We know essential oils can provide tremendous health benefits—but are they safe for us and our kids? Learn about their benefits and dangers—and five of the most recommended for use.
Essential oils are extracts from plants and flowers, making them a purely natural wellness entity. If used properly, essential oils can be safe. High quality oils are ones that show the botanical name and all its ingredients, usually in a dark bottle. They can provide balance and promote the body’s restoration from illness.
Synthetic oils, however, are bogus. (They usually come in clear bottles and do not list the botanical name or the ingredients.)
So, the first thing is to make sure the oil is pure, medicinal, and steam distilled. Some oils are more expensive than others, but there is a valid reason. It can take a huge amount of a plant to get out even a small portion of essential oil. For example, 4,000 pounds of Bulgarian roses are needed to get just one pound of rose oil.
How to Use
Essential oils can be smelled, rubbed onto the skin, or ingested. In order to smell them, you can put a couple of drops on your hand and inhale the odor directly. Or, for youngsters, it’s suggested to place a diluted oil into a diffuser that can spray a fine mist into the air.
Never rub a potent oil onto a child’s skin. It can cause a rash or create a burning sensation. Essential oils should be diluted with water or a carrier oil like jojoba or almond. Applying a small amount of diluted oils onto your skin permeate the cell walls to deliver nutrition and remove waste.
Ingesting essential oils should only be done with precaution. A couple of drops into some foods or drinks is perfectly acceptable, for adults. For kids, naturopath and herbalist, Mary Bove, offers a few suggestions that she recommends for your children’s best health. She’s chosen five herbs in particular, “that have a reputation for being kid-friendly, from a traditional herbal medicine sense as well as from an evidence-based perspective.”
Safe, Kid-Friendly Oils
1) Black Elderberry. Good immune support. As research suggests, it can improve flu symptoms in two days. Kids who always have a runny nose might benefit from several weeks of black elderberry syrup.
2) Echinacea. This is helpful for general immunity strengthening. During cold and flu season, take once daily, or several times during the day at the first signs of a cold.
3) Chamomile. The herb has a pleasant taste and scent. Chamomile tea is also soothing for inflamed gums. Clinical studies suggest that chamomile could benefit symptoms of sleep disorders and anxiety.
4) Lemon balm. This helps with digestive ailments, sleep issues, fever, and colic. It’s also used to calm restlessness and hyperactivity and can help with improving cognition and mood.
5) Ginger. Ginger has a long history of use in alleviating nausea and vomiting. There are many beverages and foods containing ginger that are safe for you and your baby.
For more informative articles on how to keep your family healthy, check out www.GetThrive.com