A crisis can arise without warning at any moment and few people are prepared to handle a regional event. To make matters worse, chances are that most folks have no clue how to act if such an event creates medical emergencies. Having a medical kit is a must for any household, but you should also learn how to use additional products to extend the life of your supplies. Here is why you should consider adding essential oils to your medical kit.
Modern medicine is without a doubt the best course of action when you need to handle a medical issue. However, we have to take into account the possibility that professional medical help won’t be available during a SHTF event. You also might not have enough of the right supplies stockpiled. Medicine will run out quickly during a crisis and you won’t be able to re-supply.
When all odds are against you, maybe that’s the time when you should to draw upon the lessons taught by our ancestors. They used all sorts of natural medicines that can be found around us, and if they worked for them, it would surely work for you as well. One of the old remedies people tend to ignore is the group of essential oils. I’m going to share some of my practices and hopefully, you will consider adding them to your medical kit.
What are essential oils?
The women in my family learned how to use herbs and plant media to treat every health issue that you could think of. From mild colds to burns and cuts, everything was handled using the natural approach first. I have the knowledge of how plan healing works, and for me, essential oils are more than just an ingredient for soap making.
Essential oils are liquids containing a high concentration of aromatic mixtures of compounds obtained from plants. To put it simply, all the best characteristics of the plant’s compounds are condensed into oil. Since essential oils have a high concentration, you only need a few drops for the job that needs to be done.
All of the essential oils you can find on the market, are extracted from plants that have a long history in ancient medicine. They are the plants that have been used for centuries by healers and herbologist.
“Why are essential oils better for healing than the plant itself?” you may ask.
Some healers use only parts of the plants (like the leaves or flowers) to make poultices, teas and salves. These methods are known to work, but they do not use the full potential of the plant. They use just some of the natural oils that can be found in the plant media. They don’t provide the full effect that can be obtained by using essential oils.
One of the main thing that needs to be mentioned is that essential oils can evaporate quickly. Due to their volatile nature, you will need to dilute them in a neutral carrier oil. This becomes mandatory, especially if you need to use the oil topically. You will need to do so in order for the skin to absorb it before it evaporates.
How are essential oils made?
Obtaining essential oils can be a long and difficult process, and it requires a lot of practice to succeed. Even so, the most common method of obtaining essential oils is distillation. We can say that it’s the same general process used to make alcohol from grain.
It involves adding the plants of your liking to water which is then boiled to produce steam. The steam rises and runs through cooling coils and gets condensed back to a liquid. This liquid is a mixture of water and the plant’s oils and it’s collected into a basin. Since the oil is lighter than water, it will separate from it and float on top. That’s how the oil is formed and collected.
This may seem simple in theory, but the process is much more complicated. The oils have a different evaporating temperature and it takes a lot of work to get it right. You can do the process at home, but as I said previously, it takes a lot of practice and experience.
You have to research how other people are making it, what plants can be used to make essential oils and what parts of the plant are recommended. While the entire plant can be used to make essential oils, each part can have different medicinal properties. The concentration of oils found in each part of the plant is what makes the oils effective.
While this is a great skill to learn, I would recommend first to learn what essential oils are a must for a proper medical kit and buy them already made.
Storing essential oils
Most folks, don’t have the time to make essential oils since it can be a complicated process. Gathering the plants, separating the parts to be used and the distillation process itself can take a lot of time. That’s why I suggested buying the essential oils already made.
As long as the bottle stays sealed, it will last for a long time. You will have it readily available when it is needed. Even so, there are a few storage tips you should know, to make sure the oils keep their healing properties.
Essential oils are quite sensitive to light and sudden temperature changes. I use for my oils only dark-tinted glass bottle and store them in my cellar. In fact, any cool, dark place can work. If you expose the oils to light, they will weaken over time.
Also, make sure you label the oil properties and have a notebook at hand to write various information. When the oil was bottled or bought, how it should be used, how many times was used (the bottle opened) and so on.
Related reading: The Most Useful Methods To Prepare Medicinal Herbs
Most used essential oils and their medical benefits
The following essential oils are the most used ones and I have them in my medical kit. They have various medical uses and you can pick the ones you consider might be useful.
Lavender essential oil
This is perhaps the most used in our home and besides adding it to my skin care cream, I also use it for sunburns. It is ideal for wounds and pain relief and it has great antiseptic properties. It can provide a good calming effect and I use one or two drops on our sleeping pillows. The scent can last for a few days and it helps us sleep better.
Lavender is know for its multiple medicine uses and I could write a book with how it can make our life better. A simple online research can show you tens of uses for lavender oil.
Peppermint essential oil
This oil is great for people suffering from digestive problems. My husband suffers from irritable bowel syndrome and he drinks it up to relieve his gastrointestinal problems. You can add one drop of peppermint oil into a glass of warm water or warm tea to experience relief from IBS. Peppermint has antiseptic and antibacterial oil and it can even be used to prevent bad breath. If you suffer from an achy back, joints, or bad headaches, peppermint oil can help soothe the pain.
My kids use it when they go camping and spray it inside their tent. It is great to keep bugs and pesky mosquitoes out.
Clove essential oil
Clove has antiviral and analgesic effect, but it can also be used as a sedative. For preppers, it can be helpful to handle toothaches and other tooth pains. In fact, this is the most popular remedy that this natural herb is used for.
Clove essential oil is also used to soothe muscle aches and pains, cloves are the active ingredient that helps the blood flow through the area and helps reduce the pain. One of the traditional clove oil uses has been for the treatment of common complaints related to the digestive system, including indigestion, motion-sickness, bloating and flatulence
It also has antiseptic and anti-fungal properties. It can help boost the immune system to fight off, or even prevent, the common cold and flu. With its potent ability to kill the offenders that make us sick, clove oil is commonly highlighted as a top natural remedy for guarding yourself against illness, especially during cold and flu season.
Eucalyptus essential oil
When my kids got hair lice, I used eucalyptus essential oil as a treatment. You only need to apply a few drops of the oil mixed with carrier oils on lice-infested hair to get rid of lice.
It is also known as a good decongestant and it can help relieve asthmatic symptoms. You can use 2-3 drops of oil to massage the chest and the soothing effect of the aroma and vapors will calm the throat and dilate the blood vessels. This will allow more oxygen into the lungs and help the person breath normal.
Eucalyptus oil has great antiseptic properties. It can be used to heal wounds, ulcers, burns, cuts, abrasions, and cold sores. It is also an effective salve for insect bites and stings. Furthermore, it protects the open wound or irritated area from developing infections due to microbial activity and exposure to air.
Although I didn’t have the need to use it for mental disorders or extreme stress, I’ve heard it is great for removing exhaustion and mental sluggishness. It can also be used to treating mental disorders and PTSD since inhaling vapors of eucalyptus essential oil can increase blood circulation to the brain.
Tea Tree essential oil
This essential oil is a great immune support and it can boost your immunity during the cold season. Not only that, but tea tree oil also stimulates human macrophages, a type of white blood cell of the immune system involved in engulfing and destroying bacteria, cancer cells, microbes, etc.
Tea tree oil has long been used to get rid of the bacteria that cause body odor and acne. Recent research indicates it is also effective against some fairly deadly bacteria such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA.
Related article: The Ultimate Medicinal Garden
It was also used for decades to help treat conditions like jock itch, nail fungus, and athlete’s foot because of its excellent anti-fungal properties.
Psoriasis, eczema, dermatitis, sores, wounds, sunburn, warts, acne, and insect bites… down through the centuries, all of these conditions have been eased using tea tree oil. I’ve used it successfully to get rid of foot fungus. What I usually do is dilute tea tree oil with coconut or almond oil using one part tree oil to one part carrier oil. I apply it to the infected areas with a cotton swab twice per day. I do so until the problem heals.
A final word
Maybe procuring essential oils can seem complicated, but I for one will never stop adding them to my medicinal toolkit. Survival also means learning how to use what nature provides you when modern medical aid is not available.
When the time comes and the “common products” will no longer be readily available, you will be glad you made this adjustment and added essential oils to your medicinal supplies. They are a viable option and I recommend investigating this topic even more.