Essential Oils 101 – Kids & Oils

My family is my most precious earthly possession. When I started using essential oils and would talk to other women, I noticed that there was almost a sense of hesitation when talking about putting oils on your kids. From then on I went through this phase of extreme caution when using oils on my kids, as if I was deciding to clip the red or the blue wire on a bomb. Then I went to school and chilled the hell out. It was a relief. So when people freak out when it comes to oils and kids I get why, so did I.  Here’s what I want you to do, go diffuse some lavender, pull up a chair, grab a drink and let’s ease your mind, knowledge is power right? You can’t get burned by fire from the stove if you know it’s hot!


Let’s go ahead and rip the band aid off, KIDS CAN AND HAVE DIED/BEEN INJURED USING ESSENTIAL OILS. If you’re anything like me, I look at the absolute worst case scenarios and work my way to the more positive information. I don’t like surprises and I’m a bad news first kinda gal. So let me list some of the most extreme cases of injury/death I’ve come across (courtesy of: Haddad and Winchester’s Clinical management of Poisoning and Drug Overdose, 4th ed., Chapter 101, “Essential Oils”)

  1. An 8 month old had a seizure and died after 30 ML (a little over 2 tablespoons) of eucalyptus oil was administered orally.
  2. A 2 month old baby was unconscious after drops of peppermint were administered nasally.
  3. A young child ingested clove oil and suffered liver damage, seizures and went into a coma.

These are horrible instances where safety was not a top priority to the people administering those oils. However, we can use these unthinkable tragedies as a teaching moment. I do want to emphasize that these cases are very rare and you can easily die or get injured from overdosing on any medication, not just essential oils.

Leave the ingestion to the big kids and adults.

Your baby can barely take water let alone essential oils. Don’t even let the thought about making them drink oils cross your mind friend. Their sweet little baby organs can’t handle it yet. What is okay though, is making a gallon of lavender lemonade for your kiddos, and adding a few drops of a high quality lavender essential oil to some simple syrup. Need more safe tips on ingestion? Check out this link.

Don’t shove oils where the sun don’t shine.

When it comes to kids, if there is a cavity where the sun don’t shine, leave it to the professionals. You can use oils topically when you are changing a diaper but that’s where we should draw the line with our little ones. No nasal sprays and no enemas. Here’s my two cents on nasal sprays; a tooth infection is very dangerous, do you know why? Because it’s right next to your brain. Looking at the instances above, it only took a few drops to the nose to cause unconsciousness, yet it took two whole 15 ML bottles of oil to cause death through ingestion and I personally think there were two reasons. One, because of the age difference and two, one is closer to the brain than the other. Enemas should be left to the pros because that is a straight shot to your digestive system. When you ingest an oil it is filtered through your organs and then reaches your stomach, the other way doesn’t have those filters and little stomachs require more caution.

Always keep your oils out of your children’s reach.

If there’s a group of people who can eat a large amount of disgusting stuff in one sitting, it’s kids for sure. They have the highest chance of ingesting a lot of oils without you even noticing. If this ever happens call poison control immediately: (800) 222-1222

Eucalyptus and Peppermint…. Basically any oils that are controversial .

These are oils that people are usually cautious about. There’s a fear that they may actually cause respiratory distress, seizures and skin irritation in children. Most oil injury cases involve these controversial essential oils. Here’s an easy way to deal with that. Watch your baby and take down the dose. Easy peasy. If you diffuse 8 drops of eucalyptus for yourself, use 4 for the kids. Same deal with the rest of those oils, drop the dose and make sure to dilute. Check up on them every five minutes for twenty minutes. If they show adverse effects, it will usually show up after in the first fifteen so that’s why I say twenty just to make sure. After that just keep an eye on them. They’ll be aight’. If anything does happen, call poison control. For more on what an adverse reaction may look like, check this out.



We’ve already covered the three methods of application: Aromatic, Topical and Ingestion. But how much do you give your kids? Every good oil company should have a recommended dosage on the back of their bottles. With that information in hand, all you have to do is use my handy dandy essential oil dosage chart! So let me show you how it works:

Let’s say you have a 5 year old and the adult dosage is 3 drops. 5-8 year olds only need 1/3 of that dose. So instead of giving them 3 drops, you’d give them 1.

With babies since the dosage is much smaller. I’m a big fan of making small batches of rollers and balms, that way it’s fixing the dosage for you. You just dilute it so that way they’re getting smaller amounts of oils at one time, if you don’t know how much to dilute visit this post.




Take a teaspoon or tablespoon of Epsom salt (the smaller the bath, the less salt) and add 1-3 drops of essential oil to the salt. Pour the salt into the bath and allow it to dissolve. Voila! I suggest a lavender or cedarwood bath at night. It’s fan-freaking-tastic!


Add 4-6 drops of your favorite essential oils to a diffuser, the bigger the room and the further away the kiddos are, the more drops you put it your diffuser. To support the respiratory system my favorite blend is by far Young Living’s RC. If you’re a fan of single oils, try 3 drops each of lavender and eucalyptus. For more info on diffusing go here.


I seriously don’t know what I would do without my oil roll-ons. They last forever and I use them ALL.THE.TIME. I also make balms for teething and for diaper changes. Topical application is my jam when it comes to kids. It is so effective! A favorite roller recipe of mine is 3 drops each of lavender and cedarwood in a 10 ML roller ball. Fill the rest up with carrier oil and you’re good to go. Its great to apply on the bottoms of your kiddos feet and wrists at night before bed.

Well there you have it! So long as you treat your oils the same way you do medications in your house, you’re going to be totally fine. As always, I’d love to be an essential oil resource for you, feel free to contact me with any questions you may have!

Essential Oils 101 – Essential Oil Safety

In this day and age there are so many different schools of thought on essential oils and vague information about what to do or not to do, it’s hard to find a reliable source on this topic. So here is my humble two cents on safety. When I come up to my own conclusions on important information, I like to grab as much information as I can from both ends of the spectrum and find my happy medium. This info is my happy medium.

We already talked about safety when it comes to topical and oral methods of application so if you’d like to go over those feel free to hop on over to those posts! Here are a few additional tips:


If you’d like to support your respiratory system and apply some eucalyptus to your chest and lungs, you don’t need 45 drops of oil to do it. In the case of essential oils, the rule is always less is more. When you use a high amount of essential oils in one sitting that’s when the adverse reactions can happen.


Did you get peppermint in your eye? I have on accident and it feels like a small bit of my soul is getting ripped out through my eyeball. DO NOT FEAR! Take a cotton ball, soak it in milk (not fat free) and wipe your eye.

Did you apply an oil to your skin and it burns? Same deal. Apply milk or a carrier oil to your skin and it will stop the burning.

WHATEVER YOU DO, DO NOT USE WATER. It will spread the oil more and it will suck.


Toxicity doesn’t just happen when you ingest too many essential oils, it can happen from constantly applying the same oil to your skin and diffusing it also. Let’s say I was at work and diffused 20 drops of lavender from 8 am to 4 pm nonstop and I was sitting 3 feet away from it, there’s a decent chance that over time, that oil is going to cause you to have some toxic reactions. Here’s what a toxic reaction may look like:

-Upset stomach       -Fatigue

-Nausea                      -Persistent Coughing

-Vomiting                  -Liver Pain

-Headaches               -Urinary Disturbances

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms call poison control.

Here’s their number: 1-800-222-1222

Here’s the symptoms you need to call 911 for:


-Respiratory Failure/ Stimulation

-If you don’t seem to have your senses about you like usual. It’s an indication that something is messing with your nervous system.


Dosage is the key to a successful essential oil experience. If you buy your essential oils from an awesome company like mine, chances are they’ll know a thing or two about how to use oils. Read the back of the bottle and it will tell you how the average adult is supposed to use it. For children, pregnant ladies and the elderly I’m always cautious and do a little less and dilute if applying topically.


Every individual is unique. If you have an old person running triathlons who wants to use oils, they’ll probably do just fine using the regular recommended dose. On the other hand, if you have a frail 10 year old, you should use the same dosage you would on a 5 year old. Refer to the dilution chart in this post for help with topical application.


If you apply an oil and you don’t feel great about it, then stop. If you use the recommended daily dose and don’t feel anything then up the dosage by a drop or two. It won’t kill you. Your body will be your biggest ally in using oils.


Essential oils are not this huge thing to be intimidated by, you know your body, and you know when something is not right. Trust your gut when using oils and you’ll be just fine. You are the expert on you and your family.

Pregnancy and Kids are a whole other bag of worms we’re diving into next, stay tuned!


I REALLY did not want to write about this. Not because I don’t desire to talk about it, but because it’s easier not to. I came to sit at a coffee shop to write about the chemistry of essential oils and I brought out my handy thumb drive which has my aromatherapy books on it. God disagreed with this decision and when I opened my files it was the wrong thumb drive, so here I am. Time to emotionally vomit. I’ve been going to therapy and talking about feelings and you know, feeling them more. Growing up in dysfunctional families everyone usually takes up a roll. Mine was to be funny, smooth things over and act oblivious to the chaos around me. For me to believe my Mom, with all my little heart, that the scale in the garage she was using to weigh drugs was just a “jewelry scale”. To go to school for months and hop from one hotel to another, while pretending it was an adventure. Given her abusive upbringing she did the best she could; however I still came out with a lot of scars.

For a long time, I’ve turned that emotionally vulnerable part of myself off as a protective mechanism. It’s easier to not feel… for now at least. As a result, like a bad comb over, I have acted as though everything is fine. I’ve been going through life forcing myself to be everything I thought would look normal and happy. I envisioned cheerfully waking up at five with rollers in my hair, quietly enjoying a cup of coffee, reading my bible, waking up my beautiful angelic children and husband and welcoming them to a table full of breakfast. My house would always be clean, I would never yell at my kids, my husband would always be happy and LIFE WOULD BE PERFECT. All because I said so. That’s where perfectionism creeps in. I’m not talking about the normal kind that takes pretty notes and makes pretty things. I’m talking about the maladaptive kind that makes you hate yourself when you fall short. I spend most of my days disappointed with myself, forgetting that I am trying to create an environment for my family that I didn’t experience as a kid. Forgetting that I had seven mattresses in my room and VCR parts everywhere making it difficult to clean. Forgetting that while all the crazy stuff was going on around me, I was just THERE. No chores. No sitting down at dinner tables. No waking up to breakfast. JUST. THERE. Yet I sit here and expect to do all these wonderful things over night. I expect to do things parents have been teaching their kids to do for years; since childhood. Those expectations I’ve set for myself are tearing me apart and most people have no idea.

I can walk into church with my hair done and my little row of ducklings in tow and I can perfectly tell you “I’m fine, thank you for asking”. I can make sure that the downstairs part of the house is immaculate when you come to visit. And when I’m struggling, I can perfectly and nonchalantly tell you “life is tough” with a smile on my face. Meanwhile, I have four laundry baskets upstairs that the kids keep knocking over that I haven’t put away in weeks, dirty dishes shoved in the dishwasher I have yet to scrub off, my garage is filled with a bunch of crap shoved away before guests come. And when I’m home I cry all the time. I’m like a perfect sunny side up egg that has a rancid yoke. By appearance everything is just peachy, but inside is something rotten.

I write this to encourage you and myself. God has a purpose for us and our families even if we can’t see it now. Our children will see our imperfections while also seeing how hard we work to be different. We are doing this whole normal family thing for the first freaking time and we need to lighten up, acknowledging that we are learning as we teach too. Whatever family we see that we want to exemplify has their own imperfections behind closed doors and has probably taken generations to get as put together as they are. I am in the trenches with you, friend. We are so messed up and that’s okay, there’s a beautiful vulnerability and understanding you have because of it. We can only improve from where we are. Stay hopeful.

Essential Oils 101 – Methods of Application: Ingestion

QUE THE HORROR MUSIC!! The EVIL Marvelous Mess will be covering drum roll please…… INGESTION MUAH-HA-HA-HA-HAAAAA!!!! So before I start this I want to emphasize I am a certified Aromatherpist and I am also an essential oil distributor. Yes, you can be both. It’s possible. Ingestion is super controversial and I want to ease your mind about it. I feel like there is a happy medium to this topic, so let’s get to it! As usual, we’ll cover the scary stuff first.


Let’s just rip off the Essential Oil bandage here; it’s possible to drink an essential oil and die, it happens VERY RARELY, but it does happen and you should know that. Want to know how much it takes? A LOT. I’m talking something around a teaspoon (or more) for children or a 5ML bottle for adults of straight oil. With that being said, commonly used oils you should avoid ingesting are any species of Eucalyptus and Wintergreen. For the rest, if you are getting an essential oil from a company who promotes ingestion, the labels will either say dietary use or to not ingest.

Most of the time these oils are bad quality, so it’s really important to get pure  essential oils. Common adverse reactions with ingesting oils are: stomach irritation if you take too much undiluted and mouth sores if you ingest a hot oil undiluted. How can you avoid that you ask?


I can’t stress this enough, you CAN safely take essential oils internally, but you’ve gotta dilute it. It helps dispersion by having those super small molecules attach to larger ones. There are several ways you can do this:

Diluting in Water

We all know oil and water don’t mix but this little trick helps! You put essential oil in a spoonful of honey and add it to your water. Another way you can do it is by cutting up some fruit in a bowl and adding oil to the fruit, that way you don’t have sweet water and it will give it a nice subtle flavor with therapeutic properties.

Sugar Cube, Honey, Cup of Milk, Charcoal Tablets

Any one of the items above you can add a few drops of oil to and consume them.

Veggie Capsules

You can get these cool little vegetable capsules and all you do is fill them up with a carrier oil like olive or coconut and add the desired amount of oils to it.


Ingestion isn’t always the best way to apply an essential oil, sometimes the other methods will work more effectively when used with different body systems. You usually ingest essential oils when you would like to work on the digestive system or promote wellness with internal organs like your kidneys and liver. For dosage I would stick to one to three drops. You can take that dosage three times a day. A quick tidbit on oregano, if you use that for ingestion I suggest you take a probiotic along with it. Although its very effective at taking out germs it will wipe out all of the bacteria both good and bad and a probiotic will replace that.

In reality, most essential oils present little to no risk when used properly and ingestion is always a personal decision, if you feel comfortable doing it, great! If not, then don’t. Simple as that. If you want to take the super cautious route before you ingest an oil, consult a Certified Aromatherapist (like me) who is well versed in contraindications and therapeutic margin. Seriously, feel free to message me on Facebook or visit my Contact Me page and I’d be happy to help!

Essential Oils 101- Methods of Application: Topical

Your skin is the largest organ in your body. The skin regulates your body temperature, keeps bacteria out and excretes toxins out of your body through sweating. Most importantly, it circulates 33% of your blood. There are two layers to the skin, the epidermis which is about as thick as a piece of paper and the dermis which has got your blood vessels, nerve endings and hair follicles. When you apply an essential oil, the molecules are so crazy small that your porous skin rapidly absorbs it. Once the oil seeps into your hair follicles and sweat glands, it reaches the blood and is then dispersed throughout your entire body. Here are some things to look out for when applying essential oils topically:


There are some oils you want to avoid applying while the sun is out because they are more prone to absorb the sun’s rays and increase your chances of burning. There are two ways you can easily avoid these problems. 1. Apply them at night before bed 2. Apply them on skin that is covered by clothing. Most citrus oils are photosensitive as well as patchouli, some cedar wood varieties and clary sage. Again I just want to emphasize common sense on this one. If you apply clary sage on your ankles and are wearing shorts, you’re probably not gonna get burned.


Irritation happens when you apply an oil that your skin considers abrasive and has a reaction. It would be red and irritated within about 5 minutes. If this happens, you can put a fatty carrier oil like coconut or almond oil on it to absorb it. Milk will also help.


This reaction is a little different. As opposed to affecting your skin, your immune system would react. The essential oil attaches itself to a protein in your body and your body releases histamines. The result would be similar to an allergic reaction. In this case you can take an antihistamine (homeopathic or regular, your choice) and find another oil with the same chemical properties you’re looking for just from a different plant. The cool thing about oils is that they’re not like nut or shellfish allergies. You don’t have to swear off the whole category when you have a reaction to something in the family it belongs to.

Now that we’ve got the scary stuff outta the way! We can get into the fun stuff!


Skin patch testing is one of those optional preventative things you can do to make sure your skin doesn’t have a reaction to essential oils. I personally don’t have sensitive skin and don’t do them anymore unless I know it’s a “hot” oil like peppermint, cinnamon or thyme. There are two ways you can do a skin patch test.

The first is to dilute an essential oil in a carrier oil cover it in a piece of gauze and wait 24 hours if there no reaction, you’re good to go! If there is, try diluting it a bit more and do it again. If there’s still a reaction then don’t use that oil topically, try diffusing it instead. If you have any type of sensitivity reaction though, do not diffuse it either.

The second way is to apply an essential oil “neat” meaning undiluted to the crook of your arm. Close your arm and wait five minutes, again see how your skin react and the same rules apply as above. I’m personally impatient and always do this option.


Just like essential oils, base oils have different properties. Base oils are fatty and their molecules are bigger, which slows the absorption rate and also creates a barrier between your skin and the essential oil. If you do not have sensitive skin, you don’t need to dilute if you don’t want to. There are a lot of folks out there including myself who prefer to use them neat. Again, it’s totally your choice. If you like to err on the side of caution then by all means, dilute away! If you’d like to start using essential oils neat but want to start off with really mild ones try Lavender, Tea Tree and Chamomile. A few popular base oils are coconut oil, olive oil and almond oil.

Lastly, here is a handy dilution ratio chart they gave me in school to use as a reference:

Dilution Ratio Chart

**For Children and Preggos, stay in the 1-6% ratios**


Dilution Ratio Chart

Essential Oils 101- Methods of Application: Aromatic

The most common way to apply essential oils is aromatically. There are several methods you can do that with, but first lets talking a little bit about our sense of smell. A lot of people don’t realize it but your sense of smell is one of the most important senses you have. Think about it, if you’re in your home and left a candle on, fell asleep and that candle just so happened to light a drape on fire what do you think would wake you up? The smell of your burning house! How do you usually check to make sure a Tupperware of leftovers or ground meat in your fridge is still good? You smell it! Your sense of smell’s first function is to protect you. Another function your sense of smell has is to help you digest food. Think of when dinner is about to be served, what happens? You smell that amazing meal that’s cooking and you start to salivate. Your saliva aids in the digestion of food by assisting you to swallow, moistening (I hate that word) your food so it’s easier to chew and lastly helps break down the starches in your food before it even gets to your stomach.


Without getting super nerdy, there are four parts of your brain that your sense of smell directly effects. The olfactory cortex, the limbic system, the hypothalamus and the reticular formation. When you inhale a smell there are receptors that grab those molecules and disburse them through the brain. The olfactory cortex receives the smell first; this is where you consciously perceive a smell. Next it goes to your limbic system which is responsible for two functions, your sense of fear and long term memory storage. Next step is when it reaches the hypothalamus which is responsible for the action, remember when we were talking about salivation and waking up in the middle of the night? This is where that happens. Think of it as the command center for basic emotions and drives. Lastly the reticular formation, it acts as glue between emotion, memory and smell. Think of a smell that reminds you of a loved one who has passed on, or a smell that makes you feel energetic and aware. That feature right there, is the key to using oils for emotional support. When you throw all of these things together you’ve got a great tool at your hands. For instance, Lemon is amazing for helping maintain a sense of focus and aids in retaining information, imagine how beneficial that would be for a late nigh study session?


Sometimes one method of use is better than others. Aromatic use is most beneficial for your sinuses, respiratory system and for emotional support. Aromatic use is the fastest indirect method of delivery and takes sixty seconds to five minutes to absorb. Now let’s get into how you can aromatically use them:


I have a really cool story about this method. My mom had surgery and was super nauseous from the stuff they use to knock her out with. When I loaded her up in my car, I put a drop of peppermint on a cotton ball and put it in my a/c vent. She didn’t hurl or even so much as dry heave in my car once. Peppermint for the win! Any who, you can put few drops of oil on a cotton ball and stick it in a vent or fan and its disperses the aroma that way.


This would be a good method to use if you’re on the go and need to sniff an oil in a pinch. You can put a drop of oil on a cloth or tissue and smell it as you walk. A great way to relax would be to put a drop of lavender on a cloth and put it on your face to help unwind before bed.


Boil a pot of water and turn off the heat, add a few drops of oil to the hot water and inhale the vapor. To make it more potent you can drape a towel over your head, making the vapor go straight to your nose. This would also be a great way to use oils if you were doing a facial at home.


This is by far the easiest way to disperse oils. You remove the cap put some water in the designated reservoir, drop five to ten drops of oil, push a button and voila! You’re done. The cool thing about diffusers is that they disperse the oils in a fine mist so that you’re inhaling the particles. That way you can have oils go through your house for hours without much effort at all.

I hope this was helpful!



Essential Oils 101: What Are Essential Oils and How Do They Work

In the words of the great Ron Burgundy, essential oils are a pretty big deal. Let’s dive in, shall we?


Essential oils are really freakin’ old. Plants are known as our first form of medicine. Romans would use plants to build up courage before battle. Egyptians used oils to embalm their dead. In the Bible oils are mentioned over 100 times. As modern medicine began to change, the use of plants for their therapeutic properties began to dwindle. Because of those advances, the main use of essential oils at the time was to make perfumes. Then a chemist and perfumer in France by the name of René -Maurice Gattefossé changed the game; by accident of course.

René was working when he accidentally burned the daylights out of his hand. Instinctually, he shoves his hand in the nearest pot of liquid he could find. Can we all guess what that liquid was? DING-DING-DING! Lavender essential oil. He went about his business and realized something in the days that followed, his hand healed insanely fast. So much so that he spent the duration of his life researching oils and their therapeutic properties, he called it “Aromatherapy”.


Essential oils are the volatile liquid that lives in a plant, they’re distilled or extracted depending on the type of plant. The reason they’re called “essential” is because the oil is the essence of the plant. The life blood you could say. The oil inside of a plant is what is responsible for doing things like repelling bugs that may pose a danger to them, or attract beneficial ones.

Picture a Russian nesting doll, this is an essential oil. Each oil has hundreds of individual chemical characteristics responsible for different actions. In each of these chemical components lies trillions of molecules and no, I’m not exaggerating! Now picture administering this to your porous skin. Your body then rapidly absorbs these molecules, distributing them throughout your body, inheriting the same benefits that the plant had originally used them for. Mind. Blowing.


Back to the word volatile, it sounds scary but it isn’t. It’s actually one of the most important features about essential oils. Volatile comes from the Latin word volare meaning “to fly”. The molecular structure is so light it evaporates into the atmosphere when you diffuse it. Now in the context of the human body, this makes it super beneficial. Peppermint for instance, is great for supporting healthy sinus function. When diffused and inhaled, your mucous membranes absorb it, administering its refreshing properties throughout your sinuses.

That’s the way oils work. When applied to the skin or diffused into the air, your skin and mucous membranes absorb them quickly and distribute those flying molecules throughout your blood stream. That’s the beauty of essential oils, all you have to do is apply them and they do the rest of the work.

That’s it. Easy peasy lemon squeasy right?  Next week we’ll be talking about methods of application.