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