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Back to School Essential Oils to Support Your Kid's Health

Mother greeting her daughter outside of schoolThe back-to-school season is a mammoth shift for kids and their families alike. Even more notorious are back-to-school illnesses at all ages, which spread far beyond the home and classroom. Every company with an employee who needs to pick up a sick kid at a moment's notice is familiar with the disruption.

If you aren’t already using essential oils, time to start! They're a fantastic way to jumpstart the immune system and reinforce your children's healthy—and yours!

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

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Ease stress, clean, and disinfect, and try incorporating some or all of these easy applications below.

Essential oils can help naturally keep everyone well through the big transition into a new school year.

Uses for Essential Oils for Reducing or Handling Stress

Smell has the power to completely transform a person’s mental state. With the right oils, these powerful scents can calm nervousness and help a person—whether parent, teacher or child—to relax.

Use essential oils for stress relief or to uplift your emotions.

Below are several ways you can use essential oils to enhance your life and health. Try one out.

  • Add a few drops of a calming oil like lavender or rose to your shower to create an especially therapeutic experience.
  • Put a few drops of a grounding oil like cedarwood or sandalwood on a handkerchief to carry with you. When things feel hectic, these earth scents can ground you.
  • Rub a few drops of stress-reducing oil like ylang ylang or lavender oil on your temples or at the base of your skull for a calming effect.
  • Inhale clary sage oil, which is traditionally known as an anti-anxiety and antidepressant oil.

For more on de-stressing with oils, see our blog about essential oils that help cope with stress.

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Essential Oils for Disinfecting and Sanitizing

Oils aren’t just to cover odors or make the air smell pleasant—the majority of essential oils are also effective disinfectants. Most oils are antimicrobial and anti-fungal because of a naturally-present weak acid called phenol, and the alcohol they contain also makes them antiseptic.

  • Add a few drops of tea tree oil, a natural antibacterial derived from the Melaleuca tree, to your laundry detergent or to a spray bottle of water for cleaning surfaces.
  • Add up to a teaspoon of peppermint oil to your surface cleaners to add a fresh scent and extra disinfecting power.
  • Make this lemon disinfectant spray: 1 cup rubbing alcohol + 15 drops lemon oil. Combine in a glass spray bottle (oils can react inside metal containers) and use on hard surfaces. After spraying, wipe the area with a rag to dry.

Essential Oils for a Good Night's Sleep

We are all a little more focused and in a better mood with the right amount of sleep, but getting enough is a common struggle. Especially when the carefree schedule of summertime transitions into school year bedtimes, falling asleep can be challenging. Using essential oils for sleep on a regular basis can calm the brain and cue the body that it’s time for rest.

  • Apply an earthy oil like cedarwood or frankincense to the bottoms of your feet before bed.
  • Use lavender, chamomile, or ylang ylang in a diffuser near the bed.
  • Place a few drops of lavender or bergamot in your palms, rub them together and cup your palms a few inches away from your face while inhaling deeply.

Essential oils are extracted from chamomile

Essential Oils to Comfort Head Colds and Illness

There is nothing like inhaling peppermint to clear a head cold or headache in my opinion. Cough drops and compresses capitalize on the scent with menthol, but they can be more chemical than natural or overly expensive.

Using nature's oils, you can ease symptoms from any back-to-school bugs in a healthy way.

  • Mix a few drops of chamomile into a body oil and rub on the neck and feet to ease body aches, or drop some on a warm compress for your neck or chest.
  • Take a peppermint beadlet (a small, ingestible form sold by oil companies like DoTerra), or apply a small amount of peppermint oil to the temples to reduce stuffiness and headache. With peppermint, always be careful to keep the oil away from the eyes because it can burn and sting if it gets too close.
  • Place a few drops of a gentle oil like chamomile or lavender into a pot of boiling water, hold your head above the water about a foot or more, and breathe deeply. You can also drape a towel over your head to hold the steam in. Of course, be incredibly careful of the hot water and steam.
Even though oils are nature's remedies, don't underestimate the strength and overdo their use. Use a soothing oil like eucalyptus or thieves in a diffuser to fill the air with a calming, clarifying scent.

Whether your children are in school or at a play date or you're working out at the gym, these natural remedies will help your family stay healthier and happier.

Try whatever oils feel right to you and test their effects yourself.

LEARN MORE about Essential Oils

* None of the statements in this blog have been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. None of the above recommendations are intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any condition or disease. Essential oils are naturally produced substances that can assist the body in its own healing process, but we make no claims whatsoever. Use with moderation and discretion.

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Enid R. Spitz / Heartmanity ContributorEnid R. Spitz / Heartmanity Contributor
Enid Spitz is a writer, yoga instructor, and works at the popular Lululemon. She previously lived in Portland, OR and Seattle, WA, where she was a newspaper editor and researched yoga for Traumatic Brain Injury. Heartmanity combines Enid's passions for social well-being, neuroscience, and yoga. When not writing or on the yoga mat, she is an avid traveller, and loves being outdoors.

Posted in Habits for Health

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