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Lindy

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Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #1 
Hi Carolyn,

I was wondering if you had any suggestions for swelling in children due to bug bites or bumps.  I put lavender on my son Kellen's ear after he itched a bug bite and it swelled.  This seemed to help.  Do you have any other suggestions?

Thanks,

Lindy
Carolyn

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Posts: 100
Reply with quote  #2 
Good morning Lindy and you've one of the very best tools for bites and stings already in Lavender - although the different kinds of lavender will contain varying amounts of the two components, linalool and linalyl acetate that working together, are considered to be effective anti-inflammatory agents. Lavender grown at high altitude often contains significant proportions of linalyl acetate and that's why it's price is usually higher than other lavender sources - also why we hear of unscrupulous growers who spray their crops with isolated linalyl acetate to bump up the price.
But other essential oils also contain linalool and linalyl acetate in varying proportions- such as Melaleuca alternifolia = tea tree (and Auroma has a lemon-scented tea tree), clary sage, petitgrain, rosewood, and neroli for example. Most common aromatherapy books will list major components of essential oils so you can find others you might like to add to your arsenal - but please do bear in mind that every essential oil, while conforming to the genetic blueprint for that specific genus and species as to which components 'ought' to be present - will by definition actually contain a highly idiosyncratic mix depending on a wide range of factors including growing, harvesting and storing conditions.
When we talk of an essential oil in terms of its' major components, we're actually ignoring the fact that essential oils do what they do because of the unique interaction of all the components therein - not just 2 or 3 - otherwise we may as well just use single linalool or linalyl acetate straight from the lab.
German chamomile, Matricaria recutita contains potent antiinflammatory agents - but is rather expensive, deeply blue, and not the most attractive of smells - but certainly in Europe and especially Germany, it forms the basis for a wide range of readily available OTC products for all sorts of common inflammatory conditions.

There is some evidence for the inhibitory effect of 1,8 cineole, a terpenoid oxide on some types of inflammation that also provides analgesic effect - found in the eucalyptus and Myrtaceae essential oils - but administered orally on rats and we don't advise oral ingestion of essential oils without the professional guidance of a medically trained herbalist or aromatherapist.
Anyway, 1,8 cineole is found in most eucalyptus oils except Eucalyptus citriodora - tea tree oils, cajuput, naiouli, Ravensara aromatica, peppermint and rosemary Moroccan amongst others.

Spot application using neat (undiluted) essential oils for problems such as bites and stings is usually safely effective in the short term - but please remember that inflamed skin is potentially more 'porous' to eo components - and young skin on young bodies also. "Less is More" is a good motto for the safe use of essential oils.

Hope this helps and please do keep in touch. The Forum is intended to be a place for essential oil enthusiasts to share experiences and ideas as well as questions and queries.
Carolyn

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