As a new year begins it is time to think about starting new habits. One of your new habits could be to always have an essential oil first aid kit ready. There are so many essential oils to choose from, and I had to think, “If I were stranded somewhere, and wanted to have good essential oils to treat most ailments, what oils would I want to have with me?”
My list may not include essential oils you would have in your first aid kit. I want a personalized first aid kit that best meets my family’s needs and has few essential oils that are contra-indicated for our existing medical conditions. Despite the desire to personalize the kit you will find a list of ten essential oils I believe make a well rounded first aid kit that will work for any family.
First Aid Kit with 10 Essential Oils:
Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) – I consider lavender to be the “grandmother” of all essential oils. It is used for so many things and is useful for people between the ages of one day to one hundred years. Lavender can be used straight out of the bottle (neat) for things like cuts, insect bites and burns. It provides help for insomnia and it is an analgesic. Let’s not forget lavenders high level of antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties.
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) – Roman chamomile is known for its ability to soothe upset stomachs and aid with sleep. It also has analgesic properties, helps with sore muscles, muscle sprains, earaches, headaches, neuralgia, and menstrual pain. Chamomile is also good for skin conditions: acne, dermatitis, wounds, blisters, insect bites etc. Chamomile has moderate antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. It is also known as an emmenagogue, meaning it helps promote menstrual flow; therefore chamomile should be avoided during pregnancy. A carrier oil is required for chamomile, it should not be applied neat.
Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) – I like tea tree oil over Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus) because I find it to be a very effective oil but a more gentle essential oil. For example, eucalyptus can not be used with epileptics, during pregnancy, or with high blood pressure while tea tree can be used. Tea tree is primarily used to combat viral, bacterial, and fungal infections as well as being a very potent antiseptic. It is helpful in treating respiratory infections. Tea tree can be used straight out of the bottle (neat) for things like cuts and burns, insect bites, and acne sores/boils.
Peppermint (Mentha piperita) – Peppermint is one of those essential oils that feels both warming and cooling, which is helpful when using for sore aching muscles, tired feet, and arthritic conditions. The cooling effect of peppermint helps relieve headaches, migraine and toothache. Peppermint is also excellent for any manner of digestive issue from vomiting to constipation. Peppermint has moderate antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. A carrier oil is required for peppermint, it should not be applied neat. Do not use in the bath.
Ravensara (Ravensara aromatica) – This oil is my “go-to” oil any time there is the hint of a sinus issue or respiratory infection. With a few drops of ravensara in the ionic diffuser at night I can usually stop a cold in its tracks. Ravensara is also helpful used in a massage blend for overworked muscles and for lymphatic problems. Ravensara has very high levels of antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. A carrier oil is required for ravensara, it should not be applied neat.
Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens) – A linen spray of geranium is used on our bedding several times a week. Geranium has been proven to kill dust mites, which are one of the causes of allergies. Since using a geranium linen spray I have noticed our allergy symptoms have greatly decreased. Geranium is an excellent diuretic and helps the body clear itself of toxins. It is helps regulate the hormonal system, helping with PMS, irregularities with the menstrual cycle, menopause, and breast inflammation and congestion. It should be avoided in women with a history of estrogen dependent cancer(s). Geranium is also helpful in treating skin conditions because it seems to balance the production of sebum, the body’s natural oil. Geranium has moderate antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. A carrier oil is required and it should not be applied neat.
Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) – Bergamot is such a happy essential oil! Don’t let the happy and sunny scent of bergamot fool you though, it is a very effective oil. Bergamot helps with respiratory issues, tonsillitis, cold sores, and mouth sores. It is also great for digestive complaints. Bergamot is a deodorant. It helps with insomnia, eases stress, and balances emotions. Bergamot has moderate antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. A carrier oil is required and it should not be applied neat. Bergamot is also a photo-sensitizer, meaning that it can increase the damaging effects of the sun; therefore, sunlight should be avoided after the use of Bergamot. Do not use in the bath.
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea) – Clary sage can be a woman’s best friend, especially if that woman has entered menopause. It is known to ease menopausal symptoms like hot flashes, night sweats, and insomnia. Clary sage also helps with symptoms of PMS, menstrual cramps, and scanty menstrual flow. Given all of these actions clary sage should be avoided by women who have a history of estrogen dependent cancer(s) and pregnant women. Clary sage is very good at easing emotional tension and anxiety. It encourages cell growth and rejuvenation and balances the production of sebum. Clary sage is very sedating, which can help with insomnia, but it should not be used when one needs to be alert. The use of alcohol should be limited, if not altogether stopped, as the combination of clary sage and alcohol increases drunkenness. Clary sage should not be used by individuals with low blood pressure.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis) – In Hamlet Shakespeare has Ophelia utter these words, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray you, love, remember.” One of the greatest actions of rosemary is its ability to stimulate the nervous system, aiding in memory and creativity. It is a wonderful oil to diffuse when studying! Not only is rosemary good for stimulating the nervous system it also stimulates the adrenal, digestive, and circulatory systems. Rosemary is helpful to ease the pain of sore muscles and rheumatism. It is also helpful in treating respiratory complaints, cellulite, and inflammation. Rosemary is not for use during pregnancy, with high blood pressure, in the bath, or when taking homeopathic remedies. Rosemary has moderate antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. A carrier oil is required and it should not be applied neat.
Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum) – Sandalwood is my favorite essential oil! I need to add this reminder: Santalum album, what some call “true sandalwood,” is endangered and I do not purchase it due to that fact, instead I buy Australian sandalwood (Santalum spicatum). I like the warming effect of sandalwood and often include it in massage blends for sore muscles. Sandalwood is excellent for complaints of the urinary tract and relieving cystitis. It is also helpful with respiratory infections, sore throat, and persistent dry cough. Sandalwood is very calming, centering and relaxing. It is often used during meditation and spiritual activities. Sandalwood has moderate antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and antiseptic properties. A carrier oil is required and it should not be applied neat.
Carrier oils – Several carrier oils come to mind when I think about carrier oils, but for my first aid kit I choose Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis). It is also a stable oil, actually it is a liquid wax, with a long shelf-life. Jojoba oil is odorless and it absorbs quickly. Jojoba is an oil that very closely matches the sebum, the natural oil produced by our bodies, making it a good choice for all skin types.
I hope you find this information helpful in creating your own essential oils first aid kit. May you have little need of the first aid kit in 2014.
Fragrant Blessings and good health!
The information provided is for educational purposes, and it is not intended to replace the medical directives of your healthcare provider. This information is not meant for diagnosis of health issues. If you are pregnant, have serious or multiple health concerns, consult with your healthcare provider before using essential oils. If you experience any complications or adverse reactions contact your healthcare provider.
✿´´¯`•.¸¸ Haly JensenHof, MA, RA ¸¸.•´¯`´✿
Fragrantly helping you achieve health and well being!
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