The Egyptians were some of the first people to use aromatic essential oils extensively in medical practice, beauty treatment, food preparation, and religious ceremony. Frankincense, sandalwood, myrrh, and cinnamon were considered very valuable cargo along caravan trade routes and were sometimes exchanged for gold.
Essential oils have a very small molecular size, which means that their healing properties are easily absorbed by the skin, but should not be ingested. The potency ensures that only a few drops are needed at a time, so a small bottle can last a few years when used sparingly. Most have a shelf life of five to 10 years with the exception of citrus oils, which lose their potency after about two years. With a long shelf life, these are the perfect addition to your medical kit.
All essential oils are potential candidates for a first aid kit because they all have multiple uses. They are amazing and fast-acting. There are 6 single oils, however, that we recommend you carry with you at all times.
- Tea Tree Essential Oil: is a powerful antibacterial, antifungal and antiseptic oil. Just a few drops mixed with a carrier oil is all you need to help treat cuts, scrapes, fungal infections, insect bites, warts and even dandruff. It can also be used as a powerful acne treatment when mixed with coconut oil or aloe vera gel. Adding some to a vaporizer will also help loosen chest congestion. Tea tree oil is so powerful that mixing two teaspoons of oil in two cups of water will give you a safe, natural, all-purpose cleaner.
- Lavender Essential Oil: is the most well known of the essential oils, and for good reason. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties, which can reduce the healing time for scrapes, bites and stings. It doesn’t require a carrier oil, and can be put directly onto the affected area. Lavender has also been shown to promote relaxation and sleep. Try adding a few drops to the bath, or on your pillow to help you unwind and fall asleep.
- Peppermint Essential Oil: is a wonderful cooling oil that can help you beat the heat of a hot day or a fever. Just add a few drops to a carrier oil and rub on your back, neck and chest for an instant cooling effect. The smell of peppermint can also help combat feelings of nausea making it a great choice for motion or morning sickness. When combined with a few drops of lavender oil and applied to the temples, it can also reduce the intensity of headaches and migraines. As a bonus, peppermint can also help get rid of an insect invasion without the use of harsh chemicals; simply add a few drops to hot water and wipe the surfaces with a peppermint-infused cloth.
- Eucalyptus Essential Oil: is a powerful antispasmodic, antiviral and antibacterial oil that is ideal for coughs and colds. Adding a few drops to a basin of steaming water to inhale, or a vaporizer, can help disinfect and clear both the nasal passages and lungs. Some eucalyptus on a handkerchief is a handy way to inhale the powerful oil throughout the day, and regular use during cold season may help prevent a full cold.
- Geranium Essential Oil: Antibacterial, antioxidant, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory ( decreases swelling and redness), homeostatic ( stops bleeding) and anti-fungal. Undiluted essential oil 2-4 drops apply directly to wound, cuts, or burns and loosely cover. Undiluted EO also used for irritated or inflamed skin conditions such as eczema, ringworm, psoriasis and acne. May lower blood sugar.
- Basil Essential Oil: Basil can be restorative to the nerves while calming to the central nervous system. Basil is safe and ample for use in respiratory and conditions of asthma. When used topically it is commonly referred to as a cooling herb and is used for rheumatic pain, irritating skin conditions and can easily be applied to sore muscles and joints.
- Clove Bud Essential Oil: is considered an analgesic, antiseptic, antifungal, antiinflammatory and insecticide. Uses may include toothaches, scabies, ringworm, wounds, sprains and insect repellent. Mixed with the zinc oxide it makes a temporary dental filling. Mix one or two drops to a small amount of zinc oxide, apply to tooth and bite down, the filler will harden within 10 minutes.