Written by: (guest mommy blogger) Ash Stevens
So, it seems every mom and their dog is using essential oils. Unfortunately, many are also making money off of them. Thanks to all their marketing and self-promotion, essential oils seem like another triangle-scheme that’s bound to lose it’s money-making steam.
But guess what? Scientific studies are showing that quality essential oils are legit. Whether it’s peppermint’s use in treating IBS, or it’s frankincense’s ability to kill cancer cells — study findings support the use of essential oils in evidence-based care.
If you’re ready to use kid-friendly essential oils that have support from science, then this is the post for you! Read on to see how oils can be used to legitimately aid everyday ailments.
Aches And Pains
Pain and muscle aches seem like more of a topic for weight lifters and arthritis sufferers, but kids need this consideration too. Pain has many consequences like cost and time, for starters. Most importantly, it costs our children and families quality of life. Instead of struggling through our days, we should get help from our herbal allies.
- Copaiba: Until recently, I had never heard of this oil. Once I began researching it, I immediately realized that copaiba essential oil is a staple. It’s used to ease achy joints and sore muscles, and mothers across the web swear by it for teething. If that’s not enticing enough, this essential oil has a magical reputation with respiratory issues like cough and congestion. Even better, copaiba is considered safe for diffusion and topical application for children of all ages (after performing a skin patch test and then applying the oil using proper dilution, of course).
- Rosemary: This prized culinary herb helps aches as much as digestion. As a natural analgesic, rosemary relieves pain and enhances circulation (and thereby promoting healing). Even better, it has a reputation for soothing both muscle aches and headaches. Aromatherapy expert Robert Tisserand considers rosemary safe for topical use in children age six and over (at a ration of one drop of EO for every one teaspoon of carrier oil). For children under the age of six, you can try black pepper for pain relief. Thanks to it’s properties as an analgesic, decongestant, digestive aid, and circulation enhancer, it’s able to relieve pains of many kinds.
We all have the joy of experiencing the diet and schedule that fits our body type. Nothing reminds you more of this than the exploring bellies of children. Whether your little one is struggling with gas or digestion, there are oils that science proposes may help.
- Peppermint: This herb has had a long history with digestion. Today, studies show peppermint is a powerful remedy for IBS. Enteric-coated peppermint essential oil capsules have proven to be most effective in lab studies, though I have always found great relief in rubbing peppermint and carrier oil onto my belly. However, there are concerns about using peppermint on young children. the European Medicines Agency recommends avoiding the use of oils containing menthol, camphor, and cineol (ie. peppermint, eucalyptus, and mint) in children under age of 2. If your little one is under the age of five or has sensitivities, then spearmint or black pepper may be a better choice.
- Catnip: Back in the day, catnip tea was given to children to promote sleep, calm nerves, and help digestion. This carminative herb was so gentle and so helpful with little bellies, it was used along with fennel to treat colicky babies. Essential oil expert Robert Tisserand considers catnip safe for diffusion and topical use in infants and young children. If you want to apply it topically to a young child, it’s advised to dilute it in a carrier oil (one drop of EO for every 4 teaspoons of carrier oil). After diluting it, it can then be applied to the troubled area or rubbed into the soles of the feet.
Cold And Flu
Thanks to having an immune system that’s fresh in development, our little ones are bound to come down with a cold, flu, or stomach flu (no, it’s not the same thing as the flu). When our kids come down with a viral or bacterial infection, we generally jump to treat the symptoms we see like fever or cramping. However, we forget that these symptoms are a result of an overabundance of foreign microscopics. With that in mind, I’ll cover oils which are known to enhance immunity and fight off microbes.
- Lemon: There’s a pretty good chance you already use this oil to make homemade cleaners. So, it should come as no surprise that the disinfectant properties of lemon can benefit the body as much as kitchen counters. Lemon has been studied on viruses, bacteria, morning sickness, and even cancer, so the potential of lemon oil is huge. We get even more help against cold and flu because lemon essential oil detoxifies and boosts the immune system by improving the drainage of the lymphatic system. Tisserand considers this oil safe for diffusion and topical application in young children, but citrus oils can cause photosensitive skin reactions so this requires caution. If you’re going to apply it topically, this oil may be best kept to the soles of the feet (and, as always, properly diluted). For extra sickie-fighting power, consider pairing lemon with tea tree oil. It’s a very powerful infection fighter, and Tisserand considers it safe for topical application and diffusion for all ages.
- Helichrysum: This essential oil may come from a simple shrubby flower, but it packs some powerful health properties. Thanks to its antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and detoxifying properties, it may help speed up viral infections and reduce their symptoms. Another HUGE bonus is the amazing skin benefits of helichrysum with scars, wounds, and… Stretchmarks! It’s a pricey oil, but I personally have never regretted buying it. If you want to get helichrysum, you should know that it’s compounds and properties can vary. To see what variety best fits your needs, read this post on Helichrysum from Aromahead Institute.
Cuts, scrapes, burns, and gashes will put a damper on any kids day. This is where essential oils shine like the sun. With antibacterial essential oils to ward of infection, and anti-inflammatory oils to reduce pain and swelling, we can save our children all sorts of pain. There are actually some oils so helpful for healing, they can reduce scarring. If there’s one area that’s worthy of budgeting for essential oils, this may be it.
- Frankincense: This oil has a long reputation with spirituality that goes far back through history. Today, it’s recognized that frankincense has powers that go above beyond mere scent. For starters, it’s a natural disinfectant (kills germs) and an anti-inflammatory (reduces pain and swelling). Moreover, frankincense boosts cell repair, thus promoting the healing of wounds — and with minimal scarring.
- Lavender: If you’re only going to buy one essential oil, then lavender is it. From healing skin and fighting infections, to reducing insomnia and anxiety — lavender oil has SO MANY uses. As a natural antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, it fights off infection and swelling. As a natural source of powerful antioxidants, it promotes healing and maintains health. It’s benefits have been studied on anxiety, postpartum depression, insomnia, viruses, and more. If that’s not intriguing enough, it’s incredibly mild and gentle and often suits even sensitive baby skin. It’s bound to be a family staple (and it’s sure to become a family favorite).
Do you use essential oils at home? What are your favorite ways to use them? Be sure to share below!