From bug bites to headaches, the therapeutic properties of essential oils offer a great natural alternative to expensive over the counter medications. As aromatherapy becomes increasingly popular, new research has taken a look at the healing and versatile qualities of essential oils.
As more and more individuals turn to natural health products, we take a look at the most-recommended essential oils that are a great place to start for any at-home essential oil first aid kit.
Calm Bruises, Bites and Migraines with Lavender Essential Oil
Arguably one of the most popular essential oils, lavender essential oil offers a variety of therapeutic qualities such as anti-inflammatory, antifungal, antioxidant, analgesic (pain-reducing) and sedative properties that make it perfect for every medicine cabinet. Use lavender essential oil to soothe everyday cuts, bug bites, bruises, sunburns, sore muscles and joints.1,2
Lavender’s calming aroma also helps promote sleep, is good for headaches and migraines and stress-relief.3
Relieve Nausea and Congestion with Peppermint Essential Oil
Known for its minty aroma, peppermint essential oil is another highly recommend essential oil for natural first aid. Its high concentration of menthol is responsible for its fresh scent, but also provides a unique cooling and tingling sensation that’s been shown to be effective for congestion-related headache relief.4 Traditionally, peppermint essential oil has also been used for sore muscles or to help individuals cool down.
Peppermint essential oil is highly recommended for calming upset stomachs, nausea and most digestive issues.5
In clinical studies, peppermint essential oil has been observed to have antimicrobial, antioxidant and antiviral properties.5,6 This makes it a great choice for diffusing during cold seasons or preventing minor scrapes from getting infected.
Soothe Sunburns, Dandruff and Cold Sores with Tea Tree Essential Oil
Often considered one of the most versatile and popular essential oils, tea tree essential oil has a number of properties that make it essential for any first aid kit. Numerous studies have noted its anti-itch, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant activity, with research still ongoing.7,8
For everyday use, tea tree essential oil is considered highly effective for bug bites, sunburns, athlete’s foot, dandruff, nail fungus, lice, cold sores and sore throat relief.7,8,9
How to Use Essential Oils for First Aid
Topical application is particularly useful for upset stomachs, menstrual cramps, bruises, cuts, sore muscles and achy joints. As highly concentrated liquids, essential oils should always be diluted before applying directly to the skin. While directions change slightly from oil to oil, generally adults should mix 2-4 drops of essential oil for every 1 Tbsp. of carrier oil.
While it’s often thought that essential oils need to be topically applied, inhalation can greatly benefit a number of ailments. For headache, migraine or congestion relief, essential oils can be added to a diffuser to provide a calming, relaxing environment. Add 2-4 drops of the chosen essential oil to a diffuser filled with water. Allow it to run for up to 30 minutes.
For minor cuts and abrasions, essential oils can be used in a convenient and portable spray. To make at home, simply add 4-8 drops of essential oils to a carrier oil and pour into a spray bottle filled with water. Gently shake before spraying on the affected area.