When Little Miss C first started pre-school at the beginning of this year, our visits to the doctor became a little too frequent. She would get a fever with cough/flu either every two weeks or at least once a month!
Our efforts to add Sambucol to her daily supplement regimen had no effect – the virus that attacked her was just too strong. Or rather, perhaps like what we’ve been told, it’s her immune system that’s working overtime to build up its strength.
This triggered the worried Mum in me. Apparently, it is very common for pre-schoolers to get sick this often, especially if they are already in a school setting before 3 years old. But there is something that can help ease the intensity and build up their immunity – and that something is known as “Essentials Oils”.
What are Essential Oils?
According to AromaWeb.com,
an essential oil is a liquid that has been distilled (either by steam or water) from the leaves, stems, flowers, bark, roots, or other elements of a plant.
Since essential oils contain the pure essence of the plant it was derived from, essential oils are highly concentrated. This means that you only need a tiny drop of essential oil when applying, diffusing or even if you choose to consume it.
Most essential oils are clear, but certain oils such as orange, lemon and lemongrass are amber or yellow in colour.
There are many brands of essential oils available, but in Singapore, the most trusted brand and popular that most people use is Young Living.
How to use essential oils?
Since I was a newbie to essential oils, I needed all the help I could get when it comes to the basics of using essential oils and choosing the right ones for my family’s needs. A good friend of mine pointed me to the Lavender Mums Facebook Group, where the founder, Jo Nabonne, and other “seasoned” essential oils users are ever-ready to help out with queries from members on the what and how of essential oils.
I was touched by how helpful everyone was. Apart from offering get-well wishes for Little Miss C (who was having on and off high fever at that time) and words of encouragement for me to stay strong, a few of them offered suggestions for oils that I could start using daily (after the fever subsided). The Lavender Mums were also willing to help me get the essential oils that I need through their membership with Young Living, and to post it to my address – which I found to be more convenient rather than to arrange a meet-up.
There are several ways to use essential oils, which is perfectly summed up in this diagram sent to me by a helpful Mum:
Since my main intention on oiling is to improve Crystabel’s health, I settled on giving her foot massages twice a day: Once in the morning before school, and another time at night before going to bed.
Which essential oil to use?
I was told that Thieves is a miracle oil that does wonders to the immune system:
It seems that Thieves has earned a reputation for being effective in eliminating germs, and is a must-have oil during the seasonal flu periods.
Thieves is quite a handy essential oil to have with you, as it can be applied, consumed and diffused for everyday ailments and/or cleaning purposes. But do take note that this SHOULD NOT be used as a form of medication, and you should check with your doctor immediately if symptoms persist.
Although most people are quite happy with using just Thieves every day, I was advised that it may be a good idea to alternate Thieves and Lemon essential oils – just so that the effects of both oils do not “wear off” due to the body getting “too used” to the properties.
It seems that there are many benefits of Lemon essential oils too, with one of them being a great immune booster! In a way this makes perfect sense, because after all, that’s exactly what the REAL lemon fruit does.
I tried dropping 1-2 drops of Lemon essential oil into my glass of water during one of my phlegmy cough episodes, and it truly helped to clear things up. Drinking pure lemon water will most likely give the same effect, but if you are looking for something quick and mess-free, Lemon essential oil is a great alternative!
Safety tips when using essential oils
For now, I’ve been diligently oiling the little missy with Thieves and Lemon essential oils on an alternate days basis. While it may not be the miracle cure to stop her from getting sick, I’ve noticed that there is improvement compared to before: either her symptoms are not as intense or that she takes a shorter time to recover compared to before.
However, there are some safety tips that Mums should keep in mind when using essential oils on their little ones:
- Do not use it on babies below 6 months (In my book, I’d refrain from using it on babies below 1 year old). If you really need it for baby massages, the combination of olive oil and coconut oil is a safer alternative.
- Do not use the following oils on kids below 3: Oregano, Cinnamon (Leaf & Bark), Thyme, Citronella, Bay, Clove, and Fennel
- Essential oils are considered “hot oils”. So always make sure that you dilute them with either a carrier oil or vegetable oil (e.g. coconut oil) before applying on babies and toddlers.
- Do not allow kids and toddlers to consume essential oils – you can never be sure how safe this is, although some people have declared that it is safe for consumption
- If you get essential oil in your eyes, quickly flush the eye with milk or cream until it stop burning. This should happen almost immediately. At that point, you can flush the eyes with fresh water to remove the milk. DO NOT use water, as essential oils and water do not mix.
- Consult your doctor immediately if your symptoms persist.