Creating Your Own Aromatherapy First Aid Kit

Are you getting the most from Aromatherapy?
Many people who have tried Aromatherapy are still missing out on the full benefits of essential oils. There is still a widescale perception that essential oils are primarily aids to mood enhancement and fragrancing; there are however many essential oils with proven antiseptic, anti-fungal, air purifying, healing and sedative qualities.
In using essential oils to supplement mainstream first aid preparations, we are following in the footsteps of René-Maurice Gattefossé, the French chemist remembered today as the father of aromatherapy, who is credited with actually inventing the word “aromatherapy”.
It is recounted that sometime during the 1920’s Gattefossé discovered the healing power of Lavender essential oil after burning his hand whilst in his laboratory – he doused it with the nearest liquid available which happened to be Lavender oil, and was surprised to notice that his hand healed more quickly than he expected. This led him to investigate other possible healing properties of essential oils.

Although there are literally dozens of essential oils credited with medicinal properites, you can create a really useful first aid kit fairly cheaply, with just six key oils.
For ease of reference we’ve listed these oils below in a handy table format, with a summary of the information provided for each oil in our main Aromatherapy Guide section. We’ve also listed any known contra-indications or precautions for each oil.
A couple of general points will maximise the benefit you receive from essential oils:

Invest in a secure storage box for your oils. Not only will this prolong their life, many essential oils are toxic if taken internally, so they need to be stored responsibly, away from children.

A good quality base/carrier oil is also extremely useful to mix your essential oils in – a light, all purpose oil such as Sweet Almond would be ideal, as it is kind to all skin types, helps relieve itching, soreness, dryness and inflammation, as well as being useful against burns and thread veins.

 

Popular Name Botanical Name Useful For Best blended with Safety Precautions
Tea Tree Melaleuca Alternifolia
Tea Tree’s natural healing properties are used in aromatherapy to treat cuts, burns and insect bites and stings, as well as for yeast and fungal infecions such as Athlete’s Foot. Tea Tree’s aroma is pungent and medicinal, but its action is non irritating to the skin.


Recommended usage – Tea Tree diluted one part to nine parts carrier oil makes a natural first aid remedy. Add to a bath or footbath, or as a douche for viral and fungal infections.

Eucalyptus, Pine Dilute before direct application
Lavender Lavandula Angustifolia
Widely used in Aromatherapy to ease tension, invigorate after tiredness and to dispel feelings of depression. Lavender’s gentle yet powerful healing properties also make it ideal to treat minor burns and insect bites. Lavender is one of the few essential oils gentle enough to apply undiluted to the skin for minor cuts, bites and grazes. A few drops of the oil in a hot bath relieves anxiety and produces a pleasant drowsiness, whilst adding to a cool bath refreshes and energises. Use neat on minor burns, bites and scrapes, or on the temples to ease a headache.
Chamomile, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Geranium Lavender is perfectly safe for all home use, and is also safe to use during pregnancy; however some authorities reccommend it is best avoided in the first three months of pregnancy
Rosemary  Rosmarinus Officinalis
Rosemary is antiseptic, cleansing, invigorating and astringent, with a fresh, green,minty smell. In aromatherapy it is used for headaches, respiratory and circulation problems and fluid retention. Use in a massage, especially for muscular aches, and head massage for a greasy scalp. Add to the bath to counteract tiredness and mental fatigue. Inhale or add to an oil burner for respiratory problems.
Geranium, Peppermint Rosemary is safe for all home use if diluted before application. However it is best avoided during pregnancy or if you have epilepsy.
Chamomile Anthemis Nobilis
Chamomile is healing, antiseptic and sedative.
Use in the bath or as a cold or hot compress for headaches and mentrual pains
Lavender  Dilute before direct application
Peppermint Mentha Piperita
Peppermint contains Menthol, hence its energising, cooling and head clearing properties. Pepperming is useful for headaches, fatigue, varicose veins, nausea and indigestion and PMT. Add a few drops to a tissue to clear a stuffy head or relieve a headache, nausea or travelsickness. Add a few drops to a footbath to invigorate hot, tired feet.
Rosemary, Eucalyptus, Lavender Peppermint is very potent and may irritate sensitive skin – use in moderation and always dilute before application. Best avoided during pregnancy.
Eucalyptus Eucalyptus Globulus
Antiseptic, stimulating, cooling on the skin.
Eucalyptus is a powerful antiseptic, so useful for fevers, where its skin cooling properties are also beneficial.
It is also a powerful decongestant and aids breathing and chest complaints.
Use in a massage, bath, inhalation, oil burner or poultice. Added to a bowl of hot water it aids breathing easier, or can be applied as a chest massage.
Tea Tree, Lavender
Dilute before direct application

 
Your new Aromatherapy first aid kit should come in handy for a whole range of minor ailments and injuries, both physical and emotional. Before you reach for commercially produced remedies for the following, take out your essential oil first aid kit!

Cuts, bruises, minor burns
Insect bites and stings
Strains and sprains, tired and aching muscles and feet
Nausea and indigestion
Headaches
PMT and stomach cramps
Coughs, colds and respiratory complaints.
Remember that your aim, when blending essential oils together for first aid use, differs from when you are creating a blend of scents. Your goal isn’t to create a mood-enhancing blend of scents, but to combine essential oils in a medicinal compound. For instance, Tea tree and Eucalyptus are both very strong, pungent oils, but their healing properties are invaluable.
Lastly, please remember that essential oils cannot be used as an alternative to seeking qualified, professional assistance in the case of serious injuries or acute conditions, such as an asthma attack.