Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Which Citrus???

"Which Citrus is safe for children/toddlers/babies?"

When you ask three times, I need to blog, so next time I can just send this link.

My immediate answer is "all of them ...... sorta"

How do you want to use the oil on your child, and why?

None of the citrus rind oils that Nature's Gift offers are contraindicated for children, per se.

Some are photo-sensitizers, and should not be used topically on anyone, adult or child, if they are going to be exposed to sunlight or ultra violet light.   These would include:
  • Bergamot (organic, expressed... STRONG Photosensitizer)
  • Lime - Expressed... again, a STRONG photosensitizer, not currently offered.)
  • Grapefruit Oil (expressed)
  • Lemon Oil (expressed)
  • Bitter Orange Oil (we don't offer this, currently)
  • Clementine Rind (Possibly photosensitizing, not currently offered.)
You would not use these topically on a child, or on yourself.  All are safe if diffused, however.

The remaining Citrus oils are NOT photosensitizers, and should not cause any risk of sun damage:
  •  Sweet and Blood Orange
  •  Red and Green Mandarine 
  • Tangerine 
  • Distilled Lime
  • Bergamot FCF.
 After reviewing all relevant safety information I can find no risk to babies or toddlers by the use of the listed "sunsafe" citrus oils  either by diffusion OR by very well diluted topical use.

BUT...

Why are you contemplating using a citrus oil on or around an infant or a toddler?

The ONLY reason I can think of to diffuse any of the citrus oils around a baby or toddler would be the emotional effects. 

Let us look, for example, at my beloved Pink Grapefruit oil. In the diffuser, this is by far the most energizing essential oil that I know of.  NOW, does any toddler need MORE energy? Why on earth would you want to diffuse an energizing essential oil around a child?

Lemon Oil, while "chld safe" is also a mental stimulant. Again, why would you diffuse this around a very young child?  In a "tween's" study blend, of course, but not a baby or toddler. It's not a case of "safety" but of "appropriate use."

 The only Citrus oils I can see diffusing around an infant or toddler would be some of the most gentle spirit lifters. Sweet Orange has traditionally been recommended for use around toddlers and babies and, more recently, the Mandarines have also been recommended.  Any of these can help lighten the mood in a room when children are fractious, fussy, overtired, or picking up on a parent's stress.  (And they can help ease the adult's stress as well, solving both problems!)

I would see no difficulty in either diffusing them around even an infant. let alone a toddler or older child,  or using a very low dilution in a massage blend for a calming back rub.   I would not necessarily diffuse any of them in an infant's nursery, but I'd not be concerned about having the baby in a room where they are being diffused.

I personally don't like using the majority of Citrus oils topically because they tend to be drying. The best effects of the citrus oils are obtained by inhalation, so diffusion would be my preferred method.

Hope this helps a little bit.


1 comment:

Gloria McBreen said...

Great post Marge. Well explained and to the point. I think since aromatherapy is so popular nowadays and essential oils are so easily obtained, people need to be well informed of the safety & apprpriate use.