Even during our best moments to live a healthy and toxin free life, there can be times when illness or injury strike. At times your illness could mean that conventional medical treatment is certainly warranted, and we should be grateful that medical treatment is available if needed.
But what about the times when the illness or injury is merely uncomfortable or limiting? While our first instinct may be to get OTC medication to mediate symptoms, there are often all natural remedies that don’t interfere with the body’s own immune responses and which can help ease uncomfortable symptoms.
If you are just starting your journey to a more holistic lifestyle you may be wondering what essential oils one needs to have on hand for such emergencies. Although everyone has their favorite oil, the top oils to have in your First Aid supplies would be:
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) France: (anti-infectious, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory) Cuts, grazes, burns, promotes wound healing, psoriasis, eczema, sunburn, insect bites and stings, headaches, insomnia, rashes, nervous conditions, anxiety, and tension.
Minor Burns and Bug Bites: Apply neat to the skin or you can blend with carrier oil or the juice of your fresh aloe plant.
Insomnia, Stress, Tension: A drop on your pillow before retiring to bed will help you relax you into sleep. A bath taken with 3-8 drops of Lavender mixed with 1/2-1 cup bath salts, carrier oil, or full fat milk will help ease children and adults alike into restful blissful sleep. A drop on your cotton shirt or a tissue placed near you will calm the nerves.
Chamomile Roman (Chamaemelum nobile): (anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-spasmodic) Pain relief, fevers, skin problems, rashes, eczema, teething pain, muscle spasms, calming, nervousness, insomnia, constipation.
Relaxation: Blend with Lavender for a relaxing bath (use above directions)
Antispasmodic: Dilute and then use for intestinal cramping (this works well for Colic also) by massaging clockwise onto abdomen.
Fevers: In a large bowl of warm water mixed with1/4 bath salts, place 2 drops of oil, mix and then using a cloth, wipe down the body and then let the feet soak for 10 minutes. You may also place 1 drop of Spearmint into the bowl for a cooling effect and also aiding in the reduction of fevers.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) or Niaouli (Melaleuca viridiflora): Niaouli is a better choice when treating children as it is milder form of Melaleuca. (anti-infectious, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-parasitic, anti-viral) rashes, insect bites and stings, nail fungus, ringworm, thrush, head lice, boils, bronchial congestion, scabies, ulcers, wounds, cold sores, acne, sinusitis, bronchitis.
Scratches, Scrapes & Wounds: After washing, consider a few drops of diluted oil to help keep the abrasion germ free.
Boils: Place 2 drops each of Lavender & Tea Tree into a bowl of hot water and wash the area twice a day. If inflammation is severe, add 1 drop of Chamomile.
Sinusitis: Place 1 drop of the above oil with 1 drop of Lavender into a cup of hot water, loosely tent yourself( for children do not tent, gently fan steam towards them), close eyes and breathe deeply for 3-5 minutes. Do this 2-3 times daily for 10 days.
Eucalyptus Radiata (E. Radiata) (anti infectious, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory) bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, colds, flu, fever, sinusitis, headaches, insect bites, rashes, muscle aches.
Coughs: Blend 1 teaspoon of carrier oil with 2 drops of Eucalyptus, 1 drop of Thyme Linalool. Rub over back and chest. You may add 1 drop of Lavender.
Colds: Create an Inhaler or place on a tissue and inhale deeply whenever possible 1 drop of each of the following oils: Eucalyptus. Radiata, Fragonia, Lemon or Lime, and Thyme linalool.
Ravensara (R. aromatica) (anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-infectious) colds, flu, bronchitis, diarrhea, fever, cold sores, sinusitis, whooping cough, herpes, chickenpox, measles, shingles, muscular pain, swollen lymph glands.
Anti-viral Blend: 2 drops Ravensara, 1 drop Tea tree, 1 drop Eucalyptus Radiata. You can place this in a diffuser, tissue, and inhaler.
Muscle aches: Bathe in a blend of; 2 drops Ravensara, 2 drops Eucalyptus. Radiata, 2 drops Lavender. You may add 1 drop of Chamomile Roman if you also plan on retiring for the evening; using the bathing recipe above.
Shingles, Chickenpox, Measles: A massage blend of Ravensara and Tamanu oil has been very effective when dealing with these issues, percentages depend on age; please call a Clinical Aromatherapist for exact instructions.
Fragonia (Agonis fragans) (anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, analgesic, anti-fungal) asthma, muscle/joint pain, bronchitis, tonsillitis, COPD, impaired immune system, fatigue, anxiety, jet lag, respiratory issues.
Tonsillitis & Sore throats: In a 5ml Roll On glass bottle, place 4.5ml of carrier oil and 2 drops of Fragonia. You can also make a throat/chest rub with 15ml of carrier with a blend of 3 drops Fragonia, 2 drops Ravensara, and 1 drop of either Lavender or Niaouli.
Asthma, Lung issues: An inhaler, diffuser or tissue with Fragonia helps to open the air passages to allow for deep breathing to occur. You may blend with Lavender and Lemon or Bergamot.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) or Spearmint (Mentha viridas): Peppermint should NOT be used in children under 6. (Analgesic, anti-bacterial, anti-spasmodic, cooling, and anti-microbial) headaches, upset tummies, fatigue/exhaustion, congestion, poison ivy and other itches, sunburn.
Headache: Mix 4.5ml carrier of choice with 1 drop each of Peppermint/Spearmint and Lavender. Rub 1 drop of blend on temples and back of the neck and base of skull.
Tummy troubles: Simply inhale from the bottle or you can blend 5ml of carrier to 1 drop of Peppermint/Spearmint. You can rub this onto the abdomen in a clockwise manner. You may add 1 drop of Chamomile Roman if cramping is also present.
Notes on Thyme, there are many types of Thyme and they all have notable anti-viral, antibiotic, antiseptic properties they should be used with care. It should never be applied to the skin undiluted and should not be used on children unless the chemo type is Thyme Linalool.
FIRST AID WASHING MIX
Put into a dropper amber bottle.
30 drops lavender
30 drops tea Tree
5 drops Ravensara
5 drops Eucalyptus Radiata
20 drops Bergamot (use FCF if outdoors)
Use 2-6 drops of the blend in a small bowl of water mixed with ¼ cup aloe juice to wash cuts and grazes. Do not apply neat.
Although there is a multitude of essentials oils we can add to this list, I hope you have learned new ways to use those oils in your cabinets in safe, effective and new ways.
Now you may be wondering if you can create items to carry with you during your travels, why yes you can and here are some great recipes to get you started.
Traveling can be fun, rewarding, adventurous, and also make one homesick. Sometimes all you need to really enjoy those extended trips is to have a bit of home comfort with you. The olfactory system, or your sniffer, is linked to memory and emotion. So it makes sense that bringing those scents that remind you of home, comfort, happiness could only make your traveling experience that much enjoyable.
It is so nice to know that whether you are traveling by plane or road bound you can have your essential oils and blends with you. They will help you stay healthy, feel grounded and relaxed, or keep your mental focus going strong.
Here are six great recipes to create for your aromatherapy travel kit. They’re small enough to pass airport security guidelines, and they are so easy to make. 10 minutes of blending fun and you’re ready for your trip.
Aloe Hand Cleanser
This cleanser does not contain alcohol; instead we choose aloe Vera gel and essential oils. This reduces germs and nourishes your skin at the same time.
1oz Aloe Vera gel (Aloe barbadensis)
7 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
6 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
6 drops Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
Blend these ingredients in a 1 oz. (30ml) PET plastic bottle—it won’t break if it gets tossed around and is safe to use with diluted essential oils. PET plastic is known as a non-reactive plastic that doesn’t leach.
Breathe and Be Calm Inhaler
You can use this blend for some respiratory support, it help protects from colds and flu.
5 drops Frankincense (Boswellia carterii)
6 drops Eucalyptus (E. globulus)
4 drops Orange, Sweet (Citrus sinensis)
7 drops Carrier Oil of your choice (Jojoba, Almond, etc.) You will place the cotton wick from the Inhaler in a glass bowl. Drop the essential oils unto the wick, and then drop the carrier oil over the essential oils. This will slow the evaporation rate of the essential oils. Your inhaler should last about 4-6 weeks. Once you are done place the wick into the inhaler and snap shut.
A note on Eucalyptus: Globulus should only be used with healthy adults with no lung issues. For children, elderly, or those who have any lung issues Fragonia would be the safest choice.
Floral Cedar Room Spray
Aromatherapy room sprays can make any place you’re staying in feel more like home. Even though you can love staying in new places, it’s important to stay centered and grounded. I recommend making a fresh bottle of this every few weeks.
½oz Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana)
½oz Distilled Water
3 drops Palmarosa (Cymbopogon martini)
1 drop Mandarin (Citrus reticulata)
2 drops Cedarwood Virginia (Juniperus virginiana)
Blend the above ingredients into a 1oz PET or glass spray bottle. Shake before each use.
Sweet Sleep Spray
3 drops Neroli (Citrus aurantium)
3 drops Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia)
5 drops Mandarin green (Citrus reticulata)
2 drops Jasmine sambac (Jasminum sambac)
1oz Distilled water
1oz Witch Hazel (Hamamelis Virginiana)
Blend the above ingredients into a 2oz PET or glass spray bottle. Shake before each use.
Mental Focus Roll-On
This is a good blend to keep you alert and focused.
10ml Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
2 drops Rosemary ct. camphor (Rosmarinus officinalis ct. camphor)
1 drop Clary Sage (Salvia sclarea)
1 drop Fir Siberian (Abies siberica)
2 drops Sweet Orange (Citrus sinensis)
Roll it on the back of your neck and wrists for stronger focus.
Lavender Lime & Mint Soap
While traveling you may prefer to bring your own soap over the soaps provided by the hotels you stay in. You will know exactly what’s in your bottle of foaming soap, so you will already know your skin will love it!
1 ½ oz. Castle Soap
10 drops Lime, Distilled (Citrus medica)
10 drops Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
2 drops Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
If you are using a 2oz foam bottle you will want to leave space at the top of the bottle for the soap pump. If you are using a flip top PET plastic bottle you can use 2oz of Castile Soap.
All you have to do is pour ½ the soap in the bottle, add the oils, add the remainder of the soap, screw on the lid, and shake gently.
Try pairing this recipe with a shower gel, just use a Castile body wash base and use the same essential oils. Remember the 2 drops of Peppermint is all you need for this size, because we really don’t need much Peppermint essential oil to have a strong effect.
If you’re going somewhere exotic, you may have fun using oils that are native to the area. Rich resins (such as Frankincense and Myrrh) come from countries in Africa and the Middle East, while you are going snow skiing you might enjoy blending with conifer essential oils. It’s just one more way to connect with a new place.
The great thing about an essential oil is that it can be used in so many ways and one oil can help in many situations. Here are a few ideas for some of the oils listed above:
Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia)
Headaches: Put 3 drops of Lavender into 10ml (1/3oz) of any carrier, lotion, or aloe Vera and apply to the temples and back of neck. A travel friendly inhaler may be preassembled for inhalation in the case of a headache or insomnia. Adding 1-2 drops of Peppermint helps for stronger headaches, but not so well for sleeping.
Insomnia: A drop on a cotton ball or tissue tucked into your pillowcase; or a bath (3-6 drops in a handful of bath salts) before retiring will help ease you (or your excited children) into a natural relaxing sleep.
Minor Burns, Mosquito Bug bites: 12 drops of Lavender blended into 1oz aloe Vera gel or your favorite carrier. Place this blend on the affected area.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Upset Stomach: inhaling this oil straight from the bottle seems to do the trick. You can also mix 6 drops into 1oz of carrier to use as needed. Rub 1-2 drops on the abdomen.
Congestion: If summer’s pollen cause sinus congestion, diluted Peppermint is a wonderful option for either stuffy noses or sinus headaches. Either inhale the diluted oil to begin to clear a stuffy nose, or blend with some Lavender and gently massage on the forehead, temples, nape of neck and then without using more blend you can gently rub the cheekbones to ease a sinus headache. Using 5 drops of Peppermint and 3 drops of Lavender.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia)
Scrapes: After washing a scrape, consider a bit of diluted Tea Tree to help keep the abrasion germ free.
Disinfecting: Any sort of skin irritation that shows signs of perhaps becoming infected, whether they are bug bites, cuts or scrapes will benefit from Tea Tree’s antimicrobial properties.
Cajeput (Melaleuca cajeputi) is another essential oil that is also in the Melaleuca family. This oil is excellent for:
Fire Ant Bites: Apply undiluted Cajeput immediately, reapply several times the first day. On day two, switch to diluted Lavender to hasten healing.
This will provide you with a wonderful start to begin creating your ultimate travel kit, personalized to you and your travel mates. Just remember to always play safe with essential oils, no more than a 1- 2.5% dilution is all that is needed, any higher you should consult a qualified Clinical Aromatherapist to ensure you are within safety guidelines for the issue at hand.
Kimberly S. Seymour is a Clinical Aromatherapist and Owner at Wholistic Aromatics.