Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Breathing a Little Easier with Eucalyptus Essential Oil

There's been a bit of blog silence here. I could blame it on a myriad of things. For part of the week, we were busy painting our kitchen cabinets. Then there was the planning and execution of our annual Halloween party this past week.  Or maybe it was partly because I was busy searching thrift store racks and sewing costumes, sometimes until 2 AM (hobbit and mummy costumes this year). Part of the reason for the blog silence was most certainly due to my oldest child getting strep throat, which meant lots of downtime just hanging out (read: snuggling), watching Halloween movies, and drinking smoothies. To top it off, my other boy got a nasty little cold a couple days later (how does a little nose produce so much mucus, I ask you). It's been busy, to say the least.

But now the boys are better, for the most part. My baby still has a bit of a cough and I'm still, to his chagrin, wiping his nose from time to time. One thing that helped my sweet little guy...

... eucalyptus essential oil.

Eucalyptus oil has a strong yet refreshing smell and has been used as a remedy for centuries, first by the aborigines of modern-day Australia, then to the people of China, India, and Greece.  It's powerful stuff in that little bottle! (For more a comprehensive look at eucalyptus oil, check out this helpful link.)

The way I use it to help my kids with colds is at bathtime. While I'm running the water, I just add a few drops (like five or so) to the bath. In seconds, the entire room smells like eucalyptus. It's like Vapo-Rub in bath form.

I also use it in the shower, particularly in the middle of the night. I swear kids' coughs get and sound worse at night. Last week, there was one night in particular when my little guy's coughing woke him up and he was just miserable. I took him the bathroom, put a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a washcloth, put it in the tub, and turned the shower on as hot as it would go. The room filled with the eucalyptus-infused steam and my little guy fell back asleep soon after. (Sidenote: I saw these homemade vapor shower disks on Pinterest a while back and I have yet to make them, but they seem like a great thing and I'll bet they'd work better in the shower than just the oil on a washcloth.)

The nice thing about eucalyptus oil is that it is one of the less expensive essential oils. You can use it in other ways besides the one I've mentioned -- as far as I can tell, eucalyptus oil is a great basic essential oil to keep on hand. I still have lots to learn about essential oils, but the more I learn, the more I like them. And if they help my little ones breathe easier, even better.

{Disclaimer: I think it goes without saying that I am no doctor. Not even close. I got a degree in English, people. So if you have any concerns or questions, contact a physician.}

Note: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have disclosed.

(This post is linked up to Your Green Resource, Simple Lives Thursday and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.)

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