Category Archives: bathing

Is Aromatherapy safe for babies and children?

Adorable little blond kid relaxing in spa with having massage

Photo: romrodinka/iStock

Aromatherapy and children–Is it safe for my kid? What oils should I use? What works? And what doesn’t? These are questions that have been circling the Aromatherapy community for some time. Even experts debate what is suitable for children, and what dosage should be used. When using essential oils with children it is always important to do research; nothing beats well cited articles with credible sources. Aromatherapy is used to help the body to heal itself. There are many ways Aromatherapy can enhance the body and improve how it functions. Aromatherapy is safe for children when used in a safe and knowledgeable way. There are many ways essential oils can be used for kids, one just needs to follow the ground rules.

Carrier oils

Carrier oils are key when using essential oils for children. Diluting the oil will ensure that the children don’t get overexposed to certain oils. There are many different oils that can be used as carriers; for example sweet almond and grapeseed oil.

Sweet Almond oil

If your child doesn’t have a nut allergy sweet almond oil is great oil for lotions, creams and massage. The oil works well for dry, normal and combination skin. Almond oil can help reduce itching, cracking, and inflammation.

Grapeseed oil

This carrier is derived from grape seeds from spent grapes used in wine making. Grapeseed is a great basic carrier oil that can be used for all skin types. The oil is light, has no smell, and penetrates the skin quickly. The carrier is great for children because it doesn’t cause allergic reactions.

Essential oils and baths for your children

The benefits of Aromatherapy are wonderful and these benefits can be experienced by children. Essential oils have stimulating and healing properties that can greatly influence the lives of children of all ages. It is important to note that when using essential oils with toddlers and infants the oil needs to be diluted. As they are still growing, children’s systems haven’t fully developed, diluted oils will still give them therapeutic benefits without over stimulating their senses. It is important to note that these essential oils will be diluted before using them therapeutically. Always combine the essential oil with the milk prior to adding to the bath water. The milk helps to disperse the essential oils as the oils and water do not mix. Skipping this important step allows the essential oil to sit on top of the water where they will be quickly absorbed (undiluted) by the skin. Essential oils like to be in a lipid substance most like itself, as in your skin’s sebum (natural oil). Mixing the essential oils in milk allows for proper dilution and dispersion in water making it a safer application for babies and children. Milk can also be substituted with a teaspoon of honey or castile soup (olive based).

3 days to 3 months

Essential oils that would be beneficial for infants are Roman chamomile, lavender, and mandarin. Remember that the oils need to be diluted and should not applied neat. These oils can be used for a baby’s bath by mixing 1 drop of Roman chamomile, lavender, or mandarin into 1 teaspoon of milk or cream before adding it to the bath water. One drop of any of these three oils when mixed with milk (as an emulsifier/dispersing agent) then diluted in a tub of water is a very safe way to use the essential oils with a baby.

3 months to 5 years

As your child grows, so does the list of essential oils that can be used. In addition to the oils mentioned above, your toddler can also use bergamot, cedarwood, frankincense, geranium, ginger, lemon, rose, rosemary ct. verbenone (for children over the age of 2), sandalwood, tea tree, thyme ct. linalool and ylang ylang (for children over the age of 2). A bath blend for toddlers 3 months to 3 years is the same as it is for infants but there is a wider selection of essential oils that can be used. For children 3 to 7 years, the amount of essential oil can be increased 2 drops of essential oil from the approved list combined with milk and added to the bath water.

Using citrus oils in the bath diluted as indicated falls far below the 1 drop in 15 ml guideline to avoid phototoxicity, however if you are still concerned you can use distilled lemon instead of the expressed oil and bergamot FCF (furanocoumarin-free) as the phototoxic elements have been removed.

5 years to puberty

At this age all oils that are safe for adults can be used, but in smaller amounts. A bath blend for this age range (5 to 10 years) is 3-4 drops of an approved essential oil combined with 1 tsp of milk. For 10 years and up the amount of essential oils can be increased to 5-6 drops with 1 tsp of milk.

The KEY to using essential oils in the bath is in adding the essential oils to milk or castile soap first, then adding it to the bath water. This is an important step in properly diluting the essential oils and dispersing them. Simply dropping the essential oils in water does not dilute them as they do not mix. The oils will simply float on top until it comes in contact with the skin where it is absorbed (undiluted).

Safe formulations for children 

Coughs and colds (3 months and older)

Essential Oils: Lavender, lemon or bergamot, and tea tree

Massage Treatment: In a non-reactive bowl combine 1 drop of each of the essential oils (lavender, lemon or bergamot, and tea tree) with 4 tsp of sweet almond oil. Use for a chest and back massage.

Overexcitement (3 months and older)

Essential Oils: Cedarwood, frankincense, sweet orange, rose, sandalwood, and ylang ylang*.

Bath Treatment: Combine 1 tsp of milk with age-appropriate number drops alone or in combination of essential oils (cedarwood, frankincense, sweet orange, rose, sandalwood, and ylang ylang*) then add to warm bath water.

When creating blends for children it is important to remember what oils are suitable as well as how much of each essential oil can be used for each age range.

Overall essential oils are safe for children to use when handled correctly. Always in moderation; a few days on and a couple of days off. Using essential oils with children can enhance their quality of life by positively affecting their behaviors, mood, and sleep quality.

*Ylang ylang not to be used with children under the age of two years old.

by Bryant Hernandez

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The Benefits of a Hot Mineral Bath

A_hot_spring_bath_-tshushimaTaking a mineral bath can be very relaxing and revitalizing to the skin. Bathing in hot water not only increases your body temperature, it also increases metabolism and white blood cell count, and helps detoxification and aids sleep. The addition of mineral salts and trace elements will soften the water, draw out toxins and revitalize the skin by replacing minerals lost through detoxification. These minerals are vital as they can soothe painful joints and muscles (calcium and magnesium); calm nerve pain, soothe and tighten skin, and improve circulation in cases of arthritis (magnesium); reduce stress and relieve anxiety by lowering blood pressure (magnesium and potassium); improve muscle contraction and the proper functioning of nerve impulses (sodium and sodium chloride); soothes painful muscles (sodium chloride).

Hot baths (100-104° F), while highly therapeutic, are not for everyone and should be employed by individuals with abnormal blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, seizure disorder. They are also not for children, pregnant women, elderly or obese patients and supervision is recommended.

KuroganeHot_springs_bath_紫煙

Kugane Hot Springs Bath by 紫煙

The addition of essential oils can increase the pleasure and therapeutic benefit of a hot bath. Adding the essential oils to hot water will simply cause the volatile oils to evaporate quickly. While they are not fatty oils, such as olive or grapseed oil, essential oils are somewhat oily and are not diluted by the water. They are best dispersed by adding four to six drops of essential oil to a teaspoon of milk, cream or honey and adding them into the bath water when the tub is full.

Aromatic essential oils such as Sandalwood, Vetiver, Patchouli or Lavender can help to encourage relaxation, aid sleep, and provide support for the adrenal glands. Floral aromas including Geranium, Ylang Ylang and Rose invoke a heady feeling of euphoria and comfort. Warming oils of Ginger, Black Pepper and Juniper can help to improve circulation and provide relief in cases of arthritis.

You can make your own Sea Salt bath by adding 25 drops of your favorite essential oils to two teaspoons of grapeseed oil. Be sure to mix them well. Then combine one cup each baking soda and Dead Sea salts and the essential oil blend and mix thoroughly. Store in a 16 ounce airtight jar. This makes enough for four mineral baths (1/2 cup each).

Sleep Easy Blend

9 drops Lavender essential oil                                                                                                     9 drops Roman Chamomile essential oil                                                                                   7 drops Sweet Marjoram essential oil                                                                                         2 tsp. (10 ml) Grapseed oil

1 cup (8 oz) Baking Soda                                                                                                               1 cup (8 oz) Dead Sea Salts

Blend the essential oils with the grapeseed oil. In a large non-reactive bowl combine the baking soda and Dead Sea salts. Add the essential oil blend and mix very well.  Store in a 16 ounce airtight jar or container.

Fill the bath tub with hot water. Add 1/2 cup of the prepared salts and swish around the tub to dissolve. Slip into the tub and enjoy.

Lora Cantele

Co-author of The Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness

 

 

How to Experience the Ultimate Aromatic Bath (Plus Recipes!)

This post first appeared on the blog of the American College of Healthcare Sciences on January 13, 2015. Reprinted with permission.

For those of us who reside in chillier climates, there’s nothing better than slipping into a soothing hot bath to soak away the winter doldrums. But if you haven’t tried adding essential oils to your bath time routine, you’re missing out!

Essential oils are extremely effective when added to bath water—they’ll work wonders on your skin, and you’ll feel radiant inside and out. And you don’t need to trek to the spa to have a rejuvenating, relaxing bath. Here are a few simple ways you can create the ultimate aromatic bath experience right in your own home:

How to Draw Your Aromatic Bath with Essential Oils 

Essential oils can be blended with your favorite base oil and then added to the bath. Or you can learn how to make fizzing herbal bath bombs with essential oils. But if lack of time is a factor in your life, you can add essential oils directly to the bath water.

  • Run the bath water first.
  • While your tub is filling, prepare all you need for a relaxing and comfortable bath. Set up your music, a few cushy towels, a head pillow or folded towel, your favorite cup of herbal tea, candles, and (especially for the parents out there) a “do not disturb” sign for your door.
  • Once your tub is full, turn the water off, and add your essential oils.
  • Swirl the oils around in the bath with your hands or feet to ensure dispersion.
  • Enter the bath and soak for around 10 minutes.

For a stress relief-booster, add one cup of Epsom salts. These magnesium sulfate salts mix well with essential oils and water and the extra magnesium gives the added benefit of a deeper, more relaxed sleep.

While you soak, be sure to take advantage of this “me” time. Meditate. Practice gentle stretches. Or simply shut your eyes, inhale the enchanting aromas, enjoy the warmth, and be fully present in a moment of peace.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t have a full bath in your home—a hand or footbath can be an excellent alternative.

Safety Tips for Bathing with Essential Oils

It can be tempting to want to add more than the recommended daily dose (RDD) or stated dose in the formula, but you must resist—a little bit of essential oil goes a long way. Remember that essential oils should never irritate or burn the skin, and if you have skin sensitivities, be sure to do a skin patch test before adding them to the bath.

Also, the heat and the water of the bath can enhance absorption, so it’s important to be cautious and use less than you think you need. If you absolutely need to add more, add one drop at a time every five minutes.

You may experience slight tingling with essential oils that contain menthol, such as peppermint Mentha ×piperita (L.), but this disappears quickly once you’re out of the bath and dry. The activity of citrus oils in particular can intensify on the skin when mixed with hot bath water, so always remember to use only the stated amount in the formula.

It’s Bath Time!

Now that you know how to draw the perfect aromatic bath, here are two delightful essential oil blends you’ll have to try this winter:

Stimulating Aromatic Bath

Stimulating Morning Bath

  • Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis essential oil: 5 drops
  • Peppermint Mentha ×piperita essential oil: 2 drops

Once your tub is full, turn the water off, and add your essential oils. Swirl the oils around in the bath with your hands or feet to ensure dispersion. Enter the bath and soak for around 10 minutes. Inhale deeply and enjoy the invigorating aromas.

Aromatic Bath Recipe

Calm and Restore Bath

  • Geranium Pelargonium graveolens essential oil: 4 drops
  • Basil Ocimum basilicum essential oil: 2 drops

Once your tub is full, turn the water off, and add your essential oils. Swirl the oils around in the bath with your hands or feet to ensure dispersion. Enter the bath and soak for around 10 minutes. Inhale deeply and enjoy the soothing aromas.

You can find all of these oils in one easy >>Aromatic Bath Kit at the Apothecary Shoppe store here.

Aromatic Bath Kit

What essential oils will you choose for your ultimate aromatic bath? I’d love to know in the comments.

This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.

Dorene Petersen is the Founder, President, CEO, and Principal of the American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS). She has over 35 years clinical teaching and lecturing experience in aromatherapy and other holistic health subjects. She has presented papers on essential oils and clinical aromatherapy at the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades Annual Conference (IFEAT) in California, USA; the Aroma Environment Association of Japan (AEAJ) in Tokyo, Japan; the Asian Aroma Ingredients Congress (AAIC) and Expo in Bali, Indonesia; the International Center of Advanced Aromatherapy (ICAA) at the WonGwang Digital University in Seoul, Korea; as well as the AAIC Expo in Kunming, Yunnan, China. Dorene currently serves as Chair of the Aromatherapy Registration Council (ARC), and she is also active with the Distance Education Training Council (DETC). Dorene is a travel junkie, and she hopes you will join her for the ACHS Study Abroad Program in Indonesia and India in 2015!

Check out the American College of Healthcare Sciences at http://www.achs.edu

http://info.achs.edu/blog/how-to-experience-the-ultimate-aromatic-bath-plus-recipes