Wounds, discomforts and common ailments like fever, cold and coughs, are part and parcel in our daily living. Most household would have a box or kit to provide some form of remedy or relief to address these concerns. We are used to creams, solutions and ointments for cuts, burns, insect bites, sprains, and aches. We might also have pills and tablets for headaches, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea and runny nose.
Have you wonder which essential oils would be essential in your first aid box too?
My first aid kit contains 2 must-haves essential oils – lavender and tea tree.
Here, I shall share on their common therapeutic values, and then provide some insights how you might put them to good use.
Both lavender and tea-tree carries these therapeutic qualities.
Analgesic – Relieves pain with a nerve-numbing effect.
Many of us are used to pain. Some of us believe that pain is necessary in order to recover. In contrary, managing our pain is critical as we seek to heal. Lesser pain gives the body less stress so we can focus on resting. Only then, our body can efficiently recharge and restore itself towards recovery.
So what? Whether you just had a sharp cut by fresh A4 paper, or knocked yourself on your elbow, lavender and tea tree will be able to numb you momentarily while the recovery mechanism gets started.
Anti-inflammatory – Reduces inflammation.
Immediately upon an injury, tissues are broken, and fresh blood can’t reach them. Our body’s innate coping mechanism – acute inflammation, kicks in. We see redness and swelling. We feel heat and pain. Inflammation is a necessary stage of recovery. The goal is to ensure these signs subside with proper rest.
So what? Tea tree oil and lavender oil have constituents which reduce inflammation. When you apply either oil at the injury onset, you are helping yourself to contain the situation and avoid potential complications.
Antiseptic – destroy bacteria to control infection
An open wound such as an abrasion or a cut is an open door for bacteria to enter our body system. Antiseptic mechanisms work such that they destroy bacteria and protect our body systems from nasty infections that follow.
So what? While our body naturally possess good bacteria to fight out intruders (bad bacteria), extra forces are more welcome than not. And since essential oils are so concentrated, we only need a small amount to do the huge work.
Antiviral – kills or inhibits the growth of viruses
Viruses are a lot smaller and more potent than bacteria. They thrive and multiply on hosts – people, plants, and animals. They are capable of causing diseases. “You are having a viral infection” is what we often hear from our family doctor, while we feel terribly miserable and weak from flu or that nasty cold.
So what? If you have had enough of antibiotics pills to finish whenever your doctor prescribe you for viral infection, you can consider essential oils for alternative healing. Based on my personal experience, the healing takes longer than that one week course of antibiotics as prescribed. However, you will be sparing your liver from the drugs load. You also do not have to worry much about virus resilience to drugs.
Vulnerary – helps heal wounds.
We have come to understand that, our body has the innate capability to heal itself. When we accidentally cut ourselves, a wound develops and heals over time. Thanks to the cell-regenerating properties of lavender and tea tree oils, wounds close up in a shorter time,. This is particularly important because it can prevent keep infection at bay.
So what? From a clinical angle, proper wound healing prevents potential complications. From an aesthetic angle, a healed wound, such as a pimple, restores the physical appearance and could sometimes enhance the individual’s confidence!
How do we use or apply them?
Now that we have seen the benefits of lavender and tea tree, here is how we can use them appropriately.
“Neat” or undiluted – Both lavender and tea tree oils are considered versatile and gentle enough to be used undiluted in very small amounts. They can be applied directly on the skin to provide relief for blisters, minor burns, cuts, insect bites, minor pimples, and sores. The oils kills the bacteria and relieves you of some pain.
As air-sprays – In a dark glass spray bottle, fill it with water and add about two to four drops of the oils. Shake well, and spray into rooms as an antibacterial and antiviral protection. This is especially helpful in an enclosed environment of “recycled air” collectively contributed by people in there.
As a bath-blend / shower-mist – Add a few drops of oil into your bath tub. While you soak in the goodness, you also inhale the therapeutic aromas from the steams. This is well recommended for your muscular aches, pains, and tension. If you have only shower, you may let a few drops of oils onto the floor. The oils will evaporate and diffuse in no time. The scent is therapeutically pain relieving.
As a massage-blend – If you are after a good rub-down, you can add lavender oil into your preferred base oil such as jojoba oil. The massage-blend spreads the essential oil goodness across your whole body. The analgesic and soothing properties of lavender address your body aches and help will help you ease down into a well deserved rest.
First-aid in a bottle
Both tea tree and lavender have been recognised as “first-aid in a bottle”. They are versatile and comparatively gentle amongst other essential oils. For that reason, it is relatively easy to find them on shelves of the toiletries department or at your favourite pharmacy.
Given the merits and availability, it might be easy for some of us to take things for granted and indulge in the oils before we know it. To truly appreciate and optimise the therapeutic qualities of essential oils, we must always remind ourselves the golden rule of “Less is More”.