I just posted a blog on the use of essential oils in infants. In this post, I want to give you a little overview of some studies in the literature that demonstrate that the use of essential oils in children has, in fact, been documented and beneficial. I also provide additional resources for safe use and recipes for diffusing for our little ones.
Essential Oils and Children Studies
In a review study of lavender essential oil, the authors reported on a study of the effects of inhaling this oil on adults’ and infants’ brain activity patterns. The study found that the inhalation of lavender could assist with brain patterns associated with calming the nerves. The authors write:
Resting frontal EEG asymmetry is suggested to be a predictor of symptom change and end-state functioning in patients with social anxiety disorder who undergo efficacious psychological treatment . Evaluation of frontal EEG asymmetry shifting in thirty-nine adult participants and twenty-seven full-term newborns revealed greater relative left frontal EEG activation (associated with greater approach behavior and less depressed affect) after aromatherapy with lavender. Further studies in these volunteers indicate that lavender may induce left frontal EEG shifting in adults and infants, who show greater baselines relative to right frontal EEG activation. It is suggested that both infants and adults with greater relative right frontal EEG activation at baseline may be more affected by lavender application .
Another study with little ones found that the scent of orange oil was calming in one dental procedure as compared to without the scent for another one. Furthermore, this aroma also was found to decrease salivary cortisol levels in the children who enjoyed the citrus aroma, a physiological marker (hormonal) of the stress response.
In another review, researchers analyzed compounds found in essential oils and evaluated their efficacy for use in infections in children and concluded, “ Topical application or inhalation of selected compounds for the treatment or additional treatment of mild infections is reasonable.”
Although a study with admitted design flaws did not report a benefit with infants receiving mandarin oil massage after a facial procedure, they did not list any major concerns of the use of the oil. However, another trial with pediatric patients that assessed outcomes related to pain measures from tonsillectomy found that periodic inhalation of lavender oil decreased the amount of analgesic needed.
For more information visit my Essential Oils Database under “Children and Safety.”
Note: Although I can NOT legally make specific recommendations, prescribe, diagnose, or offer individualized suggestions, I’d love to provide you with some resources and information that you and your little one’s prescribing physician can review. I would advise reaching out to health care providers that can support you as well.