Sleeping Cream for Kids

If you have kids, you’ve probably struggled to get them to fall asleep at night. And we need sleep just as much as they do, so it’s time to help them fall asleep faster and sleep through the night. Orange essential oil is great for relieving anxiety, nervousness, and insomnia. It also promotes calming and peaceful energy. Combined with lavender—known to help with relaxation and sleep—this simple cream is perfect for helping your little ones relax and sleep well at night.

Sleeping Cream for Kids

  • Servings: Yield=2 oz. (50 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Soften the coconut oil, but don’t melt it. Add the essential oils, and beat on high with a hand mixer for a couple minutes, or until the coconut oil is whipped and creamy and the oils are mixed in.
  2. Transfer the cream to the glass jar.
  3. Rub a small amount of cream on each of your children’s feet at the beginning of their bedtime routine. Proceed with the rest of the bedtime routine, tuck your kids in, and watch the cream work its magic as they drift off to dreamland!

This sleeping cream makes a perfect gift for friends with kids or grandparents that love to watch your kids!

Store this cream at room temperature. If it’s too cold, it will harden and be difficult to apply; too hot, and it will melt.

Essential Oils for Kids & New Kids Mini Tear Pad

Introducing your children to essential oils at a young age is a great way to bond with them and provide them with natural, healthy products. When using oils with your children, though, you have to be careful. Children’s skin is more delicate and sensitive, which allows essential oils to be absorbed more quickly.

Our new Kids Mini Tear Pad is a great place to start if you’re looking to introduce your kids to essential oils. This tear pad highlights oils that can be used on children and simple ways to help your kiddos get engaged in essential oil use. It includes some simple remedies for sniffles and a tummy ache, as well as easy diffuser blends to help your kids feel better and healthier! These mini tear pads make great handouts for your friends or attendees in a class. Share the knowledge of essential oil safety with your friends and family!

You can learn more about proper use of essential oils with children in Modern Essentials. We have also written several posts with kid-friendly essential oil crafts that the whole family will love!

 

Essential Oil Sock Bunnies

These sock bunnies make a fantastic Easter craft that your kids will enjoy. The bunnies are super cute, and you can design them however you want. Just add your favorite essential oils to this craft to maximize the benefits. Try adding lavender to help calm your kids down while they play!

Sock Bunnies

  • Servings: Yield=1 bunny
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2–3 cups (375–550 g) rice
  • 1 sock
  • Scissors
  • Marker
  • String or twine
  • Ribbon
  • 20–30 drops essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Pour the rice into a bowl, and stir in the essential oils until the desired smell is reached (approx. 20–30 drops).
  2. Using a funnel or a roll of tape to hold the sock open, pour the rice into the sock until it fills to the beginning of the heel of the sock.
  3. Shape the sock by pinching between where the head and the body will be, making sure that the body is larger than the head.
  4. Tie off the head tightly with the string, then tie off the section between the body and head.
  5. Cut off the top of the sock, leaving about 2″ (5 cm) for the ears above the head.
  6. Cut the ear portion of the sock in half vertically, then diagonally from the top of the head to the corner, creating an ear shape. Repeat on the other ear.
  7. Trim the strings down, tie a bow around the neck, and draw a cute face!

Extra Ideas:

You can also tie a little knot around a portion of the body to make a tail, or sew on a cotton ball.

Remove the ribbon, and place the bunny in the microwave for 30 seconds (or until warm), and let your kids enjoy the warmth while they play or take a nap.

Essential Oil Gummy Candies for Immune Support

What kid doesn’t love gummy candies? Unfortunately, many store-bought brands contain lots of sugar and food dyes that our kids really don’t need in their little bodies. So we’ve come up with a recipe that has the opposite effect of store-bought gummies—with immune-boosting properties from elderberry syrup, honey, and lemon essential oil.

Elderberry Gummy Candies

  • Servings: Yield=1 1/4 cups (300 ml)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup (160 ml) homemade elderberry syrup, divided (see recipe below)
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) mixed-berry, grape, or orange juice
  • 2.5–3 Tbsp. (27 g) powdered grass-fed beef gelatin
  • 1–2 Tbsp. (15–30 ml) honey (depending on sweetness preference)
  • 2–3 drops lemon essential oil (you can also try 1–3 toothpicks each of cassia, clove, and ginger if using orange juice)

Instructions:

  1. Pour 1/3 cup (80 ml) elderberry syrup and 1/3 cup (80 ml) fruit juice into a saucepan. Sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the liquid, and let sit for 5 minutes.
  2. Turn the heat to medium, and stir until the mixture gets bubbly and the gelatin dissolves. Whisk in the honey, and stir until completely dissolved.
  3. Stir in the rest of the elderberry syrup (1/3 cup or 80 ml) and the essential oil.
  4. Pour into a silicone mold or mini ice cube tray, and refrigerate until set (about an hour).

Homemade Elderberry Syrup

  • Servings: Yield=4–5 cups (about 1 liter)
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (90 g) dried elderberries
  • 4 cups (1 liter) water
  • 1 vanilla bean, split (optional)
  • 3/4–1 cup (180–240 ml) honey
  • 1–4 toothpicks clove essential oil, to taste (optional)
  • 1–4 toothpicks cassia essential oil, to taste (optional)
  • 1–4 toothpicks ginger essential oil, to taste (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Place the elderberries, water, and vanilla bean in an electric pressure cooker (we used an Instant Pot®), and cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally (about 18 minutes).
  2. Once your pressure cooker has cooled down enough to open, strain out the elderberries and allow to cool until warm before you stir in the honey and essential oils.
  3. Use in gummy candies (recipe above), as a pancake syrup, or drink 1 tsp. (5 ml) or so (1/4–1/2 for children) several times a day when you feel a cold or the flu coming on.

Honey Suckers for Soothing Little Throats

One of the most helpful things for a sore throat is a spoonful of honey! A couple years ago we posted a recipe for Soothing Throat Lozenges, and we thought we could adapt the recipe a little to make it suitable for children. The result? Honey Suckers.

Honey Suckers

  • Servings: 30–40
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) honey
  • 1 Tbsp. (12 g) coconut oil
  • 2–3 drops essential oil (good oils to use include lemon, lime, or orange)
  • Candy thermometer
  • Silicone sucker mold with sticks or parchment paper and popsicle sticks

Instructions:

  1. If you don’t have a silicone sucker mold, place a sheet of parchment paper on the counter, then place popsicle sticks a couple inches apart on the sheet. You’ll need about 30–40 popsicle sticks.
  2. Place honey and coconut oil in a pot. Bring to a boil.
  3. Once the mixture is boiling, reduce heat and simmer.
  4. Using a candy thermometer, allow the mixture to reach a temperature of 300°F (150°C), and then remove the mixture from the stove.
  5. Stir in essential oils.
  6. Pour the mixture into sucker molds, or drop spoonfuls on parchment paper over the popsicle sticks. You will need to work fast, since the mixture hardens quickly and will become hard to pour.
  7. Allow the suckers to harden (you can stick the sucker mold in the refrigerator for an hour). Cut strips of parchment paper, and fold them over the suckers to keep them from sticking together. Store in the refrigerator.


Essential Oil Spotlight: Cardamom

Cardamom essential oil (Elettaria cardamomum) is steam-distilled from the seeds of the plant. It has a sweet, spicy, balsamic scent with floral undertones.

It has antibacterial, anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, decongestant, diuretic, expectorant, stomachic, and tonic properties.

Anciently, cardamom was used for epilepsy, spasms, paralysis, rheumatism, cardiac disorders, all intestinal illnesses, pulmonary disease, fever, and digestive and urinary complaints. It is said to be able to neutralize the lingering odor of garlic.

If you are acquainted with Indian food, you may associate the flavor and smell of this oil with sweet Indian dishes such as rice pudding, as the cardamom spice is a common ingredient in this dish and gives it a cool, minty aroma and taste. It may be that rice pudding is often served at the end of the meal because of cardamom’s ability to neutralize lingering odors that cause halitosis.

Today cardamom is commonly used for coughs, digestive support, headaches, inflammation, muscle aches, nausea, and respiratory ailments. Cardamom may also help with appetite loss, bronchitis, colic, debility, dyspepsia, flatulence, halitosis, mental fatigue, heartburn, sciatica, ulcers, and vomiting. It may also be beneficial for menstrual periods, menopause, and nervous indigestion.

Cardamom is most known for supporting the digestive and respiratory systems of the body.

Applications of Cardamom Essential Oil and Safety Data

Topical Application: Cardamom essential oil is safe to use without dilution, but it can also be diluted as needed. Apply to reflex points and/or directly on area of concern.
Aromatic Application: Diffuse, or inhale cardamom essential oil directly. The aroma of cardamom is uplifting, refreshing, and invigorating. It may be beneficial for clearing confusion.
Internal Application: Cardamom essential oil can be taken internally and is often used as a flavoring in cooking. Put 1–2 drops of cardamom oil under the tongue or in a beverage. It can also be taken in capsules.

5 Ways to Use Cardamom Essential Oil

1. Diffuse
Try these blends in your diffuser to increase your mental alertness, open your airways, and enjoy the scent of autumn leaves:

2. Use in Roll-on Blends

Cardamom essential oil is helpful to the respiratory and digestive systems. It can also help relieve a headache. Rub the respiratory blends (below) on the chest, throat, back, and/or sinuses to help open airways and clear coughs. Rub the digestive blends on the abdomen to help reduce flatulence, bloating, belching, hiccups, and heartburn. Cardamom is a safe essential oil to use with children, so it is a great choice over peppermint to open their little airways and support their digestive systems.

Respiratory Support (6+ years):
5 drops eucalyptus
5 drops peppermint
5 drops lemon
3 drops cardamom
2 drops rosemary
2 drops melaleuca
(20% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
10% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Little Lungs Respiratory Support (Children):
1 drop cardamom
1 drop frankincense
(2% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
1% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Digestive Support (6+ years):
5 drops cardamom
3 drops ginger
3 drops peppermint
(10% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
5% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Tiny Tummies Digestive Support (Children):
1 drop cardamom
1 drop orange
1 drop fennel
(3% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
1.5% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)
Headaches:
4 drops peppermint
3 drops cardamom
3 drops rosemary
(10% dilution in a 5 ml roll-on or
5% dilution in a 10 ml roll-on)

Add oils to a 5 ml roll-on bottle or 10 ml roll-on bottle depending on desired dilution percentage. Fill the bottle the rest of the way with a carrier oil. Common carrier oils for use in a roll-on bottle include Fractionated Coconut OilSweet Almond Oil, and Jojoba Oil.

3. Use in a Bath or Shower:

Cardamom essential oil is excellent as a bath oil. Combine one of the following oil blends with 1/4–1/2 cup (60–120 g) epsom salt, and evenly disperse throughout the tub. Alternatively, you can add these essential oil combinations to these bath bombs.

Muscle Aches:
2 drops cardamom
1 drop peppermint
1 drop clove
1 drop copaiba
Congestion Bomb:
2 drops eucalyptus
2 drops peppermint
2 drops cardamom
2 drops Douglas fir (or another fir oil)

If you prefer taking showers, try adding the Congestion Bomb blend or cardamom essential oil to these shower disks. The steam from the shower and the cardamom essential oil can be beneficial to clearing congestion.

4. Use in Breath Mints

Cardamom is beneficial in helping halitosis (bad breath) and is said to be able to neutralize the odor of garlic. Try adding cardamom essential oil to homemade breath mints, or use in a breath spray.

5. Add to Cooking Recipes

Cardamom essential oil is often used in Indian cooking, but it is great to add to any of your favorite recipes. It pairs well with chocolate, rice, honey, coconut oil, spices like cinnamon and clove, and works in both savory and sweet dishes. This oil can taste strong, so start with a toothpick and add more to taste. Here are some of our recipes that use cardamom essential oil:

Sources: Modern Essentials™: The Complete Guide to the Therapeutic Use of Essential Oils, 9th Edition, p. 45.

Soft & Squishy Soap Jellies

Kids love how soft and squishy these soap jellies are! They are perfect for making bathtime and learning about hygiene fun. You may even want to try them out on yourself! They make a great sensory experience for all!

Soap Jellies

  • Servings: 12+
  • Difficulty: Easy
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Ingredients & Supplies:

  • 2 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin (about 2–3 small packets)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) distilled water
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) Castile Soap
  • 30 drops essential oil (lavender, melaleuca, lemon, orange, and peppermint are good options)
  • Body-safe soap coloring (optional) (a drop or two of blue tansy essential oil is a natural way to get a nice blue color)
  • 1 tsp. (6 g) salt
  • Silicone mold or small soap mold
  • Small Spray Bottle of alcohol (optional)
  • 16 oz. PET Jar

Instructions:

  1. Place mold on a cutting board or cookie sheet or another flat, movable surface.
  2. Place water in a pan, and sprinkle the gelatin on the water. Allow gelatin to bloom for 5 minutes; then bring the water to a boil to dissolve the gelatin.
  3. Once boiling, remove from heat and add the castile soap, coloring, and essential oils. Stir gently until combined.
  4. Stir in the salt last. (Don’t skip this step! It makes a big difference!)
  5. Pour the mixture into your molds.
  6. You can get rid of air bubbles by spritzing the soap with a little alcohol from a small spray bottle.
  7. Place in the refrigerator until completely hardened.
  8. Store in a PET Jar in a cool, dry location (such as the refrigerator) for up to 1 week.

EO Life Hack: Teething Baby?

It’s no fun when teeth are coming in…for the baby or the parents. How can you help numb the pain and calm the baby down? Use essential oils!

EOLH_Teething_Baby

Just Add Oils to Your Back-to-School Tools (Including 7 Diffuser Blends)

Summer is almost over, and the school year is about to start. As you start gathering your pencils, notebooks, textbooks, and other school supplies, consider gathering some aromatherapy supplies as well. Essential oils can be very beneficial for students and teachers and can enhance the learning experience. In fact, studies have shown that essential oils can help increase memory, enhance concentration, promote calmness, boost energy, and fight bugs.
Even just smelling the scent of an essential oil can affect emotions and improve mental clarity. One study showed that “when essential oils are diffused while studying and smelled during a test, 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.”

Modern Essentials lists the following oils to help with memory: rosemary, peppermint, frankincense, basil, clove, lemon, juniper berry, cedarwood, ginger, grapefruit, lime, bergamot, rose, dill, lavender, lemongrass, and petitgrain.

Want to give it a try? Here’s how: pick a single oil or an oil blend to inhale while you are studying for your test or attending class. You could even label the oil(s) you choose with a class subject. Every time you study that subject, diffuse those oils or place them in a nasal inhaler and periodically breathe in the scent as you study. During the test, pull out the nasal inhaler again and breathe the scent again when you need a little memory boost.
Nasal inhalers make it easy to take the scent of oils with you wherever you go. They even allow you to breathe in the scent without making others around you smell the oil as well. We’ve created 7 essential oil diffuser blends that can also be used in nasal inhalers. Simply drop the oils on the wick; then insert the wick into the inhaler, and push the base in to close it. Place the inhaler close to your nose, and inhale the aroma.

Each of the following diffuser blend recipes can be doubled and placed in a nasal inhaler:

Morning Sunshine:
2 drops orange
2 drops peppermint
2 drops lime
Calm Down:
4 drops lavender
2 drops Roman chamomile
2 drops cedarwood
Afternoon Energy Boost:
3 drops peppermint
2 drops rosemary
2 drops grapefruit
Anxiety Helper:
4 drops lavender
2 drops lemon
2 drops ylang ylang
Mental Clarity:
3 drops lemon
1 drop basil
1 drop rosemary
1 drop frankincense
Smarty Pants:
3 drops peppermint
2 drops basil
Study and Testing Time:
3 drops peppermint
3 drops rosemary
2 drops lemon

Another alternative to nasal inhalers are Whispi® diffusers. You can also make the above blends in a small bottle, then put 1–2 drops of the blend on aromatherapy jewelry. A key chain case is a great way to store and transport your oils—it even has a carabiner to attach to your backpack.

Want to learn more? We’ve put together several other posts on how essential oils can be useful at school. Follow the links below to see these helpful hints:
Backpack Essentials for Students
Backpack Essentials for Teachers
Back to School Tip #1: Stinky Locker?
Back to School Tip #2: School Lunch?
Back to School Tip #3: Multiple Choice?
Back to School Tip #4: First-Period Chemistry?
Better Focus Diffuser Blend

How do you use essential oils at school? What essential oil tools do you use to enhance learning? We’d love to hear your experiences!

Homemade Sunscreen

Protect your skin naturally while out in the summer sun with this all-natural homemade sunscreen. It is easy to make and looks and feels just like store-bought sunscreen! Your family won’t know the difference, but you will feel better knowing what you are putting on your children’s skin! A few things to know about this sunscreen:

  1. This sunscreen has an SPF of 20+ because the zinc oxide has an SPF of 20, the coconut oil has an SPF of 4, and the essential oils used in this recipe are also beneficial for protecting against the sun’s rays.
  2. It may need to be reapplied every hour or so, especially during water play. The beeswax in this recipe does help it be a little waterproof, but stay on the safe side and reapply fairly often.
  3. Even though it looks like it goes on pretty white in the above picture, it doesn’t stay that way. Just rub it on the skin, spreading it all over, and after a minute or so it will melt and disappear.
  4. This sunscreen will last through the summer—possibly even 2 summers depending on how fresh your ingredients are.

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