I have to admit, when I first started hearing about essential oils, I was more than skeptical. I mentally compartmentalized them with herbalist and homeopathic remedies with no real research (at least that was my take). I’ll take my tried and tested and FDA-approved medicines, thank you. I pretty much dismissed essential oils altogether.
But something started nagging at me. For years my son Drew, 6, has had unexplained recurrent fevers every 6-8 weeks on the clock that last 4-5 days. Each time we simply treat with ibuprofen and sometimes tylenol ’round the clock. (We do have an appointment with a specialist next month to try to get to the root of the problem.) What concerned me, though, was the sheer amount of ibuprofen his little body has consumed in his lifetime. My mom, after having a kidney removed because of kidney cancer, was told not to take ibuprofen because it would be hard on her remaining kidney.
If a grown woman with one kidney was advised not to take ibuprofen, what was this constant intake of ibuprofen doing to my growing child’s organs?
What peaked my interest in essential oils was a random blog post I read where a mom had talked about using peppermint essential oil to bring down her child’s fever. Still skeptical, I thought it was worth looking into.
I started doing research on essential oils – which isn’t so cut and dried by the way – and I chose to order my first oils from Young Living.
Last week it was time to put it to the test when Alyssa, 2, came down with a fever. I honestly wasn’t planning on avoiding over-the-counter medicine altogether. But that’s exactly what ended up happening. The first time I rubbed peppermint oil on her feet, her fever was 100.9. Within 30 minutes, it was down to 99.3.
The one thing I noticed right away was that not only did the oil bring her fever down and make her feel better, but it also did not bring her “back to normal.” She still rested quite a bit. (in my arms, which I loved. :))
In contrast, when I give Drew ibuprofen (we haven’t had to give it to Alyssa yet), he perks up right away and you’d never know he’s sick. He’s running around like a normal kid. For a body that is fighting an infection, how could that be good?
With Alyssa instead, she didn’t have ibuprofen causing her to bounce back to normal. Yes, she played, but she was still not her normal self. She was able to rest and sleep, and in my opinion, this allowed her body to fight the infection.
The second time I noticed a big difference in the peppermint oil it was a big surprise. Her fever had gone up to 101.5, and in addition to this cold, she had a stomach virus. She started complaining that her tummy hurt. I felt so sorry for her and I didn’t know what to do to help her. At that point I remembered that peppermint is also good for upset stomach, and because I didn’t want to give it to her orally, I decided to rub a drop on her tummy.
I was shocked when 5 minutes later instead of moaning on the floor, she was up playing, and 5 minutes after that she was asking for crackers. Her temp fell to 98.3.
In the meantime, in addition to the peppermint oil on her feet, I was also rubbing an oil blend called Thieves on her feet twice a day. She had a runny nose and was slightly congested and I was worried about a possible ear infection. Thieves is an essential oil blend that research has shown may have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties.
I wanted to try this to perhaps ward off infection and prevent another round of antibiotics. (I recently heard that research has shown a possible link between excessive use of antibiotics in childhood to autoimmune diseases and irritable bowel syndrome later in life.)
In a couple of days, Alyssa’s fever was gone, as were her other symptoms. I was very surprised to say the least.
Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not ready to throw out all the ibuprofen and tylenol and never take my children to the doctor. I believe there is a place for those medications, and trust me if her fever had gotten higher than it had – or if the oils didn’t work – I had the ibuprofen handy. And I also believe that antibiotics are definitely needed in certain situations.
But if I can use something that is in its purest form, natural, made from plants given to us from the Creator himself, it’s definitely worth a try in my opinion.
Who’s to say what my next experience will be the same? I am very new at this, after all. But so far, the results are promising.