Is Eucalyptus Oil Good for Babies

What Is Eucalyptus Oil?

Eucalyptus oil is an essential oil that is extracted by the process of steam distillation from the leaves and branches of the Eucalyptus tree. The Eucalyptus tree is native to Australia, though small numbers are found in Indonesia and New Guinea. Sometimes, even the vapours from the leaves are said to have healing properties. The oil extracted is always mixed with carrier oils because of its potency and then used for different health benefits.

What Are The Specifications And Components Present In Eucalyptus Oil?

There are many compounds which are present in Eucalyptus oil that contributes to its healing properties. Here is a list of the different components and its specifications.

Component Range - Limit
1,8 cineole At least 70%
d(delta) – limonene Trace up to 12%
a(alpha) – pinene Trace up to 9%
b(beta) – pinene Less than 1.5%
a(alpha)- phellandrene Less than 1.5%
Sabinene Less than 0.3%
Camphor Less than 0.1%

What Are The Benefits Of Using Eucalyptus Oil?

  • Inhalation of the vapors from the leaves of the Eucalyptus plant provides instant relief from respiratory problems such as bronchitis, cough and chest congestion.
  • The oil works as a coolant, cooling the body instantly.
  • Topical application and massaging the oil into the skin improves circulation and blood flow to the area.
  • Its anti-microbial properties disinfect the area it is applied to, killing germs and microbes.
  • Its antiseptic properties prevent an infection from spreading by preventing the growth of microorganisms. Thus, it also provides instant relief from inflammation, redness, and itching.

Is Eucalyptus Oil Safe For Babies?

Though there are so many health benefits of Eucalyptus oil, whether it is safe to use on babies or not is still debatable. This is because of a number of reasons:

  • Different species of Eucalyptus oil has different amounts of a compound called 1,8-cineole in it. This concentration depends entirely on the chemo type of the species. If the oil has a higher amount of 1,8-cineole in it, it compromises the central nervous system of the body. Furthermore, it can cause respiratory issues such as difficulty in breathing and congestion in children.
  • Because the skin of babies is really delicate and sensitive, topical application of potent and undiluted Eucalyptus oil can cause discomfort, irritation, redness and burning sensation.
  • In extreme cases, it can even lead to seizures and death.
  • Ingestion of Eucalyptus oil can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, and other respiratory problems.

Thus, all in all, the oil can be used on children above the age of 10 years, as long as it is diluted and kept away from the nose and mouth. It is recommended that the oil must not be used on babies who are younger than two years unless consulted with a physician.

How Eucalyptus Oil Is used For Infants Correctly?

Eucalyptus Oil Is used For Infants

The safest way to use Eucalyptus Oil on infants is by the diffusion method. This way, the chances of the oil causing problems is significantly reduced.

  • Diffuse 1-2 drops of the Eucalyptus essential oil in a diffuser for not more 30 minutes in a day
  • Make sure that the room is well-aerated to make sure that the vapors do not suffocate the baby
  • If the baby experiences irritation in the eye or any sort of discomfort, stop diffusion of the oil and try again later. However, if discomfort persists in the next use also, discontinue diffusion.

Applications Of Eucalyptus Oil For Babies

The applications of Eucalyptus oil specifically on babies include:

  • Strengthens the immune system.
  • Improves respiratory circulation and keeps the heart healthy.
  • Fights respiratory issues such as bronchitis, cold, cough and even pneumonia.
  • Rich in antioxidants and thus fights an array of diseases.
  • Treats sinus and allergies.
  • Kills germs and bacteria that may make the baby sick.
  • Cleanses the body off harmful toxins.
  • Reduces pain and inflammation.
  • Moisturizes the hair making it look healthy and nourished.
  • Treats a dry scalp and dandruff.

Alternatives Used Against The Eucalyptus Oil For Treating Cold In Infants

There are other natural alternatives apart from Eucalyptus oil that can treat cold and chest congestion in your infant. Some of them include:

1. Nasal Syringe

Nasal Syringe

If your baby is very young, using a nasal syringe is the best way to deal with a blocked nose. A nasal syringe is nothing but a nasal aspirator that will draw out the mucus, cleaning the baby's airway. This is non-invasive, doesn't cause discomfort to the baby and can be done in no time at all.

2. Hot water compress

Sometimes, the mucus blocking the baby's airway may be thick and hard to remove using a nasal syringe. In this case, dip a small cotton cloth in hot water, squeeze out excess water and apply the cloth over the baby's nose. Leave it on for at least 30 seconds and repeat this step a few more times to remove the blockages from the baby's chest, throat, and nose. Make sure that the cloth is not too hot as the baby's skin can be very sensitive.

3. Ginger tea

Ginger tea

Ginger is anti-bacterial and anti-viral in nature. It also helps treat inflammation and opens up the airways by melting the mucus. Mix 1 tsp. of freshly grated ginger with boiling water and let it rest for 10 minutes. When it is cooled down, feed your baby 1-2 tsp. of this tea at regular intervals 3 times a day for best results.

Important Points To Consider

  • Make sure that the baby does not ingest the oil as it can lead to breathlessness and even asthma.
  • Use expert advice before testing the oil on your infant.
  • Only use a diffuser or vaporizer if your baby is 2 years old or younger.


Also Read: 

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Author Name: Pavithra Dennis

 

 

 

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