assembling a natural first aid kit with essential oils

instinctively, we gravitate towards powerful natural solutions when we need to ease ailments and address symptoms. for instance, drinking a cup of peppermint tea helps to soothe the stomach and digest meals. teens often reach for products with tea tree to diminish pimples, blemishes and acne. a lavender bubble bath before bed induces the calm needed to drift into a peaceful sleep.

high-quality therapeutic-grade essential oils can be used in three ways (aromatically, topically and internally), making them versatile and cost-effective additions to any household. when compared to common pharmacy products, their value is clear:

– a 236 mL bottle of drinkable upset stomach and diarrhea reliever costs $4 and provides about 8 uses if the recommended 30 mL dose is followed. this means that the product costs roughly 50¢ per serving. this antacid may also produce unwanted side effects that require medical attention

– a 15 mL bottle of 100% pure therapeutic-grade peppermint essential oil costs $26 and provides 250 drops—just a drop is needed for anything from easing bloating, gas and indigestion to settling other forms of stomach discomfort. that works out to about 10¢ per use. beyond providing digestive support, this multipurpose oil can also be used for cleaning the airways, scalp health, headaches, halitosis and more. there are some cautions that should be observed when using essential oils because of their concentration and potency, but they have few, if any, undesirable side effects when used as directed

essential oils have the potential replace medicine cabinet staples when it comes to dealing with everything from the common cold to cuts and bruises. here are some of the best single oils to get started with:



eucalyptus is used medicinally for many purposes, and it can be seen in many over-the-counter products such as cough drops. when used in the form of a 100% pure therapeutic-grade essential oil, it can be applied topically (neat or diluted), used aromatically or taken internally to promote clear breathing and open airways

properties: analgesic, antibacterial, anticatarrhal (reduces the production of mucus), anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, insecticidal, expectorant (clears mucus from the airways, bronchi, lungs and trachea)

common uses: bronchitis, congestion, cooling, coughs, disinfectant, ear inflammation, fever, flu, lice, measles


there’s a reason frank is called the “king of the oils.” there are several studies out there where frankincense has been successfully used in the support of healing the brain from cancers and tumours. this is because it contains a powerful compound called “sesquiterpene,” the only one that can pass the blood-brain barrier. frankincense also works as a “driver” oil and amplifies the properties of other oils

properties: anticatarrhal, anticancer, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitumour, expectorant, sedative

common uses: asthma, arthritis, coughs, immune system support, inflammation, moles, scarring, ulcers, warts, wounds


historically, this spice is has been revered as one of the most supportive for the digestive system. as well as promoting healthy digestion, it can be taken internally or applied directly to the lower abdomen to help reduce bloating, gas, indigestion and other kinds of stomach upset

properties: antiseptic, laxative, stimulant, tonic, warming 

common uses: diarrhea, gas/flatulence, indigestion, morning sickness, nausea, vomiting


this unassuming floral oil provides so much more than a pretty scent. it naturally relieves pain and can be used as an anti-itch remedy for everything from irritated, dry skin to chicken pox. in all, this oil synergistically helps to soothe and calm the nervous system and is great for helping the body prepare for sleep

properties: analgesic, anticoagulant, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, antifungal, antihistamine, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antimutagenic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antitoxic, antitumour, cardiotonic, regenerative, sedative

common uses: allergies, bites/stings, blisters, burns, cuts, dandruff, diaper rash, dysmenorrhea (painful menstrual cramps), itching, rashes


first and foremost for its cleansing and purifying properties, lemon essential oil supports healthy digestion and GI tract, as well as respiratory functions. this soothing oil is a must-have when seasonal threats are high, and it can be sipped in tea with honey to soothe the mouth and throat

properties: anticancer, antiseptic, antifungal, antioxidant, antiviral, astringent, tonic

common uses:
bites/stings, cold sores, colds, constipation, digestion, disinfectant, fever, flu, hangovers


oregano is a powerfully cleansing and purifying oil that is beneficial for one’s digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular, immune and musculoskeletal systems. it’s worth noting that oregano is a “hot” oil, so it is best diluted when applied to the skin. however, it can also be used neat for wart removal

properties: antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, antiviral

common uses: athlete’s foot, calluses, infections, inflammation, warts, whooping cough


peppermint is so much more than just an invigorating crisp-smelling minty oil; it is a powerhouse with many potential applications, including relieving pains and strains, easing headaches and settling stomach discomfort. it has been used for centuries to freshen the breath, soothe digestive discomfort and more.

properties: analgesic, antibacterial, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiviral

common uses: asthma, cold sores, congestion, constipation, cooling, cramps, diarrhea, dysmenorrhea, fever, flu, halitosis, headaches, heartburn, heatstroke, hot flashes, indigestion, itching, migraines, motion sickness, muscle aches, nausea

tea tree

tea tree, sourced from Australia, is one of nature’s strongest and safest antiseptics. historically, aborigines have used the leaves of the melaleuca tree for centuries on cuts, wounds and skin infections. today, it is also known as one of the best natural remedies for outbreaks of head lice

analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-infective, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiparasitic, antiseptic, antiviral, decongestant, digestive, expectorant, insecticidal, neurotonic, stimulant, regenerative

common uses: 
allergies, infections, boils, bronchitis, cold sores, coughs, cuts, earache, infections, lice

other natural additions

arnica gel – a great natural solution to rub onto painful, inflamed muscles and joints

fractionated coconut oil
 this is a great odorless, colorless and non-staining base for diluting essential oils—especially when using “hot” oils like oregano, or dealing with skin sensitivities. other carrier oils like jojoba, sweet almond or grapeseed would also work, but i tend to favor coconut oil because of its antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties

hydrogen peroxide – a local antiseptic for minor cuts and abrasions. it is also useful for removing dried blood stains on clothes and sheets

vegetable capsules – empty capsules made with vegetable cellulose are an alternative to animal gelatin capsules, and make it possible to create your own capsules in a desired potency without fillers. since certain essential oils can be taken internally, adding a few drops to these kind of capsules offers a great way to encourage immune system support

essential ointment – a multipurpose, non-irritating and quick-absorbing ointment that cleans, soothes and hydrates the skin

respiratory drops – these lozenges contain a blend of lemon, peppermint, cardamom, eucalyptus, thyme and melissa essential oils in a base of organic cane sugar and organic brown rice syrup to soothe the mouth and throat. the drops help to maintain clear airways and breathing, while also supporting overall respiratory health

protecting throat drops – these cough drops for dry, scratchy throats feature a blend of immune-boosting oils

soothing essential oil blend – when applied to the muscles and joints, this blend of essential oils creates a comforting warming and cooling sensation

modern essentials by aromatools – this app is a handy tool for quickly referencing how you can use essential oils for health, with a search bar and filtering options by oil, blend or condition

stay healthy!

disclaimers: these statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

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