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10 Best Essential Oils To Use For Kids

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No matter how hard you work to keep your children healthy, they’re going to experience sickness from time to time.

It’s no fun and it can be discouraging when it happens, but it’s going to happen. How you react and what you do during that time can make all the difference.

As mom, you’re in charge of your children’s health. That means feeding them healthy foods, limiting their exposure to toxins, and yes, what you do to help them get better when they are sick.

You don’t have to be a doctor. You don’t have to be a nurse. All you need to be is willing to learn and do it.

Today I want to share 10 of the best essential oils that you can use for your little one’s to help them feel better or get better when they are sick or have some sort of illness even if it’s a scrap or a burn. I’m also going to share how to use essential oils as well as a few recipes that you can use when you need them!

Essential Oils Safe For Children

1. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is an anti-fungal and anti-bacterial essential oil. You can use it for cuts, scraps, burns, bug bites, and as a bug repellent.

2. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Use it to sooth and calm as well as for first aid, sunburn, and to boost immunity.

3. Chamomile Oil

Chamomile oil is a digestive aid and is good for babies with colic or constipation. It, like lavender, is known for its calming properties. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and is good for ear infections. This one can cost a pretty penny though so use it wisely!

4. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is also a digestive aid and can be used to help with colic. It’s know to help cool fevers and act as a decongestant with colds. (Make sure to dilute this oil well… it’s strong!)

5. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is most well-known for it’s use as a decongestant for respiratory disorders. It also works to cool fevers and has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

6. Rose Otto Oil

Rose Otto oil is known for it’s ability to treat hay fever and asthma. So if your little one suffers from seasonal allergies, this is a great oil to have on hand, but it, like chamomile oil, is costly. Have you ever though about how many roses it takes to make an ounce of oil? A lot!

7. Citrus Oils (orange, grapefruit, mandarin, tangerine)

Citrus oils are mood-enhancing oils, and they smell wonderful! An interesting tid-bit is that they’re know to calm overstimulated children so really they’re a mood-balancing oil!

8. Frankincense

Frankincense… yes, the same thing that the wise men brought as a gift to Jesus… is good for infections because of its anti-bacterial properties and is often used with respiratory congestion.

9. Sandalwood

Sandalwood essential oil is a great oil for sore throats and use as a sedative.

10. St. John’s Wort

St. John’s Wort {the entire herb} is primarily known for it’s mood-enhancing and hormone properties, but when it comes to St. John’s Wort essential oil, it can be used to treat ear infections which can be very common in children.

How To Use Essential Oils

Essential oils are fairly simple to use. First of all let me say that essential oils are concentrated and should NEVER be used undiluted on your skin, especially not your children’s skin.

So really all you need are two things.

  1. an essential oil of your choice
  2. a carrier oil of your choice

A carrier oil is basically what you will dilute your essential oil in. You can use any oil that is suitable for your skin and absorbs well.

Some common carrier oils are jajoba oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, and even olive oil {although it can be a little greasy}.

Most combinations are 1% – 5% concentrations depending upon what you’re using it for. For household purposes, a 5% would be suitable. For illness a 2.5% would suffice, and for small children or combinations used on the face or sensitive skin, 1% would be best.

To achieve the correct combination, use the following chart.

5 Simple Children’s Remedies Using Essential Oils

1. Congestion Steam

10 drops of Euchalyptus essential oil in one quart of hot water. Hold face over bowl {close enough for comfort} with towel draped over bowl and head. Inhale steam deeply for 5 – 10 minutes. Be careful of hot water and burns!

2. Nighttime Massage Oil

12 drops of Lavender essential oil in one ounce of sweet almond oil. Massage into skin before bed to promote a restful night’s sleep.

3. Cuts & Scraps Healing Salve

7 drops Tea Tree essential oil and 6 drops of Lavender essential oil mixed with one ounce of melted coconut oil. Allow to harden and apply as needed.

4. Earache Oil

6 drops of Sandalwood essential oil and 6 drops of Chamomile oil to one ounce of jajoba oil. Place 2-3 drops in painful ear 2-3 times a day as needed.

5. Energy Bath

Place 6 drops of Citrus essential oil in baby bath tub or 30 drops for full-sized tub. Mix well and bath as normal.

So that’s it! Which of these essential oils are you going to try first? Share with me in the comments below!

Meagan Visser is the owner of Growing Up Herbal, a home-based business that specializes in herbal skin care and medicinal products for the whole family. She’s passionate about teaching others how to take charge of their health and how to use herbs to prevent and heal themselves from sickness. She lives in the Appalachian Mountains of East Tennessee with her wonderful husband and three amazing boys.

learn more about essential oils

Friday, June 1st, 2012

57 Comments

  • http://glutenfreehappytummy.com/ Caralyn

    how informative and interesting! thanks for sharing such helpful info!

    • Meagan

      You’re so welcome Caralyn. Thanks for your comment!

  • Abigail

    I definitely want to  try the lavender oil to help my son sleep at night! He wakes up painfully early and can’t get back to sleep, then has gray bags under his eyes all day. (And funny aside–I went to college in the Appalachian Mts. of E. Tennessee, in Johnson City!)

    • Meagan

      Ohh, me too… ETSU! What was your major and when did you graduate?? I was Nursing and I graduated in 2006.  Good luck with the lavender. I LOVE lavender linen spray!

  • Diamonddhorses

    I use lemongrass and citronella in homemade bug spray for baby :)

  • Olivia

    Great article! Very helpfulf!
    I am using tea tree as anti-fungal on my 9 year old son feet. I only put 3 drops of tea tree in a spoon of olive oil. Maybe it is not enough tea tree… For adults, this oil is great for acne and oily skin.

    • Meagan

      That’s a great anti-fungal Olivia. You could try adding some lavender oil to it. It also has anti-fungal properties. I use both of them in my Herbal Yeast Cream & it seems to work well for people. Good luck!

  • Karen

    I would love to start using more essential oils.  Can you (or anyone) recommend a specific brand? 

    Also, I have heard that EO’s can be toxic to cats.  Any thoughts on this would be much appreciated.  In general I’m thinking applying to the kids skin with a carrier oil should be fine but I should probably avoid any type of vaporizer into the air?

    Thanks so much.

    Karen

    • Meagan

      Great questions Karen. As far as a brand goes, I buy mine in bulk from Camden Grey, but that’s because I’m using them in my products. If I buy them in smaller amounts I use Now. I’ve heard great things about Young Living and about Aura Cacia. 

      As for EO’s being toxic to animals, yest they can be, but they can be toxic to us too in large doses. Like any med, I’d keep them put up, away from from animals and kids. Now you can use them on animals. A lot of people use them as a flea deterant although I don’t know a whole lot about that. I’m sure you can find a good amount of info on Google though.

      You’re right about using a carrier oil when applying EO’s to the skin. As for using a vaporizer, I’ve heard of people putting them in a vaporizer, but I think you have to have the right kind of vaporizer. I’ve heard that EO’s can somehow burn the motor up in them. I personally would use it to help with congestion, but I’d only use a little… unless for some reason I found out that that was a big no-no. As of now, I’m not aware of there being any contraindications for this. 

      • Choksibijal

        Curious why the NOW brand is so much cheaper than the other???

        • Meagan Visser

          I’m not sure. It could be that they’re mass produced and therefore cheaper. They could use cheaper herbs. I’ve not really looked into it. I’ve heard that brands like doTERRA and Young Living (basically the more expensive ones) are better quality, double distilled, or safe for internal use. That’s probably the price difference you’re getting. I’d definitely recommend looking into how they’re made and how much you’ll be using it for.

      • http://www.brettburky.com/ brettburky

        Thanks for this, no need to reply to my other comment. 

  • Melissa Loughney

    Have you guys ever heard of doTERRA essential oils?  They are steps ahead of the competition.  They offer Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade oils.  They are the only brand that goes the extra step of mass spectrometry testing by a 3rd party to provide oils that are beyond organic, free of all pesticides, fertilizers or other foreign contaminants.  You can check out their web page here:    http://www.doterra.myvoffice.com/mtoils      If any one has any questions, feel free to leave a message on my facebook page https://www.facebook.com/melissa.loughney

  • http://www.almostallthetruth.com/ Brenna @ Almost All The Truth

    I love this! Essential oils have always scared me a little, unless their use was completely spelled out for me. I have been using tea tree oil, but I am hoping to start using more. I could probably use an energy bath right now!

    • Meagan

      Good for you Brenna. The easiest way to start is with something simple and something for yourself. The more you use them and the more you learn about them, the more confident you’ll become! Go you!!

  • Cecile Watts

    Awesome article! Very informative! Thanks for all the different recipes.

    • Meagan

      You’re so welcome C!! Thanks for coming over and commenting! I appreciate it!

  • http://www.facebook.com/Enigmite Chris Cross

    Tea Tree Oil Saved my Foot when i had a bad gouge that got infected once the stuff is amazing !

    • Meagan

      Awesome testimony Chris! I love TTO… it’s one of my must-have oils!

  • Aarti

    My 6 month old won’t sleep more than 2 hours at a time, so I am thinking about looking for lavender oil to mix in with the sweet almond oil I have at home. What is the minimum age? He also has bad excema, so would it be okay to rub oil over it? Thank you.

    • Meagan

      Hi Aarti… lavender oil is one of the mildest essential oils out there. Supposedly you can put it on the skin without diluting it although I’d never recommend doing that. You can mix the lavender oil with your sweet almond oil, but if you kid has allergies to nuts I wouldn’t use that oil. If he’s okay with almonds then it should be no problem. Always test a small area first.

      I’ve had good results by using Chamomile essential oil in Jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is very similar to the oil your body produces and chamomile essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties with help with eczema. Chamomile must be diluted though and you’ll need to rub a little on the underneath side of your baby’s wrist or on some of his eczema to check for a reaction before you put it all over. Some people are allergic to chamomile because it’s part of the ragweed family! It will help with sleep too!

      Good luck! I’d love to know how it works out for you!

  • Nacia K. Walsh

    Thank you! This was just the article I needed. I was in a healthfood store the other day just staring at the display of essential oils, waiting for the oil fairy to come down and tell me which ones to buy. She never showed up. This is a great guide!

    • Meagan

      Welcome!!

  • Rachel Anderson

    I love this article! I’ve bookmarked it and refer to it often! Thank you!

  • KrisP

    I use a few oils for my cloth wipe solution that I love. Some Dr. Bronner’s soap with a tblspn of apricot oil, a drop of lavender oil, couple drops of tea tree oil and a cup of water. Works great and is nice/mild on her skin.

    • Meagan Visser

      Sounds awesome! Thanks for sharing!

  • Mika

    Hi Meagan! Very interesting article.
    I am considering making my own baby wipes and most of the recipe call for tea tree oil and /or lavender oil to avoid mold – but I read these 2 oils, used frequently, may have an estrogenic effect which I am not comfortable using on my baby boy.
    Any suggestions of what I could use instead of those oil to give some scent to the wipes + have the antifungal property? Maybe Lemon? Sandalwood?
    Thanks

    • Meagan Visser

      Hummm Mika. I’ve not heard that, and I know a lot of natural mama who use this. I’m thinking that if that were true, the amount of oil you use wouldn’t be enough to cause much problems here. Those two oils are two of the most common and best out there. If you did decide to skip it, just to play it safe, maybe try Chamomile or Rose instead. They’re a bit pricey, but you don’t need to use a lot of them. Chamomile is anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. Best of luck. I’m gonna look into what you said though. Thanks for the heads up!

  • Melanie Lopez

    Thank you so much for this article!!!!

  • Pingback: 5 Uses for Peppermint Oil | Nature Moms Blog()

  • Pingback: The 10 Best Essential Oils To Use For Kids | Purpose & Prosper()

  • http://www.brettburky.com/ brettburky

    Is there a place to find a good price on essential oils online that are fairly priced.

    • Meagan Visser

      What I do is buy the ones I use a lot of in bulk. But if you’re looking for small 1 or 2 oz bottles, try searching Amazon or Vitacost. They usually have good deals.

      • http://www.brettburky.com/ brettburky

        Is there any good places you could recommend that I could find in bulk? I have gone to some stores but I have no basis for what is a good deal, there was a site introduced in this thread and it seems pretty pricey. Any help is appreciated. 

        • Meagan Visser

          I get a lot of oils from different places depending upon where it comes from, what others say, and cost. If you Google “bulk essential oils” or “wholesale essential oils” you can then search for prices and such. HTH!

  • http://twitter.com/IThoughtIKnewMa IThoughtIKnewMama

    This is so helpful. Pinning!

    • http://www.naturemoms.com/blog Tiffany

      Thanks!

  • Christa

    We Made the switch a few months ago to essential oils. It has been amazing for our family. So grateful to learn more. We use doTERRA. Due to their third party testing on the oils and their purity. We have dealt with asthma, fevers, colds, stomachs viruses and burns. Would use it for everything, and we will never go back to the over the counter medicine.

    • Meagan Visser

      Thanks for sharing. I have a friend who’s a consultant for them!

    • Kate

      I’m pro-doTERRA, too. LOVE THEM! :)

  • http://www.green-talk.com/ Anna @GreenTalk

    Is it safe to use Tea Tree Oil for young boys?  I thought there was a controversy about it?

  • http://www.facebook.com/shannon.buxton.940 Shannon Buxton

    Do you have a particular manufacturer that is good or ‘trust’ worthy and has good product? For the carrier oil is one better than the other based upon what your using it for? like for one thing above i see melted coconut oil for another sweet almond oil..

    • Meagan Visser

      Coconut oil will harden up unless it’s in a warm environment whereas sweet almond oil stays liquid all the time. I mainly decide what I want from the oil based on it’s properties and the use I’m going for. For basic skin things I like sweet almond or jojoba oils. They’re absorbed well. As far as manufacturers of essential oils, I’ve heard really good things about doTERRA and Young Living oils. I like NOW oils and Eden’s Garden oils.

  • markel

    WARNING… This is actually some evidence that lavender oil and tea tree oil can cause problems in babies! Heard this from Silent Spring Institute!

  • markel
  • cswin

    Great list. Thanks!
    http://teatreeoilhq.com

  • marie

    What can you use for head lice with essential oils

  • Natalie

    “Essential oils high in menthol and/or 1,8-cinole – Eucalyptus and
    Peppermint, for example – should be used with care around children aged six and under. The cooling sensation these oils provide can slow
    respiration, or even stop it. These oils should never be used on or
    around the face, although rubbing them into the bottoms of the feet is
    considered safe (unless they put their feet in their mouths).

    Not all children will have a negative reaction when inhaling
    Eucalyptus or Peppermint, but since results vary from child to child,
    the warning must be given.”

    http://www.learningabouteos.com/index.php/2013/08/06/menthol-containing-essential-oils-and-children/

  • Sandra

    After reading this, I think I will try one of the citrus oils on my 6 year old probably in the bath tub. He get frustrated easily and his mood can change in a matter of a second due to the smallest thing. So if I give him a bath in the evening, will it work for him the next day as well? Or should I give it to him diluted in the morning before he goes to school? How? Do you rub it on them or spray it? Thanks for your help!

    • http://www.naturemoms.com/blog Tiffany

      Sandra I would add some to some epsom salts first and then add to the bathwater. Since oil and water don’t mix, this helps evenly disperse the oils. For morning time I would dilute and rub on the bottom of his feet. Let me know if you have more questions! – Naturemoms.com/eos

  • Safety First

    Eucalyptus and peppermint are not safe for children, and you want to be very careful about which type of tea tree oil you use with kids. Here’s a great resource on using essential oils safely: http://www.learningabouteos.com/index.php/2014/02/07/essential-oils-and-children/