Eucalyptus oil in common colds – Eucalyptus Radiata for babies

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It is a fact that essential oils have plenty of health benefits. Eucalyptus oil is one of the essential oils with many benefits. It helps you to breathe easy, to heal cold sores, to decrease joint pain, to clear your chest and to disinfect wounds. However, you should remember that using essential oils for babies is not the same as using them for adults. Some oils are dangerous to be used on babies. Is eucalyptus oil effective in treating common colds and is it safe for little ones?

Eucalyptus in common colds

A few drops of eucalyptus oil added to the bath or hot shower or steam inhaler can definitely give relief from sinus symptoms and from congestion. Inhaling the eucalyptus vapor loosens the mucus from your chest and in expelling it. It has been used for several centuries in Asian countries to treat common colds.

Is eucalyptus oil safe for babies?

It has high 1, 8-cineole content. 1, 8-cineole is also called as eucalyptol. It is known for its mucolytic action on respiratory tract with proven clinical efficacy. When used on babies it can cause problems related to central nervous system and breathing. Moreover, the oil is very strong and can harm the delicate skin of infants. Rarely, it can lead to seizures in babies.

It’s a shocker to know about the side effects of eucalyptus oil on babies. The good news is, not all species of eucalyptus oils have high 1, 8 –cineole content. Some species with low 1, 8 –cineole content are safe for babies if used in the right dosage and in the right way.

Eucalyptus radiata for babies

Eucalyptus radiata is one of the milder forms of eucalyptus oil and is safe to be used on children. It is not as powerful and not as strong as eucalyptus globulus that is most commonly used in adults’ chest rubs.

How to use eucalyptus radiata on babies?

The first thing you should do is to blend eucalyptus oil with carrier oil. The proportion is as follows:

  • For newborns below 2 months – 1 drop eucalyptus oil with 2 teaspoon carrier oil
  • For infants from 2 months to 18 months old – 1 drop of eucalyptus oil with 1 teaspoon carrier oil
  • For kids from 18 months to 3 years old – 2 drops in 1 teaspoon carrier oil
  • For children from 3 to 6 years – 3 drops in 1 teaspoon carrier oil.
  • The most recommended carrier oils are almond oil or olive oil or coconut oil.
  • You can use it in baby’s bath.
  • You can use it as massage oil. If you are using it to massage your baby, you should add 2 more teaspoons of carrier oil to the blend. If your baby is below 6 months old, it is better to massage only the back and not the chest.

If you are buying baby rubs for your kid, make sure that it contains eucalyptus radiata and not eucalyptus globulus.

Our Nasobuddy Cough & Cold balm is based on the Eucalyptus radiata essential oil .

How essential oils help with your baby’s cold and cough

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Essential oils have been used for thousands of years for the good health of humans. They are used to relieve colds, coughs, pains and stress etc. Is it advisable to use essential oils for babies? Do they really help with your baby’s cold? Let’s find out.

How does lavender oil help with your baby’s cold & cough ?

It has anti viral and anti bacterial properties. This helps in giving relief from cold. It also gets rid of stress and exhaustion of your baby and promotes good sleep. Your baby will sleep soundly when lavender oil with carrier oil and rubbed on chest and back. A study showed that newborns that smelled lavender oil while undergoing heel prick test experienced less pain and lower heart rate than those who did not smell lavender.

How does chamomile oil help with your baby’s cold & cough ?

It has anti inflammatory, soothing and anti microbial properties. It relieves pain and calms the baby. It provides good sleep to the baby and decreases cough and congestion.

How does eucalyptus oil help with your baby’s cold and cough ?

Eucalyptus oil is known for its ability to treat colds, congestions and respiratory disorders because of its anti viral properties. However, you should remember that there are many types of essential oils and not all of them are safe to be used for babies. Eucalyptus oil contains a compound called cineole. The more the cineole content the more it is unsafe for the baby. Some of the species with very high cineole content are recommended for use only for children above 10 years of age. Eucalyptus radiata is one type of eucalyptus oil that is safe to be used for babies because of the low cineole content in it.

How does patchouli essential oil help with your baby’s cold ?

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Common colds and cough affects the baby’s sleep quality,  denying them the comfort and rest required to overcome their ailment.  Patchouli oil helps them to settle in for a peaceful nights sleep. In dilute quantities  in a balm , it can really  work wonders.

Points to remember while using essential oils for your little one

  • It should not be used without diluting with carrier oil like coconut oil or sunflower oil.
  • It should not be used directly on kids younger than 3 months old. You can add two to three drops in hot water and place it under the crib. The vapor gives soothing effect and gives relief from nasal block.
  • It is strictly not recommended for internal use. Keep essential oils out of reach of children to avoid accidental ingestion.
  • Make sure that you use pure essential oil and not adulterated oil.
  • Make sure you do not expose the baby’s skin directly to sunlight after applying essential oils. It may cause irritation and rash on the skin.

 Are balms/baby rubs safe? Which ones are? 

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I am sure most of us have the memory of our mothers applying rubs on our backs and chest to help us breathe better whenever we catch cold. However, as a parent, most of us are reluctant to do the same without knowing if it is safe to use it on kids. Are you one among them? Do you want to know if balms and rubs are safe for babies? Here’s an analysis.

Are baby rubs and balms safe?

Yes, they are safe for your baby if they do not contain harmful ingredients that can cause irritation to your baby’s skin and cause other side effects. According to studies , rubbing baby rubs will give relief from cough and congestion to your baby and will help your baby to sleep peacefully if you use the right product with right ingredients. It is up to you to make the right choice. Read further to know which ones are safe and which ones are not.

Which ones are not safe?

Rubs with camphor are not safe: Camphor may cause reddish rashes, dryness in skin and will increase the risks of eczema. Some cases of seizures and deaths have been reported in babies below 2 years of age when they ingested camphor accidentally.

Rubs with menthol are not safe: It may cause redness, stinging, burning and blistering in little ones. It may also cause adverse side effects like respiratory troubles.

Rubs with petroleum jelly are not safe: Petroleum jelly clogs the pores and causes skin irritation.

Which ones are safe?

Rubs with lavender oil: It is a natural ingredient that promotes good sleep and treats respiratory tract infections.

Rubs with chamomile oil: It is a safe ingredient that contains compounds to fight colds and to calm babies in physical distress.

Rubs with Eucalyptus radiata: There are two species of eucalyptus oils, one is eucalyptus globulus and the other is eucalyptus radiata. Eucalyptus globulus is not safe for babies  but eucalyptus radiata is safe. It eases respiratory difficulties.

Rubs with coriander oil: It has relaxing and anti viral effects.

All the above oils are essential oils that are safe to use on babies but you should remember that it is safer to mix carrier oils with essential oils. When base essential oils are blended with carrier oil you are assured of 100% safety. Make sure that carrier oils like coconut oil and/or peanut oil and/or sunflower oil and/or olive oil are added to the rub.

Study the ingredients carefully and if you are convinced that they are safe to use on babies, go ahead and use it on your kids to give relief to them from nasal congestion and cough.

Further reading : 

What’s inside the balms and baby rubs ?

Do balms and baby rubs really work ?