I absolutely love essential oils and use them almost daily for various things around our home. Not all oils are safe for everyone though. Just like with any other medicinal, there are safety precautions and contradictions to be aware of. Many popular essential oils like peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary are not safe to use on or around young children due to the fact they are high in chemical constituents known to sometimes cause harm to young children. Peppermint essential oil has high amounts of menthol which can cause breathing difficulties in very young children. Eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils are high in a chemical constituent called 1,8 cineole. 1,8 cineole can cause neurological and breathing issues and should be avoided around young children and epileptics. There are many essential oils out there though that are safe and beneficial to use around your children. It's just important to do a little research first so you know your using them safely. I highly recommend checking out the Using Essential Oils Safely site. It's run by a fantastic certified aromatherapist who is extremely knowledgeable about essential oil safety. In this post I'll share a few of my favorite kid friendly essential oils and how we use them in our home.
I love lavender. It's my all time favorite oil. It smells wonderful and is such a versatile oil. I use it most in our diffuser as a relaxant. Diffusing lavender before bed or dabbing a drop on my pillow case helps me fall asleep. It's also wonderful for bug bites and bee stings. It can be applied topically (diluted in a carrier oil) to sooth all sorts of skin ailments like bug bites, rashes, eczema, sun burns, minor burns, scratches, poison oak, psoriasis, etc... It's also a great disinfectant and can be used on scrapes and other minor wounds.
Frankincense is another super versatile oil. It can be diffused to promote relaxation or to kill airborne germs. Frankincense is awesome for skin. It can be applied topically (diluted in a carrier oil) to help reduce the appearance of scars, wrinkles, and stretch marks. It's a good disinfectant and can be used to clean minor wounds. I add a few drops of frankincense essential oil and a few drops of cedarwood essential oil to a few tablespoons of sweet almond oil and use as a facial moisturizer. It can also be rubbed (diluted) on the tummy to aid in digestion and reduce IBS symptoms.
Tea Tree essential oil is great for killing odor causing bacteria. I add a few drops to my laundry detergent to combat bad smells. It's a great antifungal and can be used to treat athlete's foot and can be added to alcohol or witch hazel and used as a mildew spray. It's another good disinfectant and can be used for both minor wound care and household cleaning. Tea tree pulls infections to the surface so it is great for treating minor skin infections. I like to add a few drops diluted in a carrier oil to hot compresses when treating skin infections or boils.
Cypress is a good kid safe anti congestion oil. It can be diluted in a carrier oil like olive, coconut, or sweet almond and rubbed on the chest to help with respiratory congestion. It promotes clotting and is an antiseptic, making it a good choice for minor wound care, for this reason, I use it in my all purpose healing salve. It can be applied topically (properly diluted) for sore muscles and swelling.
I love sweet orange, mostly because it smells fantastic! It has such a happy uplifting scent. We diffuse it a lot in our house just to enjoy the smell. It also blends nicely with a lot of other oils. It's good for acne and blemishes. It's great for oral care and can help fight off infections in the mouth. It can be rubbed on the tummy (diluted of course) for digestive issues and constipation. Be careful with sweet orange and other citrus oils before sun exposure though, as they can cause photosensitivity if not properly diluted.
When using essential oils topically, always dilute in a carrier oil like olive, coconut, sweet almond, or jojoba oil. Essential oils have wonderful healing properties but are powerful medicinals and should be treated as such. A little bit goes a long way!
What are your favorite essential oils and how does your family use them?
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