Growing up, I remember spending a lot of time blowing my nose, spraying things up my nose, and inhaling many products through my nose. I used to have a bedtime ritual of getting in bed, blowing my nose, spraying some sort of spray up there,
blowing it out, and then inhaling some other product before settling down to sleep. I always took an over-the-counter medication for my stuffy nose and was often anxious and jumpy. I suffered from heart palpitations that lasted into my adult life. Looking back, I wonder if some of my childhood compulsions and anxiety could be attributed to the over-the-counter medications that I used as a child.
Fast forward to a night three years ago, a night that I realized my three-year-old son was complaining of a stuffy nose every night. He would cry, ask for the ‘booger sucker’ and beg for the ‘spray’ (which is an over-the-counter saline nasal mist). Even though there was no medication involved, it brought me back to that place and I wondered if I should give him cold/sinus medication. The answer was a resounding “no.”
I used a humidifier in my kids bedroom and had bought some store bought eucalyptus-type product to put in the little compartment made for that purpose. I liked the results, but the kids only got relief when they were in bed. I began to wonder what to do for the rest of the day when an idea began to form. I ordered some essential oils along with carrier oils that I can use to massage on my kids’ skin and and it worked! I carefully selected the following oils:
* Eucalyptus smithii: this is the mildest of the eucalyptus oils. It is adaptive in nature, soothing at night and stimulating during the day. Eucalyptus Smithii can be used for long periods of time, and it is recommended as a preventative measure for both the respiratory and immune systems. It is a natural expectorant, antitussive, antiviral, and immune stimulant! I always feel the need to mention that Eucalyptus oil is toxic if ingested. Though I do not expect people to ingest this essential oil, I want people to understand that even though it has no harmful synthetic additives, it should be treated with the same care as any medication. I use organic eucalyptus smithii because it is pesticide free and is mild enough to use undiluted on the skin of a child. That being said, I prefer to blend eucalyptus oil with aloe vera oil, which is extremely gentle and soothing. It can be used on broken or irritated skin which is especially important for the sensitive chest area which is where I choose to apply this particular blend of oils. If you are wary of applying an essential oil mix to the skin of a preemie or otherwise sensitive baby, you can spray the oil onto a piece of fabric and place it in a nearby location or use it in a diffuser.
* Lavender oil: this oil is used for so many purposes including: relaxation, sleep, and headaches. Lavender Oil
has a refreshing aroma that is known for removing nervous exhaustion and restlessness. When used as a skin-care product, lavender helps with hives, dermatitis, eczema, rashes, and fungal infections. I love its pretty fragrance and blend it with many oils to compliment other scents and combat respiratory problems. Lavender will calm both nervous and respiratory systems in individuals of all ages. It can be used ‘neat’ or straight out of the bottle but I prefer to blend it with jojoba and aloe vera oils to be sprayed on the skin for a gentle massage. I also blend lavender oil with natural plant butters for an invigorating, ultra-moisture-rich skin treatment.
* Clary sage can be used for relieving anxiety, fear, and insomnia by calming the parasympathetic nervous system. Clary sage can act as an anti-depressant and sedative or can promote sleep and relaxation. In children, it is often used to treat gas and gastric spasm. I mix clary sage with many other oils because of its universal healing properties. When diluted and applied to eczema on the skin, clary sage will act as an anti-inflammatory. In adults, clary sage is often used to relieve menstrual-related problems when massaged on the abdomen.
I have used other oils as well, and I have recently blended oil products to be massaged on the skin, mixed aromatherapy blends for inhalation, and whipped creams using plant butters and essential oils. Researching the benefits of essential oils, mixing them until they not only smell wonderful but are also effective in relieving symptoms has been a joy and a challenge. There is nothing more satisfying to me than to hand-blend a natural product that will heal my child or other family members with no side effects. I feel that it is my right as a parent to keep my family as natural and healthy as I can.1
Jodi Gregory is a hard-working mama who uses instinctual parenting to raise her four children to be the best they can be. Jodi holds a master’s degree in psychology and is a board certified behavior analyst. Most recently, Jodi opened Mamaknowsbestshop.com, a company that strives to utilize natural healing through the use of aromatherapy and to reduce the need for over-the-counter medication usage in young children.
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- I have recently begun a home business that makes and sells essential oil blends. It is also extremely fulfilling to receive feedback from the families that my products have helped. ↩