easier to fall asleep
Many essential oils can be used:sweet orange, petit grain bigarade, true lavender, shell marjoram, but also the ho wood, Roman chamomile. In diffusion, we can use a single essential oil, at a rate of about 5 ml in the diffuser, or a mixture: 2 ml of sweet orange essential oil + 1 ml of true lavender essential oil + 2 ml of essential oil of shell marjoram.
Place the diffuser in the bedroom 10 to 20 minutes before bedtime. If it is a baby, remember to ventilate the room before putting him in his bed. If it is a child, the latter can stay in his room during the broadcast.
You can also opt for the dermal : mix 1 ml of true lavender essential oil with 1 ml of ho wood or shell marjoram essential oil and 1 ml of sweet orange essential oil in 15 to 20 ml of sweet almond oil . Massage the spine with a few drops of the mixture, but also the arch of the foot, the solar plexus or the inside of the wrists which are the acupuncture points linked to emotions. Also think about it for the nap!
“Essential oils work quickly,” warns the doctor, “in about 15 minutes. “
Against bruises, bumps, blows
The essential oil effective in treating small sores daredevils is that of‘helichrysum which has several beneficial actions: it decongests, she is anti-inflammatory and Pain killer. It suffices to apply 1 to 2 drops to the area to be treated, twice a day.
Which essential oils to wash baby’s laundry? We can add in the Laundry detergent, 2 to 3 drops of essential oil fine lavender which is calming and antiseptic, Rosewood for its soothing virtues and its effect of creating a bond with the mother, or ravintsara, antiseptic or Roman chamomile conducive to relaxation.
Can we breastfeed and take essential oils? “If essential oils are not recommended during the first trimester of pregnancy, a large part can be used in mothers who breastfeed, says Dr. Caroff. This is the case with the tea tree,ylang ylang, of the’erased eucalyptus… On the other hand, essential oils based on ketone are not recommended: caraway, turmeric, officinal sage, rosemary with camphor and verbenone, peppermint, lavender aspic. The essential oils of cinnamon, basil, oregano are not recommended because they contain phenols. “