Aromatherapy For Children And Youth

By Julia Fischer, © Copyright 2008.

Aromatherapy Has Helped Kids With

  • Acne and rosacea
  • Allergic skin reactions
  • Baby care (colic, colds, cradle cap, diaper rash, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Burns and sunburns (1st, 2nd and 3rd degree)
  • Deodorant (replaces harmful chemical deodorants)
  • Dental problems (toothache, teething pain, gum infections, abscesses, etc.)
  • Diarrhea
  • Ear infections (earache, otitis, swimmer’s ear, etc.)
  • Eczema
  • Eye infections (conjunctivitis, sties) using Aromatic hydrosols ONLY!!!
  • Fever
  • Food poisoning
  • Hair problems (lice, itchy scalp, dandruff, etc.)
  • Immune system
  • Indigestion
  • Infections, bacterial (colds, intestinal, skin, strep throat, tonsillitis, urinary tract, etc.)
  • Infections, fungal (athlete’s foot, candida, ringworm, etc.)
  • Infections - parasitic (dysentery, worms, etc.)
  • Infections - viral (flu, herpes, pneumonia, swollen glands, etc.)
  • Inflammations (skin, muscles, etc.)
  • Insomnia
  • Itching
  • Menstrual disorders (PMS, hormonal imbalances, painful or irregular menses, etc.)
  • Mental alertness, clarity and focus
  • Nausea
  • Pain (arthritis, bruises, joints, muscles, sports injuries, etc.)
  • Psoriasis
  • Relaxation
  • Respiratory infections, upper and lower (sinusitis, rhinitis, bronchitis, etc.)
  • Scars
  • Spasms
  • Wounds

Aromatherapy Can Help In The Following Areas

Spirit: Influences imagination and inspiration

Body: Alleviates physical ailments and injuries

Mind: Enhances mental clarity and focus

Emotions: Uplifting and calming effects on moods

Social: Healthy, authentic aromas support healthy relationships

Brief Description Of Aromatherapy

  • Aromatherapy is a form of herbal medicine that relies on the healing properties of essential oils from plants.
  • These essential oils interface with the body directly through inhalations, topical applications and in some cases internally.
  • When properly chosen they are safe and suitable for use by everyone for treatment of a wide range of complaints.

Success With Aromatherapy

  • CASE #1: Alice was less than a year old when she developed thrush (candida) inside her mouth. I instructed her mother, Lisette, who was breastfeeding Alice, to massage 10 drops of a potent anti-infectious Aromatic solution on her chest and back every 3 hours. The essential oils were carefully chosen with full consideration of safety concerns, while being potent enough to address the flare-up. Essential oils pass rapidly through the skin into the bloodstream and will also appear in breast milk. Sure enough, within 48 hours the thrush had vanished. Lisette, who had a slight vaginal discharge at the same time, reported that it too had disappeared!
  • CASE #2: Marielle, age 30, called in desperation. Both she and her 9-year old son, Sylvain, had terrible toothaches caused by an abscess and accompanied by fever. Marielle was fearful that if she waited too long before seeing a doctor both she and Sylvain would end up with serious consequences. Her resistance to taking antibiotics unless absolutely necessary was in question.

However Marielle was a firm believer in Aromatherapy and had confidence in my practice. I quickly prepared a strong, antibacterial mouth wash and an even more potent topical blend for direct application to the gum area near the abscess.

When Marielle arrived at my doorstep I could see that fully half of her face was swollen to double its normal size. There was no time to waste and she began using the preparations right away. Within 1˝ hours the swelling was down considerably as was the fever and the pain. After another hour she decided to return home to begin treating Sylvain. She knew she was on the right track.

Later that evening Marielle called to say that both she and Sylvain were “out-of the-woods” and well on the way to recovery. Most importantly, both individuals had a real life experience that built a powerful case for relying on Aromatherapy, their treatment of choice.

Aromatherapy Is Appropriate For Ages

  • Prenatal Aromatherapy care for mothers may assist with common complaints of pregnancy.
  • Newborns benefit from a non-pharmaceutical approach to home care.
  • Young children and adolescents can easily learn to treat themselves, building self-esteem, self-reliance and confidence in their new ability to address their own health care issues.

Children And Youths’ Reactions To Aromatherapy

  • Aromatherapy is perhaps the most enjoyable and empowering modality available to children of all ages. Infants benefit as much from the fragrance of an Aromatic bath or massage as from the healing properties inherent in the oils.
  • Young children newly enraptured with the love of Nature seem to delight in using and identifying smells which are so familiar to them from their foods (i.e. cinnamon, orange) and the outdoors (i.e. eucalyptus, pine).

Extra Care Is Needed

  • There are a number of essential oils that should be avoided by infants, the elderly, during pregnancy or by those with certain health conditions.
  • Consulting with a qualified Aromatherapy practitioner and using high-quality, medicinal grade essential oils as directed will ensure safe and effective treatment. Essential oils should NEVER be put into eyes or ears, and unless carefully supervised by an experienced Aromatherapy practitioner, should not be taken orally.

Contraindications: When Aromatherapy Should Be Avoided

  • It is specific essential oils, rather than Aromatherapy as a whole, which should be avoided by certain individuals at certain times.
  • That said, persons who should use most caution when using essential oils are newborns, pregnant women, fragile elderly and epileptics.
  • It is wise to consult with a qualified Aromatherapy practitioner to determine which oils are best avoided under which conditions.


  • Although essential oils have been used by many cultures for thousands of years, modern Aromatherapy as we know it today has only gradually become part of the mainstream.
  • The term “Aromatherapy” is most popularly associated with French chemist Dr. Rene Maurice Gattefosse. His groundbreaking text, Aromatherapy: Essential Oils – Vegetal Hormones, published in Paris in 1928, is still a respected reference for Aromatherapy practitioners around the world.
  • Since that time, more subtle and sophisticated uses of essential oils for healing have developed and flourished, especially with the wider demand for and acceptance of complementary and alternative health care options.

Basic Concepts And Components Of Aromatherapy

  • The cornerstone of Aromatherapy is the selection of high quality, medicinal grade essential oils obtained from a reputable supplier.
  • It must be stressed that the use of synthetic fragrances or perfumes does not constitute either a safe or therapeutic practice of Aromatherapy.
  • The beauty of this therapy is that with the understanding of some basic principles and techniques Aromatherapy can be practiced safely at home to manage more commonly encountered health problems as well as acute flare-ups and chronic conditions.

What Essential Oils Are And A Guide To Determining Their Quality For Use In Aromatherapy

  • What distinguishes Aromatherapy from other types of Herbal Medicine is the way in which the medicinal properties (in the form of essential oils) are extracted from aromatic plants.
  • Most essential oils are steam-distilled, which concentrates the most volatile (evaporative) components and which results in by-products known as Aromatic Hydrosols. Aromatic Hydrosols may be used for treatments where essential oils cannot or should not be used.
  • Essential oils are highly concentrated, and therefore are used in the smallest quantities for therapeutic purposes.
  • High quality essential oils will appear in brown or blue glass bottles as they are sensitive to light and will dissolve soft plastic.
  • The label (or accompanying literature) should include: botanical (Latin) name; part of the plant used (root, seed, leaf, etc.); cultivation method (organic, biodynamic, wild, etc.); extraction method and country of origin.
  • Prices will vary widely depending on factors such as availability and country of origin, and especially on how much essential oil the plant itself will yield.

Description Of A Typical Session

  • Because most qualified Aromatherapy practitioners combine different modalities there is no “typical” Aromatherapy treatment session.
  • However, given a particular complaint, an Aromatherapist may request a medical history or ask questions to determine a possible origin of the problem and may prepare a custom blend.
  • Some practitioners like to involve the child by offering oils for him/her to smell. As much as possible, individual likes and dislikes are factored into the preparation of the blend.
  • A parent or child would be instructed specifically how, when and for how long the blend should be used. Depending upon the condition, Aromatic baths, inhalations or massages may be recommended in conjunction with the use of the blend.
  • Once a treatment plan is in place, self-care at home is invited and encouraged.

Major Differences Of Opinion Between Aromatherapy Practitioners

  • It has been observed that some differences of opinion regarding Aromatherapy lie across international lines.
  • In France where modern Aromatherapy was born, an intensive or “hard-core” approach is common (i.e. higher dosages, internal uses).
  • England is known for its excellent Aromatherapy schools but the usage continues to be more superficial or “soft-core”, usually relegated to Aromatic skin care, baths and massage.
  • North American Aromatherapy appears to have embraced both of these approaches and perhaps is the most integrative of all.

Fees/Costs In 2007 (Average - Northern California)

  • Fees vary widely depending on length of session, services offered, education and experience of the practitioner.
  • Costs for custom blends are most likely additional and will also depend on the specific oils used.
  • Anywhere from $50-$100 per session seems to be the going rate with follow-ups, if necessary, significantly lower.

Average Time Per Session

  • Depending on the adjunct therapy (or therapies), the Aromatherapy practitioner combines a 1 to 1 ˝ hour session including an intake interview. As stated earlier, once a treatment plan is in place, self-care at home is invited and encouraged.
  • Follow-up visits may be necessary in order to fine-tune the treatment, but telephone consultations are sometimes sufficient.

Estimated Length Of Time Before Improvements Can Be Expected

  • Relief of symptoms of minor health problems may be experienced almost immediately or within several hours.
  • Chronic or more deep-seated illnesses may require days or weeks of repeated applications. It must be noted that, depending on the specific application, effects of an Aromatherapy treatment may be felt for between a few hours to a few days.
  • Important factors for a successful Aromatherapy treatment include: correct assessment or diagnosis of the problem, quality of essential oils, proper selection and dosage of essential oils, method and frequency of application.

Suggestions To Make Aromatherapy More Effective

  • Parents can best provide all the relevant medical (and/or emotional) history necessary for a practitioner to make a proper assessment of the child’s current health issues. Some practitioners use a customized intake form that provides important data for determining which oils should or should not be used.
  • Most importantly the parent can observe their child’s ailment and should be able to accurately report onset, symptoms, factors which influence changes in those symptoms, monitor temperature, stool, etc. if applicable.
  • Other recommendations (i.e. diet, herbal and vitamin supplements, avoidance of offending chemical agents in lotions, soaps, etc.) should be followed and monitored by the parent to ensure best possible outcome.
  • Right advice: Get guidance from a qualified Aromatherapy practitioner you can trust.
  • Right oils: Use high quality, medicinal grade essential oils from a reputable supplier.
  • Right assessment: Correctly evaluate health concern.
  • Right selection: Choose essential oils and/or Aromatic hydrosols appropriate to ailment.
  • Right dosage: Use proper dosage appropriate to condition and to the individual.
  • Right application method: Choose between inhalations, topical treatments, etc.
  • Right timing: Act swiftly and decisively once treatment decisions are made.
  • Right attitude: Be diligent and optimistic about treatment.

Other Methods That Are Similar To Aromatherapy

  • Ayurveda
  • Balneotherapy (therapeutic baths)
  • Massage
  • Phytotherapy (herbal medicine)
  • Thalassotherapy (sea water and seaweed therapies)
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine

Nature And Length Of Training To Be A Practitioner

  • A competent practitioner should be well schooled in all aspects of Aromatherapy – from the fragrance effects, to a working knowledge of Aromatic Chemistry.
  • An ability to combine modalities certainly makes a practitioner better-rounded, as well as increasing the odds of successful treatment.
  • Experience, education, sensitivity and enthusiasm all make for a better Aromatherapist.
  • Dowsing for essences may be an intuitive way to create a perfume blend but is hardly adequate for dealing with illness.
  • Most importantly, you should insist on high quality, medicinal grade essential oils for the care of yourself and your child.

Special Training Needed To Work With Children And Youth

  • No special training in Aromatherapy is needed for working with children as the treatment principles remain the same.
  • The differences lie in dosage, application method and the careful selection of oils appropriate to the size and sensitivity of the child.

Certification/Licenses Held By Practitioners

  • Some certification programs take place over a weekend, whereas others last for over a year and require practical experience.
  • Certification in Aromatherapy does not assure competency.

Professional Associations To Contact For Names Of Local Practitioners

  • NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy)

What To Look For When Choosing The Best Practitioner

  • A competent practitioner should be well schooled in all aspects of Aromatherapy – from the fragrance effects, to a working knowledge of Aromatic Chemistry.
  • An ability to combine modalities certainly makes a practitioner better-rounded, as well as increasing the odds of successful treatment.
  • Experience, education, sensitivity and enthusiasm all make for a better Aromatherapist.
  • Dowsing for essences may be an intuitive way to create a perfume blend, but is hardly adequate for dealing with illness.
  • Most importantly, you should insist on high quality, medicinal grade essential oils for the care of yourself and your child.

Aromatherapy Classes, Correspondence Courses, Certifications, Conferences And Consultations

  • Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy; Sylla Sheppard-Hangar; 16018 Saddlestring Dr.; Tampa, FL 33612; 813-265-2222; Website: http://atlanticinstitute.com; Email: sylla@tampabay.rr.com
  • Jeanne Rose Aromatherapy; 219 Carl Street; San Francisco, CA 94117; 415-564-6785; Fax: 415-564-6799; Website: http://www.jeannerose.net; Email: info@JeanneRose.net
  • NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy); 3327 W. Indian Trail Road, PMB 144; Spokane, WA 99208; 509-325-3419; Fax: 509-325-3479: Website: www.naha.org; Email: info@naha.org
  • Pacific Institute of Aromatherapy; Dr. Kurt Schnaubelt; P.O. Box 6723; San Rafael, CA 94903; 415-479-9120; Fax: 415-479-0614; Website: www.pacificinstituteofaromatherapy.com; Email: osa_pia@yahoo.com

Resources, Research Papers, Books, DVD’s, Websites


  • Schnaubelt, Kurt. Medical Aromatherapy. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 1999
  • Schnaubelt, Kurt. Advanced Aromatherapy: The Science of Essential Oil Therapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1995
  • Sheppard-Hangar, Sylla. “Aromatherapy Practitioner Reference Manual.” Available from the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy; Website: http://atlanticinstitute.com/index.html
  • Balazs, Tony and Robert Tisserand. Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals. London: Churchill Livingstone, 1995
  • Gattefosse, Rene-Maurice and Robert Tisserand. Gattefosse’s Aromatherapy: The First Book on Aromatherapy. United Kingdom: Random House, 2004 (2nd Rev. Ed.)
  • L’Aromatherapie Exactement/Pierre Franchomme and Dr. Daniel Penoel (in French)


  • Aromatherapy Journal. Available from the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy; Website: http://www.naha.org/journal.htm

Where To Get Good Quality Essential Oils

  • Amrita Aromatherapy; 1900 West Stone Ave., Suite C; Fairfield, IA 52556; 641-472-9136; Fax: 641-472-8672; Website: www.amrita.net; Email: info@amrita-essentials.com
  • Essential Aura Aromatherapy; 1935 Doran Road; Cobble Hill, BC, Canada VOR 1L0; 250-733-2035; Fax 250-733-2036; Website: http://www.essentialaura.com; Email: info@essentialaura.com
  • Floracopeia; 206 Sacramento Street, Suite 304; Nevada City, CA 95959; 530-470-9269; Website: http://www.floracopeia.com
  • Original Swiss Aromatics; P.O. Box 6842; San Rafael, CA 94903; 415-459-3998; Fax 415-479-0614; Website: www.originalswissaromatics.com; Email: osa_pia@yahoo.com
  • Oshadhi USA; 1340-G Industrial Avenue; Petaluma, CA 94952; 888-674-2344; Fax 707-769-7342; Website: www.oshadhiusa.com; Email: info@oshadhiusa.com
  • Naprodis Inc.; 13000 Danielson St., Suite K; Poway, CA 92064; 888-367-2529; Fax 858-486-7768; Website: www.naprodis.com
  • Simplers Botanical Company; P.O. Box 2534; Sebastopol, CA 95473; 800-652-7646; Website: www.simplers.com; Email: contact@simplers.com
  • White Lotus Aromatics; 602 S. Alder Street; Port Angeles, WA 98362; Fax: 360-457-9235; Website: www.whitelotusaromatics.com; Email: somanath@aol.com


  • Rose, Jeanne. Aromatherapy Book: Inhalations and Applications. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 1992.
  • Rose, Jeanne. 375 Essential Oils and Hydrosols. Berkeley: Frog, Ltd/North Atlantic Books, 1999.
  • Lavery, Sheila. Aromatherapy: A Step-By-Step Guide. London: Element Books, 1997.
  • England, Allison and Lola Borg. Aromatherapy for Mother and Baby: Natural Healing With Essential Oils During Pregnancy and Early Motherhood. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1994.
  • Tisserand, Maggie. Aromatherapy for Women: A Practical Guide to Essential Oils for Health and Beauty. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1985.
  • Tisserand, Robert. The Art of Aromatherapy. C.W.Daniel, 2004 (Rev. 2nd Ed.)
  • Tisserand, Robert. Aromatherapy: To Heal and Tend the Body. Wilmot, WI: Lotus Press, 1988.
  • Fischer-Rizzi, Susanne. Complete Aromatherapy Handbook: Essential Oils for Radiant Health. Sterling Publishers, 1991.
  • Worwood, Valerie Ann. The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health - Beauty - a Safe Home Environment. Novato, CA: New World Library, 1991.
  • Catty, Suzanne. Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1991.
  • Lawless, Julia. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy and Herbalism. London: Element Books, 1995.
  • Penoel, M.D. Daniel. Natural Home Health Care Using Essential Oils. Essential Science Publishing, 1998.
  • Valnet, Jean and Robert Tisserand. The Practice of Aromatherapy: A Classic Compendium of Plant Medicines and Their Healing Properties. Rochester, VT: Healing Arts Press, 1982.

Biography of Julia Fischer, Author

  • Julia Fischer is a lover and enthusiastic voice of aromatic plants with 20 years of experience studying and practicing Aromatherapy. A seasoned instructor, her emphasis in Aromatic Chemistry is key to understanding the pharmacology of essential oils. Her classes cover all aspects of Aromatherapy, from the chemical to the alchemical, and are hugely empowering for anyone interested in Aromatherapeutics and health independence. Through her company, Kinarome, she prepares custom blends and is available for private consultations, staff trainings and Aromatherapy intensives.

Julia Fischer’s Personal Statement

People often ask me, “Does Aromatherapy work?”. I remind them that long before we had pharmaceuticals, we had plants. In fact, many over-the-counter as well as prescription drugs available today are still derived from medicinal plants. This point seems to win over those for whom a scientific seal-of-approval is necessary to separate the “real” medicine from the snake oil. That effective healing has been achieved by the use of medicinal plants (and foods) by the world’s peoples for thousands of years should be sufficient, but alas, it is not. Among those who are “believers” in Aromatherapy are individuals who, through direct experience, saw their health issues resolved without turning to the more conventional, western medical doctors and pharmaceutical drugs.

It is my conviction that the less we use chemical drugs the less toxic load we inflict on our bodies and on the earth. Effective and safe natural medicine also lessens the unnecessary burdens on hospitals and health care professionals.

As I see it, the aim of Aromatherapy is to be an effective alternative to basic care normally administered by an expensive and overburdened health care system.

When I discovered Aromatherapy 20 years ago I immediately understood that bringing sensory pleasure and potent healing together in one therapy was a unique and special treasure. I have witnessed, experienced and facilitated hundreds of successful Aromatherapy treatments and yet I never cease to be amazed by the power and efficacy of essential oils.

Friends, family, students and clients are all delighted to find in Aromatherapy very simple solutions to basic health concerns. Children in particular are intuitively drawn to smells and are often far more descriptive of them than adults. To realize that these wonderful aromas are also their medicine is perhaps the main reason Aromatherapy is the perfect modality to use with children.

My greatest influences along the way have been the enthusiastic, the scientific, the innovative and tireless teachers who seemed to share an innate commitment to the advancement and proliferation of Aromatherapy. My deepest gratitude is reserved for all the Aromatic plants, without whom our sense of smell would be greatly deprived.

To Contact Julia Fischer, Who Contributed This Chapter

Julia Fischer; c/o KINAROME; 3 Ray Court; San Anselmo, CA 94960; Ph: 415-457-3673; Email: kinarome@yahoo.com

Marie Mulligan’s Comment About Aromatherapy: I use essential oils in a diffuser during study times for myself and for my children. Consult a medical practitioner before using Aromatherapy on children two years and under. Do the same for children and youth with Asthma, Eczema, and other chronic conditions. Be on the alert for allergic reactions (skin and lungs) as well as sun sensitivity reactions. When in doubt consult a practitioner. Aromatherapy can be quite useful in easing tension, and improving mood and focus.

Rick Geggie’s Comment About Aromatherapy: Compared to many other things that can help children, essential oils are very inexpensive. They dramatically shift children’s moods and physical conditions. I use them myself. I have known many families who make constant use of them to make growing up easier. Getting the best quality oils you can afford is important. They all work. Some have a faster effect than others

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