Kids + Essential Oils
We are so excited to have our first guest blogger with us here at Living with Essential Oils. Jess Kirkegard is a Silver Wellness Advocate with doTERRA and has had many wonderful experiences of using essential oils with her family.
Since becoming a mum, I find I am sharing the gift of these wonderful oils a lot more. I used to think it was just through winter time, with all the nasty germs being passed around, but I soon realised it was year round. I’ve come to learn of things such as ‘child care cough’ and ‘toddler’s diarrhoea’, that just sound made up, but (apparently) are a real thing! As mums we want to do what’s best for our kids, so sitting by just ‘waiting it out’ while they’re sick and miserable makes us feel helpless; especially when we get turned away from the doctor and told that we’re ‘being paranoid’ or ‘over reacting’. These are the times when I am so grateful for these oils. Not only because there is something I can do, that actually works, but because I feel empowered to help my family when I’ve been told “There is nothing we can do, just keep up the fluids and wait it out.” Obviously there is a place for medical help, doctors and prescription medications, and do see a doctor (particularly if there are breathing issues!) when you need to, but also be assured that there are things you can do when they give you the ‘wait it out’ speech.
When using essential oils (especially on kids), I personally want to make sure I’m using a high quality oil that isn’t diluted with synthetics or has chemical contaminants, so I choose a brand that guarantees their oils to be 100% pure therapeutic grade through third party testing. Also, when using essential oils with children, you should always dilute them as kids have smaller bodies so don’t need as much for it to work. This doesn’t reduce the effectiveness of the oils; it just reduces the strength of the oils and allows you to cover a larger surface area (especially if you are using it over large areas of skin).
I often get asked about diluting and which carrier oil to use. Fractionated Coconut Oil is great, as the particles are smaller so it penetrates the skin quicker and therefore the oils can get into your system quicker. Also the fatty part has been removed which means it will always stay in liquid state, unlike virgin coconut oil (that you buy from the health food aisle), and also has a longer shelf life. The other benefit is that it is colourless and odourless so it doesn’t change the fragrance of your blend. However, if there are allergies or intolerances in your kids or you’re using oils on babies and you don’t yet know if they have an allergy or food intolerance, I recommend using rice bran oil (yes, the regular cooking oil from Woollies or Coles that you use to cook). It’s thicker and has a yellow colour but at least there’s a much lower chance of a reaction (plus it’s cheap!).
So without further ado, here is a short list of my go to oils that I have found work for me and my family. There is also a list of recipes at the end so you can make your own blends and salves. Happy Oiling! J
On Guard, the Protective Blend – it contains high anti-bacterial properties, so it’s great for anything immune related; and can also be made into cleaning products such as surface spray, hand sanitiser (see Hand Sanitiser recipe below), and hand soap. This blend also comes in a cleaner concentrate which is fantastic for cleaning (especially the toilet!) and soaking soiled clothes. I make an immune booster blend (see Immune Booster recipe below) that I roll on the bottom of my son’s feet every few hours when he needs it. I also diffuse On Guard in his room through the night and that helps to deal with air born germs and also gives him the benefit of the oils through the night without me having to go in and rub oils on his feet.
Easy Air, the Clear Blend – for anything to do with respiratory support and is also great for opening the airways. If my son is sick and congested, I will add 1-2 drops in the diffuser at night and this helps him to sleep through (see Sickness Diffuser Blend recipe). I also make my own ‘Vicks’ (see Breathe Easy Salve recipe below), then rub on his chest, and also on the bottom of his feet and put socks on before he goes to sleep. For myself I will use a tiny bit, neat (undiluted), on the bone behind my ears and that helps to clear my Eustachian tubes (on my son, I’ll apply the salve to the same area).
Digestzen, the Digestive Blend – for anything tummy and digestive related. I would put Digestzen (10-20 drops in a 10mL roller bottle and topped with carrier oil) on the bottom of his feet at every nappy change. The results were incredible.
For acute situations, I have used it 5-8 times a day (basically whenever I remembered) on my son and it worked so well. When I roll it on his feet, I rub it in with my wrist so I also get the benefit of the oils.
Lavender Peace (aka Serenity), the Calming Blend. This is great to help little ones calm down and aid sleeping. Some people apply this to the forehead 30mins before sleeping, I just add 1 drop in the diffuser at night. You can make it up in a roller bottle and rub on the bottom of the feet.
Balance, the Grounding Blend. I call this the ‘I can do it’ blend. If you think of large tree with deep roots, it is well grounded and steady enough to weather large storms but flexible enough to sway with the breeze – this is the Balance blend. On the mornings I wake up and feel like “I don’t want to be mum today”, I reach for Balance. It’s also great for the long afternoons when I think “Am I ever going to make it to bed time!?”.
Serenity and Balance blended together (see Tantrum Tamer recipe below) works wonders for those random meltdowns that result in screaming for 40mins (because I gave my toddler the bear that he demanded, which he then threw as soon as he got it and broke down in wails of hysteria because he didn’t have it, then began to roar in protest as soon as I gave it back to him, so he threw it, and then...you get the picture), and the incomprehensible whinging between tears of frustration for who knows why. In these situations, it’s very rare that I can get to his feet (without being kicked in the head), so I find rolling a bit on the back of his neck works just as well and helps him to calm down so he’s a bit more rational (sometimes this takes a couple of applications every 15mins or so).
Frankincense is an amazing oil, and my #1 go to when I’m not sure what to use. It’s great from everything - I add it to all of my blends! Frankincense is able to re-oxygenate the brain, so it’s great for any head related things (like when your child falls and hits his head on a sandstone wall and ends up with a 3cm gash across his forehead and an egg emerges straight away), and it will also help to heal the skin. I personally found this really helpful in the early days after my son was born. He had a posterior tongue tie so he was a terrible feeder and I ended up with damaged nipples. I just smudged a bit on my fingers then dabbed it on the affected area. By the next feed it was healed enough to feed again. After we went through the rigmarole of getting his tongue tie fixed, I stopped using frankincense, and that’s when I realised I was seriously down. So I started using frankincense again and it really helped me to cope again.
Lavender – You may know this oil just for its relaxation properties, but is also great for any skin issues. It can also help with teething – just dilute and rub along the jaw line. I also use lavender on cuts and scrapes along with frankincense.
Peppermint – great for cooling (see Cooling Blend recipe below), and also a great for energy boosts, especially around 3:30pm! It’s also part of the natural antihistamine recipe (see recipe below), which has really helped with skin issues, for my son and myself.
Patchouli – This is suggested for any skin issues. Often the remedies suggested are steroids or creams packed full of chemicals that actually make the skin worse. Unfortunately creams marketed for babies and even some labelled as ‘dermatologically tested’ are often the worst. I find plain vegetable oil or coconut oil works the best for me. I make my own ‘Soothing Salve’ recipe (see below), that worked ok until I added patchouli, and then it worked really well. I also use this on my son as a general moisturiser.
Be Well Diffuser Blend