Various essential oils have been used medicinally throughout history. Although there is currently a slight dismissive attitude concerning essential oils in pharmacology, the green movement seems to be bringing some re-enlightenment and education. In some applications there is no doubt that in treating certain conditions, particular essential oils have considerable advantages over many over-the-counter drugs.
Please treat essential oils with the same respect you would any drug or chemical. Because they are natural, it does not mean that they are automatically "safe". Do NOT ingest any essential oil with out the guidance of a health care professional. Because of their concentrated nature, essential oils generally should not be applied directly to the skin in an undiluted form. Some can cause severe burns, irritation, provoke an reaction and over time cause liver failure.
Instead, essential oils should be blended with a vegetable-based "carrier" oil before being applied. Common carrier oils include , almond, hazelnut, grapeseed and olive oil. Depending on use, a suggestion would be to use no more than 3% essential oil.
When buying essential oils, quality is important. To determine the quality of an essential oil, you'll need to be concerned with three crucial characteristics: purity, grade, and integrity, It is best to buy a theraputic grade essential oil. The AFNOR certification is one of the most reliable indicators of essential oil quality. It is a stringent standard that differentiates true therapeutic-grade essential oils from similar (but inferior) Grade A essential oils. For example, Lavender is often made from hybrids and not a true Lavender essential oil. One of these hybrids is known as Lavandin, of which I am allergic. So I read labels very carefully when it comes to Lavender.
You also want to store your essential oils properly to ensure potency. Keep out of direct sunlight and away from any heat source. I like to store my glass bottles in the door of the refrigerator. Properly stored, they will keep for several years. Don't keep in plastic or even jars with plastic bulbs syringes, as some essential oils will dissolve plastic.
The use of essential oils in pregnancy is not recommended because there are not enough published studies to prove they are safe.
It is recommended to only use Chamomile and Lavender on newborns.
For a child that is between 2 months and 5 years you can add Mandarin, Neroli, Dill, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree, Tangerine, Lemon.
Once a child reaches 5 years you can also add Peppermint, Rosemary, Geranium, Petitgrain and Lime to the list.
Here are some of the properties of these essential oils:
Antibacterial: Bergamot, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Cypress, Everlasting, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Lime, Patchouli, Palmarosa, Pine, Ravensara, Rose, Sandalwood*, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Basil, Tea Tree
Antiviral: Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, Palmarosa, Ravensara, Tea Tree, Thyme, Tarragon
Antifungal: Cedarwood, Cypress, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Lemongrass, Patchouli, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Thyme, Tea Tree, Basil
Antiseptic: Basil, Bergamot, Cedarwood, Chamomile, Cinnamon, Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Grapefruit, Geranium, Ginger, Jasmine, Juniper, Lavender, Lemon, Lemongrass, Lime, Orange, Palmarosa, Patchouli, Peppermint, Pine, Rosemary, Rosewood, Sandalwood, Tea Tree, Thyme, Mandarin, Neroli, Petitgrain
Anti-Inflammatory: Chamomile, Citronella, Everlasting, Eucalyptus, Geranium, Ginger, Lavender, Rose, Patchouli, Spearmint, Peppermint, Sandalwood
Anti-Yeast Growth: Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Lavender, Geranium, Patchouli, Rosemary, Thyme, Tea Tree
Immune Stimulant: Cinnamon, Everlasting, Geranium, Lavender, Lemon, Ravensara, Rose, Rosemary, Tea Tree
Essential Oils have become very popular with cloth diapering. You can use them as a laundry additive to help disinfect diapers. A popular choice is tea tree oil. Just be careful as some natural oils can cause build-up if used too much. Add one teaspoon per load to disinfect laundry or to prevent transmission of fungal infections. Do not apply directly to diapers. Always follow manufactures care instructions as not to void any warranties.
You can even make your own baby wipes. Here a few of my favorite recipes:
Recipe #1 - Vitamin E/Essential Oil Blend
- 2 Drops Tea Tree Oil
- 2 Drops Lavender Oil (DO NOT use synthetic oils. Only pure essential oils)
- 2 Drops Chamomile Oil
- 2 Cups Water
- 1 Vitamin E Cap
- Cut open vitamin E caplet and squeeze into the water, and add Tea Tree,Lavendar and Chamomile oils.
- Mix well in a spray bottle or your wipes box.
- Spritz on wipe before using if in spray bottle. Swish solution around over wipes if using a wipes box.Recipe #2 - Aloe Vera/Essential Oil
- 1/4 Cup Aloe Vera Gel
- 2 Drops Tea Tree Oil
- 2 Cups Hot Water
- Stir or shake until this recipe is well mixed. Don't use until the mixture cools.
- Spritz on wipe before using if in spray bottle. Swish solution around over wipes if using a wipes box.
You can use essential oils in your diaper pail. Spray a washcloth or old t-shirt with tea tree oil or lavender and place at the bottom of the pail to control odors. Essential oils are remarkably effective in eliminating odors. Do not put essential oils directly on our cloth diapers or inserts. They may degrade the PUL (waterproof barrier).
You can clean your diaper pail with highly disinfectant grape seed extract, and it will remove all trace of odors.
Hope this gives you some helpful information. Please note that I am not a health care professional or trained in essential oil use. I am just a stay at home mom who has done some research and is sharing what I have learned. Enjoy!