The Best Essential Oils for Immunity in Kids

The Best Essential Oils for Immunity in Kids

Keeping stress and toxins away from our family lately can feel like a massive undertaking when trying to keep everyone as healthy as possible during virus season. Even if your kids are normal, healthy small people, they still get compromised during sports, school, and daycare and then helpfully share it with everyone at home. Today’s article focuses on which of the best essential oils for immunity I love for my kids (and yours). Let’s take a look.

NIH research supports essential oil use for immunity-boosting power

Even the NIH is supportive of essential oils for immune-boosting natural wellness protection!

I’m sharing this fascinating abstract around this particular study, Much More Than a Pleasant Scent: A Review on Essential Oils Supporting the Immune System. Because of all of the growing attention that herbs and essential oils are getting in the top research centers right now, this study strove to investigate the immune-supporting properties of essential oils by compiling prior research around this topic for animals and humans. The most exciting and helpful part of this article is the related studies noted on the side, showcasing a deep dive into much of the research done over the past ten years. If you are looking for some specific support, you may find something beneficial here.

Also fascinating is why we feel so good after spending a couple of hours, or the entire day, outside.

Grandma was right, kids (and adults) need fresh air that contains wood essential oils available in the breeze, and more is more. The Japanese refer to this as “forest-bathing,” a romantic label and what we in the States call “going for a hike.” It’s also why we crave going up into the mountains and getting out into the fields with our dogs and horses. It’s not only the exercise that is good for our bodies; it’s breathing in nourishing, fresh essential oils right from the source. (Read section 6 in the above link). There is a long list of studied specific EO included in the article, so I encourage you to check it out if you are curious.

Keeping Our Kids Naturally Healthy

I won’t get into the washing hands here, but adding in some key wellness support when it starts to get colder outside can make the difference for everyone in your immediate family. These won’t make up completely for lack of sleep or exercise or even a lacking diet and we all get sick sometimes.

Some of the best essential oils for immunity that I reach for regularly are:

Lavender – When talking about immunity, this essential oil helps kids get restful sleep and reduce stress.

Lemon – With antibacterial properties, lemon is a natural ingredient in homemade cleaner solutions. In the summer or when in sunny parts of the world, lemon can be photosensitive, so please dilute it well and avoid using before sun exposure within 12 hours of having on your skin.

Eucalyptus – has powerful antibacterial and antiviral properties, so I love this when you are looking for support for flu, chickenpox, or other child viruses that like to spread.

Peppermint – is super antibacterial and antifungal, so keep this one on the shelf for headaches to tummy troubles. It can be effective against colds and flu and is a super energy stimulant for a late day push when you are running low without caffeine.

Tea Tree – Tee Tree is a triple threat as an antibacterial, antiviral AND antifungal. It’s valued as a natural immunostimulant and can be used directly on the skin or in a diffuser.

Thieves- the old folklore story goes that the thieves of plague times would douse themselves in this oil blend and not get sick! We love this blend!

Palmarosa – Another one from the other side of the world, Palmarosa grass is mainly grown in India and Nepal for a wide range of immunity boosting properties.


Quick Immunity Recipes for Kids to Try

Need an idea of where to begin? I’ve got you covered! Try either of these in a diffuser with purified water.

Immunity Blend #1 

  • Lavender – 3 drops
  • Eucalyptus – 2 drops
  • Rosemary – 2 drops
  • Thieves – 2 drops


 Immunity Blend #2

  • Palmarosa – 3 drops
  • Lemon – 2 drops
  • Tea Tree – 2 drops
  • Peppermint – 2 drops
  • Clove – 1 drop


Searching for more specific information on what to try or how to use a specific essential oil? Join my Facebook group or reach out directly!

xo, Mollie

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

Four Recipes For Using Essential Oils On Horses

Four Recipes For Using Essential Oils On Horses

Essential oil use has been around for centuries, starting as far back as Biblical times, and gaining popularity as a non-toxic, natural option to further support wellness in our horses and animals. Derived only from plants and frequently manufactured by distillation to extract oils, these powerful components are being studied by universities to understand better the properties and how we can use them in the barn, on ourselves and families. This article will show you several easy ways to mix and use essential oils for your favorite equines for natural pain relief, itch relief, coat conditioner, and tame anxiety.

 

Not listed in the recipes below is NingXia Red, an incredible immunity booster and energy booster. I love it to replenish a horse’s energy levels after a big competition and trailering. NingXia Red is a superfood, rather than an essential oil, but can be used as part of a larger wellness program to support cellular function and whole-body health. If your horses are in demanding performance sports, I encourage you to try this. (Check your rulebook to avoid any surprises.)


Best Essential Oils for Your Horse’s Pain Relief
Lavender 
– You’ve likely used lavender already, as it is a highly popular and proven ingredient for pain and stress relief. 
See my other articles that recommend lavender for additional uses.

Clove – Because of the high proportions of eugenol in clove oil, this is an arthritis relief option that supports joint function and healthy inflammatory responses. As clove can be irritating at full strength, I suggest using it diluted ina carrier oil or spray-on form. Combined with peppermint or wintergreen oil, you have a fantastic warming/cooling option for tired muscles or leg bracer after hard work or show day. Add it to a spray bottle and apply it directly to the legs. As this will not evaporate quickly, do not add a standing wrap over the top.

Wintergreen – Is another excellent all-purpose natural oil historically used for arthritis and tendonitis relief. Wintergreen’s primary component is methyl salicylate, which, when metabolized, produces salicylic acid. Aspirin has the same active element when metabolized. Use caution when giving orally over long periods, especially if the horse is already on a bute regimen.

Copaiba – You can find Copaiba in the medical records back in the 1400s. High in beta-caryophyllene, copaiba has been studied and has shown positive results when used for pain reduction for many issues. Still available across Brazil commonly in the local pharmacy. 


Pain Relief for Horses – Recipe

To mix this yourself for the barn, take a small spray bottle and add the following ingredients:

  • 6 drops lavender oil
  • 6 drops wintergreen OR peppermint oil
  • 1 capful of Thieves (contains clove oil) 
  • 6 drops of Panaway
  • Optional – 3 drops of copaiba or oregano oil
  • Add enough witch hazel, distilled water or apple cider vinegar to fill the container. 

Shake gently and spray on muscles or legs. 


Using Essential Oils for Itch Relief in Horses 

Itching is always a big issue in a barn, whether you have one horse or several. Changing seasons, shedding, flies, and other stinging insects or very dry weather can do damage to manes and tails as well as creating uncomfortable horses and negative behaviors.

I love to mix up the following essential oil recipe to create fast, natural, and great smelling itch relief for our herd. It’s also a great coat conditioner that produces loads of shine.


Frankencense – maintains radiant skin when used topically; this oil has 6 known key constituents and a woodsy, fresh smell.

Lavender oil – Yes, here as well for calming minor irritations

Melrose™ – (Melaleuca alternifolia, Rosemary, and Clove) – This blend is a cleanser for healthy skin.

Tea Tree oil – Known for helping to get rid of damaging skin bacteria on the surface and virus control for warts.  Tea Tree oil has ten known constituents with powerful properties.


Essential Oil Itch Relief for Horses – Recipe

Combine in a spray bottle to apply directly to your horse’s coat. Rub in well with a soft cloth.

  • 10 drops of lavender oil
  • 10 drops of Tea Tree oil
  • 10 drops of Melrose
  • 10 drops of Frankincense oil

Add 2 Tablespoons of fractionated coconut oil. Add distilled water to fill the sprayer.

Essential Oils for Horse Coat Conditioners

You can try the above recipe or mix up this one, depending on the season. This version is especially great for manes and tails. I keep a version of this handy year-round for our horses for faster fairy knot removal and for tail rubbing. This is an easy recipe if you are newer to using essential oils on your horses as all of the elements are likely familiar.

 

Horse Coat Conditioner Essential Oil Recipe

  • Glass or plastic spray bottle
  • 1 part vegetable glycerine (can use less if you want a smoother finish)
  • 3 parts distilled water
  • 15 drops Lavender oil
  • 10 drops of Cedarwood oil
  • 5 drops of Orange oil
  • 5 drops of Rosemary oil

Mix gently and apply directly to manes and tails. Keep in a warm space during colder weather.


Reducing Stress Using Essential Oils in Horses

Last but not least, we look at using essential oils on our horses to eliminate anxiety and stress from training, showing, sales, or moving barns. We create all kinds of stressful situations unintentionally for our horses, so giving them a way to calm naturally is a kindness. 

Applying essential oils is a different process for stress. In this case, you want to add them in slowly and before the horse gets stressed. We do not want the horse to associate the smell with the negative situation. Applying a few drops in your hands and offering them to smell first while watching the animal’s reaction. Remember, these are powerful, and his sense of smell is much more sensitive than yours. When you offer up the oils, you ideally want to see licking, sighing, closing of the eyes or dropping of the head and neck to indicate relaxation. Use before your event so that the horse learns to associate the oil with being highly relaxed, and then use after the competition to come down.

Frankincense – comes from distilling the resin of the boswellia carteri tree.

Chamomile – gives the body support with anxiety, anger, or nervousness. I like to apply it directly to the poll.

Bergamot – is terrific for this purpose but use carefully on pink skin as it has a photosensitive property. Super when combined with lavender to give highly relaxing results.

Valerian – comes from the Valerian root itself and offers a reconnection and grounding support. Fabulous when applied to the coronary bands and cannon bone areas.

I’ve given you so much to try with your horses in this article, and I’d love to hear how it’s going! If you have any questions on how to get started or have questions about your first pass, please let me know how to help you on your journey!

xo, Mollie

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

Creating Easy Essential Oil Tick Repellent for Dogs

Creating Easy Essential Oil Tick Repellent for Dogs

If you live in North America, you know how important it is to address tick-borne diseases for our pets, our families and ourselves. With all of the commercial and toxic ways to control and prevent tick bites on both our two and four-legged family members, this article looks at the data around efficacy, how to apply it, which oils to use and a recipe to create repellent and have it ready.

Proven efficacy – Essential oil tick repellent for dogs

Unlike DEET-based repellents, Therapeutic grade essential oils like Young Living are not Toxic to our dog friends. Also, they will not melt plastic raincoats or tent materials when applied directly, so are a better option for camping and hiking gear. If your dog is going to be wet because of weather or tall grass, you may need to reapply more frequently, so be sure to pack it along.

How to apply essential oils to your dog

The application of essential oils is pretty straightforward. Remember to test in a small area first to be sure your dog is comfortable with the smell and can move away from you if needed. Some canines have sensitive skin, so I do recommend test patching first before using all over the legs and belly. Spray Bottle application, Apply straight oils to your own hands and rub over your dog’s hair, or I also love to add several drops on my dog’s leather or absorbent collar.  When mixing, always dilute with a carrier oil or witch hazel for easier application and coverage. You can store the mix in a small spray bottle to keep it handy or attach a ring or carabiner to keep it with you while you are hiking.

Which oils to select for tick repellants

Eucalyptus (Globulus, Lemon Myrtle, Myrtle, Australian Euricifolia)
Aside from smelling amazing, this oil is best paired with citronella essential oil for pets. Always dilute with a carrier oil such as grapeseed first before applying to your dog.

Kunzea
Lovingly called the tick bush from those native to New Zealand & Australia. I love including this oil to repel ticks and bug repellents. 

Lavender
Lavender is safe to use on infants as well as dogs and cats and has proven to be effective in preventing tick eggs from hatching. Dilute it with a carrier oil and use it directly on your skin, clothing and gear.

Lemongrass
This essential oil has long been considered to have natural tick repellent properties and is popular in skin and hair products. Be sure to dilute lemongrass oil in a carrier before applying. It can be a spicier oil for some. 

Lemon
Great for a pet bed refresher or on carpets! Lemon is not recommended to use directly on your dog or cat as it can be photo-sensitive. To use lemon oil, dilute in a spray bottle.

Cedarwood
Another oil that is toxic to ticks, Cedarwood makes a great addition to a repellant. Cedarwood’s powerful natural components deal out “death by dehydration, neutralization of bodily fluids, encapsulation and/or emulsification of bodily fats, prevention of breathing, pheromonal interference that interrupts processes necessary to metabolism, movement, reproduction and feeding, and dissolving insect larvae,” according to Marian Grande. It’s a clear winner in the battle against ticks. 

Please do not apply oils directly to an imbedded tick, as it can cause them to release their venom into the animal.  Remove the tick and then treat the wound. I like using Thieves and Frankincense for this situation. 

Create your own easy tick repellant

To start experimenting with preventing the ticks in your surrounding area, I recommend starting with this mix.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of water or witch hazel or aloe juice
  • 2 tsp carrier oil – V6, olive, or fractionated coconut oil 
  • 10 drops geranium essential oil
  • 5 drops cedarwood essential oil
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops lemongrass essential oil

Directions:
1. Fill your spray bottle with 1 cup of water. If you are using a smaller bottle, just cut your amounts in half.
2. Add the essential oils, put the top on the bottle and shake.


Have user questions or want to order your tick repellant oils today? Contact Mollie!

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

Essential oils for fertility:  What to know when getting pregnant

Essential oils for fertility: What to know when getting pregnant

When you decide to get pregnant it can be stressful, especially if you have a health history that may be working against you. Getting the extra support your body needs for conceiving can make all the difference. In today’s article, we dive deeper into ways that essential oils for fertility can make this exciting journey easier. We’re looking at how to select high-grade essential oils for the most benefit, which oils may be the most helpful for you.

How to select high-grade essential oils

When searching for really high quality oils, you should look for the following to be sure you get what you pay for. Look for the wording listed on the label. It should read “essential oil” instead of fragrance oil. Essential oils are distilled from plants grown for the sole purpose of creating concentrated oil that is measured and used in small drops.

Look for the common plant name as well as the plant’s Latin name. Frequently, there are more than one type of plant under a common name and the Latin name will show the difference between them. If you are using essential oils for infertility, this can be important to note. A good company source understands this and will differentiate between the types for you.

Country of origin – Where is your oil grown? Occasionally the best place to source a plant is not in the US. Natural variations in field location, soil and climate will change the chemical composition accordingly. You may find that using a different source of oil changes the effectiveness when used. For a deep dive into this topic check out www.seedtoseal.com

Method of extraction. Again, do your homework. Only essential oils are created by using distillation and expression (for citrus oil). Steam distillation is a common process to create most essential oils.

Avoid oils listing Perfume or Fragrance on the label. This typically indicates a lesser quantity of the essential oil you want. These are usually much cheaper as they are mixed with an inexpensive carrier or of a synthetic composition, so that can be another indicator of a lower quality product.

Avoid junk in your oil. Things you won’t find in Young Living Oils.

Tips for Using Essential Oils when Boosting Fertility

A variety of essential oils are believed to offer wellness benefits around fertility including mood stabilization (who doesn’t need this!), reducing anxiety, improving relaxation and getting better sleep. There are a few identified here that may be the ones to try first when looking for support.

Clary Sage Oil – for harmonizing and balancing estrogen. Estrogen is needed for conception, so you may want to begin by diluting in a carrier oil for direct use on your skin. Clary sage oil has some anecdotal reports that cause uterine contractions, so please use cautiously if you are already pregnant.

Orange, Grapefruit and Lemon Oils – Chances are you have already used these to get a quick energy lift during the mid-afternoon blahs, but studies show that orange oil can be effective at lowering anxiety, so you may find that helpful to conceive. Experiment to see which of the three help to lower nausea. I recommend using a diffuser for using citrus oil.

Sandalwood Oil – A bit invasive to test, sandalwood has long been purported to have libido lifting properties in both men and women. You can use this in a diffuser to get the mood going or use combined with a carrier oil for a fantastic massage oil option.

Geranium Oil – A 2017 study has shown promising data that geranium oil may be helpful in the production of estrogen. It also assists with lowering anxiety and depression. When you go to try geranium oil, add it to a skin cream or a diffuser.

Ylang Ylang Oil – Believed to carry aphrodisiac boosting qualities and ease cramps, this oil can be used to create positive feelings and a better mental outlook in general while you wait to get pregnant. Use in a diffuser or incorporated in a cream or massage oil carrier.

Young Living also offers combined formulas that utilize their essential oils to make it super convenient for traveling and daily use. For the details on all of those options for endocrine support, check out Hormones for Her.

Products I LOVE that support fertility:

Endoflex – Direct support to the endocrine system.

Progessence Plus – Helps balance estrogen and progesterone. When I was having very heavy periods, this serum was key for me! A drop on your inner arm is all you need.

Ningxia Red – Daily supplement to aid in overall health and fertility. 

While we collectively wait for more research to be released around this important area of essential oils, try the oils above to balance your estrogen, get more sleep, get in the mood or to destress. You now know how to select a top quality essential oil and how to begin using them. Start with 6-8 drops in your diffuser and see how your body reacts. You might need a bit more or less. If applying to your skin, the normal recommendation is 1 drop of oil to 10-15 drops of carrier oil. You can use almond, coconut or grapeseed oils.

Even more resources!

Want personalized help in aligning your oil use with fertility? Contact me for safe options for success at mollie@mollievacco.com.

Join my Facebook Group for even more support and a positive mindset shift.

xo, Mollie

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

Essential Oils: Proving Treatment for Hot Spots on Dogs

Treating hot spots on dogs has always been tricky to do as there are multiple causes of skin irritation and itching. Just ruling out the initial cause of the irritation can take time. Dermatitis is often presented as an allergy to the dog’s environmental surroundings or diet and is usually treated with elimination diets, topical therapies, or anti-inflammatories. It can be difficult and time consuming to treat, as well as uncomfortable for the dog. Fortunately, help is on the horizon.


With the overuse of antibiotics to treat bacteria, many people are looking for safer alternatives for their pets and families. Researchers are also looking closely at antibiotic alternatives for effectiveness and finding some hopeful data in the process. Recently, university testing has found that essential oils can be useful in improving canine skin without adverse reactions.


An interesting three-clinic study from 2014 in The Veterinary Journal trialed a combination of oral polyunsaturated fatty acids and an applied essential oil for atopic dermatitis on a range of different breeds, ages, and gendered dogs. Clinics in the UK, USA, and Germany worked together and found a measurable improvement with the test group using neem oil, rosemary extract, lavender oil, clove oil, tea tree oil, oregano, peppermint oil, and cedar bark extract with linoleum acid and vitamin E. The full details of the study may be read here on Science Direct.


Another peer-reviewed study published in the Microorganisms Journal, February 2020, issue 2, “Antimicrobial Activity of Essential Oils against Staphylococcus and Malassezia Strains Isolated from Canine Dermatitis,” looks at the effectiveness of essential oils on canine dermatitis. Nine essential oils were reviewed, and the findings were promising when used for mixed infections. This particular study is available to read in detail here.


How to safely use essential oils for your dog


Because essential oils are taken directly from raw plants and distilled carefully to create a highly concentrated liquid, it’s important to know which ones should be diluted or diffused rather than used at full strength. Keep in mind that these oils should only be “therapeutic grade” oils from a reputable company, such as Young Living. Using oils to support good health means observing your pet for any adverse reactions, starting with a small amount. One single drop of essential oil diluted in a carrier oil, such as grapeseed, almond, apricot kernel or coconut oil is typically enough. If your dog is not happy about the oil smell, allow them an escape route away from you. Use them for two weeks and then evaluate any changes in your dog’s behavior or skin. If no changes are present in the first few days, you may want to change the approach. Using a modality like essential oils allows us to be very individual in our approach. So if something is not showing results pretty quickly, it’s time to pivot! Reach out, I’d love to help!

Here are some essential oils to try for your dog’s skin allergies or dermatitis:


Lavender – Calming, comforting, soothing to the skin. An easy go-to. 

Frankincense – Its healing properties have been cherished for thousands of years. Use topically or internally. 

Purification – Great applied topically to those troublesome ears of pets who love to swim! Diffuse to help with that pet smell!! 

Peppermint – Great to help sooth the itch, relieve sore muscle, deters flies. 

Oregano – Great immune support for allergy sufferers. I prefer this given internally, for example, a drop in a veggie cap wrapped in cream cheese.


How much oil do I need?

Working with someone who has experience in selecting and using these powerful healing elements can be helpful. Every animal is an individual and it is nice to customize. Some respond to one drop and other applications may take several drops with repetition. If you are just starting out it’s a good idea to use a carrier oil to dilute the essential oil so the body has more time to process it. If you feel you’ve used too much add more carrier oil, not water, water actually invigorates the essential oils. 


For help with selecting an appropriate essential oil and its proper use for your dog, contact Mollie.

ABOUT MOLLIE VACCO

Certified health coach, with a focus on natural wellness and holistic modalities
Mom of three boys & wife
Licensed Parelli Instructor & horsewoman

hot spots in dogs