It's crazy how much there is to learn about essential oils. I would say about seventy five percent of people I speak with have said at one time or another "I have essential oils but they just sit there because I don't know what to do with them", or "I bought a kit a while back but it just sits there because I don't know which ones to use, how, and when."
I was there once too! During my first pregnancy I boxed up all my essential oils and tucked them away. I was only experienced with using a few of them. The ones I had been using prior, I only used them because I was told how to and what to use them for. Once I was handed my first "What to Expect When Expecting Book", I just knew that spare time when I wasn't working full time was going to be used for resting, reading, and preparing for birth and what was to come after.
I boxed those essential oils because I knew there were precautions with pregnancy and babies and I wasn't confident in using them safely and I definitely didn't want to bring upon any harm to my sweet baby in utero or out.
A few months after our daughter was born I ended up grabbing for those essential oils when her Dad got into some poison ivy. I remembered right away how helpful lavender and tea tree were to dry out, heal, and calm the itch of the rash. I then became so excited to start going through them again and reading the book I was given to learn more about safe use.
I made a lavender spray to spray around the crib at nap time and bed time. It's crazy to look back and think that I only used that one spray because I didn't have time to learn safe use during pregnancy and with babies. My next two pregnancies were so much different as I used natural wellness products and remedies SO much more often.
I am so glad that I took the plunge to learn more because I needed the support of aromatherapy and other natural products to balance my mood, promote better sleep, nourish my skin and all my little's skin, and so much more!
While there are an incredible amount of essential oils and herbs that are NOT to be used during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and with babies, the ones that are safe to use when used in the proper dilutions, amount, and used correctly, are beyond beneficial!
I had a learning curve with though! When I ran out of lavender and had to go to a local store for some, let me make this short and sweet.... two trips, two different brands of lavender, and the result was ZERO, nothing. There was a sweet baby who wasn't sleeping better, no relaxing aroma, no feeling of calm, and if anything, both aroma's gave a feeling of nausea because they weren't like the true, earthy lavender I knew. One was very strong, not earthy, just a strong, almost cologne like, lavender aroma, and the other smelt like a terrible perfume. I was certain if I felt that way about the aroma, that my baby felt that way times ten!
This is when I learned how extremely important it is to know what makes a good brand. How to distinguish true essential oils from fragranced essential oils. It would be really helpful if there wasn't so much confusion with the wording on the labels and bottles.
A medicinal essential oil is a "true" essential oil. It is only the very concentrated oil that comes directly from the plant. There are no other ingredients on the label. The word fragrance is certainly not in the list of ingredients. The label provides the botanical name so you can identify which plant the essential oil came from and search for the correct precautions based on the botanical name.
A good company will let you know exactly where the plant comes from and if they are a smaller company, you may even get a better list of key information that makes up the essential oil, like the quality of the air and soil, and the altitude the plant is grown, with a more specific intention that that essential oil will be recommended for.
Long story short, there is much more to learn about choosing a brand that carries "true" essential oils and how to identify this yourself at home when you are trying that essential oil.
There is so much benefit that can come from using natural wellness, aromatherapy, and other natural remedies for Mom's, babies, and children of all ages, however, safety must be learned in order to prevent harm, adverse reactions, and so forth.
I am sure some of you are saying "But Jamie, what CAN I safely use then with my babies or little's?"
I teach this in my programs! The fantastic part... my program outline is set but the age for safe use, precautions, blending, dilutions, and products is set to the age your kiddos are at. Even if you are an expecting Momma or have children who are three, six, twelve, and eighteen!
Let me end with a bit more insight for the soon to be Mom's or Mom's new to natural wellness...
~ Nutrition is HUGE. Heal from the inside and you will notice healing on the outside. Nutrition also provides us with immunity and energy to function optimally.
~ Keeping it simple with natural products is best during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and with babies. Babies actually do NOT need essential oil use at all. Essential oils are very concentrated and most are way too concentrated for babies! Babies are also very sensitive which includes their sense of smell, airway and breathing, and their gentle skin. Safety is so important to prevent adverse reactions.
~ If you experience nausea, headache, or a skin reaction after using essential oils, that is an adverse reaction and your body telling you that essential oil or amount used is not for you.
~ Never heard of a hydrosol? Lavender hydrosol is safer, more gentle, and has (in my opinion) a more lovely, softer, lavender aroma. It can be sprayed as needed in any room to promote a sense of calm or used topically on the skin to promote healing and skin nourishment. I LOVE teaching about hydrosols, especially for little's.
~ Mandarin (Citrus reticulata) has been noted in many sources to be a great option to diffuse with babies and children. Always check precautions from the botanical name prior to use and in reference with your child's age and health status, and consult with your health care provider prior to use, especially during pregnancy, breastfeeding, and with babies.
P.S. I also teach this and emphasize on safety as if your sweet littles were my own.
Remember to take time out for yourself, time out for your littles without twenty other things on your mind, and take in all those sweet moments.
~ Healthy Wishes, Jamie
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Spring is finally here and the sun is shining bright as we wait for summer to approach with even warmer temperatures. Yard work is a must every weekend this month to prepare for flowering and gardening, and doing absolutely anything in the warm sun will make for the perfect day.
During the spring we find ourselves reaching for the citrus oils to uplift our mood for indoor spring cleaning. We open the windows to smell the fresh breeze and waft the energies of the lemon and lime essential oil drops diffusing in the air. Clarity, energy, and an uplifted mood are just a few of the amazing benefits of diffusing citrus oils. However, some of you may like to add citrus drops to your favorite lotions or carrier oils for dull or oily skin, slow digestion, or even just for the love of the smell or uplifted mood the citrus scent can bring. The topical application of certain citrus essential oils can actually turn into a painful skin reaction as in a sunburn with redness and blisters if the skin is exposed to UV light after application, leaving you indoors, uncomfortable, with hopes of healing skin to get back out doors. Although citrus oils can have wonderful benefits for our skin, they can also have a very damaging effect in the sunshine.
For example, Lemon (Citrus limon) is a very commonly used essential oil in the spring. Those opening up their cabins from winter may be reaching for lemon essential oil to really boost a better scent of fresher air, while also applying lemon essential oil to the the skin to uplift spirits, benefit skin ailments, spring colds… whatever the reason for topical application, one must know that cold pressed lemon (Citrus limon) essential oil is phototoxic.
Natural chemicals called furanocoumarins (FC’s), found in certain essential oils can react when exposed to ultraviolet light. This causes a delayed phototoxic skin reaction peaking around 36-72 hours after UVA exposure. Extensive sun burn-like redness and blistering of the exposed skin can occur. Not all FC’s are phototoxic and others that are phototoxic have different degrees of phototoxicity. For one who is extremely interested in the chemical make up of essential oils and the percentage one can safely topically apply without risking a damaging phototoxic effect, it is highly recommended to research the essential oils you are going to use prior in the Essential Oil Safety Book by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young.
Another good bit of information to note is that citrus oils that are “cold pressed” are phototoxic while “steam distilled” citrus oils are not phototoxic. There are also essential oils besides citrus oils that are phototoxic. Photoxicity should also not be confused with sensitization, another reaction that can happen with overuse of the same essential oils and chemical constituents or with repeated undiluted use of essential oils.
Here is a list of a few common phototoxic essential oils: (Please note this is only a very small list of phototoxic essential oils, there are additional essential oils that cause phototoxicity as well as essential oils listed with a “potential” to be phototoxic)
* Lemon (Citrus limon)
* Bitter orange (Citrus aurantium)
* Lime (Citrus aurantifolia)
* Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
* Bergamont (Citrus bergamia)
* Angelica root (Angelica archangelic L.)
If a phototoxic essential oil has been applied to the skin, it is best to keep that area of the skin out of the sun or covered to prevent a phototoxic reaction for 12-18 hours after application, especially with children.
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Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand and Rodney Young, Second Edition; Copyright 2014 Pages 85 & 194
The Aromatherapy Beauty Guide by Danielle Sade; Copyright 2017 Pages 27 & 28
Is there anyone who doesn't get excited to wander through the garden in spring to see if any plants are welcoming you?
The more I plant my own food, the more I learn about resources, nourishment, saving money, and having an endless supply of certain produce and herbs.
I have definitely had a shift in mind set when it comes to gardening and planting pots and baskets around the house. I invite you to read on and see if I can help create inspiration within yourself to think the same.
First, instead of buying that flower basket that vibrantly speaks to me, I ask myself if it has any use besides its beauty. If not, I prefer to search for a beautiful flower that holds medicinal or nutritional value and spend my money wiser. A flower that is just as vibrant, such as organic Calendula, that can be harvested and infused into oils, bone broth, or tea for internal and external healing.
Second, I now feel the need to question what goes in my garden and if it will return again. I have become quite fond of the idea of having perennials versus annuals to save money and have a free return of a nourishing foods and herbs. Chives, strawberries, lemon balm, lavender, lovage, and mints are a few of those I have planted and anxiously wait to see them return. I divide them when they are fully grown and place them in multiple places to increase growth and production... and to ensure I have plenty more if the critters sneak in.
I have also started to save the seeds of the annual flowers and vegetables to have a free seed supply for the following year.
At the end of fall, I repot plants to bring indoors to continue to have a food or herb supply for as long as the plant will survive. Some will last right through spring and get replanted. Food is medicine, herbs are medicinal. To have them indoors during the cold winter months is a wonderful feeling.
Lastly, I look at what I can grow indoors during the winter months to continue to nourish my family or hold onto in case its medicinal use is needed. Lemon Balm has always been wonderful to survive right through the winter. Chives can be split up outdoors and a batch can be potted to bring in. Other herbs and edible flowers can be brought inside. New greens planted late summer can be brought in too. Other herbs that cannot be brought indoors, can be harvested and dried or froze for later use.
Micro-greens are an amazing nutrient source, small... but pack a punch with nourishment, and do not take up much space. Micro-greens are said to have up forty times the nutrients than the mature leaves! Up to forty times!!!
When you allow your children to take part in the gardening and growing, they are also more apt to want to indulge in their healthy veggies. For the child who isn't a fan of greens and lettuce, letting them know they can add a few of the tiniest micro-greens to their sandwich for a super charge of nutrients can really get them fired up to add them. Or, just tell them when they see a leaf of green, it means you love them! It works!
I have also find that every tree or shrub I look at, I am asking if it has a healthful purpose and looking for alternatives that bear fruit or have parts with medicinal value.
Mother nature has a lot to provide to nourish our bodies and minds if we are open to thinking about it and learning more.
Teach your children as you learn so they too, can learn, do, and grow.
** Always check precautions of all herbs prior to use. Never harvest any herbs or flowers unless you are 120 percent sure of your harvest. Always teach your children about precautions and plant look a likes, some which can be fatal. **
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Homework time again!? Parents and students alike can have so many emotions when it comes to getting studies done. Fortunately, we are blessed with options to help assist our bodies to settle down and our minds to tune in. Let’s explore my favorite study time essential oils for the diffuser beneficial for kids and parents.
Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Oh for the love of sweet orange! This is my all time favorite essential oil to add to the diffuser while the kids are pulling out their homework from their book bags and getting ready to prepare their bodies and brains for thinking! The sweet orange tree is smaller than the bitter orange tree and also has a sweeter pulp. Hmmm, smaller fruit, sweet in the middle… totally equals little, sweet, smiling, snuggly, children right!?!
Sweet orange essential oil, in most cases, is cold pressed from the rind of the fruit. It has a lovely and sweet orange aroma that is not too stimulating nor too calming, thus it can be diffused any time of day. So whether you have a fifth grader needing to do homework at 6 pm or a high schooler doing homework at 10 pm after sports, this essential oil can be diffused during study time without worry of overstimulating the nervous system and losing out on a good night of rest.
Have more than just sweet orange essential oil? Let’s make it a blend! Two other essential oils that I like to add to the diffuser for study time are Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and Lemon (Citrus limon).
I love to grab the lavender and add a few drops along with sweet orange when I notice the school and homework tension and anxiety building in the kids, or even when the kids are just super energetic and aren’t up for studies. Lavender can be calming, for most, in lower amounts. Thus, adding too much can actually stimulate the nervous system, so only add a few drops. This is a beautiful smelling blend that can assist to bring upon a calmer energy, prior to getting started, without losing all motivation to get the studies done.
On the other hand, for days when the kids are overwhelmed with thoughts and need clarity to concentrate, I add Lemon to the mix. Lemon is said to be energizing, uplifting, and helpful for producing clarity and thought. Lemon is cold pressed, in most cases, right from the lemon rind. Lemon should not be used after 6pm as it is a stimulating essential oil.
Can all three of these essential oils be added to the diffuser at once? Absolutely! You may also try Lavender and Lemon. Have fun with all the different combinations and start to enjoy study time!
Ready to learn more!? Click the link below!
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The Directory of Essential Oils, Wanda Sellar, Copyright 1992 & 2001, Pg’s 100,101
If you are just starting out on your wellness journey, then you are in the right place and the perfect time! And if you have been on this journey for sometime, but would love more seeding idea's to build from, you too, are in the right place!
My journey started quite some time ago. I was learning my way into the medical world but also learning how essential oils could provide emotional support in a crazy work environment as well as how to diffuse and use them for recovering from illness more quickly. I was told where to buy one brand of essential oils from and was given my first aromatherapy book to guide me from a dear colleague of whom I looked up to. Of course there are many wonderful brands out there now, but this was my starting point about twenty years ago. This was the greatest gift ever. It left me with seeds to plant and room to grow in all directions.
Over the years my knowledge and experience with aromatherapy products has expanded greatly and my main focus is on family health and wellness. I have fallen madly in love with plants and herbs along the way and love to incorporate both sources for a double amplified healthful and healing outcome.
I have found an incredible amount of interest in other natural therapies and find the stories of herbal farmers and homesteaders quite intriguing. I have expanded my own garden and healing herbal garden beds every year for the past few years as well, offering opportunity for my children to learn, do, and grow. We enjoy getting to harvest our own herbs for immunity building and medicinal use.
I have found spiritual growth within myself using aromatic products and have enjoyed having a different perspective on life events. All of the growth in all of these area's makes me feel like I am setting a better example for my children... and that means the world to me, as do they.
I find that flower essences and tinctures have the most beautiful and energetic stories to tell and can bring out the best in us that has for some reason been hidden behind the leaves.
I find using food as medicine to prevent illness or to recover quickly is a huge piece of natural health and wellness that cannot be thrown in the weed bucket. Just as important, is taking care of our bodies with stretching, yoga, and working out in one way or another.
But what I often see and know by experience, is that all of the pieces can become a garden of information that is too big for the time we are allowed, the focus that we have, and the patience to learn and try within us, that can lead to overwhelm and shut down.
So today I would like to invite you to follow along on my wellness news page to learn more, gather idea's, or let the information shared plant seeds to bloom later for you.
"Tiny steps will eventually become a big leap." Jamie
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Jamie Michaels, Natural Wellness Educator & Founder of Children's Wellness Tree
All information shared on this website is for educational purposes only. The content shared is not to replace a visit with your medical provider. The wellness information shared does not make any medical claims. Always check all precautions of all natural wellness products including essential oils, herbs, and carrier oils, before using. Always consult with your health care provider before starting to use a new natural wellness product or therapy. Always take extra precautions with babies, children, and those with certain medical conditions.
Copyright 2022, Jamie Michaels & Children's Wellness Tree, LLC