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Pre-made survival kits sold online and in department stores contain an array of handy survival tools and gadgets. Having a sharp knife, a box of matches and a compass on you, when disaster strikes, is surely recommended.
But have you ever considered adding essential oil to your survival kit?
Before you start wondering how a single essential oil can help you survive in nature think again. Essential oils are versatile and they are effective at what they do. They have been used for centuries, and they have managed to stay relevant even in the era of the pharmaceutical industry.
A single essential oil can help you solve a number of problems attached to the outdoor world. A small bottle of plant extract will not take a lot of space in your survival kit but it will surely extend the practicality of it. Keep on reading to find out what essential oil can increase the chances of your survival in harsh conditions.
3 Essential Oils That Will Help You Survive In Nature
|Lavender Essential Oil||Tea Tree Essential Oil||Peppermint Essential Oil|
|Heals cuts, scrapes, and wounds||Repels insects and soothes bug bites||Relieves muscle pain|
|Aids sleeplessness||Disinfects wounds and promotes healing||Boosts energy and increases physical performance|
|Provides sunburn relief||Natural laundry freshener||Alleviates headaches and migraines|
|Relieves stress and anxiety||Relieves cough and congestion||Relieves cough and congestion|
|Relieves muscle pain||Soothes skin irritations and sunburns||Soothes itchiness, poison ivy, and mosquito bites|
|Treats headaches and migraines||Fights bacterial, viral and fungal infections||Repels mosquitoes|
|Repels insects and treats bug bites||Natural deodorant||Provides sun protection and sunburn relief|
1. Lavender Essential Oil
Being in a difficult survival scenario, far from the comfort of your home, can be physically and emotionally draining. For that reason, it is recommended to have an all-in-one lavender essential oil in your survival kit.
Oil extracted from fragrant lavender plant helps aid a number of physical and physiological illnesses. Its accessibility and affordability have made it the most used essential oil in the world today.
Let’s take a look at the ways you can use lavender essential oil:
- Heal cuts, scrapes and wounds
When conquering a difficult terrain you are bound to get few scrapes and cuts on your skin. Lavender essential oil and its potent antibacterial properties can assist you on your way to recovery by preventing infections. The research suggests that lavender essential oil accelerates the formation of new connective tissue (granulation tissue) in the early stages of the healing process.
HOW TO USE: Clean your scrape with running water to get rid of grime and dirt. Dilute 3-5 drops of lavender in a teaspoon of carrier oil or an oil-based cream/gel. Apply the remedy on your scrape and gently massage it into your skin if possible. Cover the affected area with a bandage. Make sure to reapply the remedy at least twice a day.
- Aid sleeplessness
Falling asleep in an unpredictable environment can be challenging. Little noises can keep your body alert even on the first night on the camping trip. Getting a good night’s sleep is important because a well-rested body is more resistant while a well-rested mind thinks clearer.
The calming scent of lavender oil can help you drift into your dreams whenever the worries and anxiety get the best of you. A 2015 study tested the effectiveness of lavender oil on 158 postpartum women. The research concluded that women who inhaled lavender essence experienced improvements in sleep quality.
HOW TO USE: Inhale the aromatic scent of lavender right out of the bottle or rub a couple of drops of diluted lavender oil on your chest and neck.
- Get sunburn relief
Spending hours in the blazing sun can be extremely damaging to your skin. Sun not only causes sunburns but dehydration and headaches as well. Finding a shelter or a shadow to hide from the heat should be your number one propriety.
If the damage has been done, you should not worry as lavender oil soothes sunburns. Anti-inflammatory properties found in lavender oil will help you relieve the redness and irritation.
HOW TO USE: Dilute 3-5 drops of lavender essential oil in one tablespoon of aloe vera gel. Apply the mixture on your sunburns. Aloe vera gel promotes healing as well. If you do not have access to aloe vera gel, dilute essential oil in water to create a quick sunburn relief spray. Water and essential oils do not mix well so use this spray with caution.
- Relieve headaches and migraines
Stress, dehydration and blazing sun can give you a headache when you least expect it. A throbbing migraine will give you a difficult time to operate and think.
Being quick and sharp while being in an unpredictable environment is probably the greatest tool you can have. Fortunately, lavender essential oil is great at relieving tension in the head and inducing relaxation.
HOW TO USE: Inhale lavender essential oil straight from the bottle. If the aroma is too strong, rub few drops in the palms of your hands and inhale this way. According to the research, a 15-minute inhalation should significantly reduce the pain of your migraine headache.
- Repel insects and treat bug bites
Insects may be small but they pack a punch. Getting stung by an unidentifiable bug can make you anxious because you never know how your body is going to react to the injected venom.
Fighting off every single insect that flies your way would be tiresome and senseless. A much easier solution would be using a fragrant smell of lavender to your advantage.
HOW TO USE: Add lavender oil to your lotion or carrier oil. Apply the repellent on your skin. If you do not have these ingredients at your disposal, try adding 5-7 drops of lavender oil to a half a cup of water. Spray the created solution on your clothes. Feel free to use a diluted form of lavender on your bug bites to alleviate itching, redness, and swelling.
2. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree essential oil has been used in Australia for decades and slowly but surely it has gained popularity across the globe. Tea tree essential oil also known as melaleuca oil is known for its one-of-a-kind antimicrobial activity capable of killing a variety of different bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Needless to say, oil extracted from the leaves of Melaleuca alternifoli, should definitely find its place in your survival kit and medicine cabinet.
Try using tea tree essential oil in these ways:
- Repel insects and soothe bug bites
Have you ever taken a moment to listen to the sounds of nature? The buzzing insect noises coming from the air and the ground let you know how diverse life on earth really is.
We can all agree that it is still pretty annoying when an ant or a mosquito bites you. An amazing natural way to create an invisible barrier between you and bothersome bugs is by using the strong smell of tea tree oil.
HOW TO USE: Add 10-15 drops of tea tree oil to 100 ml of water. Store the mixture in a spray bottle and use it on your clothes. Alternatively, you can use the mix of 2-5 drops of tea tree oil and a teaspoon of carrier oil on your skin. Use the same remedy on your mosquito bites and other insect stings to soothe inflammation, pain, and itchiness.
- Disinfect wounds and cuts
Skin is a strong and yet delicate human organ. It is quite easy to get a cut, splinter or a bruise when being in nature. Note that it is extremely important to take care of your skin injury in time to prevent infections. Tea tree oil can help you keep your wound sterile and free of bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
HOW TO USE: Clean you cut with water to remove dirt and other foreign objects. Tap your skin dry with a clean piece of cloth. Mix 2-3 drops of tea tree oil in a teaspoon of carrier oil and apply the remedy on the wound.
It is not recommended to use undiluted tea tree oil on the skin, however, if you do not have carrier oil on you, dab 1-2 drops of tea tree oil on a piece of cloth or a cotton ball and place against the wound. Pure tea tree oil is strong. If you notice any adverse reaction quickly clean the affected area with water.
- Refresh your clothes
You do not have to be a genius to dirty up your clothes when being outside in nature. Just leaning against the tree or sitting on a grass can give you a stain.
On top of that, stressful situations open up the floodgates of our sweat glands. Profuse perspiration will definitely make your shirt noticeable to your nose. If you are ever forced to temporarily live outdoors, you can always refresh your clothes with tea tree essential oil.
HOW TO USE: Add 5-10 drops of tea tree oil into a bucket of water. Clean your clothes in this mixture to get rid of the musty odor. Get your water from the nearest river or another water source. Do not waste your drinking water for hygiene purposes. Once you have cleaned your shirt, let it air-dry on the tree branch.
- Relieve cough and congestion
We are more likely to catch a cold when it is colder outside because viruses reproduce more efficiently in cooler temperatures.
Since the weather is unpredictable, it is always good to have a tea tree essential oil on you. Tea tree oil is packed with antiviral and anti-inflammatory properties that can help you relieve the symptoms of common cold, congestion, and cough.
HOW TO USE: Inhale the strong aroma of tea tree oil straight from the bottle to relieve the symptoms of the cold. It is also recommended that you inhale tea tree essence as a preventative measure as soon as you notice the temperature drop. Alternatively, mix 2 drops of tea tree oil in half a teaspoon of carrier oil and rub the blend on the back of your neck and on your chest.
3. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil is a natural remedy recognized by consumers as well as the scientific community. Oil extracted from fresh peppermint leaves is most recognizable by its minty aroma that alerts the body and mind.
Peppermint plant extract is packed with potent antioxidant and antimicrobial properties that can help your body stay strong, healthy and ready for challenges of the wildlife.
Here are some suggestions on how you can use peppermint essential oil:
- Relieve muscle pain and increase physical performance
We rely on our muscles more than we think. Not only do they help us maintain a mobile day to day life but they also help us execute fight and flight responses. Survival in nature is difficult because conquering a demanding and unpredictable terrain requires a major muscle power.
At the end of the day, when your legs are feeling sore, try using the cooling effects of peppermint oil to your advantage. Peppermint oil is a natural analgesic that can help you relieve the pain in your muscles, feet, and joints. The research suggests that topical application of peppermint can give relief to fibromyalgia and myofascial pain syndrome.
HOW TO USE: Add 5-10 drops of peppermint essential oil to a tablespoon of carrier oil and massage your aching muscles with the blend. Stimulating massage will improve your blood circulation and relieve tension in your legs.
Inhalation of invigorating peppermint essence can help you boost your energy levels and physical performance as well. Apply diluted peppermint oil on the back of your neck and temples before you start your next long distance walk.
- Alleviate headaches and migraines
Throbbing migraines are painful and enabling. The discomfort not only affects our head but also our whole physical and mental performance.
A simple task like picking an item off the ground can intensify the pressure in the “attic”. Lying down and waiting for symptoms to subside is one way of dealing with a headache, but remember, you can always speed up your healing by inhaling peppermint essence.
HOW TO USE: Apply diluted peppermint oil to your forehead, temples, and back of the neck. It is also recommended that you inhale peppermint essence straight from the bottle. Tension headaches are likely caused by the contraction of the muscles covering the skull. As a natural muscle relaxant, peppermint oil can help you relieve the root cause of your discomfort.
- Relieve itchiness and repel mosquitoes
Nature is a raw environment, and you cannot walk through the thicket without expecting to get a rash or a case of itchiness. Brushing against poison ivy can leave you feeling itchy and irritated for up to several weeks. Insect bites, especially mosquito bites, induce the similar skin discomfort as well.
Instead of patiently waiting for your irritated dermis to calm down, why don’t you try relieving your itchiness with peppermint oil? The research shows that topical application of diluted peppermint oil significantly relieves the pruritus, an ongoing itchiness.
HOW TO USE: Mix peppermint essential oil and carrier oil in 1:1 ratio. Apply the mixture on your poison ivy rash or mosquito bite to calm the itchiness. Use peppermint oil as a repellent to prevent further insect bites. According to the 2011 study, 0.1 ml of peppermint oil applied on the arms should give you about 150 min of protection against mosquitoes.
- Get sun protection and sunburn relief
Excessive exposure to the sun causes serious skin damage. Protecting your skin should be your number one priority because once your natural protective barrier is compromised, you are more likely to get an infection and fall sick.
Peppermint essential oil has a natural SPF factor higher than that of lavender and tea tree essential oil, so feel free to use it as a natural sunscreen. On top of that, the cooling sensation generated by pure peppermint essence will help you treat your sunburns.
HOW TO USE: Combine 2-3 drops of peppermint oil with a half a teaspoon of carrier oil. Gently apply the oil on your sunburns. If you happen to have an aloe vera juice, use it as a solvent to create a sunburn spray. Use diluted peppermint oil on the exposed parts of your skin to protect it from harmful UV rays.
Lavender, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils can be used for more than one purpose. Adding just one essential oil to your survival kit will instantly increase the practicality and usability of your survival equipment.
Just think about how many people have essential oils helped throughout the centuries of use. There is no reason for you to miss out on the therapeutic effects of different essential oils.
As you know, essential oils are extremely potent, and they have to be used correctly to yield the desired results. Here are some last tips on how to successfully utilize essential oils even with limited resources.
- Essential oils should be diluted before topical application; therefore it is suggested that you keep a small bottle of carrier oil or aloe vera gel in your survival kit as well. Diluting essential oils in water is not recommended since both liquids do not mix well. With that said, desperate times call for desperate measures. If the water-oil solution causes irritation on your skin, immediately rinse it off. Same safety precaution applies to the use of undiluted essential oils on your skin.
- Do a skin patch test to make sure you are not sensitive or allergic to the essential oil.
- Essential oils should never be ingested.
- If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, educate yourself on the safety of certain essential oils, and use them with caution.
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