Want to learn more about essential oils? One passionate mama lets you know how to bring the healing power of plants into your home while helping kiddos fight off colds, coughs and more
For a long time essential oils seemed to be something you might find in your grandma’s house — dusty old bottles, the musty smell of lavender and soap coming to mind. But lately, they seem to be experiencing a resurgence, which is exciting stuff as they really do hold some magic!
What can I use them for?
Their uses are endless, but here we will focus on treating kids’ coughs and colds. Having them at your disposal can be a valuable tool to add to our box of mama tricks.
How do they work?
Before we go further, let me give you a quick overview on how essential oils work. Essential oils are extracted from parts of a whole (aromatic) plant. They contain hundreds of chemical constituents, which give the oils their healing abilities.
Through applying them to your skin or through inhalation, they have the ability to penetrate local skin infections, or pass into your bloodstream. Their pleasing aromas also travel into the brain, potentially altering not only your emotional state, but your body’s physiology too, like heart rate and blood pressure.
Which oils should I use?
There are so many oils out there, one person swears by one, another something else! Many oils with strong respiratory properties can be skin irritants; the recommendations here are suitable and softer choices for kids and infants.
How do I use the suggested oils?
Inhalation is one of the most effective ways of treating respiratory issues. For infants put around 6 drops in their morning or nightly bath and diffuse the oils for half an hour morning, afternoon and evening. Finally, apply a blend in vegetable oil at night to chest, back and feet.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Radiata)
For kids it’s best to use this variety, rather than Eucalyptus Globus, which is more easily found, but can cause spasm of the glottis in kids under 2. It still has the camphorus aroma that decongests, expelling mucous and stimulates the system to remove stagnation.
Grapefruit (Citrus Paradisi)
Kids respond really well to citrus oils. They are light, sweet and refreshing; energetically they often signify our inner child. It’s a great general immune booster with its antimicrobial properties, good for sinus problems and gently uplifting.
Lavender (Lavandula Angustifolia)
The “aspirin of aromatherapy” and so much more! If you don’t have a high quality bottle of this oil, please get one now, it’s so versatile. For colds it will boost the immune system, soothe achy heads and limbs, calm coughs and relax little bodies before they slip into their nightly slumber.
Ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora)
This oil has a high level of the chemical constituent 1.8 cineole. Meaning it will help expel mucous, is antibacterial, calms coughs and has a regulating energy.
Cedarwood (Cedrus Atlantica)
This is from the botanical family pinaceae, which includes many well-known trees. Cedarwood is great for soothing bronchial infections and calming kids.
If you can’t get hold of some of the suggested oils, don’t despair! In general, oils extracted from trees and leaves are great for healing respiratory issues. Remember, trees are like the lungs of the earth!
How do I select which oils?
Select three oils only to use together. Consider the time of day you will use the oil, should it be stimulating or calming? What are the main symptoms you want to treat? What smells good together? You should have your selection now!
Do you have a preferred brand?
I source my oils from Asia Pacific Aromatherapy, which offers top healing-quality essential oils along with a full spectrum of aromatherapy courses and workshops from entry to professional level. Be discerning with your brands, mama, as purity can value greatly.
Always visit a doctor if necessary to get your little ones checked over.
Make sure oils are diluted in vegetable oil when applied to skin. Keep oils out of reach of small hands; they can be fatal if ingested. Do not diffuse overnight in the bedroom. Finally, be sure to double-check the safety for your individual child’s health concerns.
Good luck, mamas, and have fun mixing up your cauldron of magic potions!