Aromatherapy: Understanding Healing Oils

A small selection of essential oils as a basic first aid kit can help you deal with most of the little accidents and emergencies that life throws up and will take up little space in a cupboard at home. Accidents do happen, so being prepared can save you a lot of pain and inconvenience and, if the wound is minor, it will benefit greatly from immediate treatment.

Versatile healers

Be sure to familiarise yourself with the different uses of the oils you carry and how to apply them. For instance it is useful to know that lavender and tea tree oil can be applied near to the skin. Of course, all oils have healing qualities, so it's up to you to prepare a set for the kind of problems you're likely to encounter. Be it on holiday, a day out with the children, or around the home.

Properties of Healing Oils

Analgesic oils

knocks and muscle strains, stomach aches, headaches and period pains are all unpleasant and can dull your mental processes. These are best treated with analgesic, or pain-relieving oils, the best of which are: Lavender for migraines and period pains. Marjoram and rosemary for headaches and muscle pain. Peppermint and clary sage for hangovers.

Anti-inflammatory oils

Many oils have anti-inflammatory properties, and these can be useful for soothing grazed and sunburned skin, easing fevers and relaxing sore muscles. Chamomile is an exceptionally good anti-inflammatory oil, as is lavender.

Antispasmodic oils

The best oils for stomach cramps are antispasmodic, i.e. they help prevent cramps and spasms and therefore the pain they cause. The best way to apply them is by using a warm compress. Oils include chamomile and fennel.

Making your First Aid Kit

You basic aromatherapy first-aid kit only requires a few essential oil ingredients, and so is easily portable.

Aloe vera

Aloe vera penetrates deeply, providing valuable nutrients and stimulating cellular regeneration. It is ideal for sore, itchy and damaged skin.

aromatherapy aloe vera gel


Clove oil has powerful anaesthetising effects which can help to ease toothache, strained muscles and flu aches.


This soothes cuts and grazes, headaches and stomach upsets. Its strong concentration of esters makes it an especially good anti-inflammatory oil.


Its strong antiseptic action treats insect bites, minor burns, cuts and grazes. Its expectorant qualities help to clear head colds.

Frankincense aromatherapy


Frankincense's healing qualities can reduce scarring after burns or surgery and stretch marks after pregnancy. Which is why it was highly praised in the ancient world.


This soothes minor burns and its calming and balancing properties help to heal frayed nerves as well as physical problems.


Its invigorating and stimulating qualities improve the circulation, easing muscle aches and arthritis. It can also ease digestive problems and feelings of nausea.


Detoxifying juniper aids drainage of waste products from the body, helps recovery from hangovers and eases muscle aches after exercise.


This treats insect bites, burns, cuts and grazes, sunburn, headaches and period pains. It encourages skin regrowth and reduces scarring.


Melissa's anti-inflammatory actions make it a valuable cure for allergies such as hay fever and cold sores caused by stress.

aromatherapy neroli


Neroli is nature's tranquilliser, healing broken hearts, easing grief or depression and ensuring your body gets rest for healing.


This eases digestive problems, headaches and refreshes sweaty feet. Its purifying aroma is ideal for use in a sickroom to mask unpleasant odours.

Tea tree

This potent antiseptic oil treats insect bites, minor burns, cuts and grazes and clears fungal infections such as athletes foot and acne.

Healing Blends

These easy tips will help you treat minor injuries at home, on holiday or at work.

Mild scalds and burns

Run the wound under clean running water, then use a compress soaked in:

  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops tea tree
  • 500ml lukewarm water

Bites and stings

Dab the wound with a cotton ball:

  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops tea tree
  • 5ml lemon juice

The lemon juice is astringent and antiseptic, complementing the healing properties of lavender and tea tree.