04 August 2015

Essential oils... essential for the Bag Of Evil

OK, if you are still reading and did not turn away because you thought that Essential Oils were just for chicks, you might learn something useful here.
To tell you the truth, I cannot remember which oil I bought first or what I used it for.  I cannot even remember when I added them to the Bag Of Evil.  What I do know is that seldom does a day go by that I don’t use them.  Most days I use them several times a day.

MCS readers know that I am not a fan of carrying a bunch of shit that you seldom, if ever use.  The “just in case stuff” adds ounces fast.  My only exception is when it comes to trauma gear hoping you will NEVER need it.  If you have read anything here before about first aid, you will remember that my first aid stuff is broken down into two groups, my TIMS (Traumatic Injury Management Systems) Kit and Boo Boo Kit.  The TIMS is what most would consider a blow out kit.  The majority of my first aid kit is what I call a Boo Boo Kit.  It is for treatment, prevention, and morale of little things, some of which can become big things.  There is nothing I use more from the Boo Boo side of the kit as my essential oils.  Sometimes I use them for me, but more often I use them to treat family and friends.  They are too useful not to have with you all the time.

As soon as I walked in the door today, my little one came to me to show me how she had what probably started as a bug bite on the side of her nose.  She had been digging at it, it bled, and it hurt.  A few drops of Clove oil later and she was a happy camper.

This past Saturday my Legion Riders Chapter had a bike show.  The President's niece was miserable with a congested nose.  A few drops of Peppermint oil and her nose was running faster than she could lick it.  She described the relief as “instant.”

In this article, I am going to give you a little background on the essential oils that I find so useful that I carry them in the BOE all the time.  I have also made a kit for my wife and college age daughter.

First of all, there are many essential oils and most are familiar with them being used for aromatherapy.  For those who don’t believe smells can affect your mood, imagine the smell of Hoppes #9.  Now that you are smiling, let's continue.
Since we are talking about aromatherapy, let's talk about the oil most known for its smell, and less for its medicinal uses…Lavender.  Lavender’s scent is well known for its calming effects.  This effect often helps with falling asleep.  This is not so girly if you are using to help you dose off because you have just gotten off a long shift and have a short change to be back for the next.  It will also be a hit with the wife when you put some under the nose of your little one before putting them to bed, or add a few drops to spray bottle of water and spritz it on your kids’s pillow….and your own.

Lavender is great for healing burns, cuts, stitches, and bruises.  Just put a few drops on your fingers and rub it in.  This is called using it “neat”, just like Scotch.  As far as I know, you cannot over use Lavender topically.  Again, in the case of kids…and adults, the scent will calm them since they are usually a bit panicked.  It is amazing how much its use can lighten scars if applied regularly during healing.

If I had to pick one oil that will make it appear as a Witch Doctor to anyone you administer it to, it would be Clove oil.  Clove oil is a natural anesthetic.  It can be used both orally and topically.  For those of you who remember your parents or grandparents anbesol.  Clove oil kind of tastes like that…death, however it can stop a toothache in its tracks.  A few months ago I had in infected tooth and could not get into the dentist for a few days.  The application of Clove oil every few hours kept me sane.

Earlier this summer my teenage son failed to heed my warning as teenagers will do, and did not apply sun block.  He ended up with a sun burn that was right below skin poisoning.  The only thing that gave him relief, instant relief, was Clove oil.  Clove oil is a life saver for burns, bug bites, and small cuts.  A few drops of Clove along with a few drops of Lavender pack a powerful painkiller/healing punch.

Next, we will talk about Peppermint.  A drop of Peppermint on your tongue will kill the worst bad breath.  A few drops in a glass of water will calm an upset stomach.  As mentioned earlier, it is great for treating a stuffed up nose. Eucalyptus might be a little better for that, but does not have the same multiple uses so it gets bumped from the must carry list.  A few drops rubbed into each temple is known as a reliable headache slayer.

My wife’s favorite use for Peppermint oil is as a massage oil.  Here is where I want to use a word of caution.  Peppermint can burn some people’s skin if used neat.  It is best to use a carrier oil such as Jojoba or Coconut Oil.  Carrier oil dilutes the essential oil making it go further and makes it easier to rub in.  I include oil of Jojoba in my BOE kit and use Coconut oil at home.  The reason is that above Coconut 76 degrees Coconut oil is liquid, below 76 degrees it is a solid.  Jojoba oil stays liquid making it best for first aid use.  I keep my Coconut oil in the freezer and melt in the microwave as needed.  When mixed with the Peppermint oil, it is a nice warm massage oil.  The feeling, regardless of what carrier oil you use, will be like that of Bengay.  Just a lot cheaper, and handier to carry.  It can make the sorest of muscles feel better.

Last, but not least, is Lemon oil.  Lemon oil is nature's antibiotic.  I try to put a few drops in the first bottle of water I drink every morning.  More often than not, I remember when I get that feeling in the back of my throat letting me know that I am about to get sick.  At that point a few drops are going into every bottle of water that I drink until I feel better.  Then I will try to remember to start off with it every day.

There are many other uses for the oils I have described; Lavender, Clove, Peppermint, and Lemon.  What I have discussed are the reasons why I chose to carry and use them every day.

If I have kept your interest this far, you are probably now wondering where to get what you need to make your kit.  First off is the quality of oils.  I have used a bunch of different brands and don’t notice a huge or any real difference.  Most can be had at your local GNC or health food store.  GNC carries the NOW brand, which I have used more than any other.  Once you get into using them or making kits, you will go through some much faster than others.  I recently got this 4 ounce bottle of Peppermint on Amazon (where I get lots of this stuff).  None of the oils I have discussed are what I would consider precious so you will not get hit over the head too bad when shopping for them.  As a basic rule if I am paying less than $10 or so for 1 ounce (30ML) you are doing pretty good.  The NOW bottles in the picture are about $10 at GNC.  I only paid around $14 on Amazon Prime for the big bottle of Peppermint pictured.  Just shop around.  The two ounce NOW bottles have a reducer.  A reducer is a thing that fits into the top of the bottle that allows a drop out at a time.  Without it you will need to pick up a few eye droppers or make a hell of a mess.  Just get bottles with reducers or eye droppers…..trust me.  You don’t want to spill these.  About the eye droppers, try not to use them in more than one bottle at a time.  I usually just rinse them out with hot water from the faucet.

To make your kit, the next thing you need is one dram vials with eye droppers. To get the pictured kit, you will need five vials.  They usually come a dozen at a time.  That will allow you to make a home set and one for your BOE.

The case pictured is an Otter Box Dry Box 1000.  This size is perfect because there are room for up to six 1 dram vials and a few folded paper towels.  The paper towels are handy for cushioning, noise discipline, and working over when dispensing oils.  The case is necessary for protecting the glass vials and containing the scent of the oils in the case when not in use…unless you did the aroma.

In closing, I want to say that I am not the burning bush of essential oil knowledge, but in the kingdom of the blind, the one eyed man is king.  Feel free to share your comments, questions, and concerns on the blog comments and Facebook.

Stay Safe- George

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