Our family has officially survived the flu/cough/respiratory/runny nose epidemic that has run rampant through this changing Ohio weather. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the amazing warm days we’ve been able to experience this winter, but with each new pressure system comes a fun, new seasonal sickness.
I’ve mentioned in my previous post about using Rocky Mountain’s Immune Strength to help ward off illness and support the immune system, and we certainly couldn’t have made it through this bout of the crud without my trusty oils.
I’ll say it once, I’ll say it again: I love the ever-so-popular Thieves essential oil blend! The name has been trademarked by the essential oil company Young Living, but this blend of Clove, Lemon, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus Radiata, and Rosemary among others has also been adopted by several other companies who have personalized this formula. Whether you use Thieves, On Guard, RMO’s Immune Strength, or some other company’s rendition of this age-old recipe, their origins stem from the same story:
Thieves oil is an essential oil blend based on a story from around the 15th century when the bubonic plague was running rampant through Europe and Asia. Four thieves from Europe, who were notoriously robbing the infectious dead bodies of all their possessions, miraculously never contracted the highly infectious plague. This led to a deeper inquiry in court after they were caught and charged. The magistrate offered them a deal, their secret for a reduced sentence. Taking the deal, they told stories of their herbal knowledge and their powerful medicinal properties when combined in certain ways. This specific herbal blend that they had created, concocted from aromatic herbs, was HIGHLY EFFECTIVE in killing all of the airborne bacteria. Some of the stories told, speak of it in a vinegar form, while others talk about a blend that was in a mask over their faces. In 1997, Weber State University did a study that found the Thieves essential oil blend to have a 99.96% success rate at killing airborne bacteria. We don’t know whether or not this “thieves” story is true, but the essential oils are truly antiseptic, antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-infectious. They will stimulate the immune system, circulation, and respiratory system, and help protect against the flu, colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, sore throats, cuts, and more.
From The Hippy Homemaker Click the link to read the rest of her in-depth article!
I find this story so incredibly fascinating, and I love knowing all the history and reasoning behind methods. However, the disappointment comes when this wonderful blend is not recommended for children under 10. All Eucalyptus, Peppermint, and Rosemary oils can be dangerous for younger children because of the cineol 1,8 and menthol that are found in the make-up of these oils. Basically, they can stimulate cold receptors in the lungs and slow breathing, sometimes to dangerous levels. So what then can we do for our little ones?
Good question! I have some alternatives below to not only our beloved Immune blend but also several others that make treating our smaller ones safer.
Alternatives for Immune Strength
After looking into several recipes online, I’ve formulated a safe blend for our littles. While researching, I chose oil combinations according to safety and sensitivity for children and also oils that I either had on hand or were easy to find and purchase at Rocky Mountain Oil, my favorite oil brand.
I use this blend in a roller bottle on the bottom of my son’s feet or in a diffuser for his room while he sleeps.
You can make the blend in a 5 ml bottle, then proceed to dilute in a roller bottle or a homemade cream/lotion.
Kid Safe Immune Blend (6 months +) for a 5ml bottle
- *25 drops Cinnamon Leaf (RMO only sells Cinnamon Bark, so you will need to purchase this one elsewhere)
- 20 drops Lavender
- 25 drops Sweet Orange
- 25 drops Spruce
Kid Safe Immune Blend (2 years +) for a 5 ml bottle
- *20 drops Cinnamon Leaf (RMO only sells Cinnamon Bark, so you will need to purchase this one elsewhere)
- 20 drops Clove Bud
- 20 drops Sweet Orange
- 15 drops Lavender
- 10 drops Spruce
- 10 drops Frankincense
*It is recommended to use Cinnamon Leaf because it is more mild and possibly less irritating when using topically.
Alternatives for Eucalyptus
One good option for respiratory health in smaller children is Myrtle. “Use it to help revitalize and rejuvenate the respiratory system; when properly diluted the natural oil is even gentle enough for children as it is a great alternative to Eucalyptus oils” (RMO website).
Myrtle Essential Oil also may help:
- Sustain a balanced endocrine system
- Support a healthy urinary system
- Aid in lower digestive tract health
Another alternative is Spruce. This soft, woodsy scented oil is also mild enough to relieve congestion for a younger audience.
Spruce Essential Oil also may help:
- Stimulate and fortifying the immune system
- Relieve respiratory tract infections like asthma or bronchitis
- Work as an expectorant to relieve mucus
- Fight off fatigue, including nervous exhaustion and chronic fatigue
- Soothe skin conditions, such as dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, and seborrhea dermatitis
Alternatives for peppermint (as a fever reducer)
*Peppermint is safe to use on or around children above 6 years old, but I wanted to be sure to include some options for families with younger children (such as my own), so that essential oil safety can be more widely practiced.
Roman Chamomile‘s herbal, fruity aroma blends well with the ever-so-popular Lavender essential oil. The two are so mild that they are approved to be used on infants as young as 3 months old.
For centuries, mothers have used chamomile to calm crying children, reduce fevers, eliminate earaches and soothe upset stomachs. It’s often called the “kid calmer” because of its ability to help children with ADD/ADHD, and it’s one of the gentlest essential oils on the planet, making it great for infants and children.
Roman Chamomile may also help:
- Combat loneliness and insecurity
- Moisturize and nourish hair
- Reduce minor aches and pains
- Help relieve mental fatigue and tension
- Soothe irritated and sensitive skin
Alternatives for Peppermint (for nausea and digestion)
Red Mandarin‘s sweet and fruity aroma is one of my new favorite citrus oils. “[It] helps to sustain a properly functioning digestive system, easing discomfort such as aches, bloating, and occasional nausea. It’s gentle enough to use even with small children” (RMO website).
Red Mandarin may also help:
- Promote restful sleep
- Stimulate a healthy appetite
- Aid lymphatic circulation
- Support the circulatory system
- Regulate natural water and fluid balance
- Harmonize the body through your menstrual cycle
I hope you find this resource helpful for using oils with your precious little ones. Each of the oils listed have so many more benefits than just what you can do for your small children. I’m hoping you are able to better care for your family with the greater awareness of essential oil safety. You can check out my previous post elaborating on essential oil safety by clicking on this link.