Aromatherapy: Using your Oils for First Aid

Most essential oils contain healing ingredients of one kind or another, but some are more helpful in aiding your recovery from minor injuries, such as cuts and sprains, than others. If you are unfortunate enough to suffer a minor mishap that breaks or grazes the skin, the first thing to do it to disinfect the wound with an antiseptic oil such as lemon, lavender or tea tree.

Reduce swelling, aid recovery

Preventing the injury from swelling goes a long way to aiding the recovery process.Oils containing esters, such as chamomile, and sequiterpines, such as rose oil, are perfect for this. Once you've treated the immediate injury, a gentle massage with lavender and frankincense can help the recovery process along, ensuring it's no time at all before you're back to your best.

Preparing your Healing Blends

aromatherapy lavender

Top Note

(2 drops)

Middle Note

(5 drops)

Base Note

(3 drops)



Black pepper



(reduce swelling)

Tea tree




(clean wounds)

Te tree



Immune stimulants

(speed recovery)

Tea tree



Your Healing Aromatherapy Techniques

Use aromatherapy oils to help you recover from bumps and bruises and enjoy their relaxing scents while you recuperate.

Using Antiseptic Sprays

If you're making up a first aid kit to carry with you on a day out or on holiday, consider making up an antiseptic blend in a small spray bottle. This enables you to spray the healing oils directly onto cuts, grazes and insect bites without touching them, therefore reducing the risk of infection. You can also spray the blend onto a tissue to help you clean the injury.

Your Antiseptic Spray

Make a simple first aid spray blend to carry with you, you will need:

  • 30ml water
  • 20ml clear alcohol, such as vodka
  • 2 drops tea tree
  • 2 drops thyme
  • 1 drop frankincense
  • 2 drop lavender

The tea tree and thyme oils will clean the wound and help to avoid infection, while the frankincense and lavender aid the healing process.

aromatherapy atomiser

Preventative Measures

If you know that you're prone to aching muscles after exercise, you may prefer to make up a muscle rub to apply before and after you engage in vigorous sports. This can help to relax your muscles and prevent you from straining them or developing painful cramps. Also, the better condition your muscles are in during your game, the less likely you are to pick up cuts and bruises.

Muscle Balm

  • 2 drops black pepper
  • 2 drops marjoram
  • 2 drops rosemary
  • 100ml carrier oil

Balm for bruises

Apply this aromatic cream after a knock to reduce the risk of bruising

  • 2 drops marjoram
  • 4 drops lavender
  • 5 drops calendula
  • 15ml carrier cream

Lavender's healing action will reduce the swelling and works well with marjoram to bring you cooling pain relief.

Using Healing Compresses

A compress is an ideal way to apply essential oils directly to an injured area. This is particularly good for bruising, strains and sports injuries.

aromatherapy compress
  • Add up to 10 drops of essential oils to a wash basin of water. Soak your cloth in the water then wring out the excess
  • Try to elevate the injured area, as this will also reduce swelling
  • Use a cold compress for swelling, bruises and sprains. Hot compresses are better for muscles strains and cramps

Bumps and Knocks

Apply this cold compress after a bad knock:

  • 2 drops lavender
  • 2 drops tea tree
  • 2 tablespoons witch hazel

The tea tree and lavender oils speed up the body's healing processes. Astringent witch hazel is an ancient remedy for reducing bruising.

Mild Sprains

Apply this cold compress to sprained muscles:

  • 5 drops ginger
  • 3 drops black pepper
  • 3 drops nutmeg

All three oils will help to reduce the swelling.

A hot or cold compress is your obvious first aid treatment choice.