Eucalyptus trees are tall, evergreen trees that grow up to 50 feet in height and are sometimes referred to as Gum Trees. The main chemical components of Eucalyptus radiata are eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol, making it an ideal oil to promote feelings of clear breathing and open airways and for creating a soothing massage experience. Eucalyptus has purifying properties that can be beneficial for the skin and for cleansing surfaces and the air.
Studies have shown that Eucalyptus is effective in helping lessen tension. Eucalyptus can be found in mouth rinses to freshen breath and promote oral health.
- Helps to clear the mind
- Promotes feelings of relaxation
- Promotes feelings of clear breathing
Safety of Eucalyptus with Children
1,8 cineole is the major constituent in Eucalyptus. It can be applied topically or aromatically. It is one of a few essential oils that is not recommended for internal use. For adults, neat (without dilution) application is acceptable. As with any essential oil topical application, to preserve the lasting effects of the oil and prevent flash-off or volatilization, one should consider dilution with a carrier oil (e.g. Fractioned Coconut Oil, etc.). For children or those with sensitive skin, moderate to heavy dilution is recommended.
The reports of serious adverse events associated with Eucalyptus oil in scientific literature have always involved excessively large (> 5mL) amounts taken internally or placed directly into the nose. Of course, these excessive amounts are well beyond the normal usage range. Nonetheless, eucalyptus oil, like all oils, should be used cautiously with younger children.
In conclusion, essential oils containing menthol and 1,8 cineole are safe for use in children, but remember to follow these general safety guidelines:
- Keep in mind safe amount-per-day guidelines (Recommended Ideal Amounts).
- Avoid direct oil administration into the nose and ears, and around the eyes.
- When applying oils topically, consider dilution to avoid excessive flash-off. It is a good practice to use with heavier dilutions for younger or smaller children and those with sensitive skin.
- Keep your essential oils stored out of reach of little children to prevent accidental ingestion.
- Storage should also be away from excessive heat and light, as these can change the properties of the oils dramatically.
- Teach your older children to ask for help with application and ask your teens to be role models to the younger ones for proper essential oil usage.