Monday, July 2, 2018

Essential Oil First Aid Kit


Your Essential Oil First Aid Kit

Please note.. this was written almost 20 years ago...today's recommendations are listed below.
Reprinted from Natural Living Today, June 1999
Quoting "Marge Clark, aromatherapist and owner of Nature's Gift"

  • Lavender for headaches, burns, bug bites, and sore muscles.
  • Everlasting [Helichrysum Italicuum] for bruises, inflammation, sprains, and swelling.
  • Peppermint for migraines, tummy aches, fatigue, congestion. Also can be used for poison ivy and other "itchies."
  • Tea Tree or Manuka for disinfectant (antibacterial and antifungal), bug bites, scratches, and scrapes.
  • Roman Chamomile for relaxation, easing sore muscles, and as an antispasmodic.
  • Cajeput for fire ant and other more serious bites.

For a few years we offered this, diluting the oils to appropriate dilutions, we discontinued it a few years ago... this was the description and usage suggestions that accompanied it.  (Please note, this was years before we were aware of many of the safety issues we know today.)



Lavender for Headaches, Burns, Bug Bites, Sore Muscles, Stress, Insomnia

Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the one essential oil that is commonly recommended for use “neat” in case of emergency. We are not in favor of “neat” or undiluted usage on the skin. In an emergency a couple of drops of the essential oil into a lotion or aloe vera gel on your palm gently blended with clean fingers remedies this dilemma.
Headaches: Put a drop of Lavender into small amount of unscented lotion, aloe vera gel, or a favorite carrier oil, and apply to the temples and the nape of the neck. A travel friendly inhaler may be preassembled with Lavender for inhalation in the case of headache or insomnia.
Minor Burns: Blend Lavender and the juice of a fresh aloe leaf and apply. Aloe Vera gel may be used if no fresh aloe is available. Please note, aloe will be more effective at immediately easing the pain of a burn, but Lavender will promote faster healing with no or less scarring.
Mosquito Bites: Lavender diluted (in a carrier oil), or blended with a bit of well diluted Peppermint essential oil to ease itching.
Sunburns: Either mix a few drops of Lavender into some cool water, shake well and spray the sunburn, or make a compress: to a bowl of cold water add a few drops of Lavender floated on top, wring a damp cloth and cover the sunburned area. Repeat as the compress warms up. After the first day, add 5 drops of Lavender to 5 ml (one teaspoon) of your favorite carrier oil and gently apply to the burned area. A tepid bath, with cider vinegar and Lavender Essential Oil added will also promote healing and help “take the heat out.”
Sore, Over-Used Muscles: Lavender essential oil in your favorite carrier oil helps soothe the ache of abused muscles. Again, 5 drops to 5 ml (one teaspoon) of carrier. You might consider adding some diluted Roman Chamomile to the above blend as well.
Stress, Tension, Too Many Visitors, Too Much To Do: A few drops of Lavender in a bath eases tension. Consider blending with some Roman Chamomile.
Insomnia: A drop of Lavender on a cotton ball or tissue tucked into your pillowcase, or a Lavender bath before retiring will help ease you (or your excited children) into a natural relaxing sleep.


Helichrysum for Bruises, Inflammation, Sprains, and Swelling


We suggest organic Helichrysum essential oil in a 10% dilution in Jojoba Oil.
Bruises: apply diluted Helichrysum immediately, reapply frequently to ease pain, swelling, and discoloration of a bruise.
Inflammation: Helichrysum is a powerful anti-inflammatory. Apply diluted Helichrysum Essential Oil to inflamed skin.
I would immediately add Helichrysum italicum to any injury that does not involve broken skin; it is reported to have wonderful results in accelerating healing. I have used it on a broken toe, jammed fingers, etc. Friends have used it on a hand caught in the car door for emergency treatment and been amazed at how quickly the bruising and pain went away.

Peppermint for Migraines, Tummy Aches, Fatigue, Congestion, Sunburn, and Various “Itchies”

Use Peppermint Essential Oil in a skin-safe 2.5% dilution.
Migraines: Many migraine sufferers report relief after rubbing properly diluted Peppermint essential oil on their forehead, the back of the neck, and the solar plexus. You may consider adding a few drops of Lavender essential oil to the blend, as Lavender also is often helpful for migraines.
Upset Stomachs: can often be calmed by either inhaling Peppermint straight from the bottle, or rubbing a drop or two on the abdomen.
Fatigue/Exhaustion: Peppermint is a stimulant and can aid with both physical and mental exhaustion. A great oil to carry in the car, both to keep the driver awake and aware and to ease any carsickness that might occur.
Congestion: If summer's pollens cause sinus congestion, diluted Peppermint is a wonderful treatment for either stuffy noses or sinus headaches. Either inhale the diluted oil to help clear a stuffy nose, or blend with some diluted Lavender essential oil and gently rub into cheekbones and forehead to ease a sinus headache.
Sunburn: Cool the “heat” of a sunburn or fever by adding about eight drops of the diluted oil blend to a tepid bath. Peppermint will not help a sunburn heal more quickly, but will help the “burning chill” out.
Poison Ivy and Other Itchies: We have had success adding a few drops of Peppermint essential oil to commercial calamine lotion to help ease the itch of poison ivy rashes. In fact, a tiny amount of Peppermint essential oil is a good addition to almost any “anti-itch” preparation.

Tea Tree or Manuka for Disinfecting, Bug Bites, Scratches, and Scrapes

Tea Tree, organic, in a proven effective 2.5% dilution, is a powerful antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal essential oil.
Scrapes: After washing a scrape, you might consider a bit of diluted Tea Tree Essential Oil to help keep the abrasion germ free.
Puncture Wounds: Should never be treated with Lavender, since it can cause the surface to heal, rather than letting the wound heal from the inside to the surface. In this case, Tea Tree Essential Oil, diluted, is the perfect blend to apply.
Disinfecting: Any sort of skin irritation that shows signs of perhaps becoming infected, whether they are mosquito bites, cuts or scrapes will benefit from Tea Tree's antimicrobial properties.

Roman Chamomile for Relaxation, Easing Sore Muscles, and as an Antispasmodic

Use Roman Chamomile, organic, in a 10% dilution in Jojoba.
Relaxation: blend with Lavender for the most relaxing bath around.
Sore Muscles: alone, or with Lavender added. Roman Chamomile is wonderful for tired, achy muscles.
Antispasmodic: useful for intestinal cramps (massage clockwise onto abdomen).
Muscle Spasms: apply to painful area, a touch of Lavender may help here as well.
Anti-Inflammatory: useful for skin abrasions, scrapes, rug burns, etc.
Colic or Teething Pains: in babies and children (dilute for use with babies and children: add two parts carrier oil to this already diluted bottle of Roman Chamomile Essential Oil).

Cajeput for Fire Ant Bites

 
Apply undiluted Cajeput immediately, reapply several times the first day. On day two, switch to diluted Lavender Essential Oil to hasten healing.


What would I recommend today?


SkeeterBeater Gel and After The Bite, to repel most (but not all) "critters" and to deal with the aftermath. (Yes, After The Bite contains the above named Cajeput.)   I would make an Aloe Gel based Tea Tree or Manuka dilution for cleaning scrapes and cuts.   Trauma Oil or That's Better! for bumps, bruises, injuries of all sorts;  a Happy Morning inhaler for tummy upsets.  Because now I know more. I might still go with some very dilute Roman Chamomile (although I might substitute Sweet Marjoram.)   

Christi reminds me that we need Sunburn Soother,  and that she would choose either German Chamomile or, better yet, Blue Tansy...  because the latter is effective both against allergies *and* very helpful in soothing "itchies" whether they are rashes, bites, what have you.   

The advantage of packing an aromatic first aid kit? Murphy's Law indicates that if you pack it, you will never need the contents, but if you neglect it...
 

Friday, June 15, 2018

A Rose (geranium) by any other name....

We recently received a newsletter that was focusing on Rose and Geranium essential oils, and saw what is, in our experience, some disinformation.

Geranium Blossom - but the oil comes from the leaves!
First, the writer recommended substituting Geranium oil for Rose oil in formulas.  I'm sorry, but no. Just no. Geranium is a lovely oil (for those who like it.. it does tend to have rather a love it or hate it
aroma.)  It's a powerful germ killer and anti-fungal agent without the medicinal note of the more commonly used Tea tree. And it is said to be the ultimate balancer, helpful for balancing hormones, extreme emotions, combination skin, etc.  But it is not a substitute for Rose, aromatically, emotionally, spiritually, or even for the physical effects.   Geranium oil,  almost any member of the Pelargonium species is a very useful oil for your tool box. Physically I would say it is more useful than true Rose, but emotionally and spiritually? No.

Please don't try to substitute it for Rose.

But then the author went on to state, and I quote....

Sometimes you’ll even see co-distills of the two oils, or Geranium called “Rose Geranium.”
Um.. no.

Just NO.  Pelargonium roseum is a variety of geranium originally from South Africa, and now grown in many locations.    The plant is commonly called "rose geranium" as is the essential oil.  It is much more floral than most other distilled Geranium (Pelargonium) oils.

There ARE co-distillations of Rose and Geranium occasionally available. There are also co-distillations of Neroli (blossoms) and Petitgrain (Leaves.)   These are clearly labeled codistillations, normally "Rose over Geranium" and "Neroli sur (over) Petitgrain.

They are not normally sold as "Rose Geranium."  If they were offered as such, they would be mislabeled.

Nomenclature of the Pelargonium species seems to be ever changing. When I was learning about the oils they were all Pelargonium graveolens.  Recently the botanists started calling them Pelargonium x asperum.

Jade Shute's has a good blog article about the nomenclature.

Wonderful article about Geranium's anti-bacterial effects.