by KG Stiles, LMT, RBT, CBP, Clinical Aromatherapist
Since the fall of 2005 aromatherapist Geraldine Zelinsky, the Assistant Director of United Aromatherapy Effort (UAE) and Manager of its Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, has been involved in ongoing medical research with a couple of pediatric physicians who work in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a Louisiana hospital.
“We are in the process of setting protocols for the responsible use of essential oils at the hospital,” says Zelinsky who often uses aromatherapy as a stand alone treatment, as well as in conjunction with massage or allopathic treatment. The increasing respect that aromatherapy commands from the general public, hospitals, and medical centers around the world speaks for itself, as more and more people benefit from this gentle and subtle, yet highly effective therapy.
Please note: There are many cheap, synthetic copies of essential oils, but these are not recommended for therapeutic use. For best results get the highest quality oils that you can possibly find. Organic, or ethically wild crafted oils should be used whenever available.
What should be in your Aromatherapy Medicine Cabinet? KG recommends you have the following essential oils on hand.
Aromatherapy Emergency First Aid Kit
Blue Tansy – A natural anti histamine and anti- inflammatory known to soothe nervous tension and calm stress, may use alone or in a blend for sore muscles. Due to its bronchio-dilating effect Blue Tansy may help asthma sufferers.
First hand experience from Breast Cancer survivor Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, owner of Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy and founder of (UAE), attests to Blue Tansy’s helpfulness in relieving the effects of radiation treatment: “Use Of Essential Oils and Natural Extracts to Help Counter Side Effects of Radiation During Cancer Treatment,” by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger.
Eucalyptus – Fresh, powerful, and long lasting, an effective respiratory decongestant. Highly antiseptic, anti-infectious, antibacterial and anti viral. Also a good insect repellent.
Geranium – Useful for regulating physical, mental, and emotional imbalances and extremes. Its strength lies in its ability to regenerate tissue and nerves, and assist in balancing hormonal problems. May relieve anxiety, confusion, depression, lethargy, mood swings, and tearfulness.
German Chamomile – Your first choice for treating inflamed, irritated skin! Acts as a sedative or pain reliever, for “angry” situations, injuries, sprains, and swelling, as well as for various aches and pains, arthritis, colic, cramps, feverish conditions. Excellent for insomnia, relaxes and summons sleep. Good for headaches caused by stress, or tension and may relieve intestinal spasms.
Helichrysum – Highly regenerative, one of the strongest anti inflammatories known. Useful in all skin blends, may be applied neat, without the use of a carrier oil, on bad bruises, and areas of inflammation, pain and swelling. Use to fade old scars and adhesions. It acts through the blood being reabsorbed into the tissue, removing discoloration and pain caused by pressure on nerves. Helichrysum may help you to heal and resolve old painful memories and traumas!
Lavender – Known as the Universal Healer Lavender is the most commonly used essential oil and the absolute classic oil for treating burns! During the early 20th century, French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse became interested in the use of essential oils for their medicinal properties. While working Gattefosse accidentally burned his arm very badly! On reflex he plunged his burned arm into large a vat of lavender oil. His burn healed rapidly and there was absolutely NO scarring of tissue! Gattefosse is credited with coining the term “aromatherapy” in his 1928 article supporting the use of essential oils in their whole, pure and unadulterated state. Lavender has broad application and is especially useful for skin care healing, headaches, bug bites, and sore muscles.
Peppermint – Helpful for migraines, tummy aches, indigestion and fatigue. Good remedy for car or air sickness. Mentally it clears the brain and aids concentration, a restorative in cases of mental fatigue.
Tea Tree – Strongly assertive disinfectant. Reputation as a ‘cure all,’ powerful anti fungal, anti viral, and antibacterial properties. First suggestion for athlete’s foot, nail viruses, and fungal infections. Use in anti acne remedies, as well as to combat flu and other viral infections.
Vetiver – Rich and sweet, honey textured oil that’s wonderfully grounding. Ideal for use alone. A heart bottom note for promoting relaxation, use for anxiety and panic. KG has had great success using Vetiver blended with Helichrysum for resolving Heart Palpitations or Rapid Heart syndrome!