This article is shared with permission from our friends at natural-holistic-health.com.
It’s always good to have a first aid kit on hand for treating all those unforeseen cuts and scrapes. But what you may not think to include in this kit are essential oils. Here are some herbal essential oils that make a very helpful addition to your family’s first aid kit.
Clary Sage (Salvia Sclarea)
Clary Sage is used in aromatherapy in preference to Sage (Salvia Officinalis) because Sage can be quite toxic. Clary possesses the positive effects of Sage without the danger. One should avoid the use of alcohol while using Clary Sage because the combination can bring on severe nightmares.
Clary produces a heightened state akin to euphoria and relaxation. It is used in treating asthma, and during convalescence of the flu. It is used in abdominal massage for digestive problems.
Therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, calmative, tonic, emmenagogue, anti-infectious, anti-spasmodic, anti-sudorific, aphrodisiac, nerve tonic, nervine, estrogen-like
Main chemical components: Linalol, Linalyl Acetate, Germacrene, Ceranyl acetate
Contraindication: Avoid during pregnancy.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus Globulus, Eucalyptus Radiata, etc.)
Eucalyptus globulus (“blue-gum”) is the most widely used variety; but Eucalyptus radiata is a better choice for aromatherapy because it has all the good properties of Eucalyptus with a sweeter aroma than the “blue-gum” variety. Eucalyptus is well known as a decongestant inhalation for colds. It reduces nasal congestion and inhibits the growth of viruses.
In Australia, Eucalyptus leaves are used to bind wounds, and the oil is used in solutions to clean operation cavities and to impregnate gauze as a post-operation dressing. It is also used for burns. It is used as a pain-killing cream for shingles and in massage for rheumatism.
Actions: Analgesic, antineuralgic, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral, balsamic, cicatrisant, decongestant, deodorant, depurative, diuretic, expectorant, febrifuge, hypoglycaemic, parasiticide, prophylactic, rubefacient, stimulant, vermifuge, vulnerary.
Most valuable uses: Catarrh, bronchitis, colds, flu, fever, sinusitis, muscular aches and pains, headaches, sluggishness, mental exhaustion, rheumatism, asthma, insect bites, rashes, skin ulcers, chilblains, sore throats.
Therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, balsamic, expectorant, antibiotic, anti-fungal, febrifuge, anti-infectious, anti-parasitic, anti-neuralgic, anti-putrescent, pectoral. The antiseptic properties of this oil increase with age.
Main chemical components: 1,8-Cineole, para Cymene, Eucalyptol, Fenchene, Globulol, Camphene.
Contraindication: Not to be used on children under 12 years.
Fennel (Foeniculum Vulgare)
Do not use fennel for young children and babies because the melanthine in it can be toxic to them. Fennel must not be used by those who suffer from epilepsy. Fennel is used as a diuretic, for cellulitis, and to treat PMS. It is also used as a gargle for gum infections and in toothpaste.
Most valuable uses: Abdominal pain or cramps, flatulence, coughs, sore throats, digestive problems, menstrual problems, PMS, menopausal problems, fertility, obesity, nausea, fluid retention, liver problems.
Therapeutic properties: Carminative, emmenagogue, estrogen-like, galactagogue, depurative, diuretic, stimulant, regenerative, anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, antibiotic, vermifuge, expectorant.
Main chemical components: trans Anethole, Fenchone, Estragol, Methylchavicol, Fenone, aplha-pinene.
Contraindication: Do not use in pregnancy. Do not use on babies, or on children under 16 years. Not to be used by people subject to epilepsy. Not to be used by people with high estrogen levels. Not to be used by women with breast cancer. Not to be used by people with kidney problems, including kidney stones.
Lavender (Lavandula Vera, Lavandula Officinalis, Lavandula Augustifolia, etc.)
Lavender is used to treat colds, coughs, sinusitis, flu, burns, and wounds. It is massaged into the temples for headaches, and used in massage for back pain, arthritis, and inflammation. Massaged gently into the lower abdomen, it reduces menstrual pain or scanty menstruation. Lavender is also used to treat palpitations, high blood-pressure, and skin infections.
Actions: Analgesic, anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antimicrobial, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, carminative, cholagogue, choleretic, cicatrisant, cordial, cytophylactic, deodorant, diuretic, emmenagogue, hypotensive, insecticide, nervine, parasiticide, rubefacient, sedative, stimulant, sudorific, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary. (Source: Encyclopaedia of Essential Oils: by Julia Lawless)
Most valuable uses: Cuts, grazes, burns, rheumatism, chilblains, dermatitis, eczema, sunburn, insect bites, headaches, migraine, insomnia, infections, arthritis, anxiety, tension, panic, hysteria, fatigue, inflammatory conditions, rashes, nervous conditions, dysmenorrhoea, spasms. Can be used safely on children.
Therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, analgesic, cytophylactic, anti-spasmodic, tonic, cicatrisive, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, anti-venomous, anti-toxic, anti-parasitic, antitussive, diuretic, restorative, decongestant, antidepressant, calmative, sedative, antibiotic, anti-infectious.
Main chemical components: Linalyl Acetate, Linalool, Geraniol, Borneol, Isoborneol, Cineol-1,8.
Contraindication: None known.
Lemon (Citrus Limonum)
Lemon stimulates white corpuscles to fight against infection. It is used in minor injuries to stop bleeding, and in minor cuts as a bactericide. Lemon may also be used to remove corns, warts, and verrucae. Lemon oil can cause skin irritation unless it is used in very low dilutions.
Most valuable uses: General tonic, infections, detoxification, general fatigue, obesity, acne, physical exhaustion, digestion, depression, rheumatism, colds and flu, skin care.
Therapeutic properties: Antibiotic, sedative, carminative, diuretic, haemostatic, astringent, digestive, immunostimulant, antidepressant, stimulant, antiseptic, febrifuge, calmative, antispasmodic, antisclerotic, depurative, vermifuge, cicatrisive.
Main chemical components: D Limonene, Citral, gamma Terpinene, Phellandrene, Citronellal, Citroptene.
Contraindication: Do not apply neat to the skin. Do not apply to the skin before exposure to the sun.
Peppermint (Mentha Piperata)
Peppermint is well known for treating digestive upsets, and is used to treat colds and flu. It has a cooling effect, and is used for fevers. It is also used to stimulate the brain and bring on clear thinking. Peppermint should not be used in conjunction with homeopathic remedies, and must be stored away from these, because it can act as an antidote to them.
Avoid the use of peppermint in the evening because it can produce wakefulness, and avoid prolonged use of peppermint as it may disturb sleep patterns.
Most valuable uses: Headaches, nausea, fatigue, apathy, coughs, digestive problems, bowel disorders, flatulence, muscular pain, sinus congestion, shock, faintness, travel sickness, mouth or gum infections, mental tiredness, poor circulation.
Therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-infectious, carminative, stomachic, anti-spasmodic, depurative, stimulant, tonic, emmenagogue, anti-parasitic, vermifuge, expectorant, analgesic, digestive, decongestant.
Main chemical components: Menthol, Menthone, iso Menthone, Menthofurna, Menthol ester.
Contraindication: Could cause irritation if applied neat to the skin. Do not use in baths. Not to be used in pregnancy or on children under seven years.
Rosemary (Rosmarinus Officinalis and Rosmarinus Pyramidalis)
Rosemary stimulates the Central Nervous System, and is used in treatment of paralysis and memory loss. It is used to treat respiratory problems as a steam inhalation. Cautions observed with Rosemary encourage use in only small amounts because it may produce seizures or poisoning.
Actions: Analgesic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antirheumatic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, aphrodisiac, astringent, carminative, cephalic, cholagogue, choleretic, cicatrisant, cordial, cytophylactic, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, fungicidal, hepatic, hypertensive, nervine, parasiticide, restorative, rubefacient, stimulant (circulatory, adrenal cortex, hepatobiliary), stomachic, sudorific, tonic (nervous, general), vulnerary.
Most valuable uses: Muscular pain, rheumatism, arthritis, muscular weakness, constipation, coughs, colds, bronchitis, helps eliminate toxins, memory enhancement, overwork, general debility, infections, overindulgence, hangovers, acne, exhaustion, poor circulation, cellulite, skin care, hair care, migraine, headaches, sinus problems, general tonic.
Therapeutic properties: Antiseptic, anti-spasmodic, stimulant, analgesic, rubefacient, antidepressant, anti-toxic, pectoral, vulnerary, carminative, emmenagogue, diuretic, stomachic, antitussive, decongestant.
Main chemical components: 1,8-Cineole, beta Pinene, Camphor, Camphene, Borneol, Bornyl acetate.
Contraindication: Not to be used in pregnancy. Not to be used by people with epilepsy.
Tea Tree (Melaleuca Alternifolia)
Tea tree is used to treat all manner of infections. It does not irritate the skin.
Actions: Anti-infectious, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, balsamic, cicatrisant, diaphoretic, expectorant, fungicidal, immuno-stimulant, parasiticide, vulnerary.
Most valuable uses: Rashes, insect bites, nail fungus, dermatitis, ringworm, thrush, head lice, sore throats, boils, bronchial congestion, scabies, ulcers, wounds, arthritis, cold sores, acne, fatigue, useful for all infections.
Therapeutic properties: Anti-infectious, antibiotic, balsamic, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-parasitic, vulnerary, anti-inflammatory, expectorant, immunostimulant, decongestant, analgesic, antiseptic.
Main chemical components: Terpinene-4-ol, Paracymene, Caryophyllene, Gamma-Terpinene, Alpha-terpinene.
Contraindication: None known.
Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris)
Thyme is used as a digestive stimulant and in treating coughs and sore throats. It is used in a toothpaste to treat mouth and gum infections. Thyme stimulates the production of white corpuscles to strengthen the body’s resistance to infection. It raises low blood pressure and stimulates the appetite. It is used in baths for insomnia and is used in compresses for sores and wounds.
Actions: Anthelmintic, antimicrobial, antioxidant, antiputrescent, antirheumatic, antiseptic (intestinal, pulmonary, genito-urinary), antispasmodic, antitussive, antitoxic, aperitif, astringent, aphrodisiac, bactericidal, balsamic, carminative, cicatrisant, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, fungicidal, hypertensive, nervine, revulsive, rubefacient, parasiticide, stimulant (immune system, circulation), sudorific, tonic, vermifuge.
Most valuable uses: All infections including viral infections, mucous congestion, colds, flu, muscular pains, arthritis, obesity, bronchitis, coughs, general debility, poor circulation, gout, physical exhaustion, throat infections, muscular debility, anorexia, acne, gum infections, thrush, verrucas, warts.
Therapeutic properties: Antibiotic, pectoral, analgesic, expectorant, antiseptic, balsamic, anti-infectious, anti-viral, stimulant, tonic, rubefacient, diuretic, emmenagogue, vermifuge, anti-venomous, anti-putrescent, anti-spasmodic, anti-fungal, immunostimulant.
Main chemical components: 6-isopropyl-m-cresol, Terpenoid, phenol thymol, isomer carvacrol, cymol, linalool, camphene.
Contraindication: Neither thymes are to be used in pregnancy. Not to be used in baths. Red thyme not to be used on children. Red thyme can be a mucus membrane and skin irritant so never use neat on the skin. Red thyme is one of the best anti-infectious agents when diffused in the atmosphere.