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onguard-thieves-safe-kids

Is OnGuard or Thieves Safe For Kids?

I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely celebrating back-to-school in my household. I love my kiddos, but being a work-from-home mom who talks to clients throughout the day means summer schedule makes my job much more difficult!

However, with back-to-school comes the dreadful germs and subsequent sicknesses that inevitably come with our kids heading back to the classroom. This time of year is when moms dust off their immune support essential oil blends to help keep their kids healthy.

The most popular of those blends are usually OnGuard by doTerra or Thieves by Young Living. But are those blends safe for kids?

OnGuard and Thieves are packed with essential oils that are known for supporting the immune system. The only issue is that these oils tend to be very strong and do require the need for some caution.

There’s controversial information out there, and in my opinion, a lot of misconceptions, so I’m breaking it down for you.

OnGUARD Safety:

Ingredients: Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon Leaf/Bark, Eucalyptus, Rosemary

Wild Orange Citrus sinensis:

Considered safe to use with kids. It can oxidize easily, so just be sure not to use old bottles of this oil.

Clove Eugenia caryophyllata:

Primary constituent: Eugenol (75-80%). Clove is mostly made of Eugenol but also sometimes has small amounts of isoeugenol or methyleugenol present. Be sure to check your GC/MS reports of your Clove oil so you know what constituents appear in your oil.

  • May cause sensitivity or irritation to skin. Use with caution when using topically on young children or those with sensitive skin. ALWAYS DILUTE (.5%*).
    • Eugenol: What’s interesting is that Eugenol itself has only been shown to be a mild irritant to skin. If you already have sensitive skin, you might notice some sensitization if using Clove undiluted or in high doses. One study concluded, “…eugenol alone or as part of clove leaf oil has a very low potential either to elicit pre-existing sensitization…or to induce hypersensitivity…”
    • Isoeugenol comes with a higher risk of skin irritation. One study showed adverse reactions to be concentration dependent—usually when over .8% isoegenol present. However, in Clove oil, it usually only makes up .01-.02% of the oil.
    • Methyleugenol: This constituent has less risk of skin irritation and more risk of potential carcinogenic effects. However, those effects were shown in rat studies and at very large doses. Methyleugenol usually only makes up about less than .2% of Clove oil.
  • May inhibit blood clotting. Caution using orally if on anticoagulant medication or have bleeding disorders (ie. hemophilia). Avoid using orally prior to major surgery or childbirth.
    • Eugenol and isouegneol have been shown to prevent platelet aggregation.
  • May interact with certain medications. Caution using orally if on Demerol, MAOIs or SSRIs (typically antidepressant medications)
    • Eugenol may inhibit MAO-A in humans. This gene effects seratonin and dopamime in the brain which is why taking eugenol orally can potentially work against someone who is on medication for depression.

Cinnamon bark/leaf Cinnamomum zeylanicum:

Bark: Primary constituent: Cinnamaldeyde (63-75%)

Leaf: Primary constituent: (Eugenol 68-87%)

Because Cinnamon leaf is high in Eugenol, refer to Clove oil. We’ll focus on Cinnamon bark below since it’s chemically different.

  • High risk of skin sensitivity or irritation. Use with caution when using topically on young children or those with sensitive skin. HIGHLY DILUTE (.07%*).
    • Cinnamaldeyde is widely known to be one of the most risky constituents in terms of skin irritation potential. You can read more about that HERE.
  • May inhibit blood clotting. Caution using orally if on anticoagulant medication or have bleeding disorders (ie. hemophilia). Avoid using orally prior to major surgery or childbirth.
    • Cinnamaldeyde has been shown to prevent platelet aggregation.

Eucalyptus Eucalyptus radiata:

Primary constituent: 1, 8 cineol (60-70%). Note that radiata does tend to have a lower percentage of 1,8 cineol compared to Eucalyptus globulus. The cautions for 1,8 cineol, however, still stand even at the lower percentage.

  • May cause breathing issues in young children or those with asthma, seizure disorders. Do not apply on or near the face of children.
    • You can read more about the research and effects of 1,8 cineol on children HERE.

Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis:

Primary constituent: This will widely vary depending on the chemotype of Rosemary oil you have. You will need to check your GC/MS report for the oil. My Rosemary oil from doTerra shows 45.92% 1,8 cineol and 10.91% camphor.

  • May cause breathing issues in young children or those with asthma, seizure disorders. Do not apply on or near the face of children.
    • Refer to Eucalyptus for 1,8 cineol risks
    • Camphor may cause neurotoxcitiy at certain levels. It has been shown to cause convulsions and seizures.

THIEVES Safety:

Ingredients: Clove Syzygium aromaticum, Lemon Citrus limon, Cinnamon Bark Cinnamomum verum, Eucalyptus Eucalyptus radiata, Rosemary Rosmarinus officinalis

Lemon:

Considered safe to use with kids. It can oxidize easily, so just be sure not to use old bottles of this oil.

You’ll notice the ingredients to OnGuard are near identical. However, Clove shows up first in the Thieves list, so we might assume the dose of Clove is higher in Thieves than OnGuard. You’ll also notice the latin names for Clove and Cinnamon bark are different than doTerra’s. The variations are considered botanical synonyms, so the oils should be relatively similar, but since Young Living does not give access to GC/MS reports at this time, it’s impossible for me to thoroughly analyze the chemical constituents of Thieves oil.

CONCLUSION:

Whether or not OnGuard or Thieves is safe to use on your children will widely vary depending on their individual health history. In general, it should be safe to diffuse in a well ventilated area (not near their face) or apply HIGHLY DILUTED to their feet if they are over age 2. The dilution percentage would be based on the most risky oil in the blend which in this case would be Cinnamon bark. Therefore, theoretically, you should be diluting OnGuard or Thieves at .07%. The reason I recommend applying to their feet is because it’s nowhere near their face which is the area we want to avoid.

*Dilution percentage recommendations were found in Essential Oil Safety. [amazon_link asins=’0443062412′ template=’ProductGrid’ store=’everydayeo-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=”]Still uneasy about using OnGuard or Thieves around your children? I have a list of child-safe substitutions in my resource library. Gain access below!