Essential Oils for a Healthy Child
Essential oils are concentrated extracts from plants, usually the roots, bark, and flowers of herbs and trees. They can be used for everything from congestion to sore muscles. The safest way to use essential oils is to diffuse them in your home. In some cases, they are most effective when absorbed through the skin by mixing them with a carrier oil such as coconut, jojoba or extra virgin olive oil. Be sure and dilute your chosen essential oil before using them on your children to reduce the risk for sensitivity (especially under five years old). The recommended dilution for children is one drop of essential oil to five drops of carrier oil. Always avoid the eye area, inner nose and broken, injured or damaged skin unless instructed otherwise by your healthcare practitioner. Here are some ways to enhance your family’s health using essential oils.
Rose, elemi, manuka and lavender essential oils are helpful natural options with soothing properties to help reduce redness and prevent and heal acne. Myrrh soothes chapped or cracked patches and is commonly added to skin care products to help with moisturizing. Lavender oil can also be used for minor skin and diaper irritations and even open wounds.
Basil, frankincense, and cedarwood essential oils provide natural support for stress and anxiety. Cypress essential oil can have a sedative effect inducing a calm and relaxed feeling as well as promote a sense of happiness and ease.
Lemon and frankincense essential oils help boost the immune system and fight respiratory conditions. Rosemary oil has a high level of antioxidants, which can help your body fight infectious diseases. Black pepper, high in natural chemicals known for their antioxidant activity, detoxifies and supports the immune system.
Lavender, wintergreen, and black pepper essential oils can relieve pain and ease muscle swelling. Black pepper oil also improves circulation to ease pain of aching muscles. Lemongrass essential oil can be used to relax muscle cramps.
Massaging essential oils into the bottoms of your feet is a gateway for the oil's benefits to spread to other parts of your body as well. Tea tree and oregano oils can be used for athlete’s foot and nail fungus. Cypress essential oil can deodorize and clean sweaty feet.
Cedarwood, thyme, lavender and rosemary essential oils promote hair growth and soothes a dry scalp. In addition to hair growth, rosemary essential oil is used to prevent premature graying and dandruff.
Essential oils can be used to reduce the pain of an ear infection. Lavender oil can be applied to the back side of the ear, behind the lobe, from the soft spot all the way up the bone that runs behind the ear. It can be mixed with coconut or olive oil with some liquid silver and rubbed on the outside of the ear for relief. Adding chamomile to the mixture may help with a restful sleep. Tea Tree essential oil inhibits the bacteria that cause ear infections. Be sure and consult your physician before using essential oils inside the ear canal.
Eucalyptus and myrtle essential oils are a potent antiseptic, expectorant and decongestant that can benefit and improve the respiratory system. Tea tree oil may ease the effects of a cough and inhibit the growth of the bacteria related to sinus and respiratory issues. Hyssop is beneficial for asthma suffers as it loosens chest tightness, relieves bronchial spasms, and opens the bronchial tubes to allow more air.
Three essential oils for helping to heal broken bones are cypress, fir and helichrysum essential oils. Cypress oil improves circulation in the area; fir oil works to help repair the bone; and helichrysum helps in repairing damaged nerve tissue due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Pine oil protects against bone loss.
Juniper essential oil promotes and improves blood circulation and helps with removal of toxins like uric acid which can help fight arthritis and gout. Peppermint oil has natural analgesic, anesthetic and anti-inflammatory properties which helps alleviate joint pain and stiffness. Elemi essential oil can reduce muscle and joint pain, while chamomile can calm the inflammation of joints and can be added to a bath.
Dr. Ruth Rodriguez is a board-certified osteopathic pediatrician with over 24 years of experience using both traditional, western medicine and natural holistic remedies for children. She offers consultations and telemedicine. For more information, call or text 321-427-6538 or visit NaturalSolutionsWithDrRuth.com.