When NOT to Use Essential Oils

One of my most used lines about being a parent is, "Never a dull moment." I think I say it every day. Today proved to be no different.

My son walks into our house with some sort of frog In his hands that he found in our backyard. Now mind you, my son is a complete nature lover and would live outdoors if I let him. So this kind of incident is not rare and to be expected. 

Of course, my first reaction was "Get that out of my house!" Because what mom wants a wild frog in her house?

"Can I keep it as a pet?"

"What do you think my answer is?"

With a devilish grin, he mutters, "Yes, son, you may, because I love you so much and want you to be happy?"

I point my finger to the door and his head hangs down like I've scarred him for life.

"Can I at least put it in something so I can observe it?"

Now, that I say yes to. (Future scientist???)

So he goes outside and no later than 10 minutes later, he runs inside wildly screaming for help.

"My eye! My eye is burning. Help, Mom, help!"

I see tears streaming down his face and knew instantly he was in a lot of pain and this was no joke. I immediately jump into Aromatherapist mode.

I ran to my office looking for Green Myrtle (Myrtus communis)  hydrosol. That is my go-to hydrosol for eye concerns. But then I realized that I was out and have not reordered any. I frantically search my office refrigerator for other hydrosols. I remember in Suzanne Catty 's book, "Hydrosols: The Next Aromatherapy" that she recommends four hydrosols as a eyewash: Green Myrtle, Roman Chamomile, German Chamomile, and Cornflower. 

I first see German Chamomile hydrosol and grab it. I create a cold compress with water, paper towel and German Chamomile hydrosol and have him put it over his eye. Here is a picture of him shortly after applying the compress. (I did not take a picture of it right after he did it because he was in too much pain. Trust me when I say it was as red as could be and he could barely open it.)


Poor guy! But it was a vast improvement! 

Poor guy! But it was a vast improvement! 

Shortly after applying the compress for a couple minutes, he said the extreme burning ceased and he could open his eye again. I called the pediatrician and asked if there was anything else we should do. I was told I was doing all I can and to keep an eye on it. (Pun intended)

Here he was around a half hour later...

That's more like it! (Except the weird iPhone shadow.)

That's more like it! (Except the weird iPhone shadow.)

After some Google searching, we realized that the frog was most likely a gray tree frog. It looked just like one and had the orange stripe on the hind legs. They can excrete a toxic substance in order to protect themselves. Unfortunately after handling the frog, my son got an itch in his eye and didn't even think about it before rubbing his eye. Hence, the reaction.

So a few tips for the parents out there:

1. Have your children always wash their hands after handling a wild creature. Tell them not to touch mucous membranes before washing their hands.

2. Never use essential oils in the eye. Only use recommended hydrosols and do so with guidance of a trained professional.

3. Parenting is never boring. Always be prepared. If your child is the outdoorsy type, keep a range of hydrosols on hand. They are excellent for bug bites, itchy skin, a whole slew of issues. And don't forget to reorder them when you run out 😉

For more information about eye safety and essential oils, please read this article.

To read more about hydrosols, check out this article. 

Disclaimer: Certified Aromatherapists do not diagnose, prescribe, or treat disease. Information on this website is for educational purposes only and has not been evaluated by the FDA. Aromatherapy is not a replacement for medical care. Please seek advice from a medical professional before seeing a qualified aromatherapist.


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