Essential Oil Formulas for Heaing Wounds and Scars
Essential oils have a long history of use in natural skin care –These wonderful phytochemicals provide a great breadth of natural medicinal components well-known for healing damaged skin, as well as reducing the appearance of old scars from trauma and surgical wounds, acne and other incidents. Recipes Essential oil blends for these applications are gentle, safe for regular use, and have a wonderful aroma to boot. The blends are easy to make, and simple to customize for your particular needs.
Choosing the Essential Oils
There are a few primary oils used in skin repair; additional oils may be added to your liking (to improve aroma, or add further skin-supportive properties), but here, we’ll concentrate just on the commonly used oils for skin damage. First, and possibly most important, is Helichrysum Italicum, also known as Everlasting. This oil with a lovely earthy aroma is distilled from the brightly-colored, daisy-like flowers of a strongly aromatic herb native to the Mediterranean region. Helichrysum is one of the most highly regarded oils in aromatherapy for it’s broad range of healing properties for body tissues. It is strongly anti-inflammatory, and has a high concentration of regenerative diketones found only in this oil. It is a bit more expensive due to it’s low yield in processing, but produces it’s wonderful effects in very small doses.
The Power of Helichrysum
Helichrysum essential oil is the cornerstone for many blends for healing the skin, and is the only one truly necessary for supporting currently healing skin damage – it should be used at appropriate concentrations with Rosehip Seed, Tamanu and Hazelnut oils, as mentioned later in this article. As noted by well-known aromatherapist Kurt Schnaubelt, “The triple unsaturated fatty acids (of Rosehip Seed oil) strengthen the cell membranes and, combined with the regnerative qualities of Everlasting oil (Helichrysum), heal wounds with minimal or no scarring”.
Synergizing with Lavender
As noted above, Lavender oil is often used for skin healing. In a 50/50 blend with Tea Tree oil, it is commonly used on small cuts and scrapes to sooth and prevent infection. Lavender has anti-inflammatory properties along with tissue regenerating effects, albeit a bit more mild than Helichrysum. It does, however, have the important added benefit of a well-liked aroma that can ease anxiety for many people.
Salvia Officinalis: Sage for Old Scars
The essential oil distilled from the leaves of common Sage is included in blends where the wounds are old – where the healing happened some time ago and has left some unsightly scarring. This can work on keloid scars, acne scars, etc., though application need be regular and should continue for 3 to 6 months. The sage oil is included in essence to break up the scar tissue and to stimulate regeneration with it’s powerful components. Sage oil should be used with great care and in small amounts. While it is called for in formulas for stretch marks, it should only be use after pregnancy, and not during by expectant mothers. Sage is best used for wounds and scars that have already healed to reduce appearance.
Rosemary Stimulates Healing
Rosemary is an essential oil with a wonderful aroma that is used in many skin care blends. The Verbenone chemotype is called for here as, like Helichrysum and Lavender, contains regenerating ketones (the Cineol type does not). Rosemary will also stimulate cellular metabolism, improving the nutrition and waste cycling of skin cells.
Nutritive Essential Oils That Can Speed Healing
Other essential oils can offer important nutrient that may speed the healing process. Most importantly, they offer carotenoids and carotenes — natural vitamin-A-like compounds needed for increasing the strength of the healing tissue. Vitamin A is considered absolutely critical to normal skin development, and indispensable during wound healing. Two essential oils can be chosen from: Sea Buckthorn and Carrot Root. These are both found as ‘CO2′ extracts with deep colors, indicating the high levels of nutrients.
Antiseptics/Antimicrobials For Wound Care
For wounds that are currently healing, a small amount of an antiseptic essential oil can help the process. It can prevent redness and irritation that is the result of your body dealing with bacteria at the sight of the injury. Lavender and Rosemary do have some antiseptic properties, and may be enough if you feel the wound has been well-cleaned. For stronger antiseptic activity, 1-5% Tea Tree essential oil can be added to any recipe. The use of the Tea Tree can be discontinued once the wound has sealed completely. If you’re really not fond of the aroma of Tea Tree, Palmarosa essential oil can be used as a more mildly-aromatic substitute.
Proper Dilution with Carrier Oils
The essential oils mentioned here must be diluted in a carrier oil for daily application. In aromatherapy, more is not better! There have been numerous studies showing the great efficacy of essential oils in low concentrations based in seed or nut carrier oils. The two most commonly used base oils for skin care are Rosehip seed and Hazelnut oils. Rosehip seed has many documented uses in skin care, with it’s triple-unsaturated fatty acids and it’s vitamin A compounds. Rosehip seed has the ability to support tissue regeneration like Retin A, but without the drying or redening side effects. Hazelnut oil is the most well tolerated of all the carrier oils, and with its mild astringent properties, can even be used in cases of very oily skin. It will tend to leave the skin feeling nourished without feeling greasy.
Easy Mixin': Simple Recipes for Common Conditions
So how does one mix these natural botanicals for particular uses? There are a few simple but effective recipes specifically for wound healing and scar reduction. For old keloid or acne scars, make a two-ounce base using equal parts Evening Primrose, Tamanu and Rosehip Seed oils – to this, add one milliliter each of Helichrysum Italicum and Sage officinalis essential oil. Apply regularly for three to six months for best results. For more recent cuts, scrapes, and even surgical incisions (that have reached the point where they are safe to get moist), use the same base recipe, adding one milliliter of Helichrysum and one milliliter of Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia). You can choose whether you’d like to use Rosemary and/or Tea Tree. Apply twice a day while the wound is healing. For the reduction and possible elimination of stretch marks post partum, again to one ounce each of Hazelnut and Rosehip seed oils, add one milliliter Sage and one milliliter Rosemary verbenone. Like the formula for old scars, use this regularly for several months.
This is a summary of a particular aspect of using essential oils for natural health, wellness and beauty. These are effective, tried and true recipes used for their specific, wound healing applications. You can certainly further customize the formulas to suit your needs, or even add additional oils of your liking. With some research, you will find there are wonderful recipes using essential oils for a broad range of skin care applications — they’re very effective, and they’re heavenly to use. As with all aromatherapy use, go slowly, watch for any (rare) skin reactions, and remember that less is more with essential oils – almost all have been noted to work in very low, well tolerated concentrations.
For more, visit www.synergyessentialoils.com