I am so excited to introduce my friend, Sue, from Pure Home and Body! She has wonderful information about essential oils, and I am sure you will find it fascinating! But first, here is a little about Sue…
Sue is the mom of 6 kids ranging in ages from Kindergarten to college, enjoying each season of childhood as her kids grow and change. She looks at each day as a new discovery of what her children are learning and how she can make the world a better place for them by making more natural choices in home and personal care. She loves to color and craft with her kids on their sticky kitchen table and hang out with the teen girls in their church Lifegroup each week. When she’s with friends, she loves to share Green Living Habits and Aromatherapy Tips to help make motherhood less daunting and more joy-filled. You can stop by and say hi at her website www.pureHOMEandBODY.com.
Aromatherapy has become a hot topic on blogs all over the internet. Companies are jumping on the bandwagon and adding essential oils to their product assortments, and writers are filling posts with how to use essential oils in pregnancy, with kids and adults. I’ve been studying aromatherapy almost 20 years, the past 6 more intently, and I’ll be the first to admit I even have a lot to learn. I started being a “green, natural” mom when I became pregnant with my first baby 18 years ago, and it has been quite a journey.
When it comes to topics of health, we often feel overwhelmed. The feeling that we need to be “supermom” kicks in; as mom’s we want to conquer everything overnight, but living a natural life style is a process. Yes, there are situations that require an overhaul, but if we want any natural-living changes to become life-long habits, it is important to ease into the adjustments. Your loved ones will thank you. This is definitely the approach I have taken with adding essential oils into our family’s daily routines.
Over the years I’ve used many green and natural products, but essential oils are by far my favorite resource. I like to think of them as whole foods for your body. Just like you may give your children a raw avocado for a snack, essential oils are some of the “raw materials” for home and personal care. Now, when it comes to the topic of essential oils, be patient with yourself; there is definitely a learning curve when starting on this journey. It may feel foreign, and you may find yourself looking at health and healing in a different perspective, but I am convinced the outcomes will be happier kids, savings on doctor and drug store visits, and the satisfaction knowing you are making good choices for your family.
So where do we begin in our conversation about essential oils? Let’s start by talking about the mainstream products found at our local pharmacies and stores. Our store shelves are packed with products manufactured to improve our lives. Unfortunately, there are products which are filled with toxic chemicals and many are not tested for safety [by the FDA] ( http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm262353.htm. Several are even labeled as “Natural” which really doesn’t mean anything in ingredient purity. You can check www.EWG.org for the safety of products you already use. When you layer different products on your body and in your home in the form of cleaners, air fresheners and scented personal care products, you are creating a giant chemistry experiment where outcomes can cause adverse side effects to your health. It’s similar to conducting a chemistry experiment where the outcomes are unpredictable. The statistics in our nation’s health, however, do speak loudly: we have greatly increasing numbers of kids with asthma and attention disorders compared to even 10 years ago. Many of the toxic household and personal care items contain synthetic fragrances that are actually passed on to developing babies in utero, which can disrupt hormones and the endocrine system ( http://www.ewg.org/research/body-burden-pollution-newborns).
So where does this leave us? Yes, this can be heavy information, but I believe that our children are our future generation. Adding pure essential oils to your daily routine is a great way to eliminate lot of those toxic chemicals in your home. Just make sure you are purchasing essential oils that are pure. When choosing your essential oils, you have to ask the right questions and know your source. There are no national standards of purity in the essential oil industry. Most oils from the health food store have questionable purity and manufacturers don’t need to disclose any chemical fillers on those essential oil bottles; this of course leaves consumers in the dark. Yet, there are things you can look for. For example, if a bottle says “not for ingestion” this could be a flag that there are additives or fillers in that essential oil, no different than a bottle of perfume. There are several companies who now have developed food grade essential oils to show they are pure enough to ingest.
Yet, what are some other aspects to consider when looking into essential oils that are right for your family? When choosing your oils, it is also important to work with someone who has some training in aromatherapy. It is never prudent to use large amounts of essential oils in any situation, especially ingesting. Even experienced aromatherapists take a very conservative approach to using essential oils for ingestion as do I because these are potent substances. I am really a minimalist when it comes to aromatherapy, especially with babies and children. Their senses are much more heightened than adults and they respond much quicker to the oils than someone with a lot of health history or those on pharmaceutical medications.
Once you have your essential oils, what are some aspects of safety to keep in mind? Essential oils have been used in other cultures for centuries; they are amazing tools when used with common sense and some simple reminders. If you are going to add essential oils to your routine, as well as if anyone in your family is on prescription medication for any chronic condition, talk with your doctor first to make sure there are no contraindications to your current treatment. Here are some other safety precautions:
1. Always dilute essential oils for babies and children: Take one drop in the palm of your hand and pick up some with your pinky on the other hand. The amount on your pinky is just what you’d need for a small child. It is not much.
2. Repeat frequently rather than one large dose. For example, apply 1 diluted drop of lavender essential oil each hour to the soles of your child’s feet for 4 hours, rather than applying 4 diluted drops on the feet once every 4 hours. Essential oils metabolize in the body in about 1 hour.
3. Do not drop essential oils into the eyes, ears or nose. If someone gets an essential oil in their eyes, dilute it with a vegetable oil like jojoba or olive oil, or even milk, but no water as this will make the oil spread.
4. Keep it simple. There are a lot of complicated recipes on the internet for mixing oils. Again, make sure you know who is recommending the blends and that they are thoroughly trained and experienced in aromatherapy as well as oil blending. Babies and children are pretty easy to work with, and they respond pretty quickly to single oils in aromatherapy; they don’t need large quantities or complex blends.
So, now that we have discussed some basics to remember, I’d like to share one of my favorite oils for babies and young children: Lavender. Lavender is one of the most gentle essential oils (and also one of the most filled and adultured, so make sure you have a pure lavender) and can be applied undiluted (called “neat”). It’s safe enough for newborn babies! My favorite kiddo uses for lavender are:
• Massage a drop on momma’s tummy during the last trimester of pregnancy and have a bottle with
you at the hospital so baby has a familiar scent after birth.
• Apply an undiluted drop to the soles of baby or child’s feet to cool the body during a fever.
• Drop on a fresh burn to cool the skin and begin healing tissue. The sooner the better. This has
saved fun at several campfires where a burned hand could have ruined the evening, lavender to
the rescue brings comfort in minutes.
• Place a drop at the foot of baby’s bedding to calm baby at bedtime and to combat the sniffles.
• Apply a drop to small scrapes to start healing skin.
• Mix 1-2 drops of lavender essential oil with 1 tsp of coconut or other vegetable carrier oil and
massage into dry, chapped skin.
• Make your own baby wipes: add 2-3 drops of lavender essential oil to a wipes warmer filled with
1 cup of warm water. Drop in folded flannel cloths or thick paper towels and use to clean baby’s
bottom without chemicals.
Want more tips on using essential oils? Read more on Lavender as well as other great oils for your home– http://purehomeandbody.com/essential-oils-2/single-and-blended-essential-oils/singleoils/lavender/
Are you looking for some experienced support in integrating essential oils into your family? I’d love to work with you! Stop on by Pure Home and Body and let’s connect! Email me Susan@pureHOMEandBODY.com or connect with me on Twitter @pureHOMEandBODY.
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*Disclaimer: Avocado Mommy does not assume any responsibility for any results of any health program. This website strictly shares my own personal beliefs as result of what I have experienced and also supports those whose views are consistent with the mission of this website. When beginning any new health program or products, always make sure to check with your health practitioner.
Tisserand, Robert. Lavender is not estrogenic. http://roberttisserand.com/2013/02/lavender-oil-is-not-estrogenic/
Synthetic Fragrance Chemicals: http://www.fleurchem.com/synth.html
Synthetic chemicals used to dilute lavender essential oil : http://www.ebi.ac.uk/chebi/searchId.do?chebiId=CHEBI:6469
Hidden Chemicals in Perfume and Cologne: http://www.ewg.org/research/not-so-sexy
S.F. Van Vuurena, G.P.P. Kamatoub, A.M. Viljoenb, ,. Volatile composition and antimicrobial activity of twenty commercial frankincense essential oil samples. South African Journal of Botany Volume 76, Issue 4, October 2010, Pages 686–691. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254629910001705. Abstract: Study finds extreme variance in essential oil chemistry of numerous constituents including (a-thujene .3-52%) (myrcene 1.1-22.4%) (β-caryophyllene (0.1–10.5%). Minimum anti-microbial activity varied from 4-16 mg/ml depending on the oil sample.