Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. This post is not medical advice. This is my personal experience about what worked for me and my family. What worked for me may not work for you.
July has not been the best month for our family. We’ve had injuries, illness, and homeowner emergencies one after another. But one positive that came from this ghastly month is I’ve proven the value of using essential oils – at least to myself and my family.
Essential oils for strains and pains
On July 4th, my son sprained a ligament in his elbow- the night before he was scheduled to leave for his beloved summer camp. He needed to be in a splint for 2 weeks, taking it off for gradually increasing periods of time, stretching, and applying moist heat.
Looking for ways to speed the healing process, I broke out the guidebook to essential oils I had ordered. PanAway – a blend of wintergreen, helichrysum, clove, and peppermint – can help ease muscle and ligament injuries, it stated. With some skepticism, I started massaging the oil on his elbow before applying moist heat.
He was pretty much good as new in a week and half, though there’s no way to know if the oil really had any effect. He’s young and healthy and could have just healed quickly.
Essential oils for throat infections
But when my daughter came down with a sore throat, low fever, and red, swollen gums, I decided to further test my oils in advance of the doctor’s appointment.
After some Googling, I determined it could have been strep throat, a mouth infection, or thrush. Based on her symptoms, I had her start oil pulling (swishing coconut oil in her mouth for 5 – 15 minutes) and using a mouthwash/gargle of Thieves, Peppermint and water.
The results here were pretty astounding. Her sore throat and fever were noticeably improved the next day and gone in two days. The swelling also improved within a day, taking about a week to be back to normal.
Since some illnesses resolve themselves naturally and my kids have pretty strong immune systems, there’s no way to know for sure what effect, if any, the essential oils had. But I was definitely intrigued and was able to avoid a costly visit to the doctor.
My daughter continues to suffer from frequent throat ailments (she’s a singer and puts a lot of strain on her throat) and we’ve found that gargling with warm salt water and a drop of Clove essential oil helps to keep her throat healthier.
Essential oils for poison ivy
Then I got poison ivy. I’m highly sensitive to this demonic plant. I didn’t touch it and I washed after gardening, but ended up with a serious rash all over my entire torso.
I had on a T-shirt and pants, so how did it get on my torso? I’m not entirely sure, but in any case, it’s not a fun place to have poison ivy. It was painful to even wear pants.
As a disgruntled veteran of Ivarest, Calamine and baking soda, I turned to essential oils for relief this time. Anticipating the itchy rash turning to oozing blisters and complete misery for about two weeks, I was amazed to find the poison ivy rash gone in a week with no oozing blisters. Here’s the recipe I used:
Poison Ivy Tonic Recipe
2T warm water
2T apple cider vinegar (use Bragg’s “with the mother”)
1t sea salt
3 drops tea tree oil (cleansing)
3 drops peppermint (cooling)
3 drops lavendar (calming)
Mix the salt and warm water first to dissolve. Then mix in the rest of the ingredients. I stored the mixture in a glass bottle.
Apply to the poison ivy rash 3-4 times a day with a cotton square. Be sure to shake or mix well before each application.
So while this hasn’t been the best summer on record for our family, I’m very happy to have discovered essential oils. I feel a bit like Claire in the TV show Outlander as I research the different oils, their history and legends, and how to use them. Not only has it helped our ailments but it’s also pretty fun.
I use Young Living essential oils. Be sure to look for 100% pure therapeutic grade oils.