Medicine Woman Jr. – A Child-Safe Anti-Germ Essential Oil Blend

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Well over a year ago, I wrote about making your own Thieves oil blend that I call Medicine Woman. This blend is fantastic at building immunities, cleansing the air, and keeping germs away from my home, but after Robert Tisserand published his newest addition of Essential Oil Safety, we were warned against using essential oils with high menthol and cineol content in small children. This meant that the Thieves blend wasn't safe for use on children under the age of 10 because of the essential oils that are in it. With this upcoming cold and flu season, I knew I needed to make something that would be safe for use for everyone in our home!

Thieves oil is not safe for children under the age of 10 years

All of the anti-germ type Thieves blends of essential oils contain eucalyptus, rosemary, clove, cinnamon bark, and lemon. Peppermint, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils are all avoided in younger children because they contain powerful chemical constituents called cineol 1,8 and menthol.   According to Tisserand, these two chemical constituents cause small children to slow their breathing, sometimes to a dangerously slow level. It’s important to note that the brand of essential oil you choose to use, does not change this recommendation. All essential oils (no matter the brand or “purity”) are made up of an extremely concentrated combination of multiple chemical constituents and therefore require a certain amount of concern with safety when using them.  1508532_700056380025566_721424775_n This is the reason that it is suggested to avoid the use of these essential oils (and others containing a high content of these chemical constituents)  in young children. Peppermint is safe to use on 6+ years, but ALL eucalyptus and rosemary essential oils should be avoided until 10+ years of age. (It's important to note that the brand of essential oil you choose to use does not change this recommendation.) This is why I created Medicine Woman Jr., my child-safe version of the Thieves blend. You can learn more about essential oil safety for babies and children here.

Medicine Woman Jr. Anti-Germ Essential Oil Blend

These blends can be adjusted based on your bottle size, but both of these recipes are made to fit in a 5 ml sized bottle. The fir needle essential oil in this recipe can be substituted for cypress, spruce (picea abies, picea glauca, picea mariana, picea rubens) or pine (pinus divaricata, pinus resinosa, pinus strobus, pinus sylvestris).  The woodsy essential oils are all really great at helping combat congestion, coughs, and even are great expectorants!



The many uses for Medicine Woman Jr. essential oil blends

There are many uses for these blends! Everything you would use your Thieves blend for, you can use this kid-safe blends for as well!

  1. In the diffuserFor the purpose of this blend, inhalation is the most effective method. Whenever you or your children have been around someone who is sick or someone in your house is sick, you can diffuse this blend in your diffusor. For babies under 2 years add 1-2 drops to the diffusor, for children 2+ years add 5 drops to the diffuser, for children 6+ add 10 drops in the diffuser.
  2. In a Body & Room Spray – It is great to have this spray on hand in your diaper bag or purse. You can cleanse the air around you, your hands, and even surfaces that you will be touching. Combine in a 2 oz. bottle: 2 Tbsp. witch hazel, 1 tsp. aloe vera gel, 1 tsp. vegetable glycerin (or other carrier oil), essential oils, and water to fill. For prevention use the lesser amount of essential oils, if your child is sick, use the max amount. For babies under 2 years add 3-6 drops essential oil blend. For children 2+ years add 12-24 drops essential oil blend. For children 6+ years add 24-36 drops essential oil blend. 
  3. In a massage oil – Diffusion is the best method with this blend, but you can massage this onto the bottoms of the feet as well as the chest and back. Combine 1 Tbsp. carrier oil (coconut or olive is my preferred choice for baby massage) with the age appropriate essential oil blend. For babies under 2 years add 3-5 drops essential oil blend and rub the bottoms of the feet only, for children 2+ years add 6-8 drops essential oil blend, for children 6+ years add 10-12 drops essential oil blend.
  4. In an anti-bacterial hand gel – to 8 oz. aloe vera gel, add 1 Tbsp. witch hazel, and essential oils. Use on the hands as a moisturizing hand sanitizer.  Not recommended for babies under 2 years of age because of their love of putting their hands into their mouths.  For children 2+ years add 15 drops essential oil blend, for children 6+ years add 20 drops essential oil blend.
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  • Megan

    Hi, I use Plant therapy mostly for my EO’s and they don’t have clove bud on their kid safe line. Any reason or disagreements as why it would not be safe? Everything else I have read says it is safe for kids. My kiddos are 9,5,3. But I just want to make sure we are using EO’s safely. Thanks!

    • clove is considered a hot oil that should be a lot more diluted than other oils like say lavender so they may just keep it off that line for safety of not causing a skin reaction. It’s safe to use though, diffusion especially is fine!

  • CL

    This info is just what I was looking for! Thank you! Hard to find good guidelines on kid friendly usage. Getting started with EO’s is so daunting with all the warnings.

  • usually it is. I don’t normally buy essential oils on amazon that often though because it’s hard to tell if they;re good quality or not.

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  • If you still have the cinnamon leaf, then simply replace it for more cinnamon! It’s purpose is that it’s highly antibacterial/antiviral! Cinnamon leaf also is though too!

  • No matter the age, cinnamon bark is very harsh on the skin and can cause all sorts of irritations. Cinnamon bark is fine in this recipe if you are going to use it in the diffuser but if you want to use this recipe topically I would only suggest cinnamon leaf. If you want to use this topically, i would suggest leaving out the cinnamon and maybe adding tea tree essential oil to this recipe instead!

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  • yes you certainly can!!!! Less is more with essential oils! 🙂

  • It sure is! I have also shared a post on Herbal Academy of New England with my recipe for taking care of lice:

  • kristelr

    Can cinnamomum zeylanicum be used instead of cinnamomum verum to make the medicine woman junior?

    • yes as long as you make sure to pick cinnamon LEAF and not cinnamon bark! the zeylanicum version is simply ceylon cinnamon!

      • kristelr


  • Margaret Russo

    Might I be able to purchase the germ fighting blend for ages 2 and up directly from you?

    Thank you

  • Margaret Russo

    Am I able to buy the above anti germ blend for ages 2 years and up from you hippy homemaker?

    Thank you,


  • Darcy

    Would it be ok to add ravensara to the 6+ months blend? I know ravensara is super potent, so how much would be safe? I just saw it listes as a safe essential oil on your 6+ months list on another one of your posts 🙂 love your site, btw!!!

    • yes it would def be safe and it is totally potent antiviral/antibacterial 🙂 You could add 10-15 drops of it to the blend safely! I wouldn’t add more because the smell can be a bit potent lol!

  • Meg

    Can I use Cinnamon Bark Oil in the 6+ MONTHS BLEND instead of cinnamon leaf? I want to use it in a cleaning spray for her room and toys…

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  • yes! The spray will help on the clothes and on her feet! I also like to add this blend to a bottle of aloe vera gel, to make an instant hand sanitizer too!

  • cypress, pine, and rosalina will all be great ones to choose instead!

    • oh and also I personally end up using certain ones more often than others so I usually buy certain ones i use medicinally throughout the seasons in 1 oz. bottles and the really pungent ones that take very little drops and last forever get purchased in half oz bottles, and then the really expensive ones i buy in the smallest size because who can afford an oz of sandalwood or helichrysum? lol

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  • Lindsay

    Can you diffuse thieves around kids under 10?!

    • It’s safest if used in your cleaning supplies, on yourself or other kids adults 10+ years, and in your diffuser when the kiddos aren’t in the room! When you leave the house you can put it in your diffuser to cleanse your air of germs while you are gone and it’s perfectly safe for the kiddos to come back into that room after the diffuser is turned of!

      • Eventually it will be back up in the shoppe! We currently don’t have it in there yet but it should be restocked by next month!

  • Jamie

    How often can you diffuse the child friendly thieves oil blend when someone in the home is sick and we are trying to help him and prevent the rest of us from getting sick? I have a 6 month old and 6 year old. Thanks!

  • Jade

    Sorry if this is a silly question. I just made the anti-germ for my 18 month old. I used a 30ml bottle with jojoba and put in 1 drop each of lavender, sweet orange, cinnamon leaf, and cedarwood atlas (as sub for the fir needle). Is that the proper dilution? It smells extremely mild and I started wondering if I should use 3-4 drops of each? Thanks for the Thieves substitute!

  • Leah

    I see you note 6+ months for the blend. My daughter is 4.5 months and I want to diffuse something to help with all the germs this winter season. Would you have concerns with using the 6+ month blend?

    • Christina

      Totally! Diffusion is the safest option for babies under 6 months. The youngest suggested age to use diffusion is at 3 months, so you should be totally fine using the 6+ month blend in the diffuser!

  • Nikki Sullivan

    Hi Christina, I just found your blog and this is great info! I was just thinking of picking up a copy of Tisserand’s book. Do you think that the original “Thieves” blend could still be used as a household cleaner, but use your new blend for everything else, or would it still pose a threat? Thanks for sharing this, MUCH appreciated!

    • Christina

      I use it as a household cleaner all the time. Usually I clean with it when my kiddo is in another room and by the time my kiddo comes into the kitchen/room that I cleaned it’s faded from the air and not an issue at all! I wouldn’t go spraying it right in front of their faces lol but other than that it shouldn’t be an issue at all in your cleaning products!

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  • Tara

    Dear Christina,
    My 2 year old recently contracted ring worm from a cat we rescued. My plan was to make my own “thieves oil” blend & dilute it with Jojoba oil. I bought everything to make it (clove, lemon, cinnamon cassia, Rosemary, eucalyptus & Certified Organic Jojoba Oil). However, after reading your post I’m a bit hesitant to apply it to her since it will be containing Rosemary & Eucalyptus even though it will be diluted. Since she has a fungi, through all my extensive research thieves oil would be the best to use on her of course diluted in a carrier oil because of its’ antifungal properties. Will it still be safe if I dilute it with Jojoba oil? Or will the Rosemary & Eucalyptus still potentially affect her? I also tried tea tree & a lavender oil blend on her first. But it did not work, in fact the fungi grew bigger. I don’t want to even try antibiotics or anything that’s not natural on her. When she was 10 months old she picked up whooping cough from a vaccinated child & I was able to naturally cure her with Sodium Ascorbate Vitamin C with no life threatening reactions as opposed to the doctor prescribed antibiotic. The antibiotic that she was prescribed had a very, very dangerous adverse reaction list, that I definitely was not going to gamble with on my baby. I believe in the power of natural medicine. I know because I have healed one of the worst respiratory illnesses an other ailments that my children have had. Please help this concerned mommy.


  • Trisha

    What is a good carrier oil to have on hand to make some of these ‘concotions’ and/or make a lotion with???? And where can I get it?

  • Rebecca

    I am really enjoying your blog! I wanted to try the child safe version of thieves, but my daughter doesn’t like the smell of lavendar or frankincense oils. Do you think it would still be effective if I leave those out?

    • Christina

      You can of course leave them out, though the combination of the cinnamon leaf really makes for a blend that you can’t tell either of those are in it. Lavender especially, is not smelled in this blend. It smells more like a yummy spicy/woodsy scent. I smell the cinnamon and fir needle the most.

  • Kelly H

    Hi christina! i am new to your blog and excited to see everything! I have children of differing ages 7, 5, and 5 months. Since I am just starting into EO , would it be ok to use the 6 month recommendation for everyone until i can build up my supply? And do you have a post on how to get started in EO, or recommend what 5 oils to start with? Thanks!!

    • Christina

      yes! You can effectively use the same blend for all the different ages, you will just dilute it differently depending on the age is all! I use this in our diffusor at home because Syfy is still too young for the adult version and it works just as well for us as it does for him!

  • Lisa

    What kind of diffuser would you recommend? I’m new to oils.

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  • This is wonderful! I wish I could get our so-called “green” school on board with this. They STILL require kids to bring in disinfectants and other harmful chemicals to clean up the kids. Makes me crazy. Thanks for the useful advice on what to avoid too!

  • Sarah

    I am having a difficult time finding the cinnamon leaf that you listed. Can you point me to a trusted oil manufacturer that carries it? Thanks!

    • Christina

      Hi there Sarah! Both Mountain Rose Herbs and Plant Therapy carry cinnamon leaf. I personally use Mountain Rose Herbs because I love thei business pracitces and they are certified organic:

      • kelly

        The latin name (Cinnamomum velum) is not listed as available from Mountain Rose Herbs. They only show (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) available. Is that the latin version you use?

        • Christina

          I fixed it, that’s another synonym for it! I meant to add both in there, but it must have slipped my mind lol I do in fact use the MRH Cinnamon Leaf!

  • Mari Bury

    Thanks for the info ! Question : No Peppermint / Eucalyptus Oils even in the diffuser for kids under 10?

    • Christina

      Hi there Mari!
      Yes diffusion as well should be avoided! The peppermint should be avoided until 6 years, and eucalyptus and rosemary should be avoided for kids under 10!

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