Is there any way essential oils can protect from germs when going back to school? Is it hype? Or fact?
What is safe for children?
Hydrosols are a safe way to go, and trauma oil with no essential oils added are great for the little ones—infants and children under 5. If you are unsure, these are also a great starting point for school-aged children. Hydrosols are easy to find and great for topical skin use.
This post is going to focus on oils that can help keep us safer. Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) and Siberian Fir (Abies siberica) and how they are airborne antimicrobials. I use roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile), lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) and cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica) frequently in blends for adults and children.
Roman chamomile has an apple-like scent, not in an overpowering way. I like the oil for its antispasmodic and digestive therapeutic properties. I have a blend that I use for diarrhea. Roman chamomile has analgesic actions too.
Atlas cedarwood is an oil that I substitute in place of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) a lot. It is great for the cough and cold season. I have a couple of diffuser blends with cedarwood, for when they are sick, as an inhaler for allergies, or on a shower tab for congestion relief.
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.
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.
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. 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.
Remember– to follow good hygiene practices first to keep everyone healthy.
Many of you probably have favorite products with lavender. From room sprays and diffuser blends to lotions and butters, lavender can cover a range of issues. Lavender has so many uses and because it can be used neat or diluted it is great to carry in your bag. From headaches and muscle aches to sore throats–dab lavender neat on a blemish, on the temple for a headache; use a few drops of lavender in a carrier oil for a bedtime massage; or use in a lotion base for a sore muscle blend.
Recipes for simple inhalers
An inhaler is a great way to use essential oils without any mess for grade school children.
My granddaughter loves and asks to make her own inhalers.
For boosting immunity (ages 6-12): 3 drops lavender, 3 drops sweet orange, 2 drops lemon in an inhaler.
For congestion in an inhaler: 3 drops cedarwood, 3 drops lavender, 2 drops tea tree.
For getting rid of germs: 3 drops cedarwood, 2 drops orange, 2 drops lemon and 1 drop lavender in an inhaler.
Making stock blends for any of these combinations is a timesaving way to have oils ready to use when needed. All you have to do then is add a few drops to a diffuser when your family is sick.
Research and a few common oils can help protect everyone when returning to the classroom.
Be ready for the start of school.
Happy Blending, Crystal.