Essential Oils & Kids Safety Post #1
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL OILS?
If you aren’t familiar with essential oils, you might be wondering what in the world ARE THEY!? You’ve probably heard your friends talk about them, so let’s break it down!
Essential oils are the aromatic, volatile liquids distilled from plants. The oil can be obtained from the roots, seeds, shrub, flowers, leaves and trees and bring health and healing to the body. The chemistry is extremely complex and may consist of hundreds of different and unique chemical compounds. EO’s were mankind’s first medicine and are in fact mentioned throughout Scripture. The oils are very complex and very powerful which is why they are able to reach every part of our bodies on a cellular level.
The fragrance of the oils work on the limbic system in the brain where emotions are stored and can help relax and clear the mind as well as release emotional trauma. They can have profound physiological and psychological effects which you heard a bit about in our intros. The EO’s from Young Living are all therapeutic grade oils that can be diffused, applied topically or ingested. An all-natural way to help your body stay healthy, the way was intended to be.
ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY
Safety is important when it comes to using essential oils. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with all of the information available, but using common sense and starting gradually will help ease any sort of intimidation you might feel as you begin using essential oils in your everyday life, on yourself and your family. Due to the fact that Young Living’s purity and grade of oils is so high, they should be used with knowledge and respect. It is important — so important! — that we protect our kiddos and use oils properly.
I personally have chosen to use oils during my pregnancy, postpartum recovery and for Gavin since the beginning, even with his tiny body and all his considerations. I have had zero problems and lots of benefits but I also educated myself first and then made that call as his mom. You’ll need to decide what works for you and your kiddo’s! If you are diffusing around children or applying oils topically you need to understand and research what oils are safe to be used around kids and what dilution ratios you need to use. This is quite simple as most oils are fine to be used on and around kids and there are a lot of great references out there that can help you too!
Generally, once a child hits 10 years old they are able to process any oil an adult can. Prior to 10 there are oils that need to be used with caution, and dilution will be your best friend!
Here’s a few of their suggestions…
- When storing essential oils (EOs), it’s important to keep them in a cool, dark place with lids tightly closed (and always out of reach of children). You’ll also want to keep carrier oils (like coconut, olive, vitamin e, sweet almond oil, etc.) on hand for dilution. Always use and store EOs in glass containers, especially when drinking them in water, since most plastic products contain chemicals that can be broken down by the oil. Ingesting oils properly does not harm your body because we are made of organic cells, not toxic material.
- Most EOs are generally safe for use during pregnancy, but need to be used with common sense. As with any health program, you may want to consult with a health care professional beforehand. A great resource is the book Gentle Babies. I love this book!
- Citrus oils are photosensitive and when applied to skin, they may cause a rash or dark pigmentation on skin exposed to UV rays or direct sunlight within 1-2 days after application.
- Keep EOs away from eyes and never put them directly into the ears. Should irritation or accidental contact with eyes occur, never use water to clear the EO (they are not water-soluble). Instead use a V6 vegetable oil complex or other carrier oil (such as coconut oil or sweet almond oil) to cleanse the area and reduce discomfort.
- Epileptics and people with high blood pressure should use extra caution when using EOs with high ketones like basil, rosemary, sage, or tansy.
- For people with allergies or sensitive skin, it’s best to test a small area (like the inside of the upper arm) then wait 30 minutes before applying to other areas. In general, the bottoms of the feet are safe for topical application.
- Direct inhalation (not the same as diffusing) can be a deep and intensive application method, particularly for respiratory congestion and illness. This method should not be used more than 10-15 times throughout the day without first consulting a health care professional.
- When adding EOs to bath water, start with 5 drops first mixed with Epsom salt to help disperse the oil. Never use more than 15 drops in one bath. If a dispersing agent is not used, serious discomfort can be caused because the oil tends to float undiluted on top of the water.
- Young Living states right on the bottles if an oil is able to be consumed as a food additive or not. They have a separate line called the Vitality line which is all safe for consumption. The Vitality line oils all have a white label and it is also OK to ingest an oil that is part of the vitality line but does not have a white label. (For example, Lemon oil with a yellow label is the same oil as lemon oil with a white label). DO NOT use any Essential Oil internally that is not specifically indicated for that purpose.
WHY SHOULD YOU CHOOSE YOUNG LIVING?
We care about what we’re putting IN our bodies so shouldn’t we care just as much about what we’re putting ON our bodies? Young Living owns their own farms to grow their own plants all over the world. Most of the other oil companies buy from farmers. Young Living distills 100% of their own oils. That means YL can stand by their quality from beginning to end. They call it the “seed to seal” guarantee, which means a lot if I am going to be putting them on my body and my kids’ bodies. They can say with a 100% guarantee that they know what is in those precious little bottles and that they are 100% pure. From the time the seed is sourced until the oil is sealed in the bottle, they apply the most rigorous quality controls possible to ensure that you are receiving essential oils exactly the way nature intended. YL has been around for over 20 years and they are clearly the leader in the industry. So they have had the opportunity to learn from mistakes or change what isn’t working.
YL is more expensive compared to other brands and oils you can purchase at Whole Foods or on Amazon. Aromatherapy has become quite a fad, and an ever-growing number of marketers, seeing its money-making potential, have jumped on the essential oil bandwagon, looking for an easy way to make a lot of money. They’re finding innovative ways to sell anything they can call aromatherapy. Mostly, what you find are cheap imitations: some sort of oil base to which they’ve added synthetic chemicals to create a fragrance.
If you buy cheaper oil, chances are you’re not even getting what you pay for. You must remember that aromatherapy is about more than just the smell. The $5.00 to $10.00 bottle of Frankincense you get at the health food stores might smell fine to you, but there’s no way it will provide you with the therapeutic benefits of YL’s Frankincense oil. And I guarantee you there will be an expiration date on that bottle but not on any of Young Living’s bottles. Pure oil does not expire.
While some of these so-called aromatherapy products present a pleasing fragrance, can cover unpleasant odors, and may have some limited value in relaxation, they have no real value for true aromatherapy. In some cases, these products can create serious health problems, from allergic reactions to irritations to chemical burns and they should definitely not be ingested.
There are at least 200 different companies marketing essential oils in North America. However, there are many grades of essential oils, and most essential oils available in the United States are of the lowest grade and quality. Only when using Young Living 100% pure-therapeutic-grade oil will you see significant benefits.