Essential Oils and Children

Like this post? Share by using the buttons below...

A question that gets asked on the Using Essential Oils Safely facebook group is, “What essential oils can I use on my children?”

The short answer is, many of them can be, if properly diluted. Read: Properly Diluting Essential Oils.

So here, finally, is a list of essential oils with warnings against using on or around children according to The Book, Essential Oil Safety (click here to download a printable pdf version of this list):

  • Anise/Aniseed Pimpinella anisum - avoid using (all routes) on children under 5
  • Anise (Star) Illicium verum - avoid using (all routes) on children under 5
  • Basil (lemon) Ocimum x citriodorum - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Benzoin Styrax benzoin, Styrax paralleloneurus and Styrax tonkinensis - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Birch (sweet) Betula lenta - avoid using (all routes) on children
  • Black Seed Nigella sativa - avoid topical use 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 (all routes) on prepubertal children
  • Clove Bud, Clove Leaf, Clove Stem Syzygium aromaticum, Eugenia caryophyllata, Eugenia aromatica - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • *Cornmint Mentha arvensis, Mentha canadensis - avoid using (all routes) 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 (all routes) 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 topical use on children under 2
  • *Ho Leaf/Ravintsara Cinnamomum camphora (cineole chemotype)  – avoid using on children under 6
  • Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis (pinocamphone chemptype) - avoid using (all routes) on children under 2
  • *Laurel Leaf/Bay Laurel Laurus nobilis- avoid topical use on children under 6
  • Lemon Leaf/Lemon Petitgrain Citrus x limon, Citrus limonum - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Lemongrass Cymbopogon flexuosus, Andropogon flexuosus, Cymbopogon citratus, Andropogon citratus - avoid topical use 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 topical use on children under 2
  • *Myrtle (red) Myrtus communis - avoid using on children under 6
  • Myrtle (aniseed) Backhousia anisata - avoid using (all routes) on children under 5
  • Myrtle (honey) Melaleuca teretifolia - avoid using on children under 2
  • Myrtle (lemon)/Sweet Verbena Backhousia citriodora - avoid dermal use on children under 2
  • *Niaouli (cineole chemotype) Melaleuca quinquinervia – avoid using on children under 6
  • Oakmoss Evernia prunastri - avoid dermal use on children under 2
  • Opopanax Commiphora guidottii - avoid dermal use on children under 2
  • Oregano Origanum onites, Origanum smyrnaeum, Origanum vulgare, Origanum compactum, Origanum hirtum, Thymbra capitata, Thymus capitatus, Coridothymus capitatus, Satureeja capitata - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Peppermint Mentha x Piperita - avoid using (all routes) on children under 6
  • Peru Balsam Myroxylon balsamum, Myroxylon pereiraw, Myroxylon peruiferum, Myrospermum pereirae, Toluifera pereirae - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • *Rambiazana  Helichrysum gymnocephalum - avoid using on children under 6
  • *Rosemary (1,8-cineole chemotype) Rosmarinus officinalis  - avoid using on children under 6
  • Saffron Crocus sativus - avoid topical use 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 topical use 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 topical use on children under 2
  • Styrax Liquidambar orientalis, Liquidambar styraciflua - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Tea Leaf/Black Tea Camellia sinensis, Thea sinensis - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Tea Tree (lemon-scented) Leptospermum petersonii, Leptospermum citratum, Leptospermum liversidgei,- avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Treemoss Pseudevernia furfuracea - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Tuberose Polianthes tuberosa - avoid topical use 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 topical use on children under 2
  • Verbena (Lemon) Aloysia triphylla, Aloysia citriodora, Lippa citriodora, Lippa triphylla - avoid topical use on children under 2
  • Wintergreen Gaultheria fragrantissima, Gaultheria procumbens – avoid due to methyl salicylate content
  • Ylang-Ylang Cananga odorata - avoid topical use on children under 2

* indicates essential oils that are high in 1,8-cineole and can potentially cause respiration to slow in children. If you are looking for age-appropriate anti-congestion suggestions, read this post: Anti-Germ and Anti-Congestion blend recipes.

mentholcineole

It goes without saying children should also not be exposed to the essential oils on the list here: Essential Oils Never to Buy.

And this applies to ALL BRANDS of essential oils, even “therapeutic grade” or essential oils that are “GRAS” or “safe for ingestion.” Read: Name Games.

majority-cases-children

What Essential Oils Can I Use On or Around My Children?

I get asked frequently about the “avoid” list above and what that means as far as what essential oils CAN be used. The short answer is: any of the ones not listed there (or on the “never to buy” list), as long as they are diluted properly.

But to give you some ideas, here are some of the essential oils are are safe to use on and/or around children 2 years or older (if younger, hydrosols and/or herbs are a better idea):

  • Bergamot
  • Black Pepper
  • Blue Tansy
  • Cedarwood
  • Clary Sage
  • Copaiba
  • Coriander
  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • German Chamomile
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Grapefruit
  • Juniper Berry
  • Helichrysum
  • Lavender
  • Lemon
  • Mandarin
  • Neroli
  • Palmarosa
  • Patchouli
  • Petitgrain
  • Pines -except Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa), or Huon Pine (Dacrydium franklinii)
  • Roman Chamomile
  • Sandalwood
  • Siberian Fir Needle
  • Spearmint
  • Spruces
  • Sweet Marjoram
  • Sweet Orange
  • Tangerine
  • Tea Tree
  • Vetiver


Want to learn more about aromatherapy and children? Take the Aromatherapy for Natural Living Course – I did! :)

Lea Harris is a Certified Aromatherapist with Advanced Graduate training from Aromahead Institute in July 2013, but she is not a doctor. Please consult a trained aromatherapist or your doctor before using any of the suggestions on this website, as the user's age and health conditions must be taken into account before using. The information contained in this website is for informational purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.

Comments

Powered by Facebook Comments