Essential oils may help in a number of ways with back to school; they can be used to calm anxious children (and parents) on the first day of school, they can help clingy children ease into the back to school routine, and they can also help students study and focus better, especially after the summer break. The following essential oil blends are suggested by an experienced, certified aromatherapist.
Safety Note: Some essential oils should not be used with young children but those essential oils suggested here can, in general, be used with children over five years of age. Keep dilutions low (1% or less) for children aged five through twelve. Over twelve years of age, use a normal, healthy adult dilution (2%), unless the situation dictates otherwise.
Back to School with Calming Essential Oils
Whether it is the first day of school, period, or the first day of a new semester, many children suffer from anxiety when going back to school. Parents, too, may benefit from some calming essential oil blends!
Suggested essential oils that may help to ease anxiety and stress for back to school include:
- lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
- sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)
- rose (Rosa x damascena)
- neroli (Citrus aurantium amara (flos)).
Add one or more of the above essential oils to a personal inhaler which the child can carry to school (check with the school that there is no ruling against personal items such as this). Add a 1% dilution to the inhaler, as per the inhaler instructions. Inhale as needed. Make sure that the child is old enough to understand what to do with the inhaler; or leave it with a responsible adult.
Essential Oils for Clingy Children
Some children find it very difficult to leave mom, a home routine, or just struggle with the back to school scenario. Clingy children may benefit from using the following essential oils:
- lemon (Citrus limon)- in addition, lemon essential oil may give the child more confidence to socialize in a new setting and make new friends
- grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi)
- sweet orange (Citrus sinensis)
- mandarin (Citrus reticulata).
Again, add one or more of the above essential oils to a personal inhaler, as described above.
Essential Oils for Focus and Study
Older children may be under the pressure of studying for exams, or simply struggling to focus on schoolwork after the summer break. The following essential oils can be added to a personal inhaler (as described above) or they can be added to an aromatherapy diffuser, and used at home during homework time:
- rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – do not use in cases of epilepsy or high blood pressure
- peppermint (Mentha x piperita) – do not use with, or in the vicinity of children under the age of three. In addition, peppermint essential oil has a very strong aroma; use in low concentration to avoid stimulating headaches, migraines, or nausea
- clary sage (Salvia sclarea).
Aromatherapy for Back to School
Back to school can be a time of stress, turmoil, and uncertainty. However, essential oils may help to ease children back into the school routine, when used safely and correctly. Remember to use for mom (and dad) too, if required!
The advice given in this article is for information purposes only.
- Lawless, Julia, 1995, The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils, UK: Thorsons
- The experience and training of a certified aromatherapist