No matter how hard you work to keep your children healthy, they’re going to experience sickness from time to time. While having sick kids is no fun and can be quite discouraging, how you react and what you do during times of sickness can make all the difference in your child’s overall wellbeing.
As a parent, you are in charge of your child’s health. You don’t have to be a doctor or nurse to take charge of your child’s health naturally. All you need to be is willing to learn and do it.
To support your kiddo’s health, you’ll want to make an effort to feed them healthy foods, limit their exposure to toxins, and support their bodies with traditional and alternative wellness practices, like using herbs and essential oils, when they do get sick.
Today, I’d like to share 10 of the best essential oils you can use for your little ones to help them when they are sick, even if it’s as simple as a scrape or a burn. I’ll also share a few essential oil recipes you can use when you need them!
Ten Best Essential Oils For Children
The following list contains essential oils that are helpful for common childhood ailments. However, you will want to research each individual oil to find the appropriate age recommendation before using them on your child.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is an antifungal and antibacterial essential oil. You can use it for cuts, scrapes, burns, bug bites, and even as a bug repellent.
- Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties. Use it to soothe and calm emotions and help with sleep as well as for cuts, scrapes, sunburns, and to stimulate the immune system.
- Chamomile Essential 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, and it’s also an anti-inflammatory essential oil and is suitable for ear infections. This one can cost a pretty penny, though, so use it wisely!
- Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is also a digestive aid and can be used to help with colic. It help cool fevers and acts as a decongestant with colds. (Make sure to dilute this oil well… it’s strong!)
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus oil is most well-known for its use as a decongestant for respiratory disorders. It also works to cool fevers and has antiviral and antibacterial properties.
- Rose Otto Essential Oil
Rose Otto oil is known for its use with hay fever and asthma. 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 thought about how many roses it takes to make an ounce of oil? A lot!
- Citrus Essential Oil (orange, grapefruit, mandarin, tangerine)
Citrus oils are mood-enhancing oils, and they smell wonderful! An interesting tidbit is that they’re known to calm overstimulated children, so really, they’re a mood-balancing oil!
Safety Note: Expeller-pressed citrus oils should not be used when UV exposure is likely as they can cause burning of the skin. Instead, look for steam-distilled citrus oils as they do not cause phototoxicity.
- Frankincense Essential Oil
Frankincense… yes, the same thing that the wise men brought as a gift to Jesus… is good for infections because of its antibacterial properties and is often used when respiratory congestion is present.
- Sandalwood Essential Oil
Sandalwood essential oil is a great oil for sore throats, earaches, and use as a sedative. Because sandalwood is at-risk of being overharvested, be sure you’re purchasing properly-sourced oils from companies who care about sustainability.
- St. John’s Wort Essential Oil
St. John’s Wort (the entire herb) is primarily known for its mood-enhancing and hormone balancing properties, but when it comes to St. John’s Wort essential oil, it can be used for childhood ear infections.
How To Use Essential Oils
Essential oils are fairly simple to use. All you need to use essential oils is an essential oil of your choice and a carrier oil of your choice.
Safety Note: Essential oils are concentrated and should NEVER be used undiluted on your skin, no matter what those big MLM companies say. :)
A carrier oil is basically what you will dilute your essential oil with. You can use any oil that is suitable for your skin and absorbs well. Some common carrier oils are jojoba oil, sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, and even olive oil (although it can be a little greasy).
Most recommended essential oil dilutions for children are range from .5% – 5%. The total amount of essential oils to be used will depend upon the age of your child, the essential oil being used, how much skin the oil will be applied to (surface area), and why you’re using it. I always recommend doing some research to find the appropriate dilution for the oil you want to use. One of my favorite books for using essential oils for children is Aromatherapy for the Healthy Child by aromatherapist Valerie Worwood.
When it comes to essential oils, my go-to brand of essential oils is Plant Therapy, but I also use Edens Garden and Mountain Rose Herbs from time to time as well.
5 Simple Essential Oil Recipes for Children
- Congestion Steam
2 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in one quart of hot water. Close eyes and position face over the bowl (close enough for comfort) with a towel draped over bowl and head. Inhale steam deeply for 3-5 minutes. Be careful of hot water and burns!
- 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.
- Cuts & Scrapes Healing Salve
6 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.
- Earache Oil
6 drops of St. John’s wort essential oil and 6 drops of chamomile oil to one ounce of jojoba oil. Rub 2-3 drops around painful ear 2-3 times a day as needed. (It is not recommended to put essential oils directly in the ear canal.)
- Energy Bath
Place 12 drops of a citrus essential oil with one ounce of sweet almond oil. Add to bath water and bath as usual.
So that’s it! Which of these essential oils are you going to try first?Meagan Visser is a Registered Nurse turned herbalist and the founder of GrowingUpHerbal.com, a lifestyle blog about living life naturally. She lives in the Southern Appalachian Mountains with her husband where she homeschools their four boys and works as the Blog Coordinator for the Herbal Academy. You can connect with her on her blog and on Instagram.