With the lazy days of summer coming to an end, children are returning to their busy routines of school, friends, and extra curricular activities. Back at school, children are confined to classrooms full of other kids, which can lead to stress and susceptibility to colds and flu.
Essential oils can help children through these busy times. In addition to stimulating the olfactory system, the molecules of essential oils are so small that they enter the bloodstream rapidly and are carried to all parts of the body. This allows the aromatic essences of essential oils to affect not just the sense of smell, but the entire being.
Using an aromatherapy diffuser or misting essential oils helps to kill viruses and bacteria in the air and can promote a calming or stimulating environment, depending on your desire and the choice of essential oils.
Lemon (Citrus limonum)
Using essential oils, such as lemon, in a room diffuser can help defend the body against infection. The oil has many important properties, including its ability to stimulate white blood cells. Lemon is refreshing and cooling, brings clarity to mind and emotions, and restores vitality. Its antimicrobial properties and fresh scent also make it a great household cleanser and air freshener.
Citrus essential oils should never be used directly on the skin or in the bath without a carrier oil.
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
Famous for its cell regeneration properties, lavender is one of the most versatile essential oils a parent can have, and most kids love the smell. An exceptional remedy for burns, cuts, and stings, its healing and antiseptic properties stop the pain and speed up the skin’s healing process. Its analgesic properties help soothe tired, sore muscles and the inflammation from insect bites. Lavender, very relaxing and balancing for both mind and body, aids sleep and benefits the immune system.
Lavender essential oil (3 to 6 drops) can be added to the bath or a drop can be used undiluted on skin.
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Considered first aid in a bottle, tea tree oil disinfects and has very powerful antiseptic and immune-stimulating properties. It can be placed directly on cuts and scrapes to clean, disinfect, and reduce pain. Tea tree can be used for fungal infections, blisters, athlete’s foot, burns, cold sores, infected wounds, insect bites, rashes, and warts.
Tea tree, nontoxic and non-irritating, may be used directly on skin or with a carrier. It may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.
German camomile (Matricaria recutita)
A soothing bath with a few drops of German camomile essential oil can promote a very restful sleep. A traditional medicine for children, camomile helps with impatience, tension, and insomnia. It has strong analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties and is good for headaches, abscesses, allergies, boils, burns, rashes, and wounds. Camomile can also be balancing, calming, and soothing. It may cause skin irritation in some individuals.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
If a cold takes hold, diffusing eucalyptus essential oil acts as a decongestant. A very powerful bactericidal with antiviral properties, eucalyptus is an excellent immune-stimulant for people who are tired, run down, and prone to frequent colds.
Eucalyptus can be used in a bath or massage for sore muscles, aches, and pains. Avoid if you have high blood pressure, if you’re epileptic, or during pregnancy.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Diffusing essential oil in the environment will not only stimulate good digestion with its beneficial action on the stomach, liver, and intestines, but it can also help clear the head while soothing emotions, providing a suitable environment for after-dinner homework. Stimulating and penetrating, peppermint’s analgesic properties make it useful for treating headaches.
Avoid peppermint during pregnancy and nursing; do not use for children under 30 months, or if you are taking homeopathic remedies. It may irritate sensitive skin.
Nighty-night Pillow Mist
8 drops lavender
4 drops petitgrain (Citrus aurantium var. amara)
2 drops camomile
Mix with 60 ml of distilled water and add to a spray bottle. Shake before each use.
Tea Tree for Toothbrushes
Once a week or so, I like to thoroughly clean our toothbrushes with tea tree oil. Because of its medicinal properties, it helps prevent bacteria, fungus, and viruses from sticking to the brush bristles. Rinse the oil off the brush before using.