August is Kids Month at Herbs4You!  We love kids and want to keep them healthy!  As much as we hate to see summer come to a close, school is fast approaching.  With fall around the corner, we should start thinking of ways to protect our family from illness.  Essential Oils are a great tool to have at home to optimize your Kid’s good health!

 

What Are Essential Oils?

Essential Oils (EOs) are plant-based therapeutic organic compounds that are extracted from plant components (leaves, flowers, roots, seeds, bark, etc.) [1].  In the plant’s natural surroundings, these organic compounds protect the plant from disease, insects, and other harsh environmental factors…helping it to survive and thrive!

EO’s therapeutic constituents are small lipid soluble molecules that easily penetrate the skin.  Via our circulatory system, they have the potential to affect every cell of the body within 20 minutes and are metabolized like other nutrients. Many EO constituents have antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-infectious, anti-microbial, anti-parasitic, anti-viral and antiseptic properties [1].  

 

History

For thousands of years, many cultures have used plants for their therapeutic properties.  We all know the Gifts that were given to Baby Jesus; Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh.  Some Bible scholars believe that the “Gold” was actually Turmeric, a potent anti-inflammatory!  Many other EOs are mentioned in the Bible.

Not all EOs are the same.  Quality EOs only use plants that are harvested at the peak of their potentency.  Producing EOs can be very costly, as it may take several hundred pounds of plants to produce one pound of oil.  The cheaper oils may smell good and cost less, but many are processed through high heat or chemical solvents, therefore destroying the potency and purity [1].  Typically, cheaper EOs are diluted with other oils to “stretch” them out.  Be aware of EOs that utilize these practices, they result in poor  therapeutic benefits.  

 

How to Use Essential Oils:                    

Some companies recommend never using EO on children younger than age 2 yo.  Do your research, there is lots of information out there.  Use caution with ‘”hot oils” like Oregano, Clove Bud or Cinnamon.  These should not be used on children under 10 yo unless diluted.  Use common sense.  A little oil goes a long way.  

 

TOPICAL:  When you apply an oil directly to the skin it is known as “neat” application.  With children, and those with sensitive skin, dilute the oil with a carrier oil (almond oil, jojoba oil or coconut oil).  The standard rule of thumb for a child, age 2-10 yo is a 1% dilution (ex. 1 drop of EO in 1 teaspoon of carrier oil).

DIFFUSE:  A diffuser disperses small particles into the air.  Water is placed in the receptor with 5 or so drops of oil (start small).  Many have automatic shut-offs.  Do not add carrier oils to your diffuser. Start off by using the diffuser 30-40 minutes.

INTERNAL:  Again, do your research and read labels carefully.  Make sure the oil is appropriate to use internally for the age of the child. EOs are generally safe but it is important to remember that they are very concentrated.  Certain oils should not be used by pregnant or nursing mothers [2].

 

Here are just a few of the oils we carry at Herbs4You:

 

ARMOR:  

Every day our kids are exposed to germs and bacteria. ARMOR can be used any time of the year.  ARMOR makes a great addition to a purse, backpack or emergency kit.  It can be applied topically to hands (ARMOR contains some of the “hot oils” and must be diluted with carrier oil for kids under 10 yo)….or try adding a few drops in bath water or in a diffuser. 

 

BLACK SPRUCE:

This oil has an immediate grounding effect.  It is great for focusing.  This oil allows you to feel more connected to the Earth.  BLACK SPRUCE is rich in monoterpenes, thus is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and has therapeutic effects for the respiratory system.  It is ideal for lung ailments and a decongestant.  Suggested uses:  (dilute with a carrier oil) respiratory chest rub, activity related sore muscle rub, and to promote a calming/focused effect. 

 

LAVENDER:

Lavender oil is the most used essential oil in the world today.  It is a powerful antioxidant, anti-microbial, sedative, with calming and anti-depressive properties. It has been shown to alleviate headaches and promote sleep.  It’s great for cuts and burns, and a good one to diffuse.  Very safe.

 

LEMON:

This oil has been well established scientifically.  Lemon is best known for its ability to cleanse toxins from the body and is used to stimulate lymphatic drainage.  It is a natural teeth whitener, house cleaner and laundry freshener.  It can boost a bad mood and relieve nausea.

 

QUIT BUGGIN:

We aren’t done with the bugs yet!  This oil is a natural alternative to chemical bug sprays.  It can be mixed with any carrier oil to keep the bugs away.

 

SWEET ORANGE:   

Orange EO has the ability to uplift and bring joy while dispelling nervous tension, anger, anxiety and panic. A good oil for the anxious child.

Stop in and stock up on your back-to-school arsenal!  I highly recommend finding a good essential oil guideline.  I like the book Essential Oils – Ancient Medicine by Dr. Josh Axe, Ty Bollinger, & Jordan Rubin.  This book contains over 125 natural remedies and over 70 recipes for things such as hand sanitizer, burn salve and even cellulite cream!  The benefits of essential oils are truly amazing!

 

We’re Here to Help YOU!
Sue Froschheuser

 

Sources:
[1] Aroma Tools, (2015). Modern Essentials Usage Guide – A Quick Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, Seventh Edition.  Pleasant Grove, UT
[2]  Levy, J CHHC, (2018).  Dr. Axe – Food is Medicine.  Essential Oil Safety (and Are Essential Oil Diffusers Safe?). Retrieved on 8/04/2019 from draxe.com

 

 

About the Author

Sue Froschheuser M.H.

Sue Froschheuser M.H.

Master Herbalist
Sue received her certification as a Family Herbalist from the School of Natural Healing, and Master Herbalist certification from Trinity School of Natural Health. Sue is also continuing her Herbalism training in the areas of wound management, first-aid, and animal care.