Recently, I read this story from a mother who found out what worked for her child and what didn’t–mainly with lavender essential oil. This mom realized that not all recommended oils work like they’re supposed to. She has allowed me to share her story so that it might help others, and I am thankful to be able to do so.
Here’s her experience, in her words:
“I just wanted to share with you all just how important it is to research EOs before using them, especially on children. I’m a huge researcher, but even I missed this. My 7 year old has epilepsy, and it originates in his frontal lobe so, of course, ADHD comes with the territory. It’s been difficult, so I started researching ‘EOs for ADHD.’ I only paid attention to the homemade blends that used oils that I knew were safe ‘in general’ for a child his age.
A little over a month ago, I tried a blend with Vetiver, Lavender, and an MLM blend that had just a few other oils in it that were not contraindicated for children his age. By day 3, he was like a different child, and it was not in a good way! He was wired, disrespectful, hitting his baby brother, and extremely restless. I posted here for help, and someone mentioned how children with ADHD could have opposite effects with the oils meant to calm the body. It made sense to me because he has an opposite effect with Benedryl. So I stopped using the blend and my sweetheart returned.
I still needed to figure out a way to help him to focus and not be so impulsive, though, so I tried a different blend with only 3 single oils: Cedarwood (2 drops), Frankincense (1 drop), and Lavender (2 drops). I put this in a teaspoon of unscented lotion and massage it into his back (whatever’s left on my hands I rub on his feet just b/c he likes a foot massage). I started this on Friday. By Monday (day 3), he was out of control. He even pretty much told me he hates me, and my son has NEVER said that to me a day in his life. I was keeping a behavior log, so I knew it was the oils. And the one oil both blends had in common was Lavender. So, the researcher that I am, I searched high and low until I found out why Lavender oil would change my child’s personality so much. I found this:
‘For those with epilepsy, be aware that several essential oils may trigger an epileptic seizure and these could include Lavender, Fennel and Rosemary.’
Now, I never stop at one source. I searched more and actually, the type of Lavender in question is SPIKE Lavender. Some sources credit regular Lavender as an oil that calms epilepsy. However, knowing that epilepsy presents itself in different areas of the brain, it should be expected that each situation will have different reactions. This information is enough for me to avoid ANY type of Lavender oil on or around my son permanently. It’s not safe for him. I stopped using it yesterday, but it’s still affecting him today. He is so restless, it’s unreal. However, I’m glad I know WHY he’s had such a terrible few days. And why he would tell his momma that he hates her.
I check multiple sources for good and bad. Also, once I introduce anything new to my children (natural or not) I keep a journal on their behaviors, because sometimes you just never know what’s going on and what could be causing it….This is proof that the oils are indeed strong and capable of affecting a person negatively if used incorrectly.”
And then she posted this update later:
“I just wanted to update you all on how he’s doing after I stopped using Lavender on (and around) him. The last day we used it was Tuesday. Today, he is back to my sweet little boy, and it’s obvious that he has a very clear mind now. He even told me that he feels like ‘a new boy’ and that he knows how to make better choices. He was able to complete over 2 hours of school review worksheets in an hour because he was just that focused. It’s crazy to see just how that one oil had such a negative effect on him. I know it’s not a common reaction, but it is obviously his reaction and I’m glad to have the sense enough to know that not all oils work the same for every individual.””
This is an excellent story that shows how each one of us is different. Though Lavender seems harmless and calming, it had the opposite effect in this case. It took a courageous mom to research and find out what was causing the problem, and thankfully she did. So, all mothers looking for EOs to help with your children’s behavior, take this as a serious warning to make sure to do your research first!
The winners of our Summer Giveaway contest are in!
We thank you all so much for participating in our first-ever Summer Giveaway. We plan to do this each season so stay tuned for another in the coming months as we transition into fall.
Winners of the Summer Giveaway:
Signed copy of Aromatic Mind Book ~ Cherie Alvarez
Signed copy of Aromatic Spa Book ~ Elizabeth Silver
Free Attendance to Tropical Treatments on June 28th ~ Sue Pace
Each winner will be contacted individually. Thank you all again. Blessings on your aromatic journey.
Ready to ring in the Summer solstice? We are, too! And that means deals for you.
We first launched our new website on Spring Equinox with a web party throughout the whole weekend. It’s been a great three months with this new site, and since the Summer solstice is just around the corner, we want to party with you again!
Our web party starts at 12 p.m. on Friday, June 20, and ends at 12 p.m. on Monday, June 24. All weekend, there will be free shipping on all orders, big sales for limited times throughout the weekend, and a raffle giveaway.
We’ll be highlighting the times and items included in the surprise sales on social media, so make sure to stay tuned to our Facebook and Twitter pages for updates! Keep an eye out and you can score big!
So thank you for coming along with us on the grand opening of our new website, and for loyally following us online. This is our gift to you!
Essential oils can be lovely–but they can also be dangerous.
A mom recently told me that her chiropractor has been applying neat lavender to her 4-month-old child 2 times a week for some time now. Recently, the chiropractor asked her to buy and use lemon in her own water, and to apply undiluted lemongrass oil to her child because it might “loosen ligaments.” The chiropractor produced a page from a multi-level company product book as proof, but that same page also says, “Extreme skin irritant, do not use on children under 6.”
That chiropractor is setting her patients up for a lifetime of sensitization, if she hasn’t caused it already. And applying lemongrass undiluted to a baby is bordering on child abuse, since the oil can have such adverse effects.
Undiluted oils are not recommended on young children due to the possibility of irritation and sensitization or allergic reaction. By using lavender oil undiluted over and over, the child may become sensitized to lavender, which could lead to a lifetime of issues. Once allergic, any contact may cause rash-type symptoms or even more severe reactions, including breathing issues and shock.
Another mom recently reported that her four-and-a-half month old child was ill and asked if essential oils could make a baby vomit. The chiropractor sold her oils and recommended she put a drop each of lavender, lemon, peppermint, and a “blend” (containing known sensitizing oils) in the palm of her hand; she then massaged her baby four times a day on the feet, chest and back. She also diffused the same blend all day, and by late at night, the baby had become violently ill. An ER visit proved fruitless since the doctors and nurses didn’t know about the essential oils, but they deemed the baby okay and sent mother and child home. Luckily, this was a small, diluted amount, and hopefully the baby recovers just fine. But the stress this mom went through is needless and alarming.
I don’t fault either mother in these cases; they were following the instructions of a respected and licensed health professionals. But how ethical are those professionals? And how much does it damage the respectability of chiropractic medicine—a branch that has fought for a long time to be a serious and licensed health profession? To sell and promote essential oils in this way is dangerous and unethical.
And what can we do about this new problem? Why are health professionals selling essential oils with no education other than product marketing? Why are they recommending such hazardous things? Should we report them to their boards, will they lose their license? I would genuinely love to hear some answers.
I understand that many of them just haven’t been educated, but once again, the information has been available for such a long time that if they ever went to court due to the injuries, it would probably be considered negligence. If using a known irritant or telling moms to use them on young children isn’t criminal, then I don’t know what is.
So what can we do? The answer: Spread the word. Ask your health professionals where they received their training before buying their products and doing what they say. Ask them if they realize they are sensitizing themselves at the same time. Show them the Safety pages here and Injury Report. Keep yourself and your children safe, and do your research when it comes to essential oil sensitization.
In normal use, aromatherapy is safe and effective for many conditions, and a pleasant way to create a healthy atmosphere. However, accidents can happen, especially when people follow bad advice on the internet. Technically, an adverse effect is any reaction to oils that was unintentional.
Consider the following situations:
- A child grabs and licks the pipette of wintergreen being used in a bath bomb demo at an elementary school because it smells just like candy.
- A woman gets a call from the doctor saying her liver enzymes are alarmingly elevated. She can’t imagine why, but she’s been drinking peppermint daily in water and applying oregano neat on feet for over a year, which she was instructed to do by a video on the internet.
- Another woman is still experiencing adverse health effects from a Raindrop Therapy session eight years ago, when someone dripped a massive amount of undiluted, known irritant oils onto her spine.
- A man who drinks 2-6 drops of essential oils in every glass of water starts to get sores and burning on his tongue, lips and gums.
- A woman has permanent esophageal damage from drinking oils daily because she was told to by a sales rep.
These and more have already been reported to our Injury database.
Read the graphic below for more information on adverse effects from using essential oils incorrectly:
Also here is a great blog on the so called detox effect!