The Only 4 Medicinal Oils to Keep Around the House (written for Ask a Prepper)
First of all, this article is not about essential oils. If you want to invest in essential oils, or build a distillery to manufacture your own, please do so. Most of us, once the SHTF, need to learn to use what’s around us. And around us is true wealth.
To Make an Infused Oil
Furthermore, it’s not hard to make an infused oil. Simply take the fresh part of the plant you wish to use, cut it into small pieces and stuff it in a clean jar. Fill the jar with olive oil (coconut oil, jojoba oil, or other healthy organic oils). Cover with cloth or loosely fitted lid, and let sit in a non-sunny place for three to four weeks. For the first week, using the blade of a table knife, poke through the oil and plant mixture to remove air bubbles. After that, just ignore it for about three weeks.
After three weeks, remove the lid and smell it. If it’s as strong as you like, you’re done. Another week won’t hurt it. Strain the oil from the vegetable matter into another clean jar with a tight-fitting lid, and store in a dark place, with the lid firmly in place.
To use topically, use a cotton swab, NOT your fingers to apply the oil. To use internally, use an eye dropper, using only a few drops at a time for whatever ails you. You know your body better than anyone else does. Take what you need and no more.
Remember, the oils and lotions you put on your skin are absorbed into your body, just as if you breathed in their vapor or sipped them in a tea. Be careful what you use.
- Plantain Oil
Your skin is more than just the body’s covering. It’s the largest organ in your body, and it’s your first line of defense against the weather, injury and disease. Keep it healthy.
Many people talk about tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) as the go-to oil to fight a variety of skin diseases, including most fungi such as athlete’s foot. True, it’s wonderful. But it’s not quite strong enough for stubborn fungi such as those that cause toenail fungus.
So what can you do? Use plantain oil (no, not the banana). Plantain is a weed, but a very valuable one. Basically, there are two types of plantain weeds, narrow leaf and broad leaf. Both work well. Plantain grows practically anywhere, and its oil is easy to prepare.
Uses of Plantain Oil
- Keep in your first aid kit to heal wounds, cuts, abrasions, burns and the like. The healing effect is amazing.
- Use to soothe skin inflammations such as impetigo, ecthyma or eczema.
- Use all year around for bug bites and stings.
- Care for your baby’s bottom with massaged-in plantain oil. It’s wonderful for diaper rash.
- Heal athlete’s foot and toenail fungi. In the case of resistant toenail fungus, apply twice daily for one year. With your cotton swab, get a little under the nail and along the cuticle.
- Pine or Spruce Needle Oils
You’ll get varying results, depending on the type of pine or spruce you use. But there’s no need to import your needles to get a specific kind just because you live in a different part of the country. You are a part of your environment. Your body has been acclimated to where you live, so use the plants that are a part of your bio system.
Uses of Pine or Spruce Needles
- Their chlorophyll helps transport nutrients and oxygen all through your body. Furthermore, they’re full of Vitamin A to fight free radicals and iron to keep your blood healthy.
- Fight inflammation in sore joints and muscles as well as swelling, such as from a sprained ankle. Just apply to the affected area.
- As a detoxifying tonic, just put a few drops in some water (in winter, hot tea water is good) with some lemon and honey. This drink can also prevent cancer. Nice to have around, right?
- In hot water, the oil works as an aromatherapy to fight fatigue and relieve stress.
- Massage on your temples as a headache remedy or to ease PMS symptoms. You may also realize that it relieves seasonal allergy symptoms as well.
- Apply to neck, chest and upper back to address respiratory problems.
- Acne issues? Apply to a small part of the skin to determine if you’re allergic to pine oil first before applying to blemishes. It fights the bacteria that cause skin eruptions.
- Add the oil to your room spray for a woodsy scent to your home.
- Put it in your household cleaner. It fights bacteria on surfaces as well as in your body.
By the way, you can also make yourself a pine needle tea with fresh needles, especially in the winter when your natural vitamin C may be lacking.
- Rosemary Oil
Rosemary is easy to grow. It doesn’t need an outdoor garden. In fact, if your winters are freezing, bring it inside for the winter. It does need moisture in the air, though, so if you live in a desert, you’ll need to spray it with water in the evenings. It doesn’t handle drought well.
Not only is rosemary a popular culinary plant, especially in the Mediterranean, it provides a variety of health benefits as well. It’s a powerful herbal medicine, with the ability to heal many parts of the body including the liver, brain and heart. Combined with lavender or mint, you have a terrific aromatherapy to soothe tired and stressed emotions.
Uses of Rosemary Oil
- Aid your digestion. It relieves stomach cramps, constipation, bloating and flatulence.
- Detoxify your liver. The liver produces bile, which is a key part of your digestion. When the liver is healthy, so are you.
- For your hair and scalp, combine with a little plantain oil in your shampoo, giving you a natural dandruff control product.
- A drop or two on your toothbrush may also keep your gums and teeth healthy. Or, if you’d rather, put a few drops in some water as a mouthwash. It has natural antimicrobial with antiseptic qualities.
- Rejuvenates your skin, keeping it hydrated and supple.
- Improve you brain function and cognitive energy. Just inhale a little whenever you’re tired or depressed. You’ll see a difference right away.
- Inhaling rosemary boosts the immune system. This is great, especially in the winter.
- Its anti-inflammatory properties fight pain, such as headaches. Massaged into the body, it may also relieve muscle and joint aches.
- Spray into a room as a natural air freshener. Just put a few drops into an aerosol spray to remove pet and other odors.
- The spray throughout the room also kills bacteria and helps prevent colds and flu, and helps ease respiratory issues as well.
- Rosemary has anticancer potential.
- Enhance your blood circulation. Just massage the oil into your arms and legs, and let it do its work.
Mint is my all-time favorite, because it goes with practically everything. I keep a patch in the front of my house and use it for all kinds of things, mint oil being one of them. It’s easy to grow. Although there are many varieties, peppermint seems to be everyone’s favorite, and it has the most medicinal value as well.
Peppermint Oil Uses
- Add it to your soaps and shampoos.
- Add it to your massage oil.
- Inhale I to prevent sinus issues. It relaxes the sinus membranes. Inhaling or applying it to the temples will also suppress the appetite. Interesting, right?
- Applied to the temples, mint can also relieve headache pain.
- Mint helps with focus and boosts energy.
- It works against skin irritations, such as the itch from a rash. It also helps heal from sunburn.
- Combine it with rosemary for skin care.
- Like rosemary, it works well to heal a dry scalp and promote hair growth.
- Do you ever wonder why toothpaste is so minty? Mint is a natural ingredient for oral health.
- Mint oil clears respiration.
- Apply a drop or two to your baby’s temples to reduce colic. You can also give your colicky baby some mint tea to help. It’s safe, also, for teething pain.
- A few drops in some warm water will help with indigestion, bloating, and other stomach issues.
- It is high in antibacterial components. Use it to prevent a host of problems, including urinary tract infections. Unlike antibiotics, you can’t get immune to it.
- It repels mosquitoes. They don’t like the smell of mint.
One caution, although most people can drink mint tea daily, as with anything, don’t overdo. Once a day is enough. For some, once a day is too much. Know your body.
You now have a whole pharmacy of easily accessible oil you can make at home, no matter what the world does. Take advantage of your natural wealth, and stay healthy.