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Essential Oils Can Keep School Air Healthier|classroom|lemon essential oil|rosemary

Essential Oils

Essential Oils Can Keep School Air Healthier

If there's one fact that most people know, it's that young kids are hotbeds for bacteria. Because of this, in a school setting, illnesses can spread quickly.

While many people tend to stay indoors because of outdoor toxins, indoor air has the potential to be much more toxic than outdoor air, according to Dr. Mark Tremblay, director of healthy active living and obesity research with the CHEO Research Institute in Ottawa, Canada. 1

This is especially problematic in the era of anti-vaxxing because children that have not had vaccinations are more vulnerable to specific illnesses, and they create an environment where other illnesses can also be spread to children who have been vaccinated.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in January of 2015, 102 cases of measles were reported in 14 states in an outbreak linked to Disneyland, despite measles being considered a disease that was eliminated in 2000. 2 A classroom could be a breeding ground for such an outbreak.

While essential oils certainly cannot prevent cases like this, they can help boost a child’s immune system, allowing their body to better fight off infections.

According to the Franklin School of Integrated Health Sciences, experts believe that diffusing essential oils in a classroom setting can help reduce airborne pathogens, especially in the winter when heated rooms allow germs to fester. 3

While no studies directly suggest that essential oils diffused in a classroom ease cases of cold or flu, studies do show that essentials can, in high concentrations, kill airborne bacteria, although only a few are safe at the concentrations required.

classroom Essential Oils for Better Classroom Air

Tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils have an affinity for the respiratory system and have been clinically shown to kill the airborne flu virus," says aromatherapist and Ayurveda specialist Leigh Winters.

In 2013, researchers studied the effects of a mixture of tea tree and eucalyptus essential oils on airborne bacteria and found that the combination has the potential to inactivate airborne viruses. 4

Highlighted below are these essential oils, as well as others that have been shown to have similar benefits.

Tea Tree Essential Oil

Determined safe for kids, tea tree oil has also been found to be a beneficial oil for killing airborne bacteria. It is also effective when paired with eucalyptus as a topical cleanser (mix with water) that can potentially take down E. coli and staff infections. 5

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint contains camphor, carvacrol, and menthol, which are all bacteria-resistant compounds. It also helps ease the reactions to allergens associated with seasonal allergies. 6

Eucalyptus Essential Oil

The 2013 Journal of Aerosol Research found that eucalyptus and tea tree oils both were effective at eradicating almost 100% of virus activity in less than 15 minutes.

lemon essential oil Lemon Essential Oil

Lemon has the ability to clean toxins, so it is suitable for air purification and cleaning surfaces. Add a few drops to water in a mister bottle to keep toxic surfaces free from germs. Orange citrus fruits are also great germ killers—both in the air and on surfaces.

Cinnamon Essential Oil

If you wonder why cinnamon scents are used in public restrooms year-round, despite its holiday connections, it’s because cinnamon has excellent properties that kill airborne bacteria when used in a diffuser.

Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender is mild but has powerful antibacterial benefits.

rosemary Rosemary Essential Oil

Rosemary not only offers air purification benefits but also contains compounds that are effective but safe surface cleansers.

Pine Essential Oils

Pine essential oils including spruce and cypress contain alpha-pinene, which provides respiratory support. There is a reason why the indigenous people of Australia placed pieces of Blue Cypress wood and bark on hot rocks to create steam. The wood gives off compounds that can help support a healthy respiratory system by enhancing the body’s ability to rid itself of allergy-related toxins.

Final Thoughts

Any safe suggestion that can keep your child from contracting that cold that's going all around the school is probably a welcome one. Again, although essential oils won't prevent cases of widespread illness, especially for more serious illnesses, they can boost immune system function and kill some airborne pathogens. So, when cold and flu season comes knocking, even these are some great benefits.

Photo credits: milatas/, BowonpatSakaew/, topotishka/, smolaw/

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