Why I think hydrosols should be in your medicine bag for baby care.
How to use hydrosols to help you care for you and your baby's wellness. There is nothing more stressful to parents when you have a child that won't sleep or is sick and that is inconsolable.
Hydrosols are a safe form of aromatherapy for you and your family. Hydrosols have almost an unlimited range of use; they can be used on a daily basis and even with the elderly, children and pets. Why not use these safe medicinals?
Did you know that before the eyes can focus clearly, a baby sense of smell is, it's most important sense, especially in the first few days after birth, while bonding with parents and food sources. Also during the first year, as the other senses, become a tuned and develop, smell, slowly decreases in importance, but the olfactory sense remains highly acute and sensitive, and what may be a mild odor for an adult may be overpowering for a child.
Hydrosols are a much better option for babies and toddlers than essential oils, in virtually all instances. They are safer, easier to use, non-irritating, and gentle. Hydrolats are a wonderful addition to our pharmacopeia as they are powerfully effective while having few safety concerns. Their primary drawback is that they have shorter shelf-lives, often ranging from 12-24 months. Keeping hydrosol containers clean and in the refrigerator helps keep them fresh and effective as long as possible. Since I like to use the hydrosols internally I look for pure preservative free floral waters.
The safe list: not all hydrosols are suitable for use on children, and they should never be administered to children under 10 in the manner suggested for adults. For children, less than two years of age, use only lavender, Roman chamomile, and German chamomile. After that, use your common sense and be guided by the child. Children sense of what is right for them has fewer filters, than our own, and if we listen to them, we will learn. Lets take a look at the hydrosols I just mentioned above.
Hydrosol #1 - Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) Hydrosol
Aroma and Taste A floral, sweet scent; instantly recognizable, although it has an added strong honey overtone and is deeper, more base-note-like, than the oil. If in Azure summer sky at 4 PM, how to smell, this would be it. The taste is very Sophie – sweet, like eating, dried lavender, and I find many people do not like the flavor unless it is sweetened or blended.
Stability and Shelf Life Quite stable. Usually lasts at least two years, frequently longer, although this may vary with the growing conditions. The odor, if nothing else, may start to degrade after 18 to 20 months.
Properties and Applications I generally recommended lavender for external use application only. It's not harmful if taken internally, but does not taste very good. There are many other better tasting hydrosols with similar properties that can be used internally. The pH is normally close to that of most "balanced"cosmetic products, making it a ideal for every skin type on a regular basis. You can add to ready-made skin-care products, it will not alter their intended properties and adds a delightful fragrance and it's own beneficial cooling and healing therapeutics. Lavender is rightly famed for its regenerative effects on damaged or fragile skin.
It's sweet and happy aroma makes lavender a natural for children. Use it to cleanse, cuts, and scrapes (for adults, too); a lavender kiss really makes it better. Use it to calm, cranky, moods, and green and into tearful tantrums, and add it to bathwater or spray it directly on the bed before a restful night sleep. Little girls love to have their own perfume in this one, won't cause allergies or skin reactions. Lavender is fabulous for use with babies from birth and can be added to the bath, used to clean the babies bottom, or combined with Roman chamomile for a diaper rash. A mist in the air in the babies room, or a spritz on parents clothing before tucking in will help make naps and bedtime easier to achieve. Combine with Roman Chamomile for the ultimate baby blend.
Hydrosol #2 - Roman Chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) Hydrosol
Aroma and Taste Extremely sweet, honey, like aroma, and taste. Even more Apple overtones than the oil but softer, more delicate. Occasionally it will have a green or, more hay like aroma.
Stability and Shelf Life Very stable, easily last for two years or more, although it is so popular that stock rarely lasts that long.
Properties and Applications One of the best all purpose, waters, right up there with lavender and Melissa. Roman chamomile is the number one choice for baby care. It can safely be used right from birth, in the bath water, and is a soothing mist for bedding. Mothers can use it diluted to wash the breast area, and in addition to helping prevent cracked and sore nipples, it's calming properties will make feeding time even more relaxing.
Diaper rash, redness, and pain can be soothed with dilute, chamomile, or use neat applications of a 50:50 blend of roman chamomile and lavender waters to compress the tender skin. New mothers can use it in a compress or a sits bath for postpartum relief. You can also make homemade wet wipes for babies and young children, and you should always include chamomile. When teething starts, add 2 to 3 drops to a big bottle of water to help calm diarrhea, and stomach upset. You can rub the gums with diluted chamomile frequently to reduce inflammation, swelling, and pain, and to help soothe the associated crankiness. Children adore the flavor of sweet chamomile, and will soon ask for it as they recognize the relief it brings. Spritz a light mist over the blankets are in the air of a child's room, and it will help children sleep. Because of its effect on the nervous system, chamomile is a useful aid in stress, reduction, depression, relaxation, insomnia, and aggravation.
"Roman Chamomile is the number one choice for baby care." – Suzanne Catty.
Hydrosol #3 - German or Blue Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Aroma and Taste A slightly sharp, very green top note followed by a chamomile tea, middle aroma, and a cool, wet, bottom note. A complex and somewhat vertical aroma. Undiluted, a green tea, bitter, sweet taste, with a very gentle, floral edge, but most of the bitterness disappears in dilution, leaving a wildflower honey aftertaste. Totally different from Roman chamomile.
Stability and Shelf Life Quite stable; at least 14 months, but owing to the difficulty in acquiring this hydrosol, this is based on minimal data.
Properties and Applications A major anti-inflammatory both internally and externally on all types of tissue. Use this alone with lavender hydrosol for bad burns or if blisters have already formed on a burn. Very serious burns requiring medical attention will often the standards, but try to get some blue chamomile water on the wounds before wrapping and at each change of bandages to speed up the healing and reduce inflammation. All skin conditions with redness benefit: rashes, burns, sunburns, itching, even some eczema and psoriasis.
Roman chamomile is usually a better choice for children, although difficult skin conditions, topic, dermatitis, childhood, eczema, and the like may require the extra strength of German chamomile. As it is even more sedated than Roman chamomile, just a few drops in a child's bath, will slow him or her down. It can be combined with neroli hydrosol for hyperactivity and added in tiny amounts of juice or drinking water. German chamomile is extremely energetic, powerfully, calming, and emotionally comforting.
Dilute, Dilute, Dilute.
Remember, you can dilute, dilute, dilute if your unsure. Add one drop of hydrosol to 1 tablespoon of distilled water. Take one drop of that mixture and add it to a tablespoon of distilled water. Now add one drop of this second dilution to your babies preparation; it is less than one five-hundredth of a drop of pure hydrosol. That is about the dilution you can start with, and if it has little effect, you can always add 2 to 3 drops of your first diluted blend until the desired response is elicited. But do you give the "remedy" time to work. These are not pharmaceutical drugs, and should not be expected to act in the same way; apply, wait, and observe before you use more. You could try this for babies who have trouble sleeping, using Roman chamomile in their bottle, or apply it to their feet, wrists, or back with a little massage.
Hydrosols should be in your medicine bag for you and your family.
I recently had a friend that just had a baby and I wanted to make her some thing that she could use for any baby blues that she may be having that would be safe to use while breast-feeding. Check out this video below to learn how to make a baby blues blend and learn how Roman chamomile can help soothe your sore nipples from breast-feeding. I would love to read some of your comments on how this information helped you or someone you know.
** Some information was take from the book Hydrosols The Next Aromatherapy by Suzanne Catty**