You are off on holidays but if you are aiming to enjoy those few days or weeks of freedom to travel you need to think about packing what you need for little mishaps. You are ready to pack an entire first aid kit. Stop! No need to add kilos to your luggage, here is a little synopsis of what to pack and that will save you from many ills, such as bruises, ‘the turista’ (or traveller’s diarrhoea), sunburn, insect bites and stress. Here are your essential oils for summer:
(EO / Essential Oil – VO / Vegetable Oil)
In the case of injury
Tea Tree EO is the queen of antiseptics!
Wounds, abrasions or scratches can be disinfected by applying a compress of Tea Tree EO. As with all antiseptic, it might sting a little. This EO can also be used to disinfect an area: a shower recess, a bathtub or a basin…
Solutions to fight insects
These little creatures can be very pesky when on holidays. In order to repel mosquitoes, wasps and midges, there is, of course, lemongrass (also useful to limit perspiration during summer holidays which is a plus!). Lavender EO, Lemon scented Eucalyptus or Geranium are also very effective to repel mosquitoes.
To keep ants at bay from your pantry, several EO are effective: cloves, cedar, peppermint or lemongrass.
If you suffer from arachnophobia, think of lavender. It will also be useful against flies.
If despite all this you do get bitten by a mosquito or a wasp, Lavender EO or Tea Tree EO will soothe the area affected. It goes without saying that if there is an allergic reaction medical help is required.
Don’t let ‘the turista’ spoil your holidays
These may be the holidays you have been looking forward to for a very long time, so it is necessary to enjoy every moment and avoid bad times… such as being struck with ‘the turista’.
Basil EO or compact Oregano EO can be useful for a bacterial-type diarrhoea as is the case in ‘the turista’. Two drops of EO on a sugar cube 3 times a day. This is also good in the treatment of cystitis. One drop of Peppermint EO in a hot drink can bring relief.
Problems with stomach pain, bloating, spasms or painful periods? Spread 3 to 5 drops of Basil EO diluted in about 20% of VO on your abdomen and massage.
Be it by car, plane, coach or ship, transport sickness can make travelling to a holiday destination very unpleasant. A few EO can be very helpful:
Lavender EO for its appeasing properties
To avoid nausea and vomiting, Ginger EO for its anti-nausea and anti-spasmodic properties.
Peppermint EO is also effective. Apply a few drops of any of these oils on the wrists and it will ease the symptoms, sometimes even curing the problem entirely.
– apply 1 drop of pure EO on the back of the calves (for heavy legs)
– 1 drop of pure EO under the tongue or on something like a sugar cube for travel sickness.
This is also good for hangovers or migraines (massage your temples with 1 drop of EO).
2 other oils that can be useful:
Helichrysum EO: for bruises (internal or external). Apply on the affected area 2 or 3 times a day.
Spike Lavender (Lavandula spica) EO: Apply 1 drop of pure EO on the pimple to ease itching, for jellyfish stings, every 5 minutes for 30 minutes.
Beware of course of using essential oils for external treatment: some of them such as Peppermint EO for example must never be applied directly on the skin. They need to be diluted in a vegetable oil.
Reminder of last month’s article: Things to avoid this summer
All EO containing citrus zest must be avoided in summer!
Lemon, Mandarin, Orange or even Grapefruit EO have many virtues but they are also photo-sensitive.
Therefore, if you intend to be in the sun after using them, you may be badly sunburnt or have an allergic reaction. Here is the article in full
In a nutshell, in the basic health kit for summer you need:
Lemon scented Eucalyptus
vegetable oils of Macadamia or Apricot kernel or Jojoba (soothing, healing, regenerating and hydrating)
- For insect bites and as repellent: fine Lavender, Lemon scented Eucalyptus
- Burns and sunburn: fine Lavender
- Chocks and bruises: Italian Helichrysum
- Muscular and joint trauma, pain: Lemon scented Eucalyptus, Italian Helichrysum, fine Lavender, Peppermint
- Injuries and wounds: Fine Lavender, Tea Tree
- Stress and sleeping problems: Fine Lavender
- Travel sickness and nausea: Peppermint
If you could only choose 3, the winning trio of the travel health kit are:
The indispensable one is definitely Lavender (Lavandula angustofolia)
For its multipurpose qualities: to help you sleep, to reduce anxiety and help you to relax after a long voyage: 1 drop on your pillow before sleep or massaging the plexus with a few drops will relax you and ease nervous digestives discomfort.
A cough, a cold snap or a sunburn, a muscle contraction, a nervous condition or a stroll in an insect-infested area, lavender will treat most of these problems either fully or partially.
Perfect against bacteria, it avoids the risk of infection and appeases and accelerates healing of skin in cases of light burns or sunburn: wash the injury with soapy water and apply Lavender EO (2 or 3 drops are sufficient).
It will also appease itching caused by insect bites and jellyfish stings.
Next to the Lavender bottle, the necessary second should be Tea Tree EO. A super-efficient anti-infectious oil for superficial wounds or for gastro-intestinal problems. Tea Tree EO will sweep away a temporary tiredness, will be used for all the little hurts as it is a large spectrum antibacterial oil that also helps boost the immune system.
Peppermint EO will have its ice-cube effect in the case of a twisted ankle, help drive away mosquitoes or soothe a tick bite. It will also improve a headache, a coated tongue, jetlag and transport sickness. Just breathing it in will immediately make you feel fresher and it will ease digestive problems and nausea.
So, Lavender EO, Tea Tree EO and Peppermint EO will be of great assistance and particularly useful when travelling. They will be your first-aid kit.
Don’t forget also to take dressings, a pair of scissors and sun cream (preferably a SPF30 to 50).
Ready to go?