- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Keeping Summer Ailments At Bay With Essential Oils
Essential oils in summer
As the long, hot summers assault us with the heat and the grime, our months are filled with travel, outdoor activities and projects. So, it is important to be well prepared for all those irritatingly painful scratches, scrapes, bumps and bruises that are but inevitable when you are traveling. There are certain therapeutic essential oils that act as an easy and effective way to keep the pain at bay and manage these little ailments, while at the same time providing you with additional health benefits.
Aromatherapy and therapeutic essential oils are used to treat sunburn, sooth heartburn and indigestion, repel insects and quicken the healing process of sprains and strains. These essential oils have a unique molecular structure that allows them to penetrate cell walls and transport nutrients, oxygen and other chemical constituents of the concerned oil.
Therapeutic essential oils should be diluted with oils like jojoba, peanut, almond or olive. With the exception of Tea Tree oil and Lavender oil, the essential oils should never be applied directly on the skin. When using these oils, always consult a healthcare professional first.
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Common Summer Ailments and the Essential Oils to treat them
Here are some of the most common summer ailments and the therapeutic oils that are used to treat them:
- Athletes Foot - This ailment can be treated with Tea Tree oil, which is antifungal, antiviral, antibiotic and antiseptic in nature. Add 10-20 drops of this oil to a footbath and then soak your feet in it for about fifteen minutes, three times every day. Make sure you dry your feet thoroughly, especially in between the toes. In addition, you an also apply 2-3 drops of the oil to a cotton ball and then dab the area.
- Bruises - Bruises are especially common during the summers. So, to reduce bruising and swelling, you must soak a piece of cloth in cold water and wring out the excess water. Then add about 2-5 drops of Lavender oil. Hold the cloth on the affected area for about fifteen minutes.
- Burns - Burns are also treated with Lavender oil using the same technique as you would for bruises. Lavender oil is one of the only few aromatherapy oils that can be added directly to the skin. Add about 3 drops to a cotton swab and dab the area.
- Dry Skin - Relief from dry skin can be obtained by using Rose, Sandalwood or Lavender oil. Rose is floral, Sandalwood is earthy and Lavender is herbal. Combine these oils with carrier oils or a skin lotion or cream and apply to your skin.
- Fatigue and Exhaustion - Geranium is a good essential oil to use for comforting and healing purposes. It helps bring back balance to the body. Add about 10 drops to your bath water and let it soak for fifteen minutes. Or, combine and gently massage it onto your skin.
- Insect Bites - Insect bites cause swelling, itching and redness and relief can be found by using Tea Tree oil or Lavender oil. Since both these oils can be applied directly to the skin, the best way to apply them is to add 2 drops to a cotton ball and then dab on the affected area. If there are many insect bites, then add 10 drops to your bath water and let it stand for fifteen minutes.
- Insect Repellant - Make an insect repellent concoction by combining Witch Hazel or Olive oil with Citronella or Clove oil. Use 10 drops of any carrier oil to 1 drop of the essential oil. Clove can cause irritation so use carefully. Place is a spray bottle and shake before you use each time.
Essential Oil Sunburn Remedies
If you're looking for all natural sunburn remedies there are several to chose from that are both effective and easy to find. Before rushing out to get that huge tub of Noxzema, take a look at the remedies suggested here.
The problem with commercially prepared sunburn remedies is that they usually contain some type of alcohol which not only does nothing to heal the damaged skin tissue, but exacerbates the situation by further drying the already over dried skin.
For natural sunburn remedies , all you need to start with is a bottle of aloe vera gel. This can be found at any drug store and even most grocery stores. For slight to moderate sunburns, this may be the only treatment that you need.
Aloe vera works great in natural sunburn remedies because it is one of the most gentle moisturizers available. Providing moisture to sunburned skin is a critical factor in helping the skin to heal itself.
For even more effective sunburn remedies, take that same bottle of aloe vera gel and add some lavender essential oil. Start with about ten drops of lavender essential oil per each ounce of aloe vera gel. You really can't add too much lavender essential oil, so feel free to add up to even three time that much.
Lavender essential oil is the only essential oil that can be applied undiluted to the skin. It can be applied to irritated and even broken skin for relief of pain as well as drastically improved healing. Be warned though, lavender essential oil may sting for a few seconds when applied directly to severely irritated skin. This is quickly replaced with a pleasant numbness.
As far as sunburn remedies, this simple combination of aloe vera gel and lavender essential oil cannot be beat. This same preparation can be used for daily moisturizing, massages and any other type of skin discomfort. I'm never without a bottle of aloe vera gel infused with copious amounts of lavender essential oil. And those that I've suggested the combination to seem to agree as well, as I keep seeing new bottles of this stuff on their bathroom shelves.
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