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It’s time {again} for Back to School !

Let's get CREATIVE...-4


It happens every year, the end of summer. Kids everywhere have to give up the long, carefree days and head back to class. Wouldn’t it be nice to send your kids back to school with a few things to help make life a bit easier? Join me as we create a DIY project sure to help your child stay happy, healthy and calm while learning new things at school this year!

We all know how hard the staff at your childs’ school works to keep everything neat & tidy, but some spots do get missed. Why not give your child the ability to wipe down their hands and space at the lunch table before eating? These handy wipes can be placed in your childs’ lunch box in small zip top baggies and used daily to ensure clean hands and a clean place where they can eat

Lunch time hand wipes

What you’ll need:

  • 10-20 paper towels, folded
  • quart zip-top baggie
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp dish soap
  • Germ Destroyer

What you’ll do:

  1. Mix water, dish soap and essential oils in a glass measuring cup
  2. Place folded paper towels into zip-top bag
  3. Pour into zip-top bag
  4. Place in your childs’ lunch box and have them first wipe their hands and then their lunch space before eating

Lunch-time Hand Wipes

Another helpful tool is a personal inhaler. If you haven’t used one (or even heard of it before) you’ll want to check out this article Personal Inhaler Tips & Tricks to discover these amazing little portable aromatherapy devices. At the end of a long school day, there is often homework. Allow your child to keep their concentration while they compete their nightly tasks – Learn how to make inhalers for concentration:

Inhaler for homework

  • Use 5 drops spearmint and 10 drops of lemon on the wick of a personal inhaler to keep your student alert as t hey finish their take home assignments
  • Use A+Attention on the wick and allow your child(ren) to sniff as needed while working through their homework

A+AttentionFlyer

Lastly, we all know how important a good nights’ rest is. This ensures your child is ready to learn and has the energy to make it through the long school day. In order to promote normal, restful sleep why not try one of these great blends in the diffuser for about 30 – 60 minutes before your child goes to sleep:

  • Nighty Night formulated to promote a sense of well being and restfulness and allow you or your child to drift off to sleep while leaving they days behind.
  • Sweet Dreams formulated to encourage a restful night of sleep with minimal interruptions

We all know the importance of sleep, so your child can be ready for the next day! Why not try a brief hand/arm massage with Calming the Child body cream.  Starting at the shoulders, apply the lotion with firm (but soft) downward strokes. Work all the way tot the finger tips and finally tuck your child into bed to drift off to sleep.

Calming the Child cream is a nice way to promote a calm & relaxing environment for your student

Calming the Child cream is a nice way to promote a calm & relaxing environment for your student

Thanks for joining me as we create new products to benefit your family! If you have any questions, concerns or comments please feel free to email us at Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com Plant Therapy has a staff of 5 Aromatherapists who are happy to answer your questions about essential oils! We also have a fabulous Facebook group which you can find by clicking here: Safe Essential Oil Recipes where you can hang out with other Plant Therapy fans and share amazing recipes, tips and other essential oil related topics!


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DIY Eye Serum

Let's get CREATIVE...-3


Let’s face it, it’s the end of summer. We’ve vacationed, gardened, spent time with our families and friend and we are tired. Well, at least I am! So I set out to find something to help me look less tired! I rely on my morning cup of coffee to put some pep in my step and I thought it would also be useful to pep up my looks. Check out how below…

DIYCaffeineEyeSerum

 

What you’ll need:

What you’ll do:

  1. Place coffee grounds in glass jar
  2. Pour meadowfoam to cover (about 1/4 cup)
  3. Allow to sit for a week or so
  4. Strain the coffee grounds out of the carrier
  5. Decant into 10 mL bottle(s)
  6. To use: smooth under eyes after each cleansing

I hope you enjoy your perkier looking eyes! Let us know if you decide to make this project & how it works for you!

Why did I choose Meadowfoam for this project? Meadowfoam Carrier Oil contains 98% fatty acids long-chain carbon atoms. It is resistant to oxidation due to naturally occurring tocopherols, and is one of the most stable lipids known and will actually extend the shelf life of less stable ingredients. As a result, it has an extremely long shelf life. Meadowfoam Carrier Oil has wonderful moisturizing and rejuvenating properties and is highly recommended for use in cosmetics and skin care products especially for its UV protection properties. It is a key ingredient in many different products such as suntan lotion, massage oils and lotions, hand/facial creams, hair and scalp products, cuticle repair cream, foundations, rouges, face powders, lip sticks, shampoos, shaving creams and various other balms. Meadowfoam absorbs easily into the skin leaving a silky smooth feel.

Don’t forget – as always, we want to hear from you! Contact us by emailing Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com for any questions, concerns or comments you may have. You can join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes and participate in lively conversation with other essential oils users. We have your safety in mind – so come hang out with us to learn even more! We look forward to seeing you there!


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“You Give Me Fever”

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Those of us who are a bit more….(ahem) *mature* in age may remember singer Peggy Lee on TV, crooning “You give me fever” into the microphone.

What actually causes fever? How do we “get” one, and why? Is it dangerous, or can it actually be helpful? (<<That’s a hint!)

In today’s post from The Bridge we’ll discuss the genesis of fever and the role it plays in helping the body fight off illness.

Fever has been discussed in written history for thousands of years. The Ebers Papyrus, an Egyptian medical text written around 1500 B.C., discusses common medical ailments of the time. Many illnesses, including fever, were treated with a combination of herbs, spices, and magical incantations chanted over the patient by priest-physicians. In one section of the translated papyrus text, there’s a description of infection and attendant fever is found.  When a “wound is inflamed…[there is] a concentration of heat; the lips of that wound are reddened and that man is hot in consequence…then you must make cooling substances for him to draw the heat out…leaves of the willow.”[1,2]

Unknown

(Ancient Egyptian physician treating a patient by instilling hippopotamus dung, which was believed to contain disease fighting particles, into the nostrils of a patient.)

In ancient Roman times, during the reign of Tiberius Caesar, the scholar Aulus Cornelius Celsus described treatment of fever:

“He (the physician) had the patient well covered up to excite at the same time a violent heat and thirst. When the fever began to abate somewhat, he made him drink cold water. If he broke out in a violent sweat, the patient was considered cured.”[3]

(In this painting the patient is wrapped in blankets, and the physician also appears to be practicing “cupping”, an ancient method of treating disease.)

DBubnaw

In Japanese and Chinese writings dating from the sixteenth century, the use of thermal hot spring baths to treat all manner of illnesses, including fever, was widespread.[2]

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 (a bathhouse attendant greets a customer as another finishes a bath)

During the Middle Ages, blood-letting was a favored cure for fever. The reasoning was that fever is caused by an excess buildup of heat in the blood; therefore, drawing off some of the patient’s blood would remove the source of the fever. The famous “barber pole” with its swirling white and red colors refers not only to the proprietor who would cut hair and shave beards, but also act as blood-letter. There are differing explanations as to what the colors and the pole itself represent; one common description is that the red swirl on the pole represents blood; the white swirl, the tourniquet used to raise veins to the surface of the skin (or the bandages used afterwards), and the pole represents the stick the patient squeezed to help force the flow of blood. [3]

barbers_pole230-197x300

In the 18th and 19th centuries, doctors began treating fevers with anti-pyretic (fever-fighting) medications.  In 1763, the Rev. Edward Stone described his success in treating fifty patients with various “agues” (archaic term used to describe fevers) with extracts of white willow bark [4].  We now know that white willow bark contains salicylic acid, and a component similar to this makes up our modern aspirin.

Bayer_Aspirin_ad,_NYT,_February_19,_1917

 

What does modern medicine tell us about the genesis of fever? When healthy, our bodies maintain a nearly constant temperature of  98.6 degrees Fahrenheit (37.0 degrees Celsius). Fever occurs when the normal “set point” of 98.6 degrees is turned upwards by the hypothalamus, the “thermostat” of the brain. Elevations in body temperature normally happen during illnesses like a bacterial or viral infection, but can also happen in heat exhaustion/heat stroke, after vaccinations, an injury, or in inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.  (Fever can even occur with something as simple as overdressing a baby.)

So, what happens in the hypothalamus to cause a fever?  In response to one of the conditions described above, the immune system recognizes a threat to the body and goes on high alert. Let’s say that at daycare your child is exposed to hand-foot-mouth disease by a child infected with it.  Once infection sets in, body chemicals called pyrogens are produced, either by the virus itself or from body tissues invaded by the virus. These pyrogens are carried throughout the body by the circulatory system to the brain, where they enter the hypothalamus.  Although the process is complex, it can be described simply: pyrogens shut off heat-sensing neurons (nerve cells), and turn on cold-sensing neurons.  When the cold-sensing neurons are turned on, temperature sensors in the hypothalamus think that the body is colder than it actually is, so it compensates by raising the body temperature several degrees.

A fever is thought to help defend the body because it stimulates the production of white blood cells which help fight infection.  Also, a higher body temperature can stimulate the development of antibodies designed to help ward off infection. At the same time, having a fever may actually kill bacteria or viruses that can only survive in a narrow temperature range.  So you can see that treating a fever with ibuprofen, tylenol, or aspirin (aspirin shouldn’t used in children) can actually re-set those temperature sensors, thereby telling the immune system to put on the brakes and stop pumping out helpful antibodies and blood cells!

So what should you do, then, if your child gets a fever? Should you treat it or leave it alone?  When is a fever dangerous and when can you safely stay at home?  Note: **If your child is sick, always contact the primary care physician. The information that follows contains general guidelines which do not apply to every situation, and should not be construed as medical advice.**

When You Might Consider Leaving a Fever “Alone”

 The majority of fevers are not dangerous, and as I described above, they can actually aid the body in fighting off illness. When your little one has a mild or low-grade fever (generally considered to be 100.4 to about 101.5 degrees, though sources differ on the range) he/she may be listless or a little sleepy, have that “shiny sick” look in their eyes, may not feel like playing with favorite toys, be “clingy” or not much interested in eating.  You’ll feel their hearts beat a little more quickly than normal, and you’ll see that their breathing rate will be a bit faster in response to the fever. While these are all normal symptoms and generally not a cause for concern, there are measures that you can take to help ease your child’s discomfort.  Assist your child in feeling better by encouraging rest or cuddling. Taking frequent small sips of water, room temperature chamomile tea or sucking on a popsicle is helpful in maintaining hydration. Giving the child a tepid (lukewarm) sponge bath or a cool cloth on the forehead may help aid comfort.  You may consider using Roman chamomile hydrosol, diluted, in a sponge bath or on a cloth for the forehead. Call your doctor’s office to let them know what kind of symptoms your little one is having so they can advise you on a course of treatment.

When You Should Consider Treating a Fever

Should your child complain of severe pain (like a sore throat which makes swallowing difficult, or body aches that make it hard to find a comfortable position), call the doctor’s office. Ask if treating with tylenol or ibuprofen is indicated or if other intervention is necessary.

When You Should Definitely Seek Medical Attention

A high fever (over about 103, though again sources differ), headache, stiff neck, vomiting and/or diarrhea, dry diapers/no tears when crying, or an inability to wake your child means a call to the doctor is in immediate order. If it’s after hours or on the weekend, consider an immediate urgent care/ER visit, and you can always call 911 for help.

Sometimes during a fever, a child will have a febrile seizure.  This is a body convulsion brought on by the fever, most often during the first day the child is sick. Febrile seizures are terrifying for parents to witness, but only in the most extreme cases are they harmful to the child. According to the National Institute of Neurologic Disorders and Stroke, one in 25 children between the ages of 6 months-5 years will suffer at least one febrile seizure.[5]  Though the exact cause is unknown, several theories have been advanced. One is that the shivering mechanism the body uses to produce and dissipate heat is immature in infants and toddlers. Instead of inducing shivering to dissipate collected heat from the skin, the brain causes a seizure instead. Other scientists postulate that along with the pyrogens released during an illness, the brain also releases protein-based cytokines, which temporarily “scramble” the circuits in the brain, causing a seizure.[6]

First Aid for a Febrile Seizure

The first thing to remember is to try not to panic.  Though I’m an ER nurse who has witnessed countless febrile seizures, when my own daughter had one at 15 months of age, I had to fight to remain calm. Most seizures last about 15-30 seconds, but I guarantee it *feels* much longer than that!

  • Don’t put anything in the child’s mouth. Jaw spasms caused by a seizure are powerful and you can lose a finger if you try to open the mouth to insert something to keep the child’s airway open. Also, the object could break and cause the child to choke.
  • Move furniture out of the way if the child is on the floor so he/she doesn’t get injured by striking anything while seizing. If your child is in bed, place your body by the edge of the bed to make sure he/she doesn’t fall off. Do not hold or restrain the child during the seizure.
  • If you have the presence of mind to do so, look at the clock or try to time the seizure so you can relay this information to the doctor.
  • Once the seizure stops, gently place the child on their side (recovery position) and seek medical attention.

 

Though fevers are annoying and bothersome, remember that most are harmless and actually help the body fight off infection.  Never hesitate to call the doctor if you are unsure or concerned about your child’s condition. In most cases, lots of TLC, rest, and fluids are all that it will take to get your little one back on track.

 

We want you to learn as much as you want about essential oils and how to use them safely. If you have any questions, comments or other concerns, you’re welcome to email us at Aromatherapist@plantherapy.com. Or come join us on Facebook at Safe Essential Oil Recipes!

Screen Shot 2015-08-06 at 1.33.55 AM

 

 

  1. Bryan, PW. The Papyrus Ebers. Geoffrey Bles, London, 1930.
  2. Mackowiak, Philip A. Brief History of Antipyretic Therapy. Oxford Journals, Clinical Infectious Diseases, V.31(5):S154-S156, 2000.
  3. Bierman, William. The History of Fever Therapy in the Treatment of Disease. Bulletin of NY Academic Medicine, V.18(1); 1942.
  4. Medtech website.  Bloodletting is Back! Here’s everything you need to know about this ancient practice. http://www.medtech.edu/blog/the-history-progression-and-modern-stance-on-bloodletting
  5. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke website. Febrile Seizures fact Sheet.  www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/febrile_seizures/detail_febrile_seizures.htm
  6. National Health Services (UK) website. Causes of febrile seizures.  www.nhs.uk/conditions/febrile-convulsions/pages/causes.aspx


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An exercise in smelling!!

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Today we have an interactive blog post!!! This is something I’d like for you to do with me, so read this blog post all the way through, then get prepared and play along!! **Please note: you may choose any essential oil you wish for this experiment.

Brain Smelling

The article by Stephen Dowthwaithe is an in-depth discussion on how to properly smell with your brain, and not just your nose. This is something that takes years of training – but I thought this might be fun for us to do together. By performing this experiment, you can smell all the subtleties that make up an essential oil – they are very complex!

In order to begin this experiment, it was necessary to choose an essential oil to smell. I chose lemon, as it’s one that is easily identifiable and was part of the ACHS kit. For my first step I gathered materials that could be used as test “strips”. These included a coffee filter, a paper towel and two brands of perfume strips, which can be found here: Test strips. Next, I used these various “strips” to see which would provide the best smell (see table 1). I determined that the strips provided with my student kit and the strips from Plant Therapy were nearly identical. I proceeded with the experiment using the test strips purchased from Plant Therapy. As outlined in the article, the quality of the paper used as a test strip is important to the final product of scent.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 8.12.28 AM

Once I had established the best strips to use, I moved onto the preparing my space. I sat at the table with my materials and a notebook. I completed each smelling experiment as noted in the article (Dowthwaithe, 2009). You can see the results for each one in tables 2, 3 and 4.

To begin, find a comfortable chair and sit down in a relaxed posture. Sniff your prepared strip. Then stand up and repeat the sniff. Did you notice anything different?

For the sitting versus standing experiment, I prepared a test strip by dropping 1 drop of lemon onto the end. While sitting, I noticed a bright fresh scent. The scent sparkled and was very sunny. Then, while standing, I sniffed it again. The scent was slightly duller and had less of a sparkle. The article mentions this is a result of a lowering in blood pressure that allows the body to devote more resources to the act of smelling (Dowthwaithe, 2009).

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 8.12.37 AM

Next, I preformed the experiment with eyes open and then closed. Again, while sitting I sniffed the test strip. I noticed that the scent remained bright and fresh. Once I closed my eyes and sniffed again the scent took on a tang and was deeper, less bright. You can do this as well, finding a comfortable chair. Sniff your prepared strip with your eyes open and then closed. Note any differences.

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 8.12.55 AM

Finally, I performed the odor fatigue experiment. to do this, prepare a strip with one drop of your essential oil. mark this strip, “strip 1” and allow it to sit for 30 minutes. At the designated time, prepare a second strip, mark it “strip 2” and set aside. Return to strip 1 and sniff slow and deep, keeping a tally of sniffs. When you reach a point where you can no longer smell the essential oil on the strip, set it aside and immediately pick up strip 2 and sniff. Note how they differ.

I kept a tally of sniffs and arrived at 24, on the 25th sniff I noticed no scent. I picked up the second prepared sample and noticed it was very flat and dull, almost no scent whatsoever. After about two minutes I could smell the strip again, although it took a total of 15 minutes for my sense of smell to return to normal. By using odor fatigue, professionals are better able to evaluate samples to note differences or even adulteration (Dowthwaithe, 2009).

Screen Shot 2015-07-03 at 8.13.04 AM

This was an interesting experiment; I was quite shocked when the scent disappeared from the strip after 25 sniffs. I can see how this would be useful to someone with the proper training to detect differences and level of quality in samples of essential oils or perfumes. I enjoyed learning more about how to smell with my brain and look forward to applying this in the future.

I hope that you have found this as interesting as I did! If you have questions or comments about this or anything you find on our blog, please contact us by email at Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com

Reference:

Dowthwaithe, S. (2009) ‘Using the Brain (not the nose) to smell: A systematic approach
to the most fundamental of techniques for perfumers and flavorists’ Perfumers World (34), pp 42-47.


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HOW to read the dilution chart

QuestionsBLOG


 

The dilution chart. We often get asked just HOW in the world you read this thing. We realize that this might seem intimidating – but we promise it’s not as bad as it seems! It’s important to remember that ANYTIME you apply essential oils to the skin, you’ll want to use a carrier oil. This chart helps you find the right ratio for your situation. Check out the illustration below for some guidance and the following discussion for some clarifications:

Dilution Chart Explination

Once you learn how to how to read the chart there often are more questions:

1. How do I know which dilution rate to use?

For normal, daily use we recommend a dilution rate of 2%. For acute situations, like an injury or temporary condition you can go up to 5% for a SHORT period of time. How long is this? Typically less than 2 weeks.

 2. How do I get .5 of a drop?

You don’t. If you really want to be exact, you need to increase the amount of carrier until you come across a whole number! If you can’t do this, just round DOWN to the next whole number (example 1.5 drops becomes just 1 drop).

3. What about use on the face?

This normally means you’d like to blend into a facial serum or cream and will be using it daily. Stick to 1% dilution – the skin on your face is more sensitive and you should use a lower dilution.

4. What about my kids? or Babies?

For use with children, you can see guidelines in the bottom block. For the most part, we feel like a 2% dilution for spot treatments is fine. You’ll notice that this block refers to WHOLE BODY APPLICATION. Since we rarely cover our entire bodies in essential oils – a 2% dilution is fine.

5. What is “whole body application”?

In the case of a massage (or body cream) where a large portion of the skin is covered, you want to use a lower dilution. Since so much surface area is affected, this increases the total rate of absorption for your body.

That should cover most of the FAQs regarding this dilution chart. However, as always, we want to hear from you! Contact us by emailing Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com for any questions, concerns or comments you may have. You can join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes and participate in lively conversation with other essential oils users. We have your safety in mind – so come hang out with us to learn even more! We look forward to seeing you there!


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Rash Roundup, Part 2

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In last week’s Rash Roundup-Part 1, we took a look at some of the most common viral and bacterial rashes of childhood. This week’s post examines commonly seen fungal and contact rashes in children and adults. Not every existing fungal or contact rash will be discussed, nor will rare or unusual symptoms be mentioned, only the most commonly seen. This blog post is not intended to be a substitute for medical attention from your physician. If you have worrisome or unusual symptoms or if you have a compromised immune system and have a rash, prompt consultation with your doctor is indicated.

 

Fungal Exanthems (Rashes)

In last week’s post, I mentioned that the medical word for rash is exanthem (plural: exanthems). Fungal exanthems are rashes caused by contact with a fungus in the environment and include athlete’s foot, diaper rash, thrush, and ringworm. Fungal exanthems are most predominant in warm, moist areas of the body.

Athlete’s Foot  (Tinea pedis)      

 

bigstock-Athlete-s-Foot-tinea-Pedis-36876223SM_800x6001

Athlete’s foot is a foot infection caused by a dermatophyte called tinea, which is a disease causing fungus (plural: fungi).  Fungi are found most often in warm, moist places where people walk barefoot, such as gymnasiums, shared showers in locker rooms, and around swimming pools. The fungi are transferred from those surfaces onto the feet.  If conditions are favorable, such as when feet are enclosed in shoes and socks for long periods, dermatophytes are able to penetrate the outermost layer of the skin (the epidermis) and cause infection. This produces the itching, burning, and cracking skin of an athlete’s foot infection.  Treatment of the infection is two-fold; the first and most important treatment is to remove conditions which favor fungal growth.

  •  At home, be barefoot as much as possible
  • Keep toenails short, so fungi have less surface area to live under nails
  • Wear shoes that are made of ventilated mesh or leather. This lets moisture and heat escape better than wearing vinyl or plastic footwear. Try not to wear the same pair of shoes every day in order to allow them to dry and air out more thoroughly. Place shoes out in the sun to dry if possible.
  • Wash and dry feet thoroughly at least once a day, including between the toes. Wear clean white cotton socks to help absorb sweat and change them daily.
  • Wear flip-flop sandals around pools and in shared showers to avoid transferring the fungus or re-infecting yourself.

The second part of treatment includes medications which help kill the dermatophyte fungi. These include creams, powders, and ointments, many of which are available without a doctor’s prescription. Be aware that treatment involves patience and dedication, as it may take weeks of application to produce healing or remission.

Complementary/Alternative remedies*

  • Foot bath, Version 1: place a few tablespoons of Himalayan pink salt or sea salt in a foot bath with warm water and 1/2 cup of apple cider or white vinegar. Soak feet for ten minutes, then dry feet thoroughly. Wash the basin well with hot soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly.
  • Foot bath, Version two: add 1/2 teaspoon (approximately 50 drops) of tea tree oil into a carrier, like an ounce of vodka or milk, in order to emulsify (blend) the oil with the carrier. Then add the essential oil/carrier mixture to a warm water foot bath and soak for 10-15 minutes. Rinse and dry the feet thoroughly. Wash the foot basin well with hot soapy water and dry.
  • Sprinkling shoes with a bit of arrowroot powder or cornstarch may help absorb moisture.
  • Break out the garlic. Yes, garlic!  Roughly chop or slice fresh garlic and put some between your toes before you put your shoes on in the morning. Your coworkers might wonder who brought Italian takeout, but your feet may thank you!
  • Simmer a finger-sized piece of chopped or grated fresh ginger in water on the stove for 20-30 minutes; let cool and strain out the ginger. Store the infused water in a jar in the fridge, and daily pour a tiny bit out of the jar and rub on clean feet; the let feet air dry. Wash hands thoroughly with warm soapy water afterwards.

 

                                     

Diaper Rash

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There are a number of causes of diaper rash, including skin chafing, infrequently changed diapers, new foods, allergies, or illness. If the diaper rash is caused by a fungus, it’s most often caused by a yeast called Candida.  The warm, moist diaper area is an ideal place for yeast to grow. Increasing the frequency of diaper changes is the best way to prevent diaper rash. Replace a soiled diaper as soon as possible after a bowel movement (within 10 minutes if possible) and within an hour or two for a wet diaper.  Airing out baby’s bottom is also a great way to reduce yeast growth on the skin. If baby is awake, try to keep him/her on a non-carpeted surface for easy clean-up if there’s an “accident”. If baby is going down for a nap, place a waterproof sheet underneath the linen on the crib or bed to keep the mattress from being soiled.

Despite keeping baby’s bottom clean and dry, sometimes a fungal rash that spreads over the diaper area can cause great discomfort when urine and feces contact irritated skin. Christina has this “naked” salve recipe in another blog post, you can find it here: DIY Salve. Though the recipe contains no essential oils, she mentions that it’s acceptable to add a couple of drops of lavender or German chamomile essential oil to the recipe (at a 0.25% dilution) for extra skin soothing power.

 

Step 1_ Gather ingredients

Use of unrefined virgin coconut oil during diaper changes is also believed to help promote smooth, healthy skin.

Oral Thrush

Thrush is a fungal rash caused by the Candida species of yeast It normally lives in small amounts in the mouth and other sites in the body, but its numbers are normally kept in check by a healthy immune system. Since infants have an immature immune system, they are more susceptible to developing fungal infections in the mouth. Thrush is characterized by white patches on the tongue, inside of the cheeks, and the throat. It can make nursing painful for both baby and mama, as thrush spreads from baby’s mouth to the breast area. Traditionally, thrush is treated with anti-fungal medications like Nystatin drops for baby and Nystatin cream for the mother’s breast area. There are alternative remedies to treating thrush, including:

  • Dietary changes like reducing or eliminating sugar.  Yeasts feed on sugars, so eliminating them from the diet helps control the yeast population in the body.
  • With your doctor’s advice/guidance, probiotic drops to help control yeast in baby’s mouth may be helpful.
  • Gentian violet is an antiseptic dye which can be painted on mom’s nipples after feedings. If you prefer not to use Nystatin, you can discuss this option with the pediatrician.
  • White vinegar–mix a tablespoon of white vinegar in a cup of water, and dab a bit onto nipples after feeding baby and let dry. Wash hands thoroughly afterwards.
  • Cleanliness is of the utmost importance to prevent spread of the infection. If you bottle feed, make sure that bottles and nipples are sterilized, as well as pacifiers. If you breast feed and are pumping, make sure the cup part that fits over the breast is sterilized after each use.
  • Nursing moms may wish to use either disposable or washable cotton pads in their bras to discourage spread of the yeast to bras and/or clothing. If using washable pads, wash in the hottest water recommended by the product manufacturer and add some plain white vinegar to the rinse cycle.

The use of essential oils for thrush is not recommended.

Ringworm (Tinea corporis)

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Ringworm is a common infection which is not caused by worms! A dermatophyte called tinea is the cause of the condition. Ringworm is characterized by small circular reddened or crusty patches and is generally itchy. It can occur anywhere on the body and is most often easily treated by topical applications of antifungal cream, though more serious cases may involve taking medication by mouth. Andrew Weil MD, a well-respected complementary medicine physician, recommends eating a couple of cloves of raw garlic each day while treating ringworm and changing bed sheets daily while the infection is present. Another treatment he suggests is applying (diluted) tea tree oil to affected areas several times a day until the patches are gone. He also advises continuing to apply diluted tea tree oil for two weeks to areas where the patches were present to ensure that the infection is completely gone.

Contact Exanthems (Rashes)

Contact exanthems (rashes) are caused by contact with a substance that irritates your skin. The most common skin irritants are cosmetics (soap, shampoo, makeup, and perfume), metals (like nickel in costume jewelry), plants like poison ivy/oak/sumac, and clothing detergent.

Plant Exanthems (Rashes)

poison-ivy-rash

Plant rashes are most often caused by direct contact with a plant’s irritant oil.  Indirect contact with a pet which has the oil on its fur or with an object which has the oil present on its surface (like a rake or hoe) is another way to contract a rash.  A more serious reaction can occur if brush which contains irritant plants is burned, and the irritant oil is released into the air to be inhaled into the respiratory tract. Urushiol oil, the sticky substance secreted by the poison ivy/oak/sumac plant, is highly irritating to skin.  It is possible to come into contact with poison ivy plants and not be affected by the itching, burning, blistering rash it causes. This generally means realizing you’ve come into contact with the plant and having quick access to soap and water.  Showering thoroughly within two hours of contact with soap, water, and lots of skin friction to remove the tenacious oil can often prevent or reduce a poison ivy rash. However, most people don’t realize they’ve been in contact with an irritant plant until it’s too late to stop the reaction, or they have limited access to soap and water, such as when trail camping.  In instances where limited water is available, Tecnu is a product which can be applied to the skin, rubbed in thoroughly, and then wiped off with a cloth.

Treatment is symptomatic, and first focuses on completely removing the irritant oil from skin and clothing by thorough washing or use of a product like Tecnu.  Although it’s commonly believed that rupturing poison ivy blisters spreads the rash, this isn’t true. Blister fluid does not contain urushiol oil.  Common medications designed to ease symptoms include calamine lotion and benadryl for itching. Cool compresses or oatmeal baths may help ease the itching and burning that accompanies the rash. In more serious cases, a doctor may prescribe steroids to take by mouth for several days.

Use of essential oils on poison ivy type rashes is not recommended. Skin which is open and weeping is more susceptible to increased irritation or sensitization if oils are applied.

In the case of suspected contact rash from cosmetics, jewelry, or clothing detergents, stopping use of the product(s) for several weeks is often all that is necessary to clear the rash. It may take some trial and error to discover the culprit; it’s more advisable to stop using one product at a time. If several products are discontinued at once, it may not be possible to figure out which one was causing the rash.

 

We want you to learn as much as you want about essential oils and how to use them safely. If you have any questions, comments or other concerns you are welcome to email us at Aromatherapist@plantherapy.com or come join us on Facebook at Safe Essential Oil Recipes!

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What does Maximum Dilution mean?

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We often refer to maximum dilutions. What exactly does this mean? Let’s learn more…

Essential oils should always be diluted when applied to the skin. Why – you ask? To avoid potential issues with Sensitization {click the link to learn more} Sensitization

 

Since we all know it’s important to dilute, let’s talk about some essential oils that have MAXIMUM dilutions. In other words, we don’t recommend using these particular oils in amounts higher than listed in their descriptions. This is for a variety of reasons:

  1. may be a potential skin sensitizer – especially true when oxidized
  2. may be a “hot” oil – causing redness, warmth or irritation
  3. long term use at higher dilutions can cause issues with blood thinning (as in the case of wintergreen)

 

Below you will find a listing of the essential oils that we offer at Plant Therapy that carry maximum dilution recommendations. Regardless of where you purchase your essential oils, this is a useful list:

MaxDilutionsGOODCOPY

 

As always, we want to hear from you! Contact us by emailing Aromatherapist@planttherapy.com for any questions, concerns or comments you may have. You can join our Facebook group Safe Essential Oil Recipes and participate in lively conversation with other essential oils users. We have your safety in mind – so come hang out with us to learn even more! We look forward to seeing you there!

*This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Plant Therapy and it’s representatives are not intending to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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