Essential oils have been used for thousands of years by different cultures to improve emotional, physical and even mental health. They are now a great addition to any household, especially if your kids suffer from stress and anxiety. If you are nervous about using essential oils near children, here’s what you should know.
What Are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are extracted by distilling different petals, buds, wood, etc by methods such as steaming or cold pressing. During the extraction process the oils produced end up highly concentrated and are then bottled for use.
Fun Fact: A small bottle of essential rose oil takes 65 pounds of rose petals to make, and just one pound of lavender requires over 150 pounds of lavender flowers.
How They Work
When you smell, scent molecules travel through your nose to a part right below the brain called the olfactory bulb. This nerve sends signals to your limbic system which regulates emotions, memory and mood. By knowing what scents create what reaction, you can help control how you feel.
Essential Oils for Anxiety
With anxiety being so commonly diagnosed in children, it may be worth trying a natural approach before choosing medication. The calming effect of using essential oils has been researched and there are many reviews supporting their use.
A study conducted by Terry Friedmann on children who were between 6 and 14 years old found great success when using Cedarwood and Vetiver oils to treat symptoms of anxiety. Other studies have found a reduction in anxiety when using lavender and tea tree oils.
Because you should never give essential oils orally to children, we recommend starting with a diffuser and using sparingly. It’s always a good idea to carry out a test first. Dilute the essential oil and then put a small amount on their arm. That way you will be able to see if there is any reaction before adding it to the air.
Tip: Make sure you only use PURE essential oils. There are a lot of brands that claim to be natural, but still use low quality oils and other synthetic ingredients.
Our Favorite Anti-Anxiety Oils
1. Rose. Rose is very comforting to the emotional heart and is probably the second most popular oil compared to Lavender. Use to help with anxiety, irritability, and sleep as it is an all around nervous system restorative.
2. Lavender. The most popular used essential oil. Lavender calms and relaxes and can be used for restlessness, panic attacks and nervous tension.
3. Cedarwood. Used to treat stress disorders and can even act as a sedative.
4. Clary Sage. Used to treat depression and stressful situations. Can even be more powerful than lavender for women.
5. Ylang Ylang. This oil calms and has uplifting effects. It is also a moderately strong sedative that may help with sleep issues.
Because there is no government agency to regulate essential oils, it’s important to be cautious when choosing an essential oil brand. Stick to highly reviewed products or ask friends or family for recommendations.
As always, make sure to talk with your doctor before using around children.