‘Tis the Season for Sickness

Seasonal changes can stress our immune systems, making us more susceptible to illness. Diffusing Protective Blend and using it on household surfaces can help avoid trouble. But it’s also best to be prepared with some “simple solutions,” should sickness strike.

Easy tips and recipes for colds, cold sores, congestion, cough, earache, and fever can be found in our new booklet, “Modern Essentials: Simple Solutions”—along with 150 entries for other common ailments.

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Colds:

  • Blend 5 drops each lemon and thyme in 1 Tbs. (15 ml) jojoba oil. Apply a small amount to throat, forehead, chest, and back of neck 2–3 times daily.
  • For adults and children, you can also diffuse thyme oil in an aromatherapy diffuser.

Cold Sores:

  • Combine 4 tsp. (6 g) beeswax pellets, 1 Tbs. (10 g) cocoa butter, and 3 Tbs. (45 ml) jojoba oil, and melt in a microwave (30 seconds at a time, stirring in between) or in a double boiler. Cool slightly, and add 5 drops each helichrysum, melissa, and peppermint. Pour into small jars or lip balm containers, and allow to cool completely. Apply a small amount to cold sores as needed.

Congestion:

  • Diffuse Respiratory Blend in an aromatherapy diffuser.
  • Drop 2 drops eucalyptus and 1 drop peppermint on the floor of the shower to inhale the vapors while showering.
  • Combine 6 Tbs. (90 ml) coconut oil and 1½ Tbs. (7.5 g) beeswax pellets, and melt in a microwave (30 seconds at a time, stirring in between) or in a double boiler. Let cool slightly, and add 20 drops eucalyptus, 15 drops lemon, and 20 drops peppermint. Pour into small jars or salve containers, and allow to cool completely. Apply a small amount on the chest and throat as needed.

Cough:

  • Diffuse Respiratory Blend in an aromatherapy diffuser.
  • Mix 1 drop each eucalyptus and lemon with 1 Tbs. (15 ml) honey (local and raw preferred). Blend about 1/3 of this mixture in 1 cup (240 ml) warm water, and drink slowly.
  • Combine 1 drop each eucalyptus, lemon, and melaleuca with 1 tsp. (5 ml) jojoba oil, and apply over chest and back.

Earache:

  • Put 1 drop each basil and melaleuca on a piece of cotton ball. Place over (not in) the ear canal for 30 minutes.
  • For children, dilute above combination with carrier oil or garlic oil extract (can pierce and use garlic capsules)—which also has antibacterial and antiviral properties.

Fever:

  • Blend 2 drops each eucalyptus and peppermint in bowl of cool water. Moisten a washcloth with this water, and sponge the forehead, back of neck, and feet.

Source: “Modern Essentials: Simple Solutions” Booklet

For more helpful tips, see our article on Staying Healthy This Winter Season.

’Tis also the season for sharing, so be sure to pass along these tips for making winter days more merry and bright.

Essential Oils for Children

While essential oils can benefit people of all ages, it is important to be cautious when using them on children. Because essential oils are very concentrated and children have such small bodies, it is important to know how to use oils safely with kids.

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Essential Oils Safe for Children

There is a lot of controversy about which essential oils should or shouldn’t be used on children. Several oils that are generally considered safe for children include the following:

  • Cypress
  • Frankincense
  • Geranium
  • Ginger
  • Lavender
  • Lemon*
  • Marjoram
  • Melaleuca
  • Orange*
  • Rosemary**
  • Sandalwood
  • Thyme
  • Ylang Ylang

*These oils are photosensitive; always dilute, and do not use when skin will be exposed soon to direct sunlight.
**This oil should never be used undiluted on infants or children.

Always Dilute Essential Oils for Children

When using essential oils on children and infants, it is always best to dilute the pure essential oil with a carrier oil. Roll-on bottles work really well for diluting the oils and allowing older children to apply the oils by themselves.

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Ways to Use Essential Oils with Children

Essential oils can be used topically and aromatically with children, but they should not be given internally for therapeutic use. Here are a few ways you can use essential oils with children:

  • Rub essential oils (diluted with carrier oil or cream) onto feet.
  • Diffuse essential oils around the house occasionally. Young children learn about their environment through smell, so be careful not to overload their senses with constant essential oil diffusion.
  • Add essential oils to bathtime. A drop of lavender or Roman chamomile added to a bath gel base before mixing with the bathwater can help create a relaxing bath before bed.
  • Use essential oils in cooking. When used appropriately in cooking, essential oils are diluted quite a bit and are safe for children to consume.

Safety Tips

It is important to keep essential oils out of reach of children. Kids are inherently curious, so if oil bottles are left out, it is very likely your children will try to mimic what they see you do and try to apply the oils to themselves.at_eoschildren_keepoutofreach

Here are a few things you can do if you encounter the following situations:

  • Child has poured a bunch of oil on their skin: Rub as off as much oil as possible with a paper towel, then rub on carrier oil to help dilute the essential oil.
  • Child got essential oils in their eyes: Saturate a tissue with a carrier oil, and dab the child’s eyes to help dilute the essential oil.
  • Child has taken essential oil internally: Give the child milk, yogurt, or honey (if older than 12 months) to help dilute the ingested oil. You also may want to call poison control to see if they have any further instructions.
  • Child got oil on clothes, fabric, wood, or furniture: Soak up as much oil as possible with a paper towel; then treat as you would a grease stain.

Essential oils are expensive, so aside from the safety concerns of children using the oils on themselves, you will also want to keep your oils out of reach so they’re not wasted.

Source: Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 8th Edition, pp. 247–49.

For more information about essential oils and how to use them on children, please see Modern Essentials™: A Contemporary Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils for more information.

These are a few of our favorite ways you can use essential oils with children:

 

Scented Sidewalk Chalk

Do your kids love to play with chalk, but get their hands really messy while they are at it? You can cut down on the mess a bit by making your own chalk in deodorant containers. Homemade retractable chalk is easy to use and fun to play with! And since we love essential oils, we decided to make our chalk scented to enhance the sensory activity for the kids.

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To be honest, this project has had a couple of flops, but we kept great notes on our tests so you can learn from our mistakes.

The idea behind making the chalk is simple:

  1. Coat the deodorant containers with petroleum jelly so the chalk doesn’t stick to the container.
  2. Mix 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water with food coloring and essential oils.
  3. Add 1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris to the cold water. Mix, then pour into the containers.
  4. Let sit until completely hardened (about 4 hours).
  5. Twist up and have fun!

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Now for the things we learned:

  • It is a good idea to coat the inside very thoroughly. You want every area of the inside to have a layer of petroleum jelly. We used about 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) of jelly per deodorant container.
  • Use disposable cups/utensils to create the mixture. Once this stuff hardens, it is a huge pain to get off dishes and utensils. And, honestly, it’s probably not a good idea to pour it down your drain.
  • To get a vibrant color, you will need a lot of food coloring/dye. The water will need to look pretty dark, because the white plaster of paris lightens the mixture quite a bit.
  • Plaster of paris can be harmful if inhaled, so be very careful about not creating dust. It is also a good idea to wear a dust mask and do the mixing and pouring outside where it is well ventilated. The mixture also gets pretty hot, so don’t touch it with your bare hands.
  • Once the plaster of paris and water mix, you don’t have a lot of time before it starts to harden. So work fast, and do only one deodorant container/color at a time. If you are doing multiple colors, you can do some prep work (coat the insides with petroleum jelly, color and scent the water), but don’t mix the plaster of paris with the water until you are ready to quickly mix and pour.
  • When pouring in the mixture, you may be tempted to stack it up on the top until it looks like it might overflow. Don’t do it. In fact, it is a good idea to only fill to just below the lip of the container so the chalk mixture has a little space to expand before reaching the top (and the end of the petroleum jelly coverage).
  • When trying to twist up the chalk initially, it will stick a little bit. First, squeeze the sides of the container to loosen the edges. Then, put your fingers on the inside of the twist dial on the bottom, and use the little groves inside as traction. Apply firm pressure as you twist, but be careful not to break the middle piece inside. Once the chalk is loosened initially, it should be easy to twist up and down like you normally would.

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Hopefully we haven’t scared you away from doing this project now that you have read all of our notes and cautions. This really is an easy project, and the kids had a blast playing with the chalk once it was done.

You can also do this with lip balm containers for smaller sticks to use on chalkboards. In fact, you should have a little mixture left over in your disposable cup so that you can fill 1 large deodorant container and a few lip balm containers with the recipe below.

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Scented Sidewalk Chalk

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1 Deodorant Container (and a few Lip Balm Dispensers, if desired)
  • 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) petroleum jelly (per deodorant container)
  • 1 disposable cup and plastic fork (per color)
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) cold water (per deodorant container)
  • 5–10 drops essential oil (per deodorant container)
  • Food coloring (you can also use liquid watercolors or tempura paint)
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) plaster of paris (per deodorant container)

Instructions:

  1. Coat the inside of the deodorant container with petroleum jelly. Be very generous, and make sure to apply the jelly everywhere inside, especially the bottom. We used about 1 Tbsp. (15 ml) or more of petroleum jelly per deodorant container. It might help to twist up the bottom piece so you can thoroughly coat it, then lower it back down to coat the sides and middle piece.
  2. Next, pour the cold water into a disposable cup, and add the food coloring and essential oils. It is fun to coordinate the scent of the essential oil with the color of the chalk (e.g., lemon essential oil for yellow chalk, orange essential oil for orange chalk, peppermint essential oil for green or blue chalk, etc.). If you are attempting to do multiple colors and deodorant containers, do steps 1–2 in bulk, but do the rest of the steps for only one container at a time.
  3. Note: If you have a dust mask, put it on for this step. Also, move the project outdoors to finish so you are in a well-ventilated area. Very gently, spoon out 1/2 cup (100 g) of plaster of paris, and add it to the cold water solution. Be very careful not to create dust or inhale any dust. Once the plaster of paris and cold water mix, it will get hot—so don’t touch it with your bare hands until it hardens.
  4. Using a plastic fork, stir the mixture until it is well combined and the color is thoroughly mixed in. You can still add food coloring at this stage, but be quick; you really don’t have a lot of time before it starts to harden.
  5. Pour the chalk mixture into the deodorant container until just below the lip.
  6. Let sit at room temperature for at least 4 hours to harden completely.
  7. Once hardened, squeeze the sides of the container to help loosen the chalk. Then put your fingers on the inside of the twist dial on the bottom of the container, and use the inside grooves as traction. Apply firm pressure as you twist, but be careful not to break the middle piece inside. Once the chalk is loosened initially, it should be easy to twist up and down like you normally would.
  8. To use, twist up and get creative!


Update 4/19/17: We now sell these round twist up containers that would work well for this project.

Backpack Essentials for Students

Parents typically want to do all they can to help their children succeed in school. Whether your child is going down the street to the local elementary school or across the country to college, there are some great ways that essential oils can help your student achieve his or her greatest potential in school.

Passing the Test

Nothing is worse during a test than seeing a question and knowing that you studied the answer, but it just won’t come to you. Essential oils may be able to help with that problem. According to one source, “A university in Japan experimented with diffusing different essential oils in the office. When they diffused lemon there were 54% fewer errors, with jasmine there were 33% fewer errors, and with lavender there were 20% fewer errors. When essential oils are diffused while studying and smelled during a test via a hanky or cotton ball, test scores may increase by as much as 50%. Different essential oils should be used for different tests, but the same essential oil should be used during the test as was used while studying for that particular test. The smell of the essential oil may help bring back the memory of what was studied.” Another study indicated that subjects who learned a list of 24 words while exposed to a certain aroma had an easier time re-learning the list when exposed to the same aroma than those who were exposed to a different aroma while trying to re-learn the list.1 Further studies have indicated that rosemary2 and peppermint3 aromas were found to enhance memory during clinical tests.

Whispi_GirlA couple ways you can have the aroma of an essential oil with you while you study and while you take your test is to put the essential oil(s) in personal diffuser such as a nasal inhaler, Whispi™ diffuser, or aromatherapy jewelry. The Slap-on Scents Bracelet is perfect for young students that have small wrists. AromaTools® carries a large variety of aromatherapy jewelry with styles accommodating all—boys and girls alike.

Calming the Stress

For many students, school means stress. Whether the stress is brought about by tests, homework, trying to fit in extracurricular activities or jobs, or from trying to create and maintain good friendships with others, essential oils can be a great aid to de-stressing after a stressful day. According to author Marlene Erickson in Healing with Aromatherapy, “EEG tests of the brain’s rhythm patterns found that neroli, jasmine, and rose induced delta rhythms, with some inducing a combination of delta and theta rhythms. Delta and theta rhythms are associated with reducing mental chatter and allowing for more intuitive thought processes” (p. 65). Marcel Lavabre also recommends chamomile, neroli, marjoram, lavender, and ylang ylang oils to help deal with stress in his Aromatherapy Workbook (p. 49). Research studies have found evidence that lavender,4,5 lemon,6 and ylang ylang7 oils may help reduce stress.

As mentioned above, you can take a personal diffuser with you to school with the aroma of these essential oils. You can also rub these oils on your feet at night or in the morning as needed to help reduce stress.

Fighting the Bugs

When lots of students congregate in classrooms, lunchrooms, locker rooms, or dormitories, there are abundant opportunities for germs to spread. Essential oils are a great natural way to help keep those germs at bay. According to the book
Modern Essentials, essential oils such as melaleuca, thyme, cinnamon, peppermint, oregano, and blends containing these oils, such as Protective Blend, have been shown in multiple studies to exhibit antibacterial, antifungal, and even antiviral properties (pp. 257–63).  A great way to stop the spread of germs is to keep your hands clean. This hand sanitizer can be useful when soap and water are not readily available. Another hand sanitizer recipe and cute gift idea can be found here.
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Getting the Energy

Between late-night study sessions, after-school activities, sports, jobs, and the many other activities students are involved in, sometimes it can be hard to find the energy needed to be awake and alert during the school day. According to several authors, some essential oils can be naturally stimulating. Marlene Erickson writes, “Stimulant essential oils are used for conditions of mental fatigue, poor memory, and difficulty concentrating. Stimulants are useful when you’re feeling tired or sluggish and need to boost your mental activity. EEG tests used to evaluate stimulant essential oils such as black pepper, cardamom, and rosemary indicated that they induced beta brain rhythms. Beta rhythms correlate with aroused attention and alertness” (Healing with Aromatherapy, p. 66). In addition to these oils, Modern Essentials also lists peppermint, Joyful Blend, eucalyptus, orange, ginger, grapefruit, rose, rosemary, and basil as other stimulating essential oils (p. 370).

These oils can be used in a personal diffuser or applied to feet or wrists. Roll-on bottles are useful for applying essential oils while at school.

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Essential Tip: Keep essential oils close at hand for your student by placing the oils in small 1/4 dram or 5/8 dram vials and labeling each vial with a circle or rectangle label so it can be easily identified. Place up to 8 different oils or blends in a handy Aroma Ready™ Key Chain Oil Case. Place this small case in a the pocket of a backpack or book bag along with a copy of “An Introduction to Modern Essentials,” and your student will have quick access to the oils and information on how to use them anytime there is a need!

Want some essential oil blends to diffuse or inhale while you study or take a test? Check out these 7 Back-to-School Diffuser Blends!

For more information on this topic, see any of the books listed above or the sources below. You can also read the other post in this series: “Backpack Essentials for Teachers”.

1. David G. Smith, Lionel Standing, and Anton de Man, “Verbal Memory Elicited by Ambient Odor,” Perceptual and Motor Skills 74, no. 2 (April 1992): 339–43.

2. Mark Moss, Jenny Cook, Keith Wesnes, and Paul Duckett, “Aromas of Rosemary and Lavender Essential Oils Differentially Affect Cognition and Mood in Healthy Adults,” International Journal of Neuroscience 113, no. 1 (January 2003): 15–38.

3. Mark Moss, Steven Hewitt, Lucy Moss, and Keith Wesnes, “Modulation of Cognitive Performance and Mood by Aromas of Peppermint and Ylang Ylang,” International Journal of Neuroscience 118, no. 1 (January 2008): 59–77.

4. Erin Pemberton and Patricia G. Turpin, “The Effect of Essential Oils on Work-Related Stress in Intensive Care Unit Nurses,” Holistic Nursing Practice 22, no. 2 (2008): 97–102.

5. Naoyasu Motomura, Akihiro Sakurai, and Yukiko Yotsuya, “Reduction of Mental Stress with Lavender Odorant,” Perceptual and Motor Skills 93, no. 3 (December 2001): 713–18.

6. Migiwa Komiya, Takashi Takeuchi, and Etsumori Harada, “Lemon Oil Vapor Causes an Anti-Stress Effect via Modulating the 5-HT and DA Activities in Mice,” Behavioural Brain Research 172, no. 2 (September 2006): 240–49.

7. Tapanee Hongratanaworakit and Gerhard Buchbauer, “Relaxing Effect of Ylang Ylang Oil on Humans after Transdermal Absorption,” Phytotherapy Research 20, no. 9 (September 2006): 758–63.

The Perfect Solution for Detangling Unruly Hair!

Would you like a more natural hair detangler than you can find commercially? Look no further—we have the perfect solution for detangling unruly hair that is easy to make and contains all-natural ingredients! Spraying this on your hair will help the comb separate the hair strands easily and without pain. Not only do these oils smell nice together, but lavender and rosemary essential oils are often used to help stimulate hair growth; repair dry, fragile hair; and, with melaleuca, may help dandruff.

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All-Natural Essential Oil Hair Detangler

  • Servings: Yield=4 oz. (120 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

Instructions:

  1. Pour the glycerin and essential oils in the 4 oz. spray bottle. Screw the spray top on, and shake to combine.
  2. Remove spray top, and fill the rest of the bottle up with water. Screw the spray top on again, and give it another few good shakes.
  3. Allow it to sit overnight, then shake again before using.
  4. To use, shake a little, then spray lightly over hair; brush hair until smooth.

Keep Your Kids Entertained with This Fun Craft!

Make your own beeswax yarn strips for a fun sensory activity for your children. These strips are fun to bend into shapes to create a picture or sculpture. They also make a great quiet activity to take with you on the go.

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Flexible Beeswax Yarn Art

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 cups (144 g) beeswax pellets
  • 2 Tbsp. (30 ml) jojoba oil
  • Crock pot
  • Colored yarn

Instructions:

  1. Melt the beeswax in a small crock pot or double boiler.
  2. Once the wax is melted, add the jojoba oil.
  3. Cut your yarn to the desired length (9 inches [23 cm] is a good starting point).
  4. Add the yarn to the melted beeswax-jojoba mixture.
  5. Once the yarn is completely covered in wax, remove the yarn from the crock pot using a toothpick or bamboo skewer, and lay out in individual strips to dry. (We laid our strips on a plastic grocery bag.)
  6. Once the wax dries, have fun creating pictures and sculptures with your waxed yarn strips!

Extra Idea:

If desired, you can add essential oil to the wax mixture for an additional sensory experience. Start with 2–4 drops, and then add more depending on your preference for scent.

EO Life Hack: Bubblegum in Hair?

Kids will be kids and sometimes that means bubblegum doesn’t stay in the mouth. What do you do if your child gets bubblegum in their hair? Use essential oils! Simply rub a few drops of lemon oil on bubblegum to dissolve the gum and make it easier to remove.

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Salt Painting with Essential Oils

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This fun art project is not only helpful for keeping kids entertained, but it also helps build fine motor skills as kids learn how to draw up the colored water using a pipette and release the liquid onto their salt image. Get creative, and have fun while enjoying the wonderful scents of essential oils!

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Christmas Snowglobes

Snowglobes are a fun and magical part of the holiday season. Try making some of your own this year using our glass salve jars. These snowglobes make great decorations, neighbor gifts, and stocking stuffers.

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Homemade Snowglobe

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Remove the liner seal from the lid of your 4 oz. Glass Jar.
  2. Using the epoxy, adhere your figurines to the inside of the lid. (Be sure beforehand that your figurines aren’t too tall for the jar.)
  3. Let the figurines set using the instructions on the epoxy container. We used quick-set, which took about 5 minutes to set.
  4. Fill the jar almost to the top with distilled water.
  5. Add Glycerin and glitter.
  6. To seal the container, put a small bead of epoxy around the top edge of the jar.
  7. Twist on the lid (with attached figurines).
  8. Shake the jar, and enjoy your snowglobe.

Boo-nanas with Lemon Essential Oil

For Halloween this year, try making this fun and healthy snack that your children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews will surely love!

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