I feel to publicly thank my older two children for giving me the “pioneer experiences” necessary to hopefully be a better parent to their younger siblings.   Once you’ve walked through a forest, you recognize the scent of the evergreens forever after.   While every child is different, there are still those first general all-purpose  lessons to be learned in practical parenting which only come to the uninitiated.

When my oldest child was teething, I struggled with how to relieve her distress.  While I’d seen everyone else use OTC gum-numbing products like Oral-Gel and Ambesol,  I was concerned about using them on my daughter when I read their ingredient labels.  She had had a very negative, very scary reaction to her 9 month DPT vaccination, and I was afraid of introducing any other chemicals into her body.  However, things got so desperate that I did eventually break down and use these products.  The package inserts only aggravated my concerns, and seek alternatives as I would, there was, at that time, nothing else in my world that indicated there was something better in existence which could relieve my baby’s pain.  I chose what I thought was the lesser of two evils, thinking my only other choice was to just let her suffer.  But in choosing evil 1 versus evil 2, you still end up choosing evil.

This predicament reminds me of the truth spoken of in one of my core books, the Doctrine and Covenants:  For there are many yet on the earth among all sects, parties, and denominations, who are blinded by the subtle craftiness of men, whereby they lie in wait to deceive, and who are only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it—  D&C 123:12

I wish I had known about Clove essential oil, a solution so simple and pure it makes me shake my head that I did not know,  and that nobody around me knew about it either.  Over and over again, I relearn “that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass… and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.”  I believe that God, our Heavenly Parent, the perfect parent, cares about our temporal salvation as much as he cares about our spiritual welfare.  Why would he not prepare a way for us to find relief in a form provided through the natural bounties of Mother Earth?  Our food, clothing and shelter are all provided in similar manner, why not our medicine?  While sickness and suffering is sometimes part of our learning on this earth, I do not believe in a cold or sadistic Father who seeks only our misery.  He did not abandon us here to wander alone and helpless.

And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. – Genesis 1: 29

I used to wonder what mothers and babies did before all the drugs.  There must have been something that they knew, some knowledge that they turned to, for they had hearts like mine – hearts that couldn’t bear to hear the suffering of their children.  What did Eve do?  What did Rebekah do? What did Mary do?  What did my great-great grandmother do?  It is my belief that knowledge which was once common, especially herbal knowledge, has been deliberately suppressed and eradicated by men of evil intent.  It is my personal belief that ancient women knew things which have since been lost, but that now some of that old wisdom is being brought back to light.  Does it therefore surprise anyone to learn that before all the gunky junk in a bottle that dentists use now, they used Clove oil too?

So, looking at the challenges of today, a wintery February morning 2010, I am grateful to know that I can simply dilute 1-2 drops Clove essential oil in a teaspoon to tablespoon of a carrier oil. (I use olive, sunflower or virgin coconut). Then I apply the mix with a cotton swab to my daughter’s gums, and relieve her pain.  She’s “teething” again, only this time it’s her first molar that is on it’s way out.  Her little brothers are going through their own developmental phases in the baby teeth cycle too.   Today Clove oil is our old family friend once again.  How comforting it is to me to know that because of Clove oil,  I can finally help my children without any fear that I am harming them.

If you decide to use Clove oil, please be aware that it is a hot oil, meaning that it can feel warm, even hot, when applied.  Be careful not to overapply it on your little ones’ gums.  DO NOT APPLY NEAT (i.e. without a carrier oil). I had a friend ignore this warning, and then she blamed me for her baby’s extreme distress. So please, this warning is SERIOUS!  Just as I did when I was learning how to tell if a bottle was too hot or too cold,  I recommend applying the Clove oil to yourself first.  This will help you understand how  your baby will feel and to determine how much to use.  Always carefully supervise your use of any essential oil, not just Clove oil, and store them out of reach of children.