How did you start your aromatherapy journey?

By Sze Nga Ip CAHP®

I am always interested in knowing why people turn to aromatherapy in the first place. My reason was a simple one. I was talking to my colleague about how my two-year-old kept getting sick and coughing whenever there was a change of weather or season. My colleague asked, “Have you ever tried to use lemon, frankincense and peppermint oil on your girls?”

That’s the first “secret formula” I learned from my colleague, and I asked how she knew about these oils. She said this formula was passed along by her other friend who had been a follower of an essential oil brand for a few years. She did not know why nor how these oils were working on our bodies.

Without thinking too much at that time, nor trying to understand more why these essential oils would help, I asked to buy these natural, healthy oils from her and followed her instruction of applying three to four drops from each oil, undiluted, on the bottom of my girl’s feet, every two to three hours when she is sick, or more if required.

Sound familiar? Have you applied the same “formula” or other “secret formula” recommended by others?

It was a while after entering the world of essential oils that I started to realize I need to know more. I did not want to just follow the formulas. The curiosity of knowing how these oils are working on our body drove me to start my journey to learn through approved schools and to complete the IFA and the CFA exams and certification. The more I learned, I am now in deep regret of having applied wrong oils, and sometimes without diluting to a safe percentage before applying on my loved ones.  I so wish that my first knowledge of essential oils had been passed along by someone truly professional and certified, and who would remind me of what should not be applied on my young ones and the suitable percentage of dilution. Even for common oils like peppermint, you should be reminded that it contains menthol, and kids with G6PD deficiency should avoid using it, and it should be diluted before using. Similarly, although lemon is good for kids, it should not be used undiluted and should not be used before exposure to the sun due to its photosensitive property.

I am now confident and capable to recommend to my friends a blend that is suitable for our 6- to 10-year-old kids when there is a change of weather and they start sneezing with mild coughing:

- 1-2 drops of the blend that include equal portion of Pine (Pinus sylvestris), Myrtle (Myrtus communis) and Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis), added to a bowl of warm hot water with steam, use a towel to cover up and let the kid breath in for 5-8 minutes before bed.

- Pine (Pinus sylvestris) with the expectorant property* opens up the chest and help the kid to cough out the phlegm.

- Myrtle (Myrtus communis) with the anticatarrhal property* will reduce the production of mucus.

- Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is good to calm the kids with its sedative property and its chemical ingredient of Chamazulene helps to ease sneezing due to allergy. Note: cannot use this If kid is allergic to chamomile.


Remember that if the kids are not getting better with the use of essential oils, you should bring them to see doctor and seek for medical advice.


*The Aromatherapy Bible by Gill Farrer-Halls

Photo credit: by Canva 

About the author: Sze Nga Ip

Sze Nga Ip is a member of the CFA and a legal marketing expert.She has had a passion for aromatherapy for many years. She is also a member of NAHA (National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy) in the United States and the IFA (International Federation of Aromatherapists) Aromatherapy Association in the United Kingdom.


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