Aromatherapy: Using Oils on Holiday

You've booked your holiday and now you need to decide what to take in your essential oil first aid kit. Experience will probably have shown you where you tend to have problems when you travel. If you are prone to digestive upsets when eating out abroad, take a stomach settling oil such as peppermint or ginger. Both of these oils can also help fight travel sickness, so at least one of them is a 'must have' when you travel.

Multi-purpose Holiday Oils

If insects bother you a lot and you always seem to get bitten, citronella can help protect you. Lavender is another essential all-rounder, being good for headaches and sunburn, and also an effective insect repellent.

Tea tree with its strong, antiseptic qualities is useful to apply to any small cuts or grazes and sunburn. Finally, relaxing chamomile will help ease jet lag and insomnia.

Composing your Aromatherapy Kit

When you plan what clothes and make-up to take with your on holiday, be sure to remember your aromatherapy kit, too. Pack a couple of small bottles for blends, a base oil such as jojoba or almond, a compress (to ease sunburn and sore heads) and insect-repelling citronella candles.

Key Essential Oils

Include the following oils in your holiday aromatherapy kit:

  • Antiseptic: eucalyptus, tea tree
  • Insect-repellent: citronella, lavender
  • Travel sickness: ginger, peppermint
  • Jet lag: chamomile, grapefruit
  • Sunburn: lavender, tea tree
  • Headaches: lavender
  • Digestive problems: ginger, peppermint

Flight Holiday ailments

On holiday, the local cuisine is always tempting, but remember that foods you are not used to could upset your digestion.

Banish Upset Stomach

To ease diarrhoea, soak a compress in 5 drops of peppermint oil in a small bowl of warm water. Apply the compress to the stomach and leave for at least 30 minutes. A gentle, clockwise abdominal massage with the following blend will help ease stomach pain:

  • 4 drops peppermint
  • 20ml almond base oil
aromatherapy compress

Ease Bites and Stings

Treat bites by applying neat lavender oil or tea tree oil. Alternatively, apply a soothing compress of:

  • 3 drops lavender
  • 2 drops chamomile

Sun safety on the Beach

You are most at risk of sunburn when spending time in the full sun on the beach. Protect yourself from the hazard of painful sunburn by covering your skin in the heat of the day and regularly applying sun cream to exposed skin.

Rather than going through the whole process of making your own suntan cream from all the base ingredients, it is much easier to buy a plain, unfragranced cream and add oils to it.

Sun lotion Blend

Mix up the following ingredients and you will have a suntan cream that protects and soothes, as well as deterring biting insects. Blend together:

aromatherapy sunburn
  • 50ml unscented moisturiser cream
  • 2 drops citronella oil
  • 1 drop lavender oil
  • 5ml wheatgerm oil (to help protect the skin from excessive sunlight)

This is not suitable for wheat allergies

Aftersun care

If the sun overpowers your sun block relieve your sore skin with a cool bath, then apply a few drops of lavender or rosemary on a cotton compress directly to the sun burnt areas.

Making Yourself at Home

Having arrived at your destination, you want to enjoy your accommodation as much as possible. Keep your holiday apartment smelling fresh by using a vaporiser spray bottle to help banish any unpleasant smells. Blend together:

  • 10 drops eucalyptus
  • 10 drops grapefruit
  • 100ml of water

Energy Boost

To energise your environment when you need a bit more pep and to give you a much needed boost to overcome jet lag, add the following essential oils to the water in the bowl of a vaporiser:

  • 2 drops black pepper
  • 2 drops rosemary

Insect Repellent

If you're likely to be bothered by insects, citronella candles are worth investing in, to keep your space smelling sweet and also insect free. Citronella candles are perfect for use outdoors on a balcony and during picnics. To further protect yourself from annoying insects, rub the following blend onto your skin:

  • 5 drops citronella
  • 5 drops lavender
  • 20ml jojoba base

Photosensitivity Warning

Certain essential oils can have photosensitising effects, changing the skin pigmentation, causing blemishes and making you more prone to sunburn if applied before exposure to sunlight.

Oils with this side effect are the citrus oils, including: Bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, mandarin and orange.

Do NOT apply these to your skin through massage or bathing before putting on your suntan oil and going to the beach!

cautions in aromatherapy