For my first post in the Natural DIY series, I want to share with you this adorable mini-first aid kit. I love that it’s so tiny it fits into the palm of my hand, yet the contents pack a serious punch!
First, a few quick disclaimers: I am definitely not a doctor. I am not even all that experienced with the use of natural remedies, and many of these oils are new to me. I am just beginning to explore and experience the healing powers of many of these essential oils and herbal oils for myself. So far, I find them to be really exciting and effective. However, I encourage you to do your own research and/or consult a medical professional before using them yourself. This post is intended simply to give you a few ideas and perhaps inspire you to explore a similar path for your own family.
My kit is not intended to replace medical treatment for serious injuries or disasters, but to enhance the healing of minor wounds and alleviate the discomfort of everyday illnesses or ailments. It is a work in progress, and I may realize tomorrow that I have left out something obvious and decide to swap out the contents of one of my bottles–so please do not think of it as all-inclusive. And please let me know if you think of something I’ve left out. 🙂
Also, this kit is built around the oils that I already have on hand and consider to be the most affordable and versatile. For example, I’ve read–and been told–that helichrysum oil is a wonderful coagulant (stops bleeding) and has other great healing properties, but it is far too expensive for me to consider including in my kit at this time. Similarly, there are lots of potential substitutes that have the same properties as the oils I have included in my kit, and you may wish to use one of those instead, especially if you already have it on hand.
Finally, any good first aid kit should also include the usual staples such as bandages, clean rags, water (for washing wounds), etc. I am only focusing on the oils in this post.
Now, back to the first aid kit. I found this precious little keychain case on the Aroma Tools website (I am in no way affiliated with them), and I think it is absolutely perfect. It is securely padded and holds eight little glass vials (5/8 dram = approx. 1/24 ounce) of whatever you want to put in them. Here is a photo to show you the size of one bottle:
After considerable deliberation, I decided to fill my bottles with the following contents, all of which are certified therapeutic grade (this is extremely important!) and many of which are certified organic (scroll further down if you want to read the “why” for each oil):
1. Organic Peppermint Oil (undiluted, for aromatic or internal use only–see further below for topical use)
2. Organic Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil (diluted 1:1 with organic Sweet Almond Oil, for aromatic or topical use)
3. Organic Lemon Oil (undiluted, for aromatic, topical, or internal use)
4. Organic Frankincense Oil (diluted 1:1 with organic Sweet Almond Oil, for aromatic or topical use)
5. Balance (a dōTERRA blend containing Spruce, Rosewood, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense oils) (comes pre-diluted with Fractionated Coconut Oil, for aromatic or topical use)
6. Breathe (a dōTERRA blend containing Laurel (Bay) Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Lemon, and Ravensara oils) (diluted 1:1 with organic Sweet Almond Oil, for aromatic or topical use)
7. DigestZen (a dōTERRA blend containing Ginger, Peppermint, Tarragon, Fennel, Caraway, Coriander, and Anise oils) (undiluted, for aromatic or topical use)
8. Organic Ear Oil (a Mountain Rose Herbs herbal oil containing Olive Oil infused with Garlic and Mullein flowers and Vitamin E oil) (undiluted, for topical use)
While I’ve read that many of the above-listed oils may safely be applied “neat” (or undiluted) to adult skin, I have chosen to dilute most of them with a carrier oil to ensure their safety on children and pregnant women. Similarly, with the exception of Peppermint and Lemon oils, I have chosen to limit my uses to topical or aromatic only. I’ve read that many of these oils may be taken internally, but I am not convinced that this is safe for the average person to do (due to risk of overdose or other misuse). Essential oils are extremely potent (for example, one drop of Peppermint Oil is the equivalent of 25 or more cups of peppermint tea!), and I believe it is much wiser to err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to deciding what to put into Zander’s little body. I would never want to take the risk of harming myself or a loved one.
In addition to the eight oils listed above, I filled three (10 ml) glass roll-on bottles with the following contents, to go in a separate little keychain case (which I also purchased from Aroma Tools). These roll-ons are intended specifically for topical use:
1. Organic Peppermint Oil (for topical use, diluted 1:1 with organic Sweet Almond Oil)
2. Organic Lavendar/Calendula Oil (for topical use, a 50/50% blend of Lavender essential oil combined with Mountain Rose Herbs Calendula herbal oil, the latter of which contains Calendula flowers infused in Olive Oil with a pinch of Vitamin E oil)
3. Organic Injur-Heal Herbal Oil (for topical use, a Mountain Rose Herbs herbal oil containing St. John’s Wort, Arnica, and Calendula flowers, Olive Oil, and Lavender Oil)
You may be wondering why I have chosen these specific oils. Below are a few of the purported uses for each oil, as well as some notes on my personal experiences with them:
1. Peppermint Oil – Of all the oils, I am personally the most familiar with peppermint and lavender. In fact, I’d say these are my two favorites. I love peppermint because it is extremely versatile (there are literally dozens of recommended uses), but I prefer to use it for the following symptoms: fevers (rub 1-2 drops on back of neck, soles of feet, and back with a carrier oil or place a drop in bath water–it is astonishing how effective this is at cooling the body quickly–bye-bye, Children’s Advil!); headaches (dab lightly on temples or simply open the bottle and smell it); alertness (inhale from bottle or cupped hands, or drink 1 drop of peppermint oil in a glass of water (warm or cold)–I did this a lot while I was in law school to help me study); nausea (rub 1-2 drops directly on tummy with a carrier oil, inhale from bottle or cupped hands, or drink 1 drop in a glass of water).
2. Melaleuca (Tea Tree) Oil – This is a great antifungal oil (we rub it directly onto the skin (diluted) for athlete’s foot, use it in a powder or salve for diaper rash, etc.) and is also a good antibacterial/disinfectant for wounds, cold sores, acne, and more.
3. Lemon Oil – We are relatively new to this oil, but it is supposed to be a good antiviral for things like colds, flu, and throat infections, especially in children (dilute and massage onto neck and chest, or add to a diffuser to breathe in). It can be used topically on insect bites/stings or massaged onto the feet and stomach to help with sluggish digestion, and it is an excellent cleaner/de-greaser (I’ll be adding this to some of my homemade cleaning products…coming soon). I have friends who like to add a drop of lemon oil to a glass of water for a refreshing and energizing drink.
4. Frankincense Oil – We are completely new to this oil, but it’s supposed to be a good anti-inflammatory (apply topically or in a bath for arthritis) and helpful with all sorts of skin conditions (I know someone who has had good results using frankincense on warts). I put it in our first aid kit, because it is recommended for aromatic and topical use in the event of a concussion or other head injury (we would still seek medical treatment, of course, but could use it on our way to the hospital). It’s also supposed to help enhance memory/concentration and combat mental fatigue. And it smells divine.
5. Balance – This proprietary blend by dōTERRA (Spruce, Rosewood, Blue Tansy, and Frankincense) is said to be good for alleviating anxiety, depression, fear, grief/sorrow, hyperactivity, mood swings, etc. It is designed to help restore balance and an overall feeling of peacefulness, calm, and well-being. I don’t yet have any personal experience using it for these purposes, but I can say that it smells lovely. It may be applied topically or diffused into the air. I can see it bringing real value on days when we are feeling slightly overwhelmed. If you don’t have this blend, you could try using any one or more of its ingredients on their own. The same applies to all of the blends below.
6. Breathe – This proprietary blend by dōTERRA (Laurel (Bay) Leaf, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Melaleuca (Tea Tree), Lemon, and Ravensara) is said to be good for opening the respiratory system and alleviating ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, congestion, cough, sinusitis, flu, pneumonia, etc. It may be diffused into the air or applied topically to the chest, back, or soles of feet. I’ll report back once I’ve used it.
7. DigestZen – This proprietary blend by dōTERRA (Ginger, Peppermint, Tarragon, Fennel, Caraway, Coriander, and Anise) is said to be good for balancing and soothing the digestive system. It may be applied topically or inhaled to help with bloating, constipation, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, heartburn, etc. I have personally experienced fast relief (10-15 minutes) after massaging this oil directly onto my tummy to alleviate a stomach ache. If you don’t have this blend, I think that just plain peppermint and/or ginger oils might also be effective.
8. Ear Oil – This herbal oil by Mountain Rose Herbs (Olive Oil, Garlic and Mullein flowers, and Vitamin E Oil) is supposed to be wonderful for its anti-microbial and pain relieving properties. It is used for relief of ear aches and ear infections. It seems like something that might also be good for swimmer’s ear in children. We haven’t used it yet, but I will be very happy to have something gentle on hand should we ever need it, particularly now that Zander is taking swimming lessons and getting lots of water in his ears on a regular basis.
9. Lavendar/Calendula Oil – These are two of the gentlest and most soothing oils I know of. We have been using them both for years in various salves and ointments to treat every imaginable sort of skin inflammation, rash, cut, scrape, burn, etc. I decided to combine them into a beautiful roll-on blend for our first aid kit, to be applied liberally to all sorts of “owies” while on the go. Lavender has the additional benefit of a calming and relaxing smell, which can help to alleviate the emotional stress/trauma of an injury. I will also soon begin making my own salves, rather than purchasing them from others.
10. Injur-Heal – This herbal oil by Mountain Rose Herbs (St. John’s Wort, Arnica, and Calendula flowers, Olive Oil, and Lavender Oil) is intended for use as a “treatment for bruises, bumps, aches, pains, and strains. A perfect remedy for exhausted sports-bodies and hikers, this anti-traumatic oil can be used immediately after strenuous exercise, exertion, or injury to help prevent, relieve, and reduce swelling, bruises, and pain. A concentrated oil, just rub a little on and feel the difference.” Sounds great for Zander’s bumps and bruises at the playground, and also perhaps to massage into his legs when he is having trouble sleeping at night due to growing pains. We haven’t used it yet, but I am very happy to have it in my kit.
Below are some photos of the two tiny keychain cases, both of which fit neatly (and simultaneously) into the palm of one hand and are great for use in a purse or diaper bag. The smaller case holds the eight tiny bottles of oil, and the larger case holds the three roll-on bottles:
Next are some current before and after pics of our medicine cabinet (which remains a work in progress). This process feels really good to me!
ONE LAST NOTE: I buy all of my single essential oils and herbal oil blends (and a ton of other supplies) from Mountain Rose Herbs, and I have always been pleased with their quality. I have been buying from MRH for over a decade, but I am not affiliated with them in any way. I was recently introduced to dōTERRA, and I really like some of their essential oil blends and find them to be very effective. Although I am not actively promoting or selling their oils, I guess that I am technically an affiliate of dōTERRA (I signed up this month in order to get discounted rates on the blends I wanted for my first aid kit), so it’s probably important to mention that in the interest of full disclosure. Please know that I am not advocating the purchase of these specific blends–although you can buy them if you want to–rather, I am just sharing them for informational purposes.
Now that I’ve said all of that, I’d really love to know… what’s in your first aid kit/medicine cabinet? And why? 🙂