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Eucalyptus Oil For Babies Is It Safe To Use?

5 min read

Essential oils have become very popular nowadays and are widely used for their medicinal properties. One such essential oil is eucalyptus oil. It is 100% natural and popularly used as a decongestant for respiratory problems. Babies are prone to cold and fever, and as a mother, you want to try using home remedies rather than loading your baby with medicines. So you might be tempted to use the old tried and tested eucalyptus oil for babies sniffles and snuffles too. However, do you know that eucalyptus oil for babies is recommended to be avoided who are under ten years of age? Intrigued? Read on.
eucalyptus oil for babies
What Is A Eucalyptus Oil?
Benefits Of Using Eucalyptus Oil For Babies
What Are The Compounds Present In This Oil?
Why Can’t We Use Eucalyptus Oil On Babies?
Important Things To Remember About Eucalyptus Oil For Babies
What Can You Use To Treat Your Baby’s congestion Instead Of Eucalyptus Oil?
Things to Keep in Mind When Using Oil

What Is A Eucalyptus Oil?

Eucalyptus oil gets from the leaves of the eucalyptus tree. Eucalyptus oil is used in some medicines, as a perfume, and also as some industrial uses too. It has a sweet and is a colourless liquid and contain the strong woody smell. More than 700 species of eucalyptus trees are found around the world, of that only 500 odd species are used to produce this essential oil. Eucalyptus oil for babies is safe or not.

Benefits Of Using Eucalyptus Oil For Babies

Eucalyptus oil is obtained leaves and branches of the eucalyptus tree. Once the oil is extracted, it needs to be diluted before it can be used as an essential oil for medicinal purposes. Eucalyptus oil is the superstar of all essential oil and known for its great benefits. Some of the benefits include:

  • It is anti-microbial. This means that it can kill germs and microbes
  • It is anti-septic. This means it can prevent the growth of microorganisms and hence can contain an infection
  • It is anti-inflammatory. This means it can reduce inflammation

Thanks to all these properties, eucalyptus oil for babies is widely used as a home remedy to heal a variety of problems. In fact, it is the go-to medicine for any respiratory-related problems such as cold and wheezing, where few drops eucalyptus oil are poured into the water before taking steam.

What Are The Compounds Present In This Oil?

Eucalyptus oil is extracted from eucalyptus leaves. Depending on how many times the oil has been distilled, the compounds and its quantities differ in any given sample of the oil. But in general, there are over 100 compounds in eucalyptus oil.

  • The key component in any eucalyptus oil is cineole. This is the chemical component that gives eucalyptus oil most of its amazing therapeutic properties. It constitutes 60% to 80% of the oil
  • Another compound is limonene. It constitutes about 10% of the oil and takes its name from the lemon as it is usually found in the peels of citrus fruits such as lemon
  • Pinene is another compound which constitutes just less than 10% of the oil. It is an aromatic compound and takes its name from pine trees
  • Other components seen in smaller quantities are phellandrene, camphor and sabinene

All these components help eucalyptus oil have healing properties.

Why Can’t We Use Eucalyptus Oil On Babies?

There are multiple reasons why eucalyptus oil for babies is not recommended:

  • The cineole present in eucalyptus oil can create nervous and breath related problems in children. That said, some distilled versions of eucalyptus oil contain lower amounts of cineole. However, even these are not safe to be used on babies since there are other compounds present in the oil that makes it harmful for the kids
  • Unlike oils such as almond oil and coconut oil, eucalyptus oil is very strong. Your babies’ skin is very soft and sensitive, and the strong nature of eucalyptus oil might result in rashes, burns and irritation on babies’ skin
  • Some babies face stronger gastronomical side effects, such as stomach pain, diarrhoea and vomiting. Ingestion is also a common side effect
  • Although rare, some of them show some severe reaction to eucalyptus oil for babies – whether it is applied topically or consumed. These reactions include seizures and even at times coma
eucalyptus trees

Important Things To Remember About Eucalyptus Oil For Babies

  • Since eucalyptus oil for babies can cause respiratory-related problems, it definitely should not be applied near the nose and mouth of children
  • Keep it out of reach of small children so that they do not accidentally come in contact with it
  • Make sure your smaller babies do not ingest eucalyptus oil accidentally. Remember that the side effects might be more severe if the family has a history of respiratory problems such as asthma
  • If your baby comes in contact with eucalyptus oil or ingest it by mistake, and the baby shows signs of breathing difficulty, immediately take him to the emergency room
  • Some parents assume that as long the oil is “diluted” with water or other medicines, eucalyptus oil for babies will not harm. This is not true. Babies are small, and even a very small quantity can have adverse effects. So be careful
  • Do not use eucalyptus oil for babies in humidifier or vaporizer as even inhaling this strong oil can bring about reactions and side effects in children

What Can You Use To Treat Your Baby’s congestion Instead Of Eucalyptus Oil?

For children below 2 Years of age it is recommended to avoid any essential oil and instead use the following ways to relieve your baby from congestion:

    • Nasal Aspirator: Use a nasal aspirator to clear any mucus from your baby’s nose and clear the airways so that he can breathe easy and happy
    • Hot water compress: To loosen up thick mucus that is blocking your baby’s nose, throat and chest and making him uncomfortable, all you need to do is dip a small cotton cloth in hot water and squeeze out excess water. Apply this hot water compress on his nose, throat and chest to provide your baby with some relief from congestion. Make sure the cloth is mildly hot as baby’s skin is very sensitive

Also Read: 5 Effective Ways To Clean Your Baby’s Nose

Things to Keep in Mind When Using Oil

No doubt, eucalyptus oil contains a number of benefits in it, but it is not suitable for children, particularly for kids who are below ten years of age. Using this eucalyptus oil for babies can cause side effects, which could cause from mild to severe range issues. If you use this eucalyptus oil for your baby, and the baby gets any breathing problems after inhaling this oil, consult your doctor quickly. Some people believe that using diluted eucalyptus oil don’t harm your baby, but it is not correct one. Even though diluted eucalyptus oil can also harm your little one. 
Remember: This oil is not safe for a little one. Hence, you should be refrain using this oil for your babies and toddlers too.
In conclusion, although eucalyptus oil has many medicinal and therapeutic properties which can help heal adults from many ailments, it is not a suitable home remedy for your children, especially the ones below 10 Years of age. That said, eucalyptus oil is not a “dangerous” substance. It is just that children tend to have side effects if it is inhaled, applied topically or ingested, and it is best to exercise caution.
We hope that you got some useful information about eucalyptus oil in this article. If you anything more to add to it, please do share with us in the comments section below.

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