Most of us look forward to summer in the UK, enjoying longer days and warmer weather, but summer can bring problems too. Hay-fever and pollen allergies are common, sun-burn, biting insects, travel sickness, rashes, sun-stroke and headaches can spoil things! Essential Oils and botanics can form a very effective and useful part of your first aid kit to help you through the summer.
Dilute essential oils before use on the skin in oil, cream or gel.
Lavender (Lavandula angustofolia)
This versatile oil is very soothing. It is useful for headaches, sunburn and sunstroke, insect bites, stings and rashes. It helps ease pain and irritation, prevents infection and promotes rapid healing.
Peppermint (Mentha x piperata) (Use Spearmint (Mentha spicata) for children and during pregnancy)
Peppermint is very cooling. It will help relieve itching when used in very small amounts. It is an excellent decongestant and very helpful for sinusitis, headaches and hay-fever symptoms. Peppermint and Spearmint are also excellent for hot, swollen feet and ankles.
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus radiata)
Eucalyptus radiata is an essential oil made from narrow-leaved variety of the Eucalyptus family. It is particularly useful as a decongestant and immune stimulant for hay-fever, sinusitis and coughs and colds. It is also an effective insect repellent, can relieve stings and bites and treat blisters and cuts.
German Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
German Chamomile oil is an important anti-inflammatory and anti-allergenic essential oil. It helps calm the person, suppress histamine production and soothe irritated skin. It can also relieve itching and swelling and is an immune stimulant.
Lemon (Citrus limonum)
Lemon is cooling, refreshing and astringent. It is antiseptic, anti-depressant and immune stimulant. It is the best oil for nosebleeds. Add a few drops to a tissue and insert the tissue gently into the bleeding nostril. Lemon and Peppermint can be inhaled to help relieve symptoms of nausea and travel sickness.
Cooling Gel (50ml) for sunburn, bites and stings, headaches and hot, swollen feet.
40ml Aloe Vera Gel
10ml Lavender Hydrolat (genuine floral water formed during essential oil production)
Peppermint essential oil 8 drops
Lavender essential oil 12 drops
German Chamomile essential oil 4 drops
Carefully stir in the Lavender Water to the Aloe gel. Add essential oils directly from the bottle drop by drop. Stir well and put into a clean, sterilised jar and close with a lid. Keep in a cool place and use within six months. Apply little and often to the affected areas.
Therapeutic Spritzer for Hay-fever (50ml)
50ml Chamomile/ Lemonbalm Hydrolat (genuine floral water formed during essential oil production)
Eucalyptus Radiata 8 drops
Lavender 6 drops
Lemon 6 drops
German Chamomile 4 drops
To help ease the symptoms of hay-fever and add essential oils to an atomiser bottle of chamomile water, shake well and spritz around yourself regularly, taking some deep breaths whilst you inhale.
Soothing Beeswax Barrier Balm for Hay-fever (30ml)
25ml sunflower oil
5g beeswax (local if possible)
1 teaspoon of aloe vera gel
6 drops essential oils of either Manuka, Lavender or Frankincense or 2 drops of each (optional)
Gently melt the beeswax in a heat proof glass jug using the bain-marie method. Add oil, stir until all wax has melted and carefully remove from the heat and leave to cool. Add essential oils if using. Once the balm has started to solidify stir in the aloe gel and put into a small, clean pot with a lid.
Insert a small amount of the balm into and around the nostrils to prevent pollen from being inhaled.
Natural health tips for hay-fever:
Eat local honey, drink nettle tea, bathe sore itchy eyes with cold chamomile tea or pure chamomile floral water. Take regular steams with essential oils such as eucalyptus, frankincense, lemon and manuka.3 or 4 total drops of essential oil in a bowl of very hot water.
Homeopathic remedies chosen to match your specific symptoms can be very effective.