By Susan Hilton RN, MSN & Certified Aromatherapist
The summer of 2017 is almost over and school will be starting for most kids in the coming weeks. I’d like to show parents how to incorporate therapeutic essential oils to the routines you will be creating for your children when school starts back. I’m going to be discussing four routines that will be helpful to get your children off to a good start.
Creating a calm environment is the first routine. Going back to school can be challenging for many parents and children. To ease the transition, about a week before the first day of school, start their bedtime routine about 10 minutes earlier each night and wake them up 10 minutes earlier each morning, every day, until they’re back on track. Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) essential oil is probably the best oil for all ages. It is safe to use without a carrier oil and can be diffused or applied topically. A calming bath with Himalayan or sea salts and 4-5 drops of lavender oil can promote a restful transition for going to bed. If needed, lavender can also be applied to the bottom of your child’s feet or a couple of drops diffused in their room for a few hours. Cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana) is another safe essential oil for bedtime.
Preparing for the day is the second routine. Getting up early after a summer of sleeping late is a hard habit to get used to. Transitioning everyone’s routine as I talked about earlier can help. However, the early morning has its own issues. Diffusing peppermint (Mentha piperita) and orange (Citrus sinensis) or lemon (Citrus limon) in the bathroom or kitchen table is a good way to help everyone wake up and be ready for the day. Peppermint is stimulating and citrus oils are uplifting.
Boosting your child’s immunity (and your own) is the third routine. Children love to share everything including viruses, bacteria, and sometimes even bugs. Using any citrus essential oil will help to boost immunity. However, sometimes we need more potent essential oils to prevent illness and promote healing. One blend that is safe for all ages is Get Well Kiddo. Its ingredients are cedarwood (Juniperus virginiana), lemon (Citrus limon), ravintsara (Cinnamomum camphora) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis 1, 8 cineole). All these ingredients have the ability to fight off viruses and bacteria. Ravintsara and rosemary also relieve stuffy noses. Cedarwood helps to relax the body and mind.
For kids aged 10 and older, the blend called Defend can be used. Its ingredients are cinnamon bark (Cinnamomum zeylanicum), clove (Szygium aromaticum), Eucalyptus radiata, lemon and rosemary. These oils fight off viruses and bacteria, open sinuses and relieve stuffy noses, and boost immunity. Get Well Kiddo and Defend can be rubbed on the bottom of your child’s feet or diffused. Parents can use them, too.
Head lice is another issue for some children returning to school. Again, kids share everything, including combs and hats. Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) essential oil is the main essential oil for this problem. Tea tree oil can not only prevent lice, but it can also kill the eggs. A drop can be massaged into the hair before school. It can be added to water in a spray bottle and sprayed on the hair before and after school. You can use a drop in shampoo. It can also be used to spray beds and other furniture and carpet.
The fourth and final routine is improving concentration and focus. Some children find it difficult to get in the habit of focusing on studies and homework. Spearmint (Mentha spicata), peppermint, cardamom (Eletteria cardamomum), and rosemary are some oils that are known to stimulate the mind, strengthen memory, and enhance concentration. A blend of these oils in a carrier oil can be used in a roller bottle. The child can take this to school and use when needed.
The Nature Cottage has a kit with the oils that were discussed. Contact Susan to get yours before school starts. You can call 336-843-4297 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Nature Cottage is located at 21 S. Main St. in Lexington.