With concern growing about the overuse of products such as antibiotics and over-the-counter medicals therapies, essential oils are coming to the fore as a supplemental natural therapy for minor wounds, abrasions, or burns.
Essential oils are created from different types of plants using either their stems, seeds, flowers or roots.
Recent medical research has included essential oils and the actual chemical processes by which they affect a person’s health and looks to study their effectiveness as either alternative or supplementary therapies.
Burns occur when the skin is exposed to high heat which causes damage to the epidermal layers. Burns can range from minor to serious but are generally painful.
They may also be more prone to infection since the body’s first defense against bacteria, the skin, has been damaged.
Minor burns occur every day and are easily treatable at home, using the right methods. Essential oils can be a natural therapy you keep in your cabinet, helping to heal you and your family without unnecessary chemicals and preservatives.
When considering an essential oil, look for the following properties:
- natural analgesic
Here are five oils that have all these properties, making them useful for the treatment of minor burns.
Essential Oils For Burns
Roman chamomile is a well-known essential oil has traditionally used as an aid in sleeping, generally using the petals of the flower as a tea.
It is a known sedative that can ease stress and anxiety, allowing for a deeper sleep or the release of tension in the body.
It also has many properties as an essential oil that make it a good addition to a natural first aid kit.
First, it is antiseptic, able to keep wounds and burns from becoming infected. The body is exposed to thousands of bacteria and viruses that may linger on the skin and burns allow them the opportunity to enter the body.
Chamomile has been shown to be efficacious in inhibiting the growth of many types of bacteria. This is important for burns since the damage to the outer layer of skin may make it particularly vulnerable.
This may boost the body’s natural response to infected cells as well.
Research also shows that it encourages cell growth to help wounds heal faster so the burns aren’t exposed to infection as long (1).
It may also that the duration of pain is decreased and lowers the stress placed on the body by the healing process.
Roman chamomile also possesses anti-inflammatory properties. This can help soothe the redness and swelling which accompanies a burn.
This, in turn, also helps to reduce on-site pain, as inflammation is the body’s response to trauma.
Lavender likely shares the top spot with chamomile when it comes to being useful in treating many types of issues that affect the quality of living.
It is found in many kinds of lotions, candles, and soaps for the calming properties that accompany its pleasant floral scent.
When seeking an essential oil that has the most benefits, lavender not only covers many issues but has been studied long enough to be known as safe to use.
While it may be best known for improving relaxation, it is also another essential oil that has a history of being used as a natural treatment for burns (2).
Like chamomile, lavender can help prevent burns from becoming infected.
It has been shown that lavender is effective against bacteria such as listeria and salmonella, as well as some that have recently become resistant to traditional antibiotic medical treatments.
Many of these bacteria may found on the skin just from everyday interactions with the environment and they find opportunities to enter the body through cuts and burns.
Lavender can also help heal damage to cells caused by outside trauma, assisting in the accelerated healing of the wound.
It also decreases inflammation at the wound site and can reduce pain as well. Perception of pain may also be affected by lavender’s ability to reduce stress and anxiety.
Together, these properties may offer a shorter healing period
Clary sage has been in use for centuries as a treatment for many kinds of ailments.
It has been used as a pain reliever for women during labor and menstruation.
This property is evident when absorbed through the skin and makes clary sage a viable candidate for pain relief. It may be also useful in relieving the pain that can be caused by minor burns as the uppermost layer of skin.
The properties of clary sage enable it to alleviate the redness and swelling caused by inflammation in addition to acting as a topical analgesic.
Reducing inflammation can also reduce the time required for the body to heal a wound as it can begin to heal the burn damage instead of working to treat the inflammation.
Clary sage has also been used to relieve stress and anxiety, both of which may add to the perception of pain.
By easing these two conditions, the wound can be treated and may even heal faster.
Like many other essential oils, clary sage is also an effective antimicrobial so the application of this oil to burns can help protect the injured skin from infection or may even control infections which may have set in (3).
Tea tree oil has been used in Australia to treat all types of skin conditions from psoriasis to acne.
These conditions can be caused by inflammatory issues or bacterial infections in the pores of the skin.
This oil has several properties that may be good for killing the bacteria found on the skin that leads to infections and the prevention of wound healing.
The properties of tea tree oil include anti-inflammatory actions to help reduce the swelling and redness found at the site of a burn. This, in turn, may also reduce the pain caused by the wound since the body is not reacting as strongly to the trauma.
Tea tree oil also possesses antioxidant properties, which affect the body’s ability to repair cells.
These properties also encourage the cells to regenerate and help to repair damage to the burned cells as well as surrounding skin cells. This ability to accelerate cell repair may also reduce to scarring caused by healing.
Oregano is a plant found in the same family as mint and is found all over the world.
This herb is well known as an ingredient in Italian foods such as marinara sauce, but the oil derived from its leaves is also useful for other applications such as the treatment of minor wounds and burns.
Oregano has proven properties that are beneficial for preventing infection. It is effective against different types of bacteria that can be found on the skin and may cause infections after that skin is damaged by a burn.
It has also been studied as part of a mixture of other oils such as sage and St. John’s wort for the treatment of minor wounds (4).
It was shown to improve cell regeneration and encourage quicker healing of the skin. This may be due to its antioxidant properties, which not only prevent further cell damage but also encourage cell repair.
Cell repair is also aided by oregano’s anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe the pain and redness at the wound site. The body can focus on healing the skin cells rather than easing the inflamed tissue first.
This may also help reduce pain from the burn as well.
Essential oils have been in use for centuries by multiple cultures around the world.
With the advance of medical knowledge, studies reveal that natural remedies may be on par with some traditional medical therapies and may even increase the benefits of modern medicine.
Even though oils are plant-based and natural, caution should be exercised when planning to use them.
Many oils are concentrated, so very little is required to experience the benefits.
They should also be mixed with a carrier oil or diluted in water to prevent any interactions.
Essential oils can be a beneficial addition to your first aid kit, alongside other, more traditional medical interventions. These oils may help you heal faster and feel less pain as you wait for your burn to heal, as well as helping to ease the stress and anxiety that comes with it.
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