Natural Teething Remedies Using Essential Oils & Herbs

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Teething babies are no fun for anyone. As they start to cut their first teeth, many babies will experience a myriad of symptoms that will make them range from minorly uncomfortable to extremely uncomfortable. A slight fever, extra drool, irritability, swollen gums, and even not wanting to eat are all symptoms that your baby is starting to cut their first teeth. No two babies are alike and each one can experience a slightly different set of symptoms.  No matter the symptoms, we all share the same feelings. We want our babies to feel better and to take away their pain! The question on the Hippy mama's mind, is “What natural methods can I use to ease my baby's teething discomfort?” You are not alone, that's the same question I asked myself when my baby started teething (he's 6 now, so we're going through a whole new round of teething lol!)

Natural remedies for teething babies

Babies have been teething since the dawn of time, so there are a lot of tried and true natural remedies already in use out there! We avoid using remedies like baby Tylenol, Baby Advil, Oragel, and more! Even many pediatricians caution against using these options on teething babies.  These options are not only more dangerous but also contain artificial ingredients that we try to avoid in our household, to begin with. My favorite natural teething remedies to use instead, are:

  • Chamomile tea – Chamomile is a very VERY old remedy for relieving the symptoms and calming a teething baby. One of the easiest methods you can use is to make chamomile tea and simply rub it on the gums. You can even make it iced, and give it to your baby in a bottle (this is NOT to replace your baby's meals of breast milk or formula, this is in addition to!) or make it in popsicle form!
  • Chamomile hydrosol –  Hydrosols are an aromatherapist's best friend! When distilling essential oils (that's how they are made!), the process includes water and the fresh herb being used. The end result gives you both hydrosol and essential oil. The hydrosol is the leftover water that was also infused deeply with the herbs, and in most cases even has a tiny bit of residual essential oils left in it. When dealing with babies, hydrosols are a fantastic option because they are not nearly as concentrated like their essential oil counterparts, making them super gentle and perfect for use around and on babies! Chamomile hydrosol can be used by massage the hydrosol directly on your baby's gums. You can also massage the outside jawline with the hydrosol, or even add it to your popsicles!
  • Herbal infused popsicles – Frozen popsicles are commonly used to help numb the offending gum, but you can also make it even better by adding anti-inflammatory and immune boosting herbs to the mix! You can just do straight chamomile popsicles, or you can try adding chamomile to my Flower Child Refreshment Tea (my herbal Kool-Aid alternative!).
  • Herbal infused teething gel – Sometimes an herbal gel is what you want to use, to help numb the pain and reduce inflammation. While I DO NOT use essential oil gel blends on baby's gums (see below for more on why!), I DO love to make my own herbal infused teething gel instead!
  • Essential oil jawline massage – While there is a use for essential oils and teething babies, it is not safe to use any essential oils in your baby's mouth! You can read here for more on essential oil safety with babies and children, as well as a great list of when it's safe to use each essential oil (organized by age). Massaging the diluted essential oil blend on the jawline/cheek is still extremely effective because the skin on your cheek is very thin!

AVOID using Clove essential oil on babies under 2

Essential oil safety is my main passion on this blog, and when you do a Google search for DIY teething gel, pretty much every recipe instructs you to use clove essential oils in your teething baby's mouth. While clove essential oil is actually a fantastic option for awful toothaches in adults (when diluted of course! ALWAYS dilute essential oils before use!), it is NOT recommended for use on children under the age of 2 years. Clove essential oil is considered a HOT oil and can greatly irritate mucous membranes of anyone sensitive, especially young children and babies! It is even recommended that those with hypersensitive, diseased, or damaged skin should avoid the use of this essential oil topically and healthy adults are cautioned to use clove essential oil at no greater than a dilution of .5%. If you have already used clove essential oil on your baby's gums, it is important to stop use NOW! If your baby hasn't yet experienced sensitization, further use of the oil in their mouth could induce it! Sensitization (basically creating an allergy to that essential oil and possibly even the herb) happens after multiple uses of an essential oil undiluted topically, and/or causing irritation to mucous membranes.

ACCORDING TO ROBERT TISSERAND'S ESSENTIAL OIL SAFETY, CLOVE BUD/LEAF/STEM ESSENTIAL OILS HAVE A MODERATE RISK FOR MUCOUS MEMBRANE IRRITATION AND SKIN SENSITIZATION, AND THEREFORE SHOULD NOT BE USED ON CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 2 YEARS.

Essential oils shouldn't be used INTERNALLY with babies & children

Keep all essential oils out of reach of children and babies. Certain essential oils could be toxic if ingested. No essential oils should be given orally to children. According to Tisserand in Essential Oil Safety;

“The majority of cases of essential oil poisoning involve accidents with young children, often between 1 and 3 years of age. Approximately 75% of cases in the USA are in children up to 6 years old.”

If your child accidentally ingests some essential oil, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Call your general practitioner unless signs of poisoning are present, then you should immediately bring your child and the bottle that was consumed, to the nearest emergency room. You can read more about ingesting essential oils in my post The Case for Ingestion – Is Ingesting Essential Oils Safe?

Using herbal extracts to numb the pain

While using clove essential oil is not recommended for teething babies, you can still utilize the awesome powers of cloves herbally instead! Essential oils are SUPER concentrated in comparison to the herbs themselves, so when working with babies and young children, I usually think to work with herbs first! Cloves have been used for centuries in dental care. They are naturally antibacterial, antiviral, and even antifungal, plus they have the ability to seriously numb the pain in your tooth! Echinacea is also a great numbing herb that is most often used to boost and support the immune system. These two herbs make great numbing and cleansing agents for tooth pain and issues!

Natural Teething Remedies Using Essential Oils & Herbs - thehippyhomemaker.com

Bohemi Baby Herbal Teething Gel

This sweet tasting gel is made like a tincture but alcohol-free! The combination of the anti-inflammatory and calming properties from the chamomile flowers, the numbing and immune boosting properties of the echinacea, and the natural analgesic and numbing properties of the cloves, makes this gel super effective for little ones when they are going through teething pain. Glycerites (tinctures made with glycerin instead of alcohol) are fantastic for little ones because they are a sweet tasting way to get your herbal extracts without the alcohol content! Glycerites are a great option for babies, children, dogs, and even adults who don't like or are sensitive to alcohol!

INGREDIENTS

4-6 WEEKS NO-HEAT DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, combine vegetable glycerin and water. Stir until completely combined.
  2. Add chamomile flowers, echinacea root, and cloves to an 16 oz. mason jar.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over the herbs, cover, and label the container with the date.
  4. Let steep in the mason jar for 4-6 weeks, shaking the jar to agitate every day.
  5. Strain with a cheesecloth, or my favorite option, a cloth fine mesh produce bag!
  6. Bottle and store in the fridge, or a cool dark location. Glycerites will stay good for 14-24 months!

2-3 DAYS HEATED DIRECTIONS

  1. In a small bowl, combine vegetable glycerin and water. Stir until completely combined.
  2. Add chamomile flowers, echinacea root, and cloves to a 16 oz. mason jar.
  3. Pour the liquid mixture over the herbs, cover, and label the container with the date.
  4. Line your crockpot with a hand towel or washcloth on the bottom, sit your sealed mason jar on the washcloth and fill your crock pot with water, just below the lid of the mason jar.
  5. Leave on low heat for 2-3 days, taking the jar out to shake every so often. You do not need to put your lid on your crockpot for this method!
  6. Keep adding water to the crock pot whenever it gets too low!
  7. Strain with a cheesecloth, or my favorite option, a cloth fine mesh produce bag!
  8. Bottle and store in the fridge, or a cool dark location. Glycerites will stay good for 14-24 months!

TO USE: Using your finger or a q-tip, rub a drop of the gel onto swollen gums whenever needed.

Natural Teething Remedies Using Essential Oils & Herbs - thehippyhomemaker.com

Bohemi Baby Jawline Massage Oil

This massage oil is for EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Essential oils should not be used inside the mouths of babies! Use this massage oil to massage the jawline and cheeks on the face of your teething baby! Avoid eye contact!

INGREDIENTS

DIRECTIONS

  1. Combine carrier oil with essential oils and mix together. I like to keep this solution in a roll-on bottle, for easy application!

TO USE: Massage a couple drops onto the jawline/cheek area as often as needed! FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY!

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All information on The Hippy Homemaker is meant for educational and informational purposes only. The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. Products and/or information are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat, or prevent any disease. Readers are advised to do their own research and make decisions in partnership with their health care provider. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a medical condition or are taking any medication, please consult your physician.

Christina