Blog Posts by Tyler Hagan | Plant Therapy |

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Using Non-KidSafe Essential Oils Around Children

Plant Therapy Magnolia, Tropical Passion, May Chang Essential Oils

By Tyler Hagan, Certified Aromatherapist

As parents, we face many challenges throughout our child’s life. Sometimes it’s simple things like what they will eat or what they will wear. Other times, it may not be as simple, such as how to help them with Advanced Calculus (that’s my wife’s job) or how to help them heal from their first broken heart. Or sometimes, it can be a combination of the two, simple and complicated…. like figuring out how to use your non-KidSafe essential oils when you have children.

Before we dive in on the subject, it’s important to first have an understanding of what KidSafe really means when it comes to our essential oils. For this, I recommend going back to the basics and checking out our blog post What Does KidSafe REALLY Mean? and then coming back here to learn more about how to use your oils that don’t sport the KidSafe logo.

Woman adding Plant Therapy Magnolia Flower Essential Oil to personal aromatherapy inhaler

Personal Inhalers

One of the best ways to use non-KidSafe essential oils around your kids is to use a personal inhaler as there is almost no exposure for your children. For those who have never used a personal inhaler before, check out our blog post on how to use your personal aromatherapy inhaler. Just like with all your essential oils, it’s important to store your personal inhalers where children cannot reach them. 

 

Personal Inhaler Jewelry

Personal aromatherapy jewelry is another great way to reap the benefits of your essential oils. But there are some extra considerations to keep in mind. Just like you, with close proximity, children will be inhaling the essential oils. So don’t use your aromatherapy jewelry if you have little ones that you hold often or like to snuggle. Maybe save those necklaces and bracelets for a date night when it’s just you and other adults.

Adding Plant Therapy Tropical Passion to coconut oil

Topically

Using essential oils topically is another easy way to use non-KidSafe essential oils on yourself with few risks to your children. However, there are some safety considerations to keep in mind. Just like with personal inhaler jewelry, close proximity to children can expose them to the essential oils. If you have small children that you hold for long periods of time, it’s best to save this method of essential oil application for nighttime, or when your children are not around. It’s also best to apply your non-KidSafe essential oils to covered parts of the body that will not come into contact with your children’s skin. This lessens the risk of unnecessary exposure as well. 

Turning on Plant Therapy AromaFuse Diffuser

Diffusion

Contrary to what you might think, diffusion is an option for your non-KidSafe essential oils. There are just some limitations on how and when you can diffuse.  To diffuse non-KidSafe essential oils safely when you have kids, it’s important to do it when they are not home, or they are in a different room and will not be in the room you are diffusing in for at least 1-2 hours. By waiting 1-2 hours before introducing them to the area you were diffusing in, it allows the essential oils to settle and fade reducing the risk of exposure to your children. This means you’re free to diffuse while your kids are at school or after they’ve gone to bed and you’ve got your bedroom all to yourself.

Woman using a personal aromatherapy inhaler.

General Safety Considerations

Even though there are safe ways of using non-KidSafe essential oils around children, it’s not always necessary. KidSafe essential oils are just as effective for adults as they are for children with fewer risks. It may not be a bad idea to stick with KidSafe essential oils when you can and to save the non-KidSafe oils for when you really need them. This is the best way to eliminate accidental exposure for your children. These tips are here to help you navigate the world of essential oils when you have children so you can make the right choice for you and your family.

*The usage methods described above do not take into consideration other circumstances such as pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding it’s important to follow a whole separate set of guidelines which we’ve shared here and here

Hocus Focus: Tips for Focusing in School and at Home

By Tyler Hagan, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

Hocus Focus: Tips for Focusing in School and at Home

School is back in session. Teachers are teaching, and children everywhere are trying their hardest to learn as much as they can in the short amount of time they have to do it. I’m sure we can all agree that teaching is no joke. But learning everything teachers have to teach is no joke either. It can be stressful for children, and children don’t usually have the tools necessary to cope with stress and to stay focused. That’s why we are here. And that is why we created Hocus Focus!

Hocus Focus is a beautiful blend of Lime, Bergamot, Roman Chamomile, Cedarwood Atlas, Petitgrain, and Vetiver. It is designed primarily to help support focus in children, equipping them to concentrate and stay on task throughout the day. It can be used in many different ways, including in the diffuser, a personal inhaler, or topically diluted at 2-4%. In addition to Hocus Focus, here are some additional steps parents (and teachers!) can take to ensure children stay focused and on-topic throughout their busy days.

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This incredible new blend has a similar purpose and therapeutic benefits to our KidSafe blend A+ Attention, only with a different scent profile. It’s the perfect opportunity to mix things up!

One Thing at a Time

fall essential oil diys

An easy thing to forget as adults is that children are not the best at multitasking. Jumping from one task to another with no warning or no transition can cause children to stress and lose focus. Help your child or students stay focused by equipping them and allowing them to knock out the task at hand one at a time. If it’s necessary to move on before they are finished, give them a warning ahead of time and help them transition smoothly over to the next task.

 

Give Them Realistic Expectations

Children thrive when they are given realistic expectations and goals that are actually possible for them to accomplish. Bigger goals or tasks can be made practical or possible for them to achieve if you take the time to break those goals or tasks down into smaller, bite-sized chunks. If the job is too big, children are going to lose interest and focus. Let them know ahead of time what is expected and when it’s expected. If the children in question can read, write it out for them, step by step. If they can’t read, use pictures to create a schedule or list of tasks and go over it with them.

 

Create a Focus-Based Learning Environment

Creating a focus-based learning environment for children, either at home or in the classroom, is SO important and can be easily accomplished. Give them a space to learn that is free from distraction. Remove any clutter and keep it clean and free of any unnecessary items that may cause them to lose interest or focus on their assignments. If you’re creating this unique focus-based learning environment or study corner at home, this would be the PERFECT time to diffuse Hocus Focus at half-hour intervals.

 

Maintain Consistent Routines

Consistent routines are a parent, teacher, and child’s best friend. When children know what to expect throughout the day, they tend to have less stress and more focus. It’s essential to set time aside for studying, homework, play, and sleep as well as any tasks in between. At home, the most critical consistent routines you can establish to help with focus are bedtime and wake up. Ensuring children go to bed on time each night will go a long way in improving their focus throughout each day. Making sure they wake up on time each morning and know what to expect will help them start their days off healthier and more stress-free. Doing so will also allow them to spend more energy at school, focusing on the different tasks at hand. Try diluting our Hocus Focus blend to 2% in an unscented lotion base to apply in the mornings before school to help give them that extra support in the morning to get them through the day.

For more KidSafe tips and DIYs, be sure to check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) Facebook Group.

Reduce Back To School Stress in 5 Simple Steps

Happy family playing at home together

It’s no surprise to anyone that back to school time is stressful for everyone. Let’s face it… you are going to spend the next year getting your kids ready for school, making sure they are clean and dressed, making sure they’ve had a proper breakfast. And you have to make sure they get out the door fast enough to catch the bus. And let’s not forget the hours you’re going to spend every evening fighting with your kids to do homework (that’s how works at my house at least). Stressful, yeah? I bet you can’t wait to sit back and enjoy some cheese and glass of wine once all the kids are in bed. 

But what about the kids? They spend about 7-8 hours a day sitting at a desk under harsh fluorescent lights listening, writing, testing, and studying. Hopefully being on their best behavior and doing whatever they are told. I imagine for a kid, that’s all pretty stressful. I myself, an adult, find it stressful to sit all day long, doing my obligatory work to ensure I can afford to put a roof over my family and food on the table. To top off their day, they come home and continue to do school work. More studying, more homework, and even more listening. So what can we do as parents to help them relieve stress and relax after a hard at school? 

We’ve put together a list of five stress-relieving activities you can do with your children to relax and build relationships, all at the same time.

1. Calming the Child Playdough

mom and kid baking

What you’ll need:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • 1 Tbsp cream of tartar
  • Food coloring
  • 1 cup flour
  • 10 drops Calming the Child synergy diluted in 10mL of Carrier Oil

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What you’ll do:

Mix all ingredients (except essential oils) in a large non-stick pot. Heat on medium while stirring. Once the dough gets too hard to stir, remove from heat and let cool. Knead the dough in a little bit of flour to help with stickiness. Slowly add your essential oil mixture into the dough and keep kneading. Once you have the perfect consistency, enjoy!

Our Calming the Child Playdough recipe makes one of the best stress-relieving activities OF ALL TIME. Who doesn’t like to play with play dough? I’m an adult, and I love it. This playdough isn’t just an ordinary, everyday dough. It has calming essential oils in it that are known to relax the mind and body which reduces stress. That’s what we’re after, isn’t it?

2. Sweet Dreams Bubble Bath

Woman and child bath time shower

If your kiddos are still young enough for you to give them a bath, make it a Sweet Dreams Bubble Bath! Bath time is the perfect time to relax and unwind while building healthy relationships. One of our favorite things to do is sing songs and do finger plays with our Paw Patrol finger puppets. These little activities paired with calming essential oils in the bubble bath. Your kids are sure to feel a lot less stressed. Just add 15 drops of Sweet Dreams into 20mL of an unscented bubble bath base and add it to the tub. 

3. Coloring

Children finger painting: stress-relieving activity

Coloring is the perfect stress-relieving activity… for kids and adults! I’m sure you have all seen the new coloring books that have hit the store shelves. They’re intricate, beautifully designed coloring pages just for teens and adults. Grab yourself one the next time you are at the store, along with a box of colored pencils. While you’re out, pick up a coloring book for each of your kiddos and a new box of crayons. Sit down at the dining room table and dive in. There is no right or wrong way to color, so it’s great for your kids to just let loose (and you too!).

Head over to our Downloads page to find a fun selection of Plant Therapy coloring pages!

4. Story Time

young girl reading: stress-relieving activity

This is a classic stress-relieving activity for all people. One of my favorite pastimes is sitting on the couch with my nose in a book. It’s the only time, other than vacation, when you get to visit a new place and explore a new life. It’s also one of the few times you can sit in a comfy chair with your kiddos in your lap for extra snuggles. We love reading new books together while snuggling on the couch.

5. Family Dance Party

Family happy at the beach

We’ve saved the best for last: Family Dance Party! Put in a CD or pull up your family’s playlist and just cut loose! This is the perfect opportunity for you and your kiddos to just unwind, sing at the top of your lungs, and shake your wiggles out. Allowing your kids to see you dance around acting silly will take your relationship to the next level. It also shows them that it is okay to have fun, be silly, and just enjoy life. What’s more relaxing than that?!

For more ways you can enjoy essential oils as a family, be sure to join our Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) Facebook Group.

Our Top 3 Ways to Stay Healthy This School Year

Mother hugging young daughter before school

Let’s face it… kids are gross. They are covered in germs, they cover everything else in germs, and they just constantly produce new germs. Put a thousand children in one building together and you are asking for trouble. So with the odds against us, how can you ensure your family stays healthy? Follow these top 3 ways to stay healthy this school year!

1. Hand Washing

Father and daughter washing their hands

Proper hand washing is single-handedly the most important thing you and your kiddos can do to stay healthy. Research suggests that up to a million deaths could be prevented if everyone washed their hands routinely throughout the day. That alone is enough to convince me just how important hand washing is. The important keyword here is PROPER hand washing. Running your hands under the water for a few seconds just isn’t going to cut it.  To wash your hands properly, you should follow these simple steps:

  1. Get your hands wet with warm water.
  2. Apply soap to your hand and lather.
  3. Vigorously run your hands together for at least 20 seconds.
    1. To help time yourself, sing, “Tops and Bottoms, Tops and Bottoms, (Rub top and bottom of hands)In between, In between, (Rub fingers inside on both hands)  Rub your hands together, rub your hands together, (Do as it says) squeaky clean, squeaky clean.
  4. Rinse all the soap off your hands.
  5. Dry your hands with a paper towel or a clean towel.
  6. Using your towel, turn the water off.

For a fun DIY foaming hand soap recipe you can make with your kids, check out this recipe!

2. Proper Sleep

Mother and baby asleep on a bed

Sleep would be the next best thing to keep healthy. Getting enough sleep at night keeps you and your child’s immune systems functioning in tip-top shape. How much sleep is recommended? I’ll tell you…

  • Newborns need 14-17 hours of sleep a day.
  • Infants (4-11 months) need 12-15 hours a day
  • Toddlers (1-2 years) need 11-14 hours a day
  • Preschool children (3-5 years) need 10-13 hours a day.
  • Children 6-13 years old need 9-11 hours a day.
  • Teenagers need 8-10 hours a day.
  • Adults need 7-9 hours a day. 

Check out our Sweet Slumber or Nighty Night blends to help create the optimal sleep environment for your family.

3. Eating Healthy

Child taking healthy food out of grocery bags

Eating healthy meals three times a day is an important way to stay healthy. Choosing foods from different food groups gives you a higher chance of getting all the vitamins and minerals your body needs to stay healthy. It also keeps your energy levels up which is healthier for your immune system. Check out this article for tips and tricks on eating healthier.

Looking to used essential oils to help your family live a healthier life? Be sure to check out our  Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook for some fun recipes and a great community.

The What and Hows of Carrier Oil Infusions

Safety is at the heart of everything we do at Plant Therapy and education follows right behind. You’ve heard us talk about carrier oils, you’ve heard us emphasize their importance, and you’ve seen all the different carrier oils we have to offer. If you are new to Plant Therapy, carrier oils might be something new to you. If this is the case, stop right here and go check out our past blog post all about carrier oils. Something we have touched on but never really dug into are carrier oil infusions.

 

What is a carrier oil infusion?

carrier oil infusionsBy definition, an infusion is the introduction of a new element or quality into something else. That’s exactly what we’re talking about when we say carrier oil infusion. We are introducing new elements and properties into the carrier oil to make them even more effective and beneficial. When we talk about infusions, we are not talking about adding a few drops of essential oil. Instead, we’re talking about the addition of other plant materials and herbs into the carrier oil by means of, you guessed it, infusion.

 

How do we do it?

Essentials of Blending: How To Blend Essential OilsNow you’re probably wondering how to infuse your carrier oil with plants and herbs. Well, that’s what I’m here to teach you. While there are many different ways to infuse herbs and other plant material into our carrier oils, we’re going to discuss two different methods; the “It Takes Time” method and the “Low and Slow” method. Each one has its advantages and disadvantages which we’ll talk about more in-depth below.

 

It Takes Time Method

carrier oil infusionsThe “It Takes Time” method of carrier oil infusion yields the best infusion. It’s stronger, more aromatic, and allows us to use delicate herbs and carrier oils that don’t cope well with heat. To use this method of infusion, you’ll need a sterilized jar with a lid, your carrier oil of choice, your herbs, and a sterilized stirring tool. 

The first thing you want to do is to fill your jar about ½ to ⅔ full of your herbs. Then you’ll want to pour the carrier oil into the jar until the herbs are completely covered and there is about an inch of oil above the herbs. Using your stirring rod, poke around and gently stir in the carrier oil into the herb. Tightly secure the lid and let it sit in a dark cool place for 4-6 weeks. Once you are done infusing, strain your mixture using cheesecloth and store in a sterilized jar. 

 

Low & Slow Method

carrier oil infusionsThe “Low & Slow Method” or “Crockpot” method is ideal when you need your carrier oil infusion before 4-6 weeks, but not exactly the same day. You are essentially using low heat to infuse the carrier oil with the herbs quicker than just letting time work its magic. It’s important when utilizing any method that involves heat that you use carrier oils that can withstand high temperatures and non-delicate herbs. To utilize the “Low & Slow Method” to carrier oil infusion, you’ll need a crockpot, carrier oil of choice, herbs, cheesecloth, and a sterilized jar. 

Once you have all of your materials, you’ll want to place your herbs in a clean and sterilized crockpot. Next, you’ll want to completely cover your herbs in your carrier oil of choice. Turn your crockpot on to the lowest heat setting, cover, and infuse. Lighter herbs might be done infusing in a few hours while heavier herbs could take a couple of days. It’s important not to rush it and not to “cook” your herbs by applying too much heat. 

If you’re asking yourself how you’ll know when they’re done infusing, there is no real scientific answer. Just note the color and aroma of your infusion. If it smells strongly of the herb, you’re probably good to go. If your herbs become blackish in color, you’re using too much heat. 

While it’s nice to have your infusion faster, using this method will produce an infusion that’s typically less pleasant than the slow “It Takes Time Method”. And there is a greater risk of ruining the herbs and oil by using too much heat. 

 

What are some good herbs to infuse?

how to blend essential oils

There are so many great herbal options for carrier oil infusions. My three favorites are Calendula, Chamomile, and Lavender. Calendula makes a great infusion with many beneficial skin properties. It can help nourish the skin and help combat dry, itchy skin. Chamomile is cleansing and soothing. It’s perfect for minor burns and irritation from the sun. Lavender is as versatile as it gets. It shares many of the same benefits as the essential oil and is gentle enough to use on the most sensitive skin, including infants and toddlers.

 

Tips & Tricks

carrier oil infusionsWhile there are many ways to infuse carrier oils, these are two of my favorite methods. It’s important to realize that there really isn’t a right or wrong in infusions. It is possible to overheat the herbs and oils. And it is possible to contaminate your infusion with water or by not using sterilized equipment. But beyond that, you can be pretty flexible. With that, you learn how to do different things to make the process easier or more effective. One of my favorite tricks is to gently grind up the herbs I want to infuse into my carrier oil using a mortar and pestle. This helps release some of the essential oils from the herb which makes your overall infusion a tad bit stronger and more fragrant. I’ve also found the carrier oil infusion strains better when you use multiple layers of cheesecloth and a fine-meshed strainer. 

For more incredible DIYs and fun ways to explore essential oils, don’t forget to join our Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) Facebook Group!

Germ-Busting Essential Oils for Back to School

children doing finger painting

Name one thing that you’ll find in every classroom,  school, city, and state across the world. There are several things that come to mind, but the one that makes me cringe the most is… GERMS. Everyone knows that children are like walking, talking germ factories. From their heads to their toes, there is no denying it. So how can we protect ourselves and our children from those nasty germs they pick up and drag around with them everywhere they go? Good old fashioned soap and water. Hand washing is SO important to stay healthy all year long.

But what do you do when you’re on the go and don’t necessarily have soap to use? A traditional hand sanitizer is a convenient option, but it’s oftentimes harsh and drying, especially on our kids’ soft sensitive skin. What does that leave us? Essential oils! Here are four of our favorite germ-busting essential oils for you to use this Back to School season.

 

Marjoram Sweet – Origanum majorana

Marjoram Sweet Essential Oil

Marjoram essential oil has a sweet, slightly medicinal aroma that is sure to calm the heart, mind, and spirit. Aside from these emotionally supportive properties, it has strong antibacterial and anti-fungal properties that make it a great choice for busting germs and keeping your child strong and healthy.

 

Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia

Essential oil bottles next to lavender flowers

Calming Lavender essential oil is another perfect germ-buster. It encourages a balanced and healthy functioning body. Lavender essential oil has properties that are anti-allergenic, anti-fungal, and antibacterial, which makes it a must-have in your germ-fighting arsenal. It’s a one-stop-shop for all your child’s wellness needs.

 

Rosalina – Melaleuca ericifolia

Aside from being an amazing respiratory supportive essential oil, Rosalina is a powerful germ-buster in a way that Lavender and Marjoram are lacking. Rosalina has powerful antiviral properties that give it a good boost when it comes to germ-busting. It also has antibacterial properties which give it an added bonus. It’s earthy, warm, and herbaceous with an aroma that slightly resembles Eucalyptus.

 

LemonCitrus x limon

Small clear bottles of oil next to lemons

Last but not least, we have Lemon essential oil. Lemon is known for its uplifting and cleansing properties. Its fruity and lemony aroma is sure to leave you and your children feeling happy and clean. Its powerful properties are both antibacterial and antiviral making it another great germ-buster you must-have in your wellness kit at home.

 

Back-to-School Hand Sanitizer

Back to School Hand Sanitizer

What you’ll need:

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What you’ll do:

Pour Aloe Vera Jelly into a squeeze bottle. Add essential oils to the bottle. Shake well to mix oils. Use a dime-size squirt of gel as needed on your hands and rub in.

For some great DIYs and a community of essential oil lovers, don’t forget to join Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) Facebook Group!

Essentials of Blending: How To Blend Essential Oils

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin:

You’ve read about the different blending methods and you may be wondering “now what?”. Having an idea of what you want to accomplish and knowing who the blend is for will help answer a lot of the questions you may have when making a blend. 

In creative writing classes, students are often instructed to use the Five Ws to gather information and solve problems. In addition to asking who, what, when, where, and why, it is also important to ask how when it comes to aromatherapy.

 

Who is the blend for?

Family happy at the beachWhen you’re starting on a blend, it’s important to consider who you are making your blend for. There may be special needs or restrictions you’ll have to take into account before you blend.

  • Children 
  • Pregnant or Nursing Mother 
  • An elderly individual
  • A healthy adult 
  • An individual with health concerns and/or on medication*
  • Oils that are not contraindicated with the condition or medication.*

*Because essential oils can interfere with some medications and conditions, we would recommend consulting with a clinical aromatherapist and working closely with your doctor if you have health concerns are taking medication.  You can find a clinical aromatherapist in your area by searching the directory found on the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy (NAHA) website: https://naha.org/find-an-aromatherapist

What oils should you use?

Essentials of Blending: How to Blend Essential OilsYou’ll be able to make some decisions based on your answer to the first question. Then you’ll be able select oils that are safe for the individual. 

  • Children will need Kidsafe essential oils
  • Pregnant or nursing mothers should only use oils that are pregnancy and nursing safe.  
  • An elderly individual in good health with no medical conditions/medication and skin that is not thin may use dilution levels as a healthy adult. 
  • Healthy adults may use most essential oils as directed. 

 

When will the blend be used?

Young girl laying down to sleepStart by considering the time of day the recipient of your blend will most likely be using your creation.

  • In the morning
  • Before bed
  • Throughout the day

Generally speaking, you may want to use uplifting and energizing oils in the morning and relaxing essential oils before bed.

 

Where will the blend be used?

Kids paying attention in a classroomConsider where this blend will be used, as it may affect how you use it. For example, we don’t suggest diffusing in the classroom, so a blend used in spaces like this would need to be used in a personal inhaler.

  • At home
  • Work or school

If using oils at work or school, it would be best to use a personal inhaler. Essential oils are not safe for all people and it would be best not to expose another person to an oil that could affect them negatively. 

 

Why do you want to use essential oils?

Essential oil bottles next to floral accentsThink about the purpose of the blend. Why did you choose to use essential oils to address those concerns?

 

How will the blend be used?

  • Inhalation (diffuser, passive diffusion, or personal aromatherapy inhaler)
  • Topical application (long term or short term?)

This helps determine the dilution percentage that you will choose for your blend. A 1% dilution should be used for long term, daily use or full body application. A 5% dilution can be used for short term use. It is always best to start low and increase the dilution only if necessary.

 

Making your blend.

Essential oil bottles next to orange slices and flowersNow that we know the purpose of our blend, who it is being used for and all safety considerations are taken into account, we can start blending! 

Generally speaking, we recommend sticking to 3-5 essential oils in your blend. If you’re new to blending, using just 2 oils is a great start. You’ll also want to have cotton balls or scent strips on hand so you can test how the essential oils smell together before you commit to a blend. 

With a pen and paper in hand, add essential oils to your cotton round or scent strip drop-by-drop until the blend is pleasing to you. Keep in mind, that when an oil has a low recommended max dermal dilution rate, you will not want to exceed those when applying topically.

How many drops you use of each individual oil comes down to intent as well as personal scent preferences. It is a good idea to have a primary oil that addresses your concerns while the other oils support the overall intention.

To learn more about using the drop-by-drop method to blending, please check out this blog post.

 

Making it work for you!

how to blend essential oilsDon’t be afraid to try new things! One of the things I often hear is, “I tried what was recommended and it didn’t work for me”.  While there are generalizations that can be made, learning how you respond individually to an essential oil is very important. 

Just as an example, most people should avoid stimulating oils before bedtime in favor of calming or relaxing oils. However, I personally find that stimulating oils before bed often help when I feel too tired to sleep. This is a perfect example of why it is important to learn what works for you. 

Another example, may people use and enjoy Lavender, Lemon, and Peppermint for seasonal allergies. However, there is no evidence that these oils possess antihistamine properties and their chemical make-up doesn’t support this. However, many people have used and said that the oils worked for them on a personal level.  This is another instance where each individual needs to know how they respond to the oils.

We’re all different and getting to know our essential oils on a personal level will help you make blends that yield the best results for you!

Need more helpful tips? Feel free to check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook for DIY recipes and support!

Back to School: Hogwarts Edition

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

Platform 9 3/4 to the Hogwarts Express

It’ss September 1st! The day on which students return to Hogwarts via the Hogwarts Express. This day is celebrated by fans around the globe who grew up reading about “The Boy Who Lived.”

Hogwarts students are not the only children returning to school. This time of year, muggles and wizards alike are heading back to their classes. And while they may not have to study for their N.E.W.T.s or worry about “He Who Must Not Be Named”, it can still be emotionally and physically challenging.

So pull out your potions books, turn to page three hundred and ninety-four and make a note of these magical essential oil recipes!

 

Banish the Boggart Inhaler

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a personal aromatherapy inhaler and use as needed to help instill natural courage and inner strength.

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The Hogwarts Express

Protego: Immune Support Roller

What you need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a 10ml roller bottle and fill with a carrier oil of choice. Apply to chest and back of the neck for immune support.

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Horcrux: Head Relief Roller

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a 10ml roller bottle and fill with a carrier oil of choice. Apply to temples and back of the neck to relieve head tension or when Voldemort is near.

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Ollivander's Wand Shop

Wit-Sharpening Potion Master Blend

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a 5ml empty stock bottle. This master blend can then be used in a roller bottle at 2-3%, in a personal inhaler, or it can be diffused to improve focus.

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Draught of Peace Inhaler Blend

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add oils to a personal aromatherapy inhaler and use as needed to help uplift the spirits or any time you’re feeling like Moaning Myrtle.

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Just For Fun!

Owl carvings at Hogwarts

By Melissa Johnson, Content Writer

Looking for some just-for-fun Harry Potter inspired diffuser blends? We’ve got you covered there too! Whether you’re doing a marathon with all eight movies, rereading the books, or just working on homework, add one of these blends to your diffuser and be transported to your favorite Hogwarts destination.

 

Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks

Butterbeer at the Three Broomsticks

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

Add all these essential oils to your aromatherapy diffuser.

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Honeydukes

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The Forbidden Forest

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The Restricted Section

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All of these recipes are Kidsafe and sure to make your school year exceed expectations. Use them, enjoy them, and most importantly, don’t let the muggles get you down!

For more fun recipes and DIYs please check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook!

Natural Ways to Support Breastfeeding: Weaning

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

As parents, we have the responsibility of making choices for the health and wellbeing of our families. One of those responsibilities is deciding when to wean from the breast. Weaning is a milestone event that can often feel very overwhelming. It happens at different times for different mothers and for different reasons. No matter the reason for weaning, it can be a very traumatic and trying time. 

Essential oils and hydrosols can help ease some of the emotional distress that goes along with weaning and help make the transition go more smoothly. 

 

Weaning Under Two Years of Age

There are special guidelines for using essential oils with babies under the age of two. This is because their systems are so delicate and still developing. 

That doesn’t mean that you cannot use essential oils at all. However, they might not be the best choice. To help soothe and comfort baby through this emotional time, a gentle massage with lavender-infused carrier oil would be a safer alternative. This is done by infusing lavender buds into a carrier oil rather than using essential oil. Learn more by checking out our article on the Importance of Infant Massage.

Hydrosols are also a wonderful choice as they’re much more gentle than essential oils. Lavender hydrosol can be sprayed directly on the skin of a little one and massaged in to help soothe and comfort. The hydrosol can also be sprayed on the crib sheet or clothing and act as a soothing linen spray. 

 

Essential Oils & Weaning

Breast pump and bottle

Should you choose to use essential oils, we would generally recommend the diffusion of a Kidsafe essential oil rather than topical application. You could diffuse an uplifting single such as Orange Sweet or a synergy such as Calming the Child for 30-60 minutes, 1-2 times a day. You can also safely diffuse when the baby is in another room.  If baby is having a tough time settling down to sleep and all other options have failed, diffusing a calming oil such as Lavender for 30-60 minutes before bedtime could help encourage your little one to relax so he or she can sleep. 

If essential oils are a must, passive diffusion would be the safest option. Using a few drops of a Kidsafe essential oil in one of our Lil’ Stinkers and placing it next to the crib would be a great way to use essential oils for babies when needed. 

Note: Essential oils can be used topically under the age of two but we would recommend reading our guidelines before doing so. In general, diffusion is a much better choice. However, limit diffusion to the occasional event for which your little one needs extra support.

 

For Kiddos Ages 2+

Woman holding her young child before schoolSometimes the decision to wean happens a little later in a little one’s life. If the child is over two, you can apply essential oils topically if desired. A 1-2% dilution of an essential oil such as Calming the Child could help calm the emotions that little ones are struggling with. However, in general, inhalation is still one of the best choices for emotional concerns. You might try diffusing uplifting or calming oils to help ease your kiddo through this time of transition.

 

Supporting Mom

Two woman breastfeeding while out exercisingIf anyone needs emotional support during this time, it’s moms. In general, mom can enjoy the same oils that are being used for baby! Citrus oils such as Lemon, Orange,  or Bergamot are uplifting. Use these oils in a personal inhaler or diffused to help support mom’s emotionally through this difficult time. 

Keep in mind that while mom is nursing, essential oils should not be applied to the breasts and mom should only use oils that are nursing safe. Once mom has fully weaned and baby is no longer breastfeeding, moms may also experience physical discomfort. A 1-2% dilution of essential oils such as Lavender or Copaiba could be applied to the breast to help alleviate some of the discomfort associated with weaning.

 

After Weaning

Woman sleeping while holding her baby

We recommend avoiding Peppermint essential oil while breastfeeding because it could lower milk supply.  Naturally, this may lead to the question of whether Peppermint can help dry up milk once the baby has weaned. While there are no studies that can be pointed to that help support this theory, there is no reason why a mom can’t use Peppermint after baby has weaned. However, because the Peppermint can cause babies to have difficulties breathing, we would recommend applying to an area where the baby will not be able to smell or come into contact with the oil. Consider applying 1-2% dilution to the abdomen, as long as baby will have no exposure.

To help cope with the situational stress of weaning, diffusing a Kidsafe oil for 30-60 minutes, 1-2 times a day is a good choice for both mom and baby.  If mom is still breastfeeding on occasion, we would recommend sticking to Kidsafe & Nursing safe essential oils. 

No matter your reasons for weaning, do not forget to be gentle with yourself during this time. Celebrate your journey and embrace this new phase in life and what it means for you. 

 

Transition Diffuser Blend

Woman relaxing on her couch

What you’ll need:

Add all these products to your cart

What you’ll do:

Combine oils in a personal inhaler and use to help ease the emotions of the transition time.

Need more help and suggestions? Feel free to email our aromatherapists at [email protected] or check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook for DIY recipes and support! 

Natural Ways to Support Breastfeeding: Milk Supply and Relaxation

By Kristin Lail, Certified Aromatherapist & SEOR Admin

Bonding with baby through breastfeeding can be an incredibly rewarding, yet trying, experience. Many women struggle with supply issues, sleep deprivation and more.  I remember the times when I wanted to throw my hands up and shout! No one told me that there would be times when I would feel tired, touched out and like my body didn’t even belong to myself.  The truth is, moms tend to forget the bad once their babies have weaned. Our babies quickly grow up and we remember those precious moments with a rose-tinted hue. But if we’re really being honest, those difficult moments do exist and we’re not doing anyone favors by pretending that they don’t. We are going to address some of those issues and empower mothers to choose essential oils that will help ease some of the emotional and physical concerns that interfere with breastfeeding.

Which Essential Oils Are Safe to Use?

First and foremost, make sure that you’re choosing from oils that are safe for nursing moms and using them at the proper dilution. Our blog post Are Essential Oils Safe to Use While Breastfeeding gives a comprehensive guide for usage. Generally, we recommend a 1% dilution of nursing safe essential oils. However, do not apply essential oils to the breast or nipples.  We also recommend avoiding peppermint essential oil because some women have reported a dip in milk supply after using the oil. While there are no scientific studies done on the effect of peppermint on milk supply, it would be best to play it safe and avoid the oil altogether. Particularly for women who already suffer from supply issues.  [1]

Supply Issues

Supply issues are one of the biggest concerns that moms have.  Maybe baby isn’t gaining enough or they’re eating so frequently that mom begins to look for something to give her supply a boost.  Unfortunately, there is very little research that indicates that essential oils could be helpful for increasing milk supply. Because of this, it would be remiss to recommend essential oils over the care of a trained professional who is equipped to help with supply issues.  I know this feels discouraging but please keep reading! Just because essential oils aren’t known to boost supply doesn’t mean that they can’t help with some of the stress and anxiety that can have negative impacts on breastfeeding.

Before we get into what may be helpful, we must first address some potentially harmful advice that mothers are often given. Though it is often recommended in online groups, we do not recommend the use of essential oils such as Basil or Fennel because these oils are estrogenic and should not be used around little ones. For breastfeeding mothers, this means that the estrogenic properties could transfer to the milk and this would not be healthy for baby.

What About Supplements?

Woman holding baby

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s talk about galactagogues. In case you were wondering, a galactagogue is a substance that helps to boost milk supply. It is very important that mothers consult with a lactation expert before beginning any routine with a galactagogue.  Often times supply issues could have an underlying cause that needs to be addressed and sometimes a supplement really isn’t the best choice. Issues that can impact breastfeeding would best be recognized by a lactation expert. Consulting with an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) may be a mother’s best chance for figuring out what is causing supply issues. [2]

The Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine recommends the following protocol,  “Before the use of a galactagogue, a lactation expert should thoroughly evaluate the entire feeding process and maximize non-galactagogue management. In the absence of evidence for low milk supply, the mother should be reassured. When intervention is indicated, modifiable factors should be addressed: maternal anxiety and mental health issues, comfort and relaxation for the mother, frequency and effectiveness of milk removal, and any underlying medical conditions. Medication should never replace evaluation and counseling on modifiable factors. There remain selected indications for the use of galactagogues, but the current data are insufficient to make any definitive recommendations.” [3]

Reducing Stress & Anxiety

Woman feeling stressed with baby on her bed

Stress and Anxiety can have an effect on breastfeeding. Though stress doesn’t directly affect milk supply, it can certainly affect mom. When mom is stressed, she may not take the time for self-care. When the body is stressed, it releases a hormone called cortisol that could make the baby cranky. And this could decrease how often baby is nursing. What started as stress then becomes an issue of dehydration, fatigue, a cranky mom and baby, and less time spent at the breast. All of these factors could result in lower milk supply. [4]

Inhalation of essential oils can help reduce stress. A clinical study in 2016 on 140 women showed that inhalation of lavender essential oil was helpful for reducing stress and anxiety in postpartum mothers. [5] Additionally, Bergamot and Yuzu are two citrus oils that have been the focus of clinical studies for their anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) effects in recent years. Both of these oils showed promising results at helping reduce stress and anxiety and for improving overall health and wellness. [6, 7]

Addressing the stress and anxiety that goes along with breastfeeding is a great first step at improving the nursing relationship.  Using a personal essential oil inhaler is also an excellent choice for moms who just need a moment. Take that moment and breathe. Don’t forget…you’ve got this!

You’ve Got This Inhaler Blend

Woman breastfeeding

What you’ll need:

Add all these products to your cart

What you’ll do:

In a personal inhaler combine the following essential oils and inhale deeply when feeling stressed and anxious. 

Need more tips on how you can use essential oils to support your breastfeeding journey? Feel free to email our aromatherapists at [email protected] or check out our Safe Essential Oil Recipes group on Facebook for DIY recipes and support! 

Sources

  1. Peppermint and Breastfeeding – Results of Poll. (2019, March 28). Retrieved from https://tisserandinstitute.org/peppermint-and-breastfeeding-results-of-poll/
  2. What is a galactagogue? Do I need one? • KellyMom.com. (2018, January 02). Retrieved from https://kellymom.com/bf/can-i-breastfeed/herbs/herbal_galactagogue/
  3. Brodribb, W. (2018, 06). ABM Clinical Protocol #9: Use of Galactogogues in Initiating or Augmenting Maternal Milk Production, Second Revision 2018. Breastfeeding Medicine, 13(5), 307-314. doi:10.1089/bfm.2018.29092.wjb
  4. How Does Stress Impact Breastfeeding? (2018, February 20). Retrieved from https://insured.amedadirect.com/stress-impact-breastfeeding/
  5. Kianpour, M., Mansouri, A., Mehrabi, T., & Asghari, G. (2016). Effect of lavender scent inhalation on prevention of stress, anxiety and depression in the postpartum period. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27095995
  6. Han, X., Gibson, J., Eggett, D. L., & Parker, T. L. (2017, May). Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) Essential Oil Inhalation Improves Positive Feelings in the Waiting Room of a Mental Health Treatment Center: A Pilot Study. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5434918/
  7. Matsumoto, T., Kimura, T., & Hayashi, T. (2016). Aromatic effects of a Japanese citrus fruit-yuzu (Citrus junos Sieb. ex Tanaka)-on psychoemotional states and autonomic nervous system activity during the menstrual cycle: a single-blind randomized controlled crossover study. BioPsychoSocial medicine, 10, 11. doi:10.1186/s13030-016-0063-7
  8. Studies on normal infant sleep • KellyMom.com. (2018, January 03). Retrieved from https://kellymom.com/parenting/nighttime/sleepstudies/
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