Essential oil safety information. Part 2.

Aromatherapy Massage

  Safety for pregnancy, babies and children

An aromatherapy back massage is one of the most relaxing treatments for a woman during pregnancy, especially nearing labour. Scented massage is a wonderful to help relax a baby, and helps parental bonding, small children also enjoy smelling the gentle essential oil to help relieve stress and anxiety. However, in all these scenarios it is very important to use the correct oils and in the correct amounts.

Safety during pregnancy

  • DO NOT use any essential oils in your baths until after the first 3 months of pregnancy.
  • Massage blends in pregnancy should contain half the drops of essential oils in the normal blend.

AVOID: The following should be avoided during pregnancy, labour and while breast feeding:

  • Rosemary
  • Spanish sage
  • Myrrh
  • Laurel leaf
  • Fennel
  • Juniper berry
  • Agnus cactus
  • Sweet basil
  • Tulsi (Indian holy basil)
  • Damiana
  • Angelica root
  • Lovage root
  • Jasmin absolute
  • Birch
  • Camphor
  • Hyssop
  • Mug wart
  • Parsley leaf or seed
  • Pennyroyal
  • Sage
  • Tansy
  • Tarragon
  • Thuja
  • Wintergreen
  • Wormwood

 

Special recommendations: the following essential oils are soothing and relaxing, making them ideal for massage after the first three months of pregnancy:

  • Roman chamomile
  • Orange leaf
  • Lavender
  • Geranium
  • Lemon
  • Australian sandalwood
  • Sweet orange
  • Neroli
  • Mandarin
  • Rose Otto

 

Safety for babies and toddlers:

Never use essential oils on babies under 3 months of age. Once the baby has reached 3 months you can give massages using aromatherapy oil blends, you can only use one drop of a single essential oil diluted in 20ml/ 4 tsp of carrier oil per, massage or bath. An example that would nice to use would be 1 drop of Rose Otto in 20ml/4tsp of Sweet almond carrier oil. The following four essential oils are the only oils, safe to use on your baby and toddler: Roman Chamomile great for sore bottoms, Lavender helps to soothe skin and helps sleep, Neroli to calm when fretful, and, Rose Otto to help moisturize the skin.

Safety for 2 to 10 year olds:

Make sure you never use more than two drops of any two essential oils in a massage blend that is intended for use on children between 2 and 10 years of age. This means you should never mix more than 4 drops in total in 20ml/4tsp of carrier oil. Children that are over ten can use the same strength blends as for adults.

Children tend not to be drawn to heavily scented oils, and therefore, the following are a safe selection that are gently aromatic, and, useful oils:

  • Roman Chamomile to help soothe the nerves
  • Lavender to aid with sleep
  • Lemon-scented Eucalyptus to relieve colds
  • Lemon to help unblock the nose
  • Sweet Orange calms emotional stress
  • Spearmint helps relieve tummy aches
  • Neroli aids with sleep
  • Rose Otto soothes irritated skin

 

Oil burners : Part 1

oil burners

Oil burners are a great way to benefit from the healing properties of essential oils and fill your house with pleasing aromas. It has many uses – for healing, as an alternative to chemical-laden shop-bought air fresheners, as a room disinfectant in the case of colds and flu, as a room freshener, and to eliminate unpleasant odours.

With an increase in the use of aromatherapy and essential oils, oil burners have become very popular. They come in a variety of shapes, sizes, colours, and materials, and can be purchased from health food stores, chemists, department stores, new age stores, and on the internet. The type of burner you choose comes down to personal preference.

Types of Oil burners.

You can get metal and ceramic oil burners. I have both at home but mainly use the metal one. They both have their advantages and disadvantages. I think as long as the bowl on top is quite large and is far enough away from the candle it doesn’t matter too much what the burner is made from.

Some oil burners have a removable bowl and others are all in one. I personally prefer the ones with a removable bowl so that you only have to take that part to the tap to fill with water rather than the whole burner plus it makes it easier to clean in between use.

If you don’t feel comfortable using candles especially if you have children or pets around, you can purchase an electric “burner” known as an Aroma-Stream, which works by blowing air through a pad which holds the essential oils. It also means that you can use it at night to help you get to sleep or if you are suffering from a blocked nose or cold. The downside to the electric “burners” is they are quite expensive to buy, uses electricity, and you have to buy replacement pads.

Once you have purchased your oil burner, you will also need some small tea-light candles. Make sure that these are unscented otherwise they may mask the smell of the essential oils when they are lit. You will also need some pure essential oils of your choice and a lighter or matches.

how to use your burner.

Fill the top bowl of the oil burner with water. Add 6 – 8 drops of essential oil to the water. If you have a small room use less drops than if you have a large room. Stand the wick up on the tea-light candle, light it, and place in the base of the oil burner. As soon as the candle starts to heat up the water above it, the essential oils in the water will start to evaporate and the aroma is diffused along with the water vapour into the room.

Don’t let the oil burner burn dry as this can cause ceramic and glass burners to crack. When the water and essential oils have evaporated, either put the candle out or refill with more water and add a few more drops of essential oils.

Types of Oils.

Lighter oils (top and middle notes), such as lemon and lavender diffuse quicker than thicker oils (base notes), such as sandalwood and rose. You may want to top up the oil after a little while to maintain the aroma.

Some safety precautions. Never leave a lit candle unattended. Ensure the oil burner is secure on a flat surface and out of the reach of children and pets when in use.