One of the things I love most about essential oils is how versatile they are. I use them in a myriad of ways around the home and treating minor first-aid ailments is one of them.
As a mum of two, cuts, scrapes, burns, mosquito bites, wasp stings, sunburn and earaches all seem to feature fairly regularly – especially over the summer when the kids are generally out and about a lot more. My boys know which oils to reach for as the first line of treatment, which honestly gives me such a huge sense of satisfaction – I love the fact that they ‘get’ the oils and know how to use them. When they were babies, I didn’t really know about essential oils and I relied upon kid’s ibuprofen and paracetamol to see us (and me) through. If I could turn back the clock this is one thing I would definitely change but, better late than never as they say!
Of course, first-aid doesn’t just apply to children, us grown ups need it from time to time as well. The oils I´d use for adults and children are the same, the only difference would be the dilution – as a rule, you should always dilute the oils you use on your skin. If you are not sure how many drops to use here is a dilution guide:
- Birth to 12 months: 1 drop to 4tsp/20ml of carrier oil
- 1 to 5 years: 1-2 drops to 2tsp/10ml carrier oil
- 6 to 11 years: 1-5 drops to 1tsp/5ml
- 12 to 18 years: 1- 10 drops to 1tsp/5ml
- 18 plus: 1 to 15 drops to 1tsp/5ml or neat
- Elderly or pregnant: 1-2 drops to 1tsp/5ml
Most of my DoTerra oils come in 15ml bottles which contain 250 drops – considering you normally only need a few drops of any one oil, these bottles last a pretty long time. I also have touch sticks which are 10ml and are ready diluted so you can apply straight to the skin whenever needed. There are definitely a few oils I´d recommend getting in touch sticks (whether you make them yourself or order them from DoTerra – I tend to do this and then just refill the touch stick when it runs out). Tea Tree and Lavender are probably my most used touch sticks when it comes to first-aid as they are both anti-bacterial and anti-septic.
Here are my top five essential oils for first aid and how to use them:
Tea Tree (anti-viral, anti-bacterial & anti-septic)
- Earache: rub around the ear 3-4 times a day, NEVER inside the ear drum itself. I´ve treated a few outer ear infections this way, especially when the kids are swimming a lot.
- Cuts/Scrapes: clean the wound first with soap and water and then apply tea tree to disinfect
- Warts/Veruccas: not necessarily first-aid but tea tree combined with oregano is a powerful anti-viral to get rid of these growths. Consistency is key – use 3-4 times a day and eventually they will do the job.
- Minor Burns: After using cold water on affected area I apply it neat straight to the burn as soon as you can – it really takes the heat out and soothes the skin. Keep re-applying every few hours.
- Mosquito Bites & Wasp/Bee Stings: Apply as soon as you can. If you suffer from swelling after a mossie bite then use tea tree as well to head off any infection.
Peppermint (tummy settler, skin soother, clear airways)
- Nausea: to ease feeling of nausea I add one drop to a small glass of water and drink. You could also place a drop in your hand and inhale.
- Headaches: Use diluted on your temples and back of the neck. Peppermint can makes your eyes water if you use too much so the touch stick is great for this as its ready diluted and easy to use.
- Sunburn: Mix peppermint with lavender and aloe vera gel for a super soothing after sun lotion, I keep mine in the fridge all summer long and slap it on the kids after a day on the beach
- Fever: Apply a few drops to a cool water and dampen a cloth using it to cool the skin down on the forehead, feet and back of neck.
- Coughs/Stuffy Noses: diffuse in the air or use in a steam bowl to clear airways
- Pulled muscles/minor sprains: dilute the oil with a carrier oil and massage to affected area. This blend also comes as a cream which is great to have to hand and saves you diluting
- Headache: another good one for headaches – especially tension related ones – use touch stick on back of neck, jaw line and temples.
- Growing pains: massage into aching, growing legs
- Bruising: apply to the skin where needed to reduce swelling & pain and help the skin heal. As well as using to affected area you can also use on soles of the feet and back of the neck for extra healing power.
- Bleeding: for small cuts and scrapes apply to help reduce bleeding
What I´ve listed above really is the tip of the ice-berg as far as the oils go, there are many more that you can use for different needs but these are the one´s that I turn to the most frequently for minor first-aid needs at home.
Apart from Helichrysum, all of the oils I´ve mentioned above come in the Home Essentials Kit which is the kit I started out with and still recommend to people wanting to learn how to use the oils. The kit also comes with Frankincense and Oregano, two fantastic oils for first aid as well – but like I said in the beginning the oils are so versatile this is just one of the ways you can use them.
So, whether you are new to using oils or use them already, I hope I´ve shared some good pointers for you, any questions, just get in touch!