While having children is admittedly one of the biggest blessings in life, there are also many challenges associated with raising a healthy, happy child (and staying sane in the process). You love your kids, but there are days when everything seems to be going wrong. Neither the parents nor the children are getting any sleep; as a result nobody can focus and get anything done all day; it’s hard to tell whether kids or parents are throwing bigger tantrums; and everyone has tummy aches, colic, and discomfort – again! Want to hide in the closet yet? Well, good thing there is an all-natural route to keeping your sanity while taking good care and providing multiple benefits for your family.
Among natural remedies, essential oils stand out as most pure, potent, and multi-action substances (this only refers to therapeutic grade essential oils). Pressed or distilled from different parts of plants, these rare and precious compounds have been used in healing since Biblical times. It very telling to read that the Kings brought Frankincense and Myrrh to baby Jesus – not gold or diamonds – as the most precious gifts. To this day, essential oils possess unparalleled healing effects, far more varied and powerful that reductionist effects of pharmaceutical drugs (and with none of the side effects of the latter). While widely used for adults, essential oils are also safe for children – especially when diffused, misted, or applied topically after heavy dilution. Amazingly, there is virtually NO area of child and family care that cannot be addressed with the abundance of nature’s purest gifts.
These statements aren’t just a bunch of hippie hullabaloo, either. More and more medical researchers (those who aren’t on big pharma’s payroll, in any case) are applying the same rigorous methods to studying benefits of natural remedies such as essential oils that they used to apply to synthetic drugs. Research shows that children who inhaled a mixture of essential oils had improved respiratory health (Kilina &Kolesnikova, 2010); diffusing lavender promoted longer, sounder sleep (Lillihei & Halcon, 2014); diffusing chamomile helped teens focus and reduced hyperactivity (Niederhorfer, 2009); using essential oils in toothpaste supported a healthy mouth (Lobo et al., 2014); topical treatment with tea tree oil promoted healthy scalp and defended against insects (De Campi et al., 2012).
If you are new to essential oils and are interested in implementing some natural solutions for your family but are unsure where to start (there are so many essential oils), here is the list of top 5 essential oils for kids:
- Lavender: has a calming effect, promotes restful sleep, eases discomfort and irritated skin
- Lemon: clears airways for easier breathing, removes sticky residue, gum, and crayon marks
- Spearmint of peppermint: eases upset stomach and head or neck tension, promotes clear breathing, provided an energy boost, and is cooling in hot weather
- Frankincense: has a calming effect, soothes irritated skin, provides an immune boost
- Melaleuca (Tea Tree): cleansing and anti-bacterial, provides an immune boost, heals cuts and scrapes, eases scratchy throat
One of the easiest and safest ways to introduce essential oils to children is diffusing: it creates a microfine mist of essential oils that purify the air, provide multiple therapeutic benefits, and smell great – all without the harmful chemicals present in synthetic fragrances. Lavender and Orange can be diffused for anxiousness; Juniper Berry to ease bad dreams; Cypress to curb bed-wetting; Melaleuca and Lemon to ease scratchy throat. In terms of topical blends, Little Teeth (Lavender and Roman Chamomile) eases teething discomfort when applied to jawline; Tummy Tamer (Peppermint and Ginger) eases stomachache when applied to lower abdomen; Study Time/Wake Up (Peppermint, Orange, and Rosemary) provides an energetic boost when applied to chest and back of neck.
Of course, when talking about using essential oils with kinds two things cannot be overlooked: quality and dilution. I only stand by doTERRA Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oils, although you are free to do your own research and find a company you trust. And with children, dilution is even more important that with adults as they have sensitive skins. Usually one drop of essential oil in one teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut, olive, sesame, almond) is plenty for a child’s body. Try a few oils at first, see how your kids react to them, and expand your repertoire as you go. According to the documentary Unacceptable Levels, we are exposed to about 240 toxins daily – from our food, toiletries, and environment. Wouldn’t it feel amazing to teach your children, from an early age, how to reduce the toxic load in their lives by switching to natural remedies? That’s good parenting if I’ve ever seen one.
Kilina, A. V., & Kolesnikova, M. B. (2010). The efficacy of the application of essential oils for the prevention of acute respiratory diseases in organized groups of children. Vestnik otorinolaringologii, (5), 51-54.
Lillehei, A. S., & Halcon, L. L. (2014). A systematic review of the effect of inhaled essential oils on sleep. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 20(6), 441-451.
Lobo, P. L. D., Fonteles, C. S. R., Marques, L. A. R. V., Jamacaru, F. V. F., da Cruz Fonseca, S. G., de Carvalho, C. B. M., & de Moraes, M. E. A. (2014). The efficacy of three formulations of Lippia sidoides Cham. essential oil in the reduction of salivary Streptococcus mutans in children with caries: a randomized, double-blind, controlled study. Phytomedicine, 21(8), 1043-1047.