Toxicity in Young Children A Special Case

Many aromatherapy books give dangerous advice on the treatment of babies and children, for example, 5-10 drops of "chamomile oil" three times a day in a little warmed milk given to their babies to treat colic with no indication as to which of the three commercially available chamomile oils is to be used and because, depending on the dropper size, the dose could easily approach the oral LD50 for the English and German chamomile oils, this could result in a fatality. Peppermint, often mentioned, could possibly be given by mothers in the form of oil, and has been known to kill a 1-week-old baby (Evening Standard, 1998). Dosages given in terms of drops can vary widely according to the size of the dropper in an essential oil.

Many "cosmetics" designed for use by children contain fragrance allergens (Rastogi et al., 1999). In Denmark, samples of children's cosmetics were found to contain geraniol, hydroxycitronellol, isoeugenol, and cinnamic alcohol (Rastogi et al., 1999). Children are more susceptible than adults to any chemical, so the increase in childhood asthma reported in recent years could be caused by fragrance components also found in fast foods. Aromatherapy therefore could be dangerous.

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Aromatherapy Arsenal

Aromatherapy Arsenal

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