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Eucalyptus Oil & Children

author image Sara Clement
Sara Clement has been a writer, editor and social-media expert since 2002. A regular contributor for publications such as "Exhale," "Reflections of a Butterfly" and "The Giggle Guide," she is currently writing a book about grief and loss and coauthoring a sequel to "Being Ourself." She holds a Bachelor of Arts in premedical science and psychology/education from the University of Montana.
Eucalyptus Oil & Children
A favorite food of koalas, the eucalyptus leaf's volatile essential oil is used in aromatherapy.

Using eucalyptus essential oil with children is a non-toxic way to administer a powerful antiseptic and antibacterial aroma-therapeutic to the olfactory and bronchial systems. This powerful essential oil should always be greatly diluted when being used on or near an child's delicate system, and it should never be applied to an infant less than two years old. If your infant is having a great deal of trouble breathing or is sick, contact your health care provider immediately. Infants are more susceptible to severe illnesses, such as pneumonia, requiring a doctor's prompt attention.

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What is it?

Eucalyptus essential oil is extracted from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. The healing vapors from the leaves of this Australian botanical native have been used as a folk remedy for thousands of years to treat coughs, colds, bronchitis and other respiratory problems. Aromatherapists use the concentrated essential oil of the eucalyptus tree to provide the therapeutic benefits of this medicinal plant in a more extensive range of applications. When using essential oils on chidlren, take care to avoid application to mucous membranes, where burning and irritation can occur. Always consult with your doctor before starting treatment.

Vaporizers and Eucalyptus Oil

When mixed with basil essential oil it can also act as an antispasmodic and expectorant. A useful mixture, according to aromatherapist Jeanne Rose, to relieve a stuffy sinuses is to mix 2 parts eucalyptus oil with 2 parts basil oil, 1 part juniper berry oil and 1 part lavender essential oil. Add 12-15 drops of the mixture to a hot vaporizer and let the warm, moist air flow into your child's room.

Child Chest Massage and Eucalyptus Oil

To apply eucalyptus essential oil directly to the body use 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil and add 10 drops eucalyptus essential oil. Use this oil to offer your child a gentle chest massage to deliver the healing vapors to the bronchial region. Ensure that your baby is kept away from cool drafts and keep the massage short and soothing.

Bath time

According to Anne Frye of "Holistic Midwifery," another way to let your baby enjoy the healing aroma of eucalyptus oil is to put five drops in his warm bath water. As baby plays in the bathtub, the oil will safely absorb into his skin and penetrate the air around him.

Mama and Daddy Therapy

Delivering the aromatic oils of eucalyptus to a fussy, clingy child should be as soothing as possible. Because sick babies tend to need constant holding, Moms and Dads can take turns offering aromatherapy cuddles to their baby. Simply massage a thin layer of olive oil that has been infused with eucalyptus oil, thyme oil, and juniper oil to your own chest. If you are breastfeeding, be careful to avoid the breast area. As you carry your child, she will benefit from the close contact as well as the sinus and bronchial relief offered by the essential oils on your skin.

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  • "Your Baby and Child"; William Sears, M.D.; 2002
  • "The Aromatherapy Book"; Jeanne Rose; 1992
  • "The Attachment Parenting Book"; William and Martha Sears; 2001
  • "Nightime Parenting"; William Sears; 1999
  • "Holistic Midwifery"; Anne Frye; 1999
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