Aromatherapy and Essential Oils for the Summer
There are many reasons to use essential oils this summer. Here are some that I think are worth bringing to your attention:
• Dry skin
• Bug bites
• Refreshing your self
• Poison Ivy
• Bee stings
• Sore muscles, ligaments. Bruises and
The information presented below is just a sample.
Summer seem to burst out without hardly pausing from spring, becoming hot and sticky nearly immediately.
You can easily become overexposure to sun and sunburn, uncomfortable heat reactions from excessive sweating and heat rash, bug bites and bee stings, poison ivy outbreaks and other skin sensitivities, allergies and symptoms of overindulgence (tiredness, hangovers, etc). Many of summer complaints can be avoided or lessened provided some precautionary or protective measures are taken. For example, using sun block can decrease the incidence of sunburns and wearing protective clothing can reduce insect bites and contact with poison ivy. So, the first line of defense is avoidance and protection.
Some Good Essential Oils for the Summer
• Sunburn – LaveDerm (a mist), Lavender, Idaho balsam fir, Helichrysum, Blue cypress, Rose, Niaouli, German chamomile. Gentle Baby, Australian blue, Melrose and Valor. Best to start with LavaDerm and then follow up with Lavender. Use either straight or blended with Aloe Vera to cool and heal.
• Dry skin – Myrrh, Sandalwood, ART Night Reconstructor, Essential Beauty Serum, Neroli, Rose, Cedarwood, Roman chamomile, Geranium, Lavender, Spikenard, diluted with unperfumed lotion, V^ or avocado oil. You can also add a few drops to Sensation or Genesis Body lotion to smooth onto skin.
• Insect repellent – several essential oils are recommended all-purpose insect repellents such as Cironella (Cymbopogon nardus), Catnip, Juniper, Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Cedar (Cedrus atlantica), lemon eucalyptus (Eucalyptus citriodora), Patchouli (Pogosterum cablin), Idaho Tansy, Rosemary, Peppermint, Geranium, Thyme and Spearmint. Clove (Eugenia caryophyllata or Syzygium aromaticum) is also effective, but it can cause skin irritation. Not all insects are repelled by the same substance so it’s wise to modify the repellent blend in accordance with the relevant insect population. For example, Catnip (Nepeta cataria) is particularly effective at repealing mosquitos while Juniper (Juniperus communis) works on tics and fleas.
• Insect bites – Purification, Helichrysum, Melrose, Geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), Lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), Melissa (Melissa offinicalis), Patchouli, Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). Geranium, Lavender and Patchouli also facilitate bite or wound healing.
• Bee and wasp stings – Melrose, Idaho Tansy, Calendula (Calendula officinalis), Lavender, Pepermint and Wintergreen, Purification or PanWay. Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum) is said to be particularly effective on wasp stings. Note: cinnamon can cause skin irritation, especially for those with sensitive skin.
• Overexposure and sunburn – Australian blue cypress (Callitris intratropica), geranium (Pelargonium graveolens), everlasting (Helichrysum italicum), lavender, Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia). Sunburns imply skin damage, and overexposure without burning is still tough on the skin. For skin healing and rejuvenation, try calendula, carrot seed (Daucus carrota), cistus (Cistus ladanifer), lavender or frankincense (Boswellia cateri).
• Overheating – clary sage (Salvia sclarea), peppermint (Mentha piperita) and spearmint (Mentha spicata), Lavender, citrus fresh. Dilute in water and use as a mist. Also, Hydrate(drink water) as much as possible, but slowly.
• Allergy symptoms - Sometimes hay fever and allergies are symptoms of, or exacerbated by, congestion in the liver and lymph. So, essential oils that detoxify or clear the liver can be very beneficial. These include cypress, helichrysum B., juniper, lemon and orange. Hay fever and allergies are typically accompanied by headaches, nasal congestion and mental fogginess so oils listed under these conditions can also provide relief.
• Nasal congestion and stuffiness - Allergies typically come with congestion and sinus inflammation. Some essential oils that act as antihistamine, clear decongestion and calm include: cypress, pepprmint eucalyptus (Eucalyptus dives), hemlock (Tsuga canadensis), helichrysum B. (Helichrysum bracteiferum), pinon pine (Pinus edilus), ravintsava (Cinnamomum camphora), rosemary and Scotch pine (Pinus sylvestris).
• Tiredness - basil (Ocimum basilicum), black pepper (Piper nigrum), peppermint (Mentha piperita) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis).
• Hangover – fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), ginger (Zingiber officinale), juniper, peppermint and rosemary for the various hangover symptoms: headache, nausea, upset stomach, mental fogginess, impaired balance, etc.
• Hydration – Lemon, Peppermint, Orange, Grapefruit, Spearmint. Put in several drops of your choice to your drinking water. It’s refreshing and tasty.
Aromatherapy Applications for the Summer
Aloe Vera gel is simply the best carrier or base for after sun and sunburn applications. It goes on smoothly and cools the skin. It actually feels cool. While it is readily absorbed, it leaves a very light residue that continues to sooth the skin. Most sources recommend adding some lavender essential oil, but any of the recommended oils can be used as well. Geranium has wonderful restorative properties so you can blend it with the others.
Spritzes or sprays are a terrific way to cool down on a hot day or to get immediate relief from insect bites and stings. Essential oils can be added to distilled or pure water in the proper dilution, oils and water don’t mix well, make sure to shake the mixture before using. Spritzes are great for light, non-sticky insect repellent and sun exposure relief.
Therapeutic Balms/Butters/Lotions are wonderful for dry and sun damaged skin, muscle stiffness, bruises and bites, cuts and scratches. Here, the carrier really matters. Use carrier oils and butters that have complementary healing properties for sun damaged skin. Lotions are the lightest and absorb into the skin quickly while balms and butters stay on the skin longer. The application choice is partly a matter of personal preference, but not completely. For surface issues like bites and scratches, it’s best to apply something which will stay on the skin longer such as a balm.
Personal inhalers – R.C., Purification, Valor, Peppermint, Tea tree, Ravansara, Idaho balsam fir, Fennel, Rosemary, Thieves, Raven, can be used for decongestion, quick pick-me-ups, grounding when exposed to a lot of sea breeze or relief from hangovers arising from too much of a good thing.
Refreshing drinks – you can add lemon, orange, grapefruit, peppermint, spearmint to water to sip. This can be refreshing to your palate and an enjoyable way to keep hydrated.
Candles – Most people are familiar with citronella-scented insect repellent candles. You can easily make your own. Light a candle and let the wax soften. Blow out the flame and add just a few drops of citronella or essential oil blend. Mix the melted wax a little to work in the essential oils. Light the candle again. Be careful! Essential oils are flammable. Be sure to put out the candle before adding essential oils and keep an eye on the candle once relit. Do NOT add more than a few drops to the candle. Otherwise, the scent can become overpowering, annoying and even a bit sickening.
NOTE: Essential oils are extremely concentrated and can cause irritations when used improperly.
As general rule use the following dilutions:
• 3% for products applied to specific limited areas of the body
• 1-2% for body oils and other applications that are applied to large portions of the body (e.g. body butter)
• 1% dilution for children, the elderly and those with sensitive skin or compromised systems
• 100% essential oil or essential oil blend for inhalers
• 2-12 drops (100% essential oils or essential oil blend) for a diffuser (for a 12 ft x 12 ft room). Much less for energetic blends.
Some essential oils are counter-indicated for people with certain medical conditions. Consult a professional EDR to determine the appropriate essential oil blend for you and your specific condition or intention.