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5 Essential Oils That Are Great To Use On Kids (With Proper Dilution, Of Course)
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  • I grew up in a small town in Negros with my lola, who was a firm believer in herbal medicine. I could not remember being brought to the hospital when I was young, except when we saw our pediatrician for our required vaccinations. When I had a cough or cold, my lola would go to the garden, juice up some oregano, and gave us its bitter extract. For some reason, it worked.

    These days, many moms have begun to use essential oils to nudge their families into wellness, especially those who want to go back to more natural remedies to address minor ailments.

    I immediately fell in love with essential oils three years ago. Massaging with oils reminded me of my childhood, and it felt strangely familiar. I just could not stop learning about it that I became a certified aromatherapist.

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    Top essential oils that are safe for your children at home

    Essential oils may be "natural," but it doesn't mean it can be used in any way that we want. It is still best to know when to take your children to their doctors because essential oils are not a cure-all solution for everything.

    As I always say in my workshops, it is fine to experiment with essential oils on adults because our immune systems are already mature and can take on adverse reactions. But we need to be more careful when using it on kids because, like any other thing in this world, there is a good and a bad side.

    I do not recommend using essential oils on babies below 3 months old. And use essential oils sparingly on children below 2 years old, and at best, only use diffusion. It is best to stick with 1% dilution for children below 4 years old.

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    As long as you know how to use it safely, essential oils can be effective. Below are a few of my favorites. 

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    Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)

    Lavender is known to reduce pain, help with anxiety, help with relaxation, and have potential anti-inflammatory activity. However, lavender should still be carefully diluted. Lavender is not always safe to apply directly on the skin; some studies show that using essential oils undiluted, even lavender, may cause allergic contact dermatitis.

    Atlas cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)

    Cedarwood, in my opinion, is an underrated oil, and it should be in all mom's health arsenal. Cedarwood, like lavender, is also a sedative and could help your children calm down. It is known to exhibit respiratory support, alleviating coughs. It is also reputed to be good for growing hair.

    Siberian Fir or Fir Needle (Abies sibirica)

    Fir needle is known to alleviate stress and promote relaxation. Its main component, bornyl acetate, has anti-inflammatory and expectorant actions, so it is good for respiratory support (Chen et al. 2014).

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    Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile)

    According to Salvatore Battaglia, a certified aromatherapist and author of The Complete Guide to Aromatherapy, Roman chamomile is considered as one of the gentlest oils, especially when dealing with children. It is good for the digestive system. It is also soothing and calming and helps alleviate migraines and headaches.

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    Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)

    Frankincense essential oil, especially coming from the carterii and serrata species, has anti-inflammatory properties. It is said to be helpful in ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, bronchitis, and sinusitis. I personally use frankincense in the diffuser when we feel congested and have used it several times for calming and grounding.

    When you are blending for your precious little ones, remember research on reputable brand-agnostic websites on the safe use of essential oils. Buy books that are from people who are trained in aromatherapy, and join communities that promote safety first more than anything else.

    Want to know the best medication for cough and colds? It beats over-the-counter drugs, too. Read more here.

    Balot Amechachura-Del Rosario is a certified Level 2 aromatherapist from the National Association of Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA). She talks about the safe use of essential oils on her blog, www.callmebalot.com, and her Facebook Education Support Group at Lana Lane.

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