Summertime often means camping, hiking, and spending more time outside. We’ve compiled some of our best essential oil–related tips for when you are out and about enjoying Mother Earth this summer.
Since space is limited, a little organization and planning can help keep your essential oil necessities accessible and ready to use the moment they are needed. To keep your oils handy, you can try some of the following:
Hiking or camping in the summer months can be very tiring due to the heat. One way to combat this is to add a few drops of peppermint and lavender to a 4 oz. spray bottle filled with water. Mist over your body (avoiding the eyes) to help you cool off.
You can also try adding a drop of peppermint to a glass or metal water bottle filled with water, and then drink it slowly. If you don’t have a glass or metal water bottle, try putting a drop of peppermint or a peppermint beadlet in your mouth; then as the oil fills your mouth, drink it down with water. Because some oils can break down plastic materials, especially thin plastics often used in making disposable water bottles, it is best to avoid putting oils in plastic water bottles.
The best way to treat a sunburn is to avoid getting it in the first place. If you plan on spending more than 15 minutes in the sun, wear appropriate clothing and/or an appropriate sunscreen. A natural sunscreen can be made with helichrysum essential oil (see recipe below).
If you do get sunburned, try applying lavender to help relieve the pain from minor burns. A mix of lavender and peppermint (10 drops each) and 4 oz of water in a spray bottle helps cool the sunburned skin.
Time: 2 minutes | Difficulty: Easy
According to Modern Essentials, some oils that may repel insects are Insect Repellent Blend, patchouli, basil, lavender, lemongrass, cedarwood, eucalyptus, arborvitae, thyme, Cleansing Blend, and a blend of clove, lemon, and orange (p. 264). Valerie Ann Worwood, author of The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, recommends either diffusing insect repelling oils or placing ribbons or strings with the oils on them by windows, doorways, or other places that insects might like to enter. To keep insects from landing on you, she recommends using 30 drops lavender oil diluted in 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil.
Modern Essentials also recommends using a blend of 5 drops lavender, 5 drops lemongrass, 3 drops peppermint, and 1 drop thyme blended with a cup of water and sprayed on to help keep bugs away. Also, Insect Repellent Blend, patchouli, and lavender essential oil help repel mosquitoes if rubbed on skin or diluted in water and misted onto the skin. As mentioned above, you can also place oil on small ribbons, strings, or cloth and hang them around you. If you do get bitten, lavender essential oil may help soothe the area and reduce itching.
Please see our posts about Repelling Bugs & Insects and Soothing Insect Bites and Stings for more information on these subjects.
Accidentally running into poison oak or poison ivy while outdoors is not very fun. Modern Essentials recommends rose, lavender, Joyful Blend, and Roman chamomile oils for helping to deal with the after-effects of poison ivy if you do run into it (p. 288).
Bears are naturally curious animals and have a sense of smell 2,100 times greater than humans. They are especially attracted to sweet smells found in many essential oils. Be careful using essential oils if you are in bear country. Many wildlife safety tips say to not bring anything with a strong odor if you are camping or hiking in bear country. Contact your local forest station for safety guidelines.
What oils do you use when camping or while spending time outdoors?
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Spanish sage, also known as sage lavender (Salvia lavandulifolia), is steam distilled from the leaves and stems of the plant. It belongs to the Lamiaceae botanical family. The aroma is herbaceous and camphorous (with camphor as a primary chemical constituent), with a subtle lavender undertone.
Guaiacwood (Bulnesia sarmientoi)—pronounced GWHY-ack-wood—is steam distilled from the heartwood of the plant. It belongs to the Zygophyllaceae botanical family and is native to parts of South America. The aroma is woodsy with a subtle smoky-sweetness reminiscent of sandalwood. Its properties are...
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