Children: Essential Oil Safety

The most precious blessing given to us is the privilege and stewardship of raising sons and daughters (ben) for YHWH – Elohim!  It’s with children that we build our house (home) and the Kingdom of our Messiah. 

As we may build our physical house (bet) with stone (ehben) to dwell in, we build our family with children (ben). 

Scripture tells us that children are an inheritance (like a life-giving stream running through a valley) and they are our reward.  Children perpetuate our life’s efforts to make the world a better place until the return of the Messiah. Thus, we, and the world, are blessed when we have our quiver full of them.  As Believers raising our children in the ways of the King of kings, the more arrows we bring into the world, the more we are able to take aim and release them against the evils of the world while adding blessings (Psalms 127:3 – 5).

From the beginning, in the Garden, our Creator gave us botanicals and aroma.  The word “aroma” in Scripture is closely related to the wind, breath and spirit.  Elohim gave us botanicals for healing with many examples throughout the Bible.  In fact, botanicals and essential oils or SHeMeN – are Blessed!  In the age to come, it will be a tree that will produce fruit and put forth leaves to heal the nations (Rev. 22:2)!

In Ancient Hebrew, we may denote SHeMeN (an essential oil) as the PRESSED FLUID from the SEED or LIFE.

SHeMeN can aid us in the process of raising our children to help keep them healthy and bring healing when needed.  However, we must be wise in doing so.  To this aim, the following is given to help guide us to the proper use and selection of Essential Oils (SHeMeN).


– Do NOT apply EOs ”NEAT” viz., UNDILUTED

– Keep essential oils AWAY from candles, flames, heat, etc. as they ARE FLAMMABLE

– A LABEL or Description on web store or insert SHOULD INCLUDE:

     BOTANICAL Name of Plant Source
     PART of Plant Use
     SPECIFIC Warnings as to phototoxic, avoid during pregnancy, etc.

– Do NOT allow children to INGEST EOs

– Do NOT add NEAT or Undiluted EOs to bathwater

– KEEP EOs OUT of the REACH of Children

– Do NOT place EOs or mixtures of such INTO the nose of a child

– Do NOT place an unopened bottle of EO directly under the nose of a child to smell; rather, allow the child to “come” to the bottle of EO.  This is the same with an animal such as a dog.  Let the child and animals have permission and ability to NOT come near the EO aroma or get out of the way from as they choose. 

Rule of Thumb:  The nose knows and resonates or repels to aromas, usually, as needed by a subject.

– Do NOT apply EOs to or near a child’s face.  Exception may be to apply for a cut, wound, bleeding or burn.  Be CAREFUL to NOT put in eye and use a cotton swab if need be to apply for safety.  Remember to use PROPER DILUTION.

     REMEMBER: If EO gets into the eye, do NOT wash with water!  Water traps an essential oil and does not mix with it.  INSTEAD, ADD a lipid fat, carrier oil, such as olive oil, whole milk, coconut oil or milk, etc.  The EO will mix with such and be diluted.

– Do NOT EXPOSE a child, 5 years or less, to strong EO vapors.

See SHeMeN DILUTION CHART in Remnant Remedy Newsletter

There are many essential oils that may be used safely with children WHEN USED PROPERLY and APPROPRIATELY.  Before listing these Essential Oils, let’s first take note of those EOs that should be AVOIDED or warrant EXTRA CAUTION!

Be sure to KEEP ALL Essential Oils AWAY from small children and teach them that they are to be respected and used properly.

Remember – we need to pay attention to the BOTANICAL NAME and PLANT PART.

EOs with Probable Risk of Acute Toxicity if INGESTED
by Child 6 years or Under

Ajowan – Seed (Trachyspermum ammi L.)
Basil – Leaf (Ocimum gratissum L, Ocimum tenuiflorum L.)
Birch*, Sweet – Bark (Betula lenta L.)
Birch Tar Oil – Bark & Wood (Betula lenta L., Betula pendula Roth., Betula pubescens Ehrh.)
Buchu (diosphenol CT) – Leaf (Agathosma betulina Bergius)
Buchu (pulegone CT) – Leaf (Agathosma crenulate L.)
Cajeput** – Leaf & Twig (Melaleuca* cajuputi Powell)
Calamint (lesser) – Herb (Calamintha nepeta L. subsp. glandulosa Req.)
Cassia – Bark or Leaf (Cinnamomum cassia Blume)
Cinnamon – BARK (Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume, verum J. Presl.)
Cinnamon – LEAF (Cinnamomum zeylanicum Blume, verum J. Presl.)
Clove – BUD, Leaf, Stems (Eugenia caryophyllata Thunb., Eugenia aromatica L., Syzygium aromaticum (L.)
Cornmint – Leaf (Mentha arvensis L.)
Eucalyptus – Leaf (Various species)
Feverfew – Leaf (Tanacetum parthenium L.)
Garlic – Bulb (Allium sativum L.)
Genipi – Herb (Artemisia genepi Weber syn.)
Ho Leaf – Leaf (Cinnamomum camphora L.) There is also a Ho WOOD (Ravensara aromatica)
Hyssop pinocamphone CT – Leaf & Flower (Hyssopus officinalis L.)
Lanyana – Leaf (Artemisia afra von Jacquin)
Lavender – Spanish – Flower (Lavendula stoechas L. ssp. Stoechas)
Leek – Herb (Allium porrum L.)
Mugwort – Great – Herb (Artemesia arborescens L.)
Niaouli – Cinneole CT – Leaf (Melaleuca quinquenervia Cav.)
Nutmeg – Seed/Kernel – (Myristica fragrans Houtt.)
Onion – Seeds (Allium cepa L.)
Oregano – Leaf (Lippia graveolens HBK, Origanum onites L. Origanum vulgare L. subsp. Hirtum Link, Thymbra capitata L.)
Parsley – Leaf or Seed (Petroselinum crispum Mill.)
Pennyroyal – Leaf (Hedeoma pulegioides L. Mentha pulegium L.)
Peppermint – Leaf (Mentha x piperita L.)
Perilla – Leaf & Flower (Perilla frutescens L.)
Pimento – Berry & Leaf (Pimenta dioica L.)
Rosemary – Leaf (Rosmarinus officiinalis L.)
Sage Dalmatian – Leaf (Salvia officinalis L.)
Sage Spanish – Leaf (Salvia lavandulifolia Vahl.)
Savory – Herb (Satureia hortensis L., Satureia montana L.)
Southernwood – Herb (Artemisia abrotanum L.)
Spike Lavender – Flower (Lavandula latifolia Medic.)
Tansy*** – Herb – (Tanacetum vulgare L.)**
Tea Tree** – Leaf (Melaleuca alternifolia Cheel)
Tejpat – Leaf (Cinnamomum tamala Buc.-Ham.)
Thuja – Leaf (Thuja occidentalis L.)
Thyme – Leaf – Thyme Linolol, Thyme Thujanol (Thymbra spicata L., Thymus serpyllum L., Thymus vulgaris L., Thymus zygis L.)
Western Red Cedar – Leaf (Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don)
Wintergreen* – Leaf
Wormwood – Leaf & Flower (Artemisia absinthium L.)
Wormwood Sea – Leaf & Flower (Artemisia maritima L.)
Wormwood White – Leaf & Flower (Artemisia herba-alba L.)

Professionals such as Tisserand and Young believe these EOs listed should be sold in child resistant bottle closures.

*Birch and Wintergreen EOs are often overused to obtain more pain relief.  Be sure to research the amount and proper use to avoid overdose of methyl salicylate acid contained in these two essential oils.  Methyl salicylate is an ester which can be TOXIC when NOT USED PROPERLY. 

To apply to skin for adults, use ONLY 1 % – 2% EO mixed with a carrier lipid oil such as Fractionated Coconut Oil, Olive, Watermelon, Cucumber, Apricot, etc. 

Be sure to consult percentage of EOs on the INFANTS & CHILDREN DILUTION RATIOS Dilution Chart for applying EOs.  I would AVOID ANY use of Birch or Wintergreen with children under the age of 14 years old.   

NUMEROUS cases of poisoning have been reported from INGESTING WINTERGREEN or METHYL SALICYLATE with a 50% – 50% MORTALITY RATE.  Common signs of poisoning from such includes central nervous excitation, rapid breathing, fever, high blood pressure, convulsions, and coma.  Respiratory failure and unconsciousness have resulted in DEATH.  Sufficient quantities of Methyl salicylate can be absorbed through the skin (trans dermally) to cause poisoning in humans (Heng 1987).

Salicylates are great pain relievers and can thin blood.  The chemical name of Aspirin is acetyl salicylic acid, a synthetic derivative of salicylic acid.  Over-the-counter sports cream products containing such are often used by athletes and those with arthritic pain, etc..  Unfortunately, too much of methyl salicylate has been used to relieve pain and have accidentally died; including a 17-year-old athlete in 2015.  Such product brands on the market are BenGay, Icy Hot and Tiger Balm.  Using the essential oil containing such are very powerful pain relievers and should be diluted appropriately.  Wintergreen used as a flavoring in candy and gum have caused toxicity in babies up to 2 years old.  It is also used in teething gels.  Accidental deaths have been reported for children under the age of 6 when using medicated oils containing methyl salicylate. 

Pregnant women, Lactating Mothers and those on Blood THINNERS (such as Wayfarin and Coumadin) SHOULD NOT USE Birch or Wintergreen essential oils.  Avoid using on children under the age of 14.  Keep out of reach of children as with all other essential oils. 

**There are several varieties or subspecies of Melaleuca which is in the myrtle family (Myrtaceae).  Melaleuca alternifolia is native to Australia and is commonly known as TEA TREE OIL.  Keep this in mind when sourcing Tea Tree – Melaleuca.  NOT all Melaleuca essential oils are Tea Tree oil.  In addition to Tea Tree – Melaleuca alternifolia, Remnant Remedy also sources Melaleuca viridifloria, quinquenervia aka NIAOULI and Melaleuca Leucadendron var. cajeputi aka CAJEPUT.

***Tansy aka Common Tansy (Tanacetum vulgare) is often CONFUSED with Tansy aka Blue Tansy aka True or Moroccan Tansy (Tanacetum annum).  True Blue Tansy is much deeper blue and will not let a light shine through it and has a distinct apple flower like aroma.  It is chemically MUCH different than the Common Tansy (vulgare) as it contains NO thujone but has HIGH amounts of chamazulene which is characterized by its dark blue color giving to its common name of Blue Tansy Oil. Be sure to identify the botanical name of your essential oil or lipid oils and herbs for that matter.

Basil ct linalool
Bergamot (best to use Bergamot FCF to avoid photo-toxicity)
Black Pepper, Blue Tansy, Cedarwood atlas

Citronella (I would be cautious with Citronella in strong doses, best to use less blended with other essential oils (see Purify Me! or Bug B-Gone <contains EOs best used with children over six years of age>) when using to bug repellent as it may cause headaches, etc. for children or adults)

Clary Sage, Clementine, Copaiba, Coriander
Cypress, Dill Weed, Fir Needle (variety)
Frankincense (variety)

German Chamomile, Geranium
Ginger, Grapefruit Pink
Helichrysum italicum (AWESOME for cuts, bruises, burns – see ARTICLE; available in Alef Care – First Aid Blend)
Jasmine, Juniper Berry

Lavender, Lemon, Mandarin Red
Marjoram – Sweet, Neroli, Orange Sweet

Palmarosa, Patchouli, Pettigrain
Pine, Roman Chamomile
Rose Absolute (available @ 3% Rose OTTO EO with Jojoba)

Rosemary ct. verbenone
Rosewood, Sandalwood Mysore (available @ 3% with Jojoba)
Spearmint, Spruce aka Tsuga
Black Spruce (Picea mariana – suitable for children, pregnancy and breastfeeding)

Tangerine, Tea Tree 
Turmeric, Vetiver

****When used properly with dilution.  This list is a partial; not exhaustive as there are hundreds of essential oils and more coming on the market.

Aromatherapy for a Healthy Child, Valerie Ann Worwood, 2000
Essential Oil Safety: A Guide for Health Care Professionals, Robert Tisserand, Rodney Young, 2nd Edition 2014

CT = Chemotype
EO = Essential Oil
SHeMeN = Oil or Essential Oil (Hebrew)
Viz. = Latin – videlicet, “that is to say”

Special thanks for Photography provided by Kaleigh Abernathy of Living with Eden’s Treasures.