Tuesday, February 12, 2013

RSV in babies - assisting recovery with oils.

Charlotte is 5 months old and was diagnosed with RSV last week.  We had no idea, it just seemed like a little cold.  I honestly only let them test her snot, because I didn't want to seem like a bad mother (since I'd just received the immunization lecture).  I was shocked to say the least.

There isn't much that can be done for RSV except helping to keep the snot cleared out and keeping any possible fevers down.  Many infants get placed in the hospital to be taken care of and watched.  What appears as a common cold in older children and adults can be fatal for infants.

What we know about essential oils though and what has been proven through various studies is that essential oils have anti-viral properties.  This means that they can enter the cell, where the virus is hanging out, and can help to kill that virus and boost the immune system.  Modern medicine cannot penetrate the cell wall, so this is hugely important.

Because of this we have been using essential oils to help combat our daughters case of RSV.

What we have been doing:
  • Applying On Guard, Breathe, Eucalyptus, and Frankincense to either her feet, chest, back or all three.
  • Running On Guard, Breathe, or Eucalyptus is the diffuser for 50 minutes at a time, right next to her.  We also run it all night long, usually with Eucalyptus or Breathe.
  • Giving her breathing treatments with the nebulizer and 1 drop of Breathe with some water.  Each breathing treatment lasts about 15 minutes and they are given ever 3-4 waking hours.
  • Putting saline drops in her nose at every diaper change (or whenever else it is needed) and using the bulb syringe to suction the snot out of her nose.  I wish we had the Nosefrida though.  I might go get one this week.
  • We adjusted her mattress so that it is tilted slightly to make breathing easier at night.  Her bed can be adjusted as such, but you can also place blankets and/or books underneath the mattress to tilt it (it doesn't need MUCH to get a good enough tilt).
To be honest we didn't do these things as often as we intended, but we were pretty diligent about the Eucalyptus, On Guard, at least 1 breathing treatment each day (usually at night), and always using the saline (we had to stop using the bulb syringe at one point because my son bit the tip off.  Ew.  I know.).  

I believe we could have conquered it faster if we had been more consistent, but the point is that we made it through. It's only been 1.5 weeks since her diagnosis and she hasn't coughed in 3 days!  She would have these coughing fits that could last up to 15 minutes while she was breaking up all the mucus.  They were terrifying, even though I knew they were doing something, and one day she even cried every time that she coughed.  :(  Poor baby.  Now she is left with a runny nose and that is all.  YAY!!!  We are out of quarantine as well - thank goodness!

I am so grateful for my oils.  Without them I just know we would've ended up in the hospital.


  1. so you just used breathe and water in your nebulizer? I haven't been able to get away from albuterol when my daughter gets a cold but I would LOVE to try this!

    1. Yep, we just make sure there is enough water to equal the amount of albuterol we would normally put in. It has worked better for us for my older daughter with asthma. Over time she's had fewer and fewer attacks. One time we were super dilligent about the albuterol but it was spreading her cold out and breathing issues so much more than the breathe, so we switched over. We still keep the albuterol in the house in case we need it, but we haven't in 2 years...

  2. Be careful with the Eucalyptus and Breathe, since she is so small. Too much of the menthol in those oils can be difficult on babies under five years. http://www.healthline.com/natstandardcontent/eucalyptus-oil#2

  3. Thank you so much for the concern. All parents should be aware and take the usage of all oils in stride by following their intuition and research as well. Our recommendations are perfectly safe and in small quantities at a time. I do have a friend whose daughter poured peppermint on herself when she was under a year though and that was a terrifying experience to say the least, but once she was able to catch her breath she was ok. I recommend using 1-2 drops at a time in the different locations on the body for children. As well as diluting if they are infants since sometimes those oils can be uncomfortable to them. A few drops in the diffuser or 1-2 drops in the nebulizer are not very strong though stick with 1 drop in the diffuser at first if they are under 2 years old to see how they handle it. I was shocked to see how tame 2 drops smelled when I had to follow the same treatment this past Christmas.