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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Aromatic Compress for My Daughter

 




My daughter fell the other night and bruised her shoulder. She was out running in the backyard and tripped over a rock. When she came in and said that she fell and she was hurt, I immediately grabbed for my oils. My husband looked at it and made sure nothing was broken.

I like to use aromatic compresses for minor things at home. Some of the benefits of using a compress are:
  • that it may relieve lymphatic and fluid congestion.
  • may clear heat, fever, and inflammation.
  • may improve circulation and reduce pain.
  • may relieve tiredness.
Aromatic compresses are essential oils mixed with water, and applied to the skin with aid of a strip of gauze. Compresses can be either hot or cold.

Hot compresses are made with water that is as hot as can be tolerated. The hot compresses has historically been used to reduce muscular and rheumatic pain. It has also been used to draw out boils and splinters.

Cold compresses are made with ice water. It's uses include treating sprains, swelling, fever, and to relieve stress.

 The adult formula calls for 8-10 drops of oils, so for my 10 year old daughter I used half the amount oils.

4-8 oz. warm or cold water
  5 drops essential oils

I decided to use a cold compress for my daughter, but first I applied an ice pack while I was fixing the water for the compress. After the third day I will switch to a hot compress. In between using the compresses 3 times a day,
I add massage oil blend to the area.
I am really intrigued by Young Living's unique blends, and it is a convenient, and often a cheaper way to enhance the synergy** between the oils. I decided to use their PanAway blend.


The ingredients are wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint. This is a powerful blend of anti-inflammatory and analgesic essential oils for reducing pain and inflammation. I would not use this oil on infants and very young children. It may cause skin sensitivity, so don't forget to perform a skin patch test before you need to use it.

If I didn't use PanAway I would have considered using oils like peppermint, geranium, eucalyptus, lavender, fennel , rosemary and cypress. These can be used as singles or mixed in a blend.The oils are linked so that you can make sure of any cautions when using them for your child. This is particularly important when the child is very small. The oils mentioned are oils that I would use on my 9 and 10 year old. The dilution chart will give you also give you information what oils to use for what age group.

My oldest son is playing football, and if there's severe bruising involved I add oils that stimulate the spleen, such as black pepper, chamomile and lavender. Other things to consider in bruising is to increase the intake of Vitamin C bioflavonoids, avoid aspirin, and increase dark green leafy vegetables and fresh fruit high in vitamin C.

As always when it comes to aromatherapy, check the dilution page and the safety page.


Also, check out my new blog, All You Need to Know to Get Started in Aromatherapy. It is designed to cover the most important things needed to start using essential oils successfully. Tons of things are added daily.

**Synergy
Synergy is based on the fact that the whole is greater than the sum of the part. Essential oils with similar constituents can enhance activity. For example research has shown a greater antimicrobial activity when the oils were combined.Therefore I like to mix several different oils into one blend for enhanced therapeutic value.







Saturday, April 24, 2010

Chamomile


Chamomile is a very useful essential oil, and it is also gentle enough for children.
This is a good oil for psychological problems. Chamomile has historically been used for children who might feel impatient or tense due to colic, teething, or flatulence. It is also a mild sedative without any depressing effect.


 


 Historical Uses
Chamomile  was a sacred flower to the  Egyptians who used the flower as an offering to the sun Good Ra. In the middle ages it was thought that  chamomile was improving the air and it was scattered around the houses. Roman chamomile derives from the Greek word chamaimelon, melon means apple and chamai means ground. The name refers to its unique smell when it is fresh. The botanical name Anthemis means flower in Greek, and the name nobilis, which means noble, refers to its healing properties. Chamomile is a native of Western Europe.

Chamomile  has a long history of being used for its therapeutic properties. Culpeper knew about chamomile's effect on the nervous system, and he recommended it to comfort the brain and the mind. Chamomile was also used for digestive complaints and skin and mucus membrane irritations. Decoctions of the whole herb were used all over Europe.

The essential oil Roman Chamomile, ( Anthemis nobilis or Chamaemelum, nobile) is sometimes referred to as English Chamomile or Chamomile Romain. It belongs to the Asteraceae family.
The toxic constituent is Pinocarvone. It may cause dermatitis, so it is recommended to conduct a skin patch test prior to application of the oil. Chamomile is also contraindicated in the first trimester of the pregnancy.

Roman Chamomile is a small perennial herb with hairy stem. The leaves are feathery, and the flowers are white and somewhat larger than the German chamomile and they smell like apple. The flowers are steam distilled to make the essential oil.

The aroma of Chamomile is warm but it feels light and summer-like. Anthemis nobilis has a typical floral scent that brings back memories of  picking wild flowers in the summers in Sweden. The aroma is very calming and relaxing. It makes me feel very relaxed  and not stressed at all.

I perform an Organoleptic testing when I try out new essential oils. Organoleptic testing means that you use your senses to test and evaluate essential oils. I try paint a picture in my head of the aroma and to see  what color, shape, gender, and temperature it has. I also pay attention to what emotional responses I get from each individual aroma.

 One way to test the aroma is that you take a perfume blotter, which is a thin strip of paper, and dip it in the bottle. This is a great way to see if the essential oils are diluted with other substances since it most likely will show on the blotter. For example, Roman Chamomile has no color and it leaves no residue on the blotter. If the essential oil is diluted with other substances I could tell by looking at the blotter, since a diluted oil may leave some residue which I know shouldn't be there for chamomile.

 I also smell the aroma straight from the bottle to see what effect the scent have on my mind and body. After a while you learn to tell quality by smelling the essential oils straight from the bottle and you can tell an inferior aroma from a superior.

 Another way to check the essential oil is to rub it between your fingers since different oils feel different depending on viscosity etc. Chamomile dries quickly when rubbed between the fingers, but if it was diluted it might have left an oily residue.

Chamomile blends well with bergamot, clary sage, geranium, lavender, lemon, sweet marjoram, neroli, orange, rose, rosewood, sandalwood, and ylang ylang.

Chamomile also has anti-spasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties, and it is more suitable than the German Chamomile for inhalation due to its higher ester content. It's anti-inflammatory properties are useful for the skin.

Some other properties are analgesic, carminative, emmenagogue, anti-depressant, diuretic, sedative, anti-fungal, digestive and hepatic. Chamomile also makes a good tea that will calm down the nervous system and soothes the digestion.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Insect Time - Are You Prepared?

It is the time of the year when all the annoying flying and crawling insects are all over the place. Here in Texas we have lots of mosquitoes already, and my children are complaining that they are bugging them when they are outside. The dog is running frantically when she sees a bee on the patio, unfortunately for her we need the bees for our plants.

  So it is time to take out the suitable oils from the cabinet and make sure I am prepared for the insect invasion. It is of course a good idea to do this a couple of weeks before you need the oils, and not wait to last minute like I did this year.

There are several ways you can use the essential oils. You can make a room spray, a massage blend, drop some oil on the collar of shirts, add to a diffuser, put on cotton balls and put around the house. Another idea is to soak ribbons in water with added essential oils and hang them where you want them. Perhaps hang them in the trees surrounding your patio or in the windows inside. You can make a room spray of an oil like lemongrass, and spray the beds before bedtime to make sure no bugs find its way into the beds.

Bites and stings
Lavender and tea tree can be applied directly on the bite or sting. Drop one drop of the oil straight on the sting or bite.  You can also dip a cotton swab in fresh lemon juice, witch hazel or apple cider vinegar and add one or two drops of essential oil to the swab. According to Valerie  Cooksley, R.N. chamomile, lemon, tea tree, lavender, bergamot, and eucalyptus provide relief for pain, swelling, and itching from bites. To make it easy, you can also use Young Living's blend  Purification  for children over two years old. It is  best diluted for younger children and sensitive individuals.

Repellents
The insects' sense of smell  is very sensitive. In nature plants release certain aromatic molecules, which are essential oils, to either  attract insect for pollination, or to ward off specific harmful insects.

Insect repellent essential oils
For mosquitoes: lemon, peppermint, lemongrass, citronella, geranium, rosemary
For moths: patchouli
For house flies: citronella, geranium.
For fleas: lemon
For ants: all mints
You can also use the Purification blend as a general insect repellent, it contains the oils of Citronella, lemongrass, rosemary, Melaleuca,  lavandin, and myrtle. Other insect repellent oils are tea tree, lavender, Cedarwood and pine. Cedarwood and pine should not be used on infants or small children.

 The general rule is to use 1% dilution for children under two years old, (5-6 drops essential oil to 1 ounce or 2T carrier oil), After two years a 2% dilution may be used (10-12 drops essential oil to 1 ounce or 2T carrier oil). So for older children it will be about half of the adult dosage.
Use the dilution chart to adjust the amount for the age of your child. The dilution chart will also give you an idea what oils are appropriate for each age group.

For example here is an insect repellent recipe:
7 drops lavender
6 drops Melaleuca/tea tree
9 drops Eucalyptus radiata

 The easiest is to blend all the essential oils and then add the proper amount to a carrier. The total amount makes 22 drops, I cut it in half  for my 10 year old daughter and add it to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil. This makes 11 drops of essential oil to 2 tablespoons of carrier oil, which is roughly 2%.

Here is a Bug Off skin oil to apply on the skin. Avoid eyes and be careful not to put any oils on the face on very young children. Don't expose the skin to sun 12 hours after applying lemon essential oils.

2 tbls. vegetable oil
5 drops cedarwood
4 drops lemon
2 drops geranium
1 drop citronella

The above blend is a 2% dilution,  12 drops of essential oils to 2tbls. of carrier oil. 
As always experiment, make your own blends, or use the oils you have available, you don't need to follow the recipe if you don't want to. Make sure you read the safety page and the dilution chart to make sure you are aware of what oils are suitable for your child..


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Recipes - Link Page


Summer - Link Page

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Calming an Overactive Child







An overactive child isn’t necessary “hyperactive” and sometimes children are overactive at certain times. Refined carbohydrates, MSG, food colors and additives have been known to cause overactivity in children. Some children become hyperactive when they eat something they are sensitive to. State of overstimulation and excitement may benefit from relaxation and sedative essential oils. These oils may also be beneficial in tantrums, anxiety attacks, and overtiredness.

Aromatherapy works on a subtle level. Relaxation oils are natural plant derivatives that may aid the body in relaxation, slowing the respiration and heart rate, and soothing an overstimulated nervous system. The most effective methods utilizing aromatherapy are using those oils which cross the blood-brain barrier by inhalation.

Massage is less direct but also effective. It is important to remember to use stated doses when using therapeutic relaxation oils and not too much. An opposite effect takes place if the oils are overused.

Calming Mist- a room spray to relax, this can be diffused in the air, and you can even spray it on things if needed.  

1 cup distilled water
10 drops  lavender
5 drops marjoram
2 drops sandalwood
a spray bottle with mist nozzle

Add the drops to the spray bottle. Shake before spraying.
Aromathic baths are relaxing and calming, and using diffusers are also a great way to spread the healing oils.
Other relaxing and calming oils are chamomile, clary sage, mandarin, marjoram, neroli, orange, sandalwood and tangerine.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Respiratory Link Page


Allergies Link Page


Behavior Link Page

First Aid Link Page

Essential Oils LInk Page

Special Needs


Infants Link Page


Aches and Pains Link Page

Immunity Link Page


Free E-Book-Aromatherapy for Children Link Page


Ways to Use Essential Oils-Link Page

Introduction to Using Essential Oils on Children

Essential oils are safe for children as long as you follow the safety recommendations. It is recommended to  perform a skin patch test when you use the oil for the first time on the skin. Essential oils are very potent, and there are many oils that is best to avoid on children.

There are many ways to incorporate essential oils into a child’s life, and they respond very positively to aromatherapy. Methods include aromatic baths, lotions, and inhalation.

Many children also enjoy hand or foot massage. A drop or two of an essential oil on a pillow case is a great way to use essential oils when the child is congested, or has a hard time falling asleep. I used to put essential oils on a cotton ball and tuck it in under my daughter’s pillow.  She was suffering from a persistent cough when we lived in Wales, UK, and I used oils beneficial for the respiratory system.  Aromatherapy diffusers are also a way you can utilize aromatherapy inhalation safely for children.

Bedtime secrets
It can be a challenge many times to get a child to go to sleep, but I noticed that a relaxing calm bath can make wonders at bed time. Before the bath time you can try to give your child a cup of diluted chamomile tea. Lavender and mandarin are well liked by children,  and they can be used in a hand or foot massage before bedtime.

Aromatic Massage Oil for Children
2 tablespoons warm vegetable oil
5-10 drop s of Lavender or mandarin.
Mix the essential oils in the warm vegetable oil. You can make this ahead and keep it in a
dark or amber glass bottle. The essential oil blends should be kept in dark bottles. Massage
the feet, working towards the heart.

Favorite Bath Blend
Lavender 2 drops
Mandarin 2 drops.
Add this to vegetable oil and add to the bath water and swish. Amount of base oil depends
on the child’s age. Please refer to dilution chart You can of course switch mandarin for
another oil, or use only lavender.

Other relaxing oils for bedtime are bergamot, chamomile, clary sage, frankincense,
geranium, marjoram, rose, ylang ylang. Make sure the oils are suitable for your child and read the safety post first.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Welcome to My Blog!

I am glad you found your way to my blog. My name is Jo, and I am an Aromatherapist, I also write at Jo's Health Corner. I run www.naturallysports.com together with my husband, and we have been using essential oils for our children for many years.

I will share my tips about using essential oils on children on this blog. For more information about health for children, natural cleaning recipes, spa products and health tips on how to stay healthy go to Jo's Health Corner.

This is a brand new blog so thanks for your patience and understanding while I set it up. If you want me to cover any specific subject just send me a note or write in the comment section.