Is there any way essential oils can protect from germs when going back to school?
Is it hype?
The kids are anxious to see their friends, to have structure, to learn. Safety has been on the minds of everyone-even the kids. Like the previous Covid post, this post is going to focus on oils that can help keep us safer when going back to school.
I talked about Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Siberian Fir (Abies siberica) and how they are airborne antimicrobials. So after handwashing, mask wearing and social distancing procedures are in place what else can we do to protect our families?
Let’s add some more simple oils in our arsenal. We can use what we have and not have to keep buying different oils. Maybe you received a kit for Christmas, a birthday, Mother’s Day….what was in there? Lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, tea tree, orange, peppermint and maybe frankincense oils? Look on the internet-some sets have Lemongrass, rosemary, spearmint, grapefruit, bergamot, lime, and patchouli. The list goes on and on.
There is so much you can do with a handful of oils-Penny Price stated in a NAHA Webinar that you only need to have 30 oils in your box—
Learn them. Use them.
Out of the oils I mentioned which ones are antiviral based on evidence-based research?
I picked three-lemon, orange and peppermint.
Orange (Citrus sinensis) – I love orange! Who doesn’t? Kids love it. Orange essential oils is not phototoxic, it is safe for use with children in blends. Orange and lemon are in the Monoterpene chemical family. We will talk more about that in a later blog.
Orange oil does not have the research to back the antiviral properties as much as the major component that is in the oil does. That is d-limonene which is at a percentage of 96% in orange oil. D-limonene activates white blood cells which are important for protecting against illness and disease.
White blood cells are also called leukocytes. Think of white blood cells as your immunity cells, always at war flowing through your bloodstream to fight viruses, bacteria, and other foreign invaders that threaten your health.
Ok-I am fascinated by chemistry……back to orange oil.
Common name: Sweet Orange Family: Rutaceae
Medicinal part used: Rind Aroma: Fruity, similar to orange peel.
Therapeutic benefits: Analgesics, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antidepressant, antioxidant, sedative, liver support/protector, immunostimulant, digestive aid.
Safety: Non-toxic, use a 1-2% dilution for bath oils or massage. Use organic oils because the oils are cold-pressed.
Notes: Safe for kids. Not photo toxic.
Lemon (Citrus limon) Is another citrus that most people recognize. The difference between orange and lemon is that lemon essential oils is photo toxic. Which means that using the oil then going outside in the sun is going to be a problem. Refer back to the Fun in the Sun blog. Keep the dilution under 2 % dilution to be safe.
The chemical components in lemon oil are also d-limonene at 65%, y-terpinene at 10%, and b-pinene at 11%. As with orange, lemon has the antiviral properties due to the d-limonene. The b-pinene also has analgesic actions and the y-terpinene.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperita) Not in the citrus family, but the Lamiaceae family. Love the mints! Peppermint is a monoterpenol, which is high in menthol and menthone.
Studies have shown that peppermint has antibacterial actions because of these chemical components. Peppermint is said to also have an antiviral potential, helping to stimulate immune function.
How to arm yourself with these oils? Some suggestions are:
- Add a drop or two of lemon and orange oils to a room diffuser, running it at 30 minute intervals.
- Add a drop or two of any of the oils above in hand soap or hand sanitizer, shaking before use to disperse the oils.
- A 1% dilution of orange oil in an unscented lotion or cream smells good and is safe to use for children over 5.
- Use lemon and peppermint in cleaning products for a bright, fresh smell to the room
Research and a few common oils can help protect everyone when returning to the classroom.