Can Essential Oils Improve Behavior in Children?
Aromatherapy is the art of using natural essential oils to improve the balance of body and mind. Neurological anatomy shows that our sense of smell activates an ancient part of the brain called the limbic system, which is also the center of our emotions. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) provide a summary of scientific research on the beneficial effects of aromatherapy, and these research results include positive effects on behavior. Parents enjoy a chance to improve kids' behavior with essential oils, because it’s a pleasant experience for everyone involved and carries no risks. Here’s what you need to know.
Choosing the Right Essential Oils
As the NIH research results indicate, some fragrances have a stimulating effect, and others have a calming or sedative effect. In many cases, you’ll want soothing essential oils for behavior improvement. Here are the oils that have calming and relaxing qualities:
- Ylang ylang
Other oils tend to improve focus and memory and can be a delightful way to help your easily distracted child stay on task:
How to Use Essential Oils
There are numerous methods for safely introducing these wonderful fragrances into your child’s environment. You can add a few drops to bath water or mix them into a container of lotion or massage oil. It is also possible to make or buy candles that contain essential oil, and fragrance diffusers work well to scent a room.
The important thing to keep in mind is that these natural oils in their pure form are extremely strong, and they should never be applied to anyone’s body in their undiluted form. Also, you must make sure that your child doesn’t get any pure essential oils on his or her hands, because they can cause severe pain if they are rubbed on eyes or other sensitive parts of the body.
How to Buy Essential Oils
Keep in mind that essential oils are actual distilled essences of the plants themselves, with no additives. Inexpensive lotions, perfumes and scented candles made with synthetics will not provide any of the benefits of aromatherapy. Health food stores often have an aromatherapy product line featuring true essential oils, and you can also buy them online from reputable health-related sites. Be sure the product you buy is clearly labeled as being a pure essential oil.
Aromatherapy and essential oils have extraordinary untapped potential; research has even found that lavender oil in a room diffuser improved the communication skills of children with autism. Try out a few of these healing fragrances with your child; at the very least, they will make your shared environmental more delightful!
Disclaimer: The information presented on this web site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment of specific medical conditions. Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you and your family.