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Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis can affect children from as young as 2 years of age, right through to the teenage years. It's an auto-immune disease which means that the body's immune system of defense system attacks the body's own tissues instead of the usual enemy - invading micro-organisms and other such intruders. Depending on the type, rheumatoid arthritis causes inflammation of the joints or internal organs. There are three types:

a) Pauciarticular: less than four areas are affected, such as the knees, elbows, or ankles.

b) Polyarticular: When more than five areas or joints are affected, such as finger, toes, hands, and feet.

c) Systematic: when both the joints and internal organs are affecte.

The cause of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is, as yet, not totally understood. Individual cases may vary and be caused by infection, genetic factors, or by damage to a joint.

Signs and Symptom
Stiffness in the joints-Deformity of the joints caused by tightening of the tendons- Swelling, pain and, during later stages of an attack, some skin redness in the area-Symptoms can flare up and then go away. Aromatherapy should be seen as a complement to orthodox medical treatment- something in addition to it. The following methods may help ease the pain and stiffness. Never massage joints or other inflamed parts of the body. If using oils on painful areas, simply apply gently to the skin.


The following mix can be applied to the joints every day. Also, it can be applied to joints before getting into a warm bath, use only a small amount on painful areas.First mix together: 3 drops ginger, 5 drops Marjoram, 5 drops Myrtle, 2 drops Clove, 3 drops helichrysum, then add 2 ounces of sesame oil and mix together. 

Inflammation bath Blend

Apply a small amount to each inflamed area, before getting in a warm bath. First mix together, 10 drops camomile german, 5 drops camomile roman, 10 drops Lavender, 10 drops Eucalyptus citriodora, then add to 2 ounces almond oil and mix together. 

Compress Method

Make up the blend as in inflammation bath blend. Gently put a small amount on each affected joint. Then cover the area with a cold or warm compress - your child will tell you, which is the most comfortable for them.

Essential oils that Help
Lavender- Rosemary-Camomile Roman, Myrtle, Camomile German, Thyme linalol, Eucalyptus radiata, Basil linalol, Eucalyptus citriodora, Marjoram, Geranium, Ginger.

Other Care
Warmth often helps. For joints that feel painful, cold, and very stiff hold a covered hot water bottle over the area. For joints that are inflamed and hot to the touch, use a cold compress over the area. The herbal supplement cats claw can be very helpful, as can devil's claw. Regular swimming in warm water can keep joints supple, as can other forms of gentle exercise.

When to Get Help
Consult your doctor if any of the following occur;

The child has a high fever with pain and swelling in their joints or limbs. (Consult immediately)

The child has been injured, and the injury continues to b e painful and sore and appears red or inflamed.

The child appears to be limping or not using their joints properly.

Morning stiffness, or if there are general aches and pain around the body.

Reference: Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child: Valerie Ann Worwood

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