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Safely Ingest Essential Oils

So, I’ve seen a lot of posts that suggest consuming essential oils by diluting them in some tea or water and then drinking. And this is okay if you are absolutely certain the specific oil you are consuming will not irritate your mouth or throat if it’s used undiluted. And you are absolutely certain the essential oil is safe to consume in the first place. If you are not sure of these two things, get a professional opinion or just don’t do it. Try an inhaler instead. Because water and oil. Do. Not. Mix. Dropping essential oils in water and drinking is the same as just dropping the oil directly on your tongue. 

Why would you want to ingest essential oils in the first place? Just diffuse or apply topically.

Oh, darling, I’m so glad you asked. You see, there are a few ways most people absorb essential oils.

  • Diffusing into the air
  • Applying to the skin
  • Inhaling through a tissue or inhaler
  • Ingesting

Diffusing disperses the oil throughout the entire room. So you are only breathing in some of the oil.  This is great for young children or pregnant women because the oil is strongly diluted. Skin application is great but your body only absorbs so much of the oil this way. Inhaling directly from the bottle, tissue, or inhaler (especially an inhaler) is an excellent way to absorb a higher amount of the essential oil. But your body still does not absorb all of the oil so the therapeutic impact is still diluted. Which is perfectly fine for most purposes. When you ingest essential oils, your body absorbs 100%. It’s like drinking a LOT of therapeutic herbal tea.


So how to consume essential oils as safely as possible?

Here’s three tips you can use if you know the essential oil is safe for consumption.

  • Put oil drops in an empty pill capsule and swallow as a pill.
  • Blend the essential oils in a smoothie and drink. The thickness of the smoothie will keep the oils diluted.
  • Thoroughly mix drops of oils in a tsp of honey and then mix the honey into a cup of water. Drink. The honey will act as a sort of light emulsifier. 

Blessings.

Verse of the Day

Ear Infections!

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Ear infections. They suck. There’s no getting around it. They are crippling in their painful simplicity. They haunt your every waking moment. They are annoying. Eventually, your mind starts to play games on you. You start to wonder; will cutting my ear off produce a higher quality existence than I currently have now?

According to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, 5 out of 6 children experience an ear infection before they are 3 years old. Wow. I suppose that little statistic only confirms what most parents already know. According to Mayo Clinic, young children are more susceptible to ear infections because their eustachian tubes are still developing into their more permanent, adulthood shape.

So what is a parent to do?

According to Mayo Clinic, if your child is less than 6 months old and you suspect an ear infection, contact your pediatrician. If your child is older than 6 months with mild ear pain and a fever below 102 degrees Fahrenheit, you can wait and see if conditions improve within 48 hours. If they do not, contact your pediatrician. If your child is older than 1 year, the pain is mild, and doesn’t have a fever above 102 F, it’s also okay to wait and see if the infection will resolve on its own. I would suggest also employing the Tea Tree Essential Oil remedy described below as soon as the “patient” begins to experience inner ear discomfort. 

For children (1-12), dilute 1 drop each of the following essential oils into 1-2 teaspoons (1 tsp for older children to 2 tsp for younger children) of carrier oil (jojoba, sweet almond, etc): Thyme, Lavender and Tea Tree. If you only have Tea Tree, go ahead and try this remedy with only that oil. I have done that and it still worked. The key is to use oils with anti-bacterial and anti-viral qualities. Apply some of this mixture around the ear – around, not directly on the ear – every hour until symptoms are relieved. At night, place 1 drop of this mixture onto some tissue or cotton ball and leave in the ear overnight. 

For teenagers and adults, apply 5 drops Tea Tree, 5 drops thyme, and 10 drops lavender in 1 teaspoon carrier oil (or just 10 drops Tea Tree)  and apply around the base of the ear every hour. At night, place 1 drop of Tea Tree on some cotton/tissue (the tea tree will dilute/disperse throughout the tissue) and leave in the ear overnight. 

Do NOT use undiluted Tea Tree around your ear. This is a very sensitive  area of skin. I tried this once and while, I must say, the pain went away after 24 hours, my skin was very irritated. Lavender, however, is perfectly safe for older children and adults to use undiluted. 

Mild ear infections that are not going away on their own will most likely notably improve within 48 hours of using this treatment. Severe ear infections may still require a visit to the doctor. 

If conditions worsen with this alternative treatment (unlikely), discontinue use and consult a doctor. This may be the result of an allergic reaction to the oils. 

Blessings,

Verse of the Day


Ingredient Highlight: Tea Tree Essential Oil

This week, we will be making use of Tea Tree Essential Oil as an ingredient. Therefore, I decided to start the week out with an overview of this highly useful oil. 


Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternafornica) Essential Oil is usually extracted from the leaves of the Melaleuca Tree using steam. This oil has an herbal, medicinal smell to it. 

Infamous for its anti-bacterial qualities, Tea Tree Oil is undergoing a great deal of study for possible use against Staphylococcus aureus; an anti-biotic resistant bacterial infection. 

In the world of aromatherapy, Tea Tree Essential Oil is also considered an anti-viral, anti-fungal, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory. A search through Pub Med will show current research supporting these claims. 

I have to acknowledge that there is a nasty little rumor that the “small quantity” ingestion of Tea Tree Oil caused breast enlargement in a 4-year old boy. First of all, it is not recommended that any child 6 years or younger ingest any essential oils. (Although the ingestion of a small quantity of child-safe essential oils by young children is highly unlikely to cause harm. So if your 3-year old child takes a swig from his bottle of coconut massage oil that contains 2% Lavender Essential Oil, I really wouldn’t panic. He probably only drank the equivalent of a teaspoon of coconut oil and about 30-50 little lavender buds.) 

There is another case where a 10 year old apparently also developed breast enlargement after using a hair product by Paul Mitchell that was said to contain Tea Tree Oil. According to world-renowned essential oil safety expert, Robert Tisserand and his book, Essential Oil Safety, the products contained neglible amounts of Tea Tree Oil and since Tea Tree Oil is very poorly absorbed by the skin, it is highly unlikely the gynecomastia was caused by the Tea Tree Oil. 

So I really wouldn’t take the Tea Tree and breast enlargement scare too seriously. 

Regarding the use of this first-aide essential oil, Robert Tisserand only cautions against using Tea Tree undiluted on the skin. He recommends a maximum dermal use level of only 15% to avoid skin irritation. 

One of my favorite uses for Tea Tree is air purification. I like to place 3-6 drops in my essential oil diffuser everyday to help combat any nasties that may be floating around in the air. Of which I have forgotten to do lately and my son and I currently have a cold. Go figure. 

Blessings,