I have to say I get asked this question a lot as there are many people out there that have no idea what carrier oil is or what to do with an essential oil so here are a few pointers for you adults out there:
For massage, add 3 drops of essential oil per 5ml carrier oil
If you pour 5ml carrier oil into the cup of your hand, you will get a pointer as to how much it is in your hand and won’t need to measure all the time…
For an oil bath, run your bath first, then add 8 drops of essential oil either direct to the bath or into a tsp bath base, cheap vodka or full fat milk – the alcohol or fat helps to disperse the oil into the water which makes it more beneficial and is a must if children are involved
If adding oils to the pillow, add 3-4 drops both sides of the pillow plus on the top edge of the duvet – it makes it that wherever you are sleeping, you will still have access to the aroma.
If adding essential oils to a vaporiser, I tend to add 8-10 drops to the water but it also depends on the size of the room too, so use your common sense.
And now for the wee ones;
The oils I tend to use mostly for kids is Lavender (skin issues, headaches and sleep), Tea tree, Niaouli or Cajeput, the Melaleucas (to fight infection & viruses), Myrtle (asthma and chest infections), spearmint (tummy upsets), Roman Chamomile (calming, anti-histamine) and Mandarin (calm, sleep and digestion).
For older ones, I would also add Marjoram for growing pains, strains etc and Geranium for young girls to help with period pains. Once they reach 14, they can tolerate adult oils and doses. The doses for the younger ones are much harder.
For babies’ up to 2 months, no oils should be used, but massage with almond oil is great for mum and baby.
For children under 1, use 1 drop per 10ml carrier oil: For children 1-3, use 1-2 drop per 10ml carrier oil
For children 3-5, use 2-3 drop per 10ml carrier oil: For children 6-13 use 3-4 drops per 10ml carrier oil
In the bath, always add the essential oils to 1tsp full fat milk, vodka or dispersing bath oil to ensure the oil is in the water, not on it. Never add undiluted oils to a child’s bath. The doses used above for 10ml carrier is the amount to add to the dispersant to add to their bath.
Tinctures are much easier, as things like Echinacea, chamomile, feverfew etc can all be used for children, adding one drop into water per year of their age, so a three year old can have 3 drops Echinacea 1-2 times per day when they are unwell with a cold, just to boost their delicate immune systems. Dilute into their drink and they should learn to take them quite easily.
WARNING: It isn’t so important to get exact quantities for room aromas, but when putting oils onto the body, never overdose as you can overload the liver, so never, ever add more than the massage amount indicated unless you are an experienced aromatherapist and know what you are doing. Never put neat essential oils on the skin either – always dilute except in emergency when lavender and tea tree only can be applied to cuts, burns etc