It is summer, whether the calendar says it or not! Camping season is upon us. Even if not camping, most people start heading to lakes, forests, and backyards full of the wonderful world of insects, sunburn, bruises, blisters, and less than adequate sleep. We endure all of this so we can fully experience our Minnesota summer! With winter not that far behind us, we leap into the discomfort of the pesky little things about summer knowing we better enjoy every last minute we can before freezer burn returns! To prepare for the summer, we must update our first aid kits with certain essential oils so that we may accomodate healing when the fun is over. At the end of this article find a listing of some of the best oils for the "ailments" listed. (Some info may be a repeat from days gone by but there is new information too, so check page 10 for this listing. Everyone reacts differently to meds, just as everyone reacts differently to essential oils, so it may take a little experimentation to figure out the right recipes for effectiveness.)
I am going to share a story of my first tick experience of the season and essential oils: It was a Sunday morning, in early spring, and I had planned on sleeping a little late. I woke up to a very painful area at the back of my right leg. It was a female deer tick (black legged tick). I didn't know how long it had been attached but the area was aggravated and the tick was plump. Anyone grossed out yet? I probably should have warned you it would be icky but it is a tick story! There were already double red rings around the bite site. This was at Merri and Doug's cabin and so Merri was there to help. The tick was quite buried and might have been very difficult to remove. Merri put lemongrass oil directly on the tick and it immediately loosened it's hold so she was able to pull it off. I called the nurse line to find out about the red rings being an indication of lyme disease infection. She asked how I removed the tick and I explained about the lemongrass. She was almost shocked that I would use one of those "oils" that could be full of bacteria! (I am not entirely sure what kind of oils she is familiar with...perfume? Perhaps she could have asked questions about my expertise with oils. One who has a background in essential oils would have known that lemongrass oil is used extensively in the pharmaceutical industry! It is a tried and true aid in many health areas! And I was not carrying it in a filthy container. I was a little frustrated with her.) She warned to NEVER put anything on a tick to remove it but get to a doctor to remove any ticks! Okay. Seriously? Everyone needs to make their own call on this one, but I for one am not going to pay a doctor $75.00 to remove a tick that I can get off myself! For all you medical personal out there; I am aware of the danger of diseases that those nasty little creatures carry. I also realize that when they have been on more than 12 or so hours, and/or you distress them, they will "spit" the disease into their host. Yep, yuck. But I am a lover of the outdoors and I get about 20 to 30 ticks a season on me! (Does that make me a "Tick Magnet"?!)
If you really don't think you can get a tick off yourself and are afraid the head might stay in and cause infection, etc, then by all means go to the Doc! But if you can remove one then I say remove it yourself! Well, I didn't listen to the nurse. I did put some more lemongrass on and added tea tree and lavender to it as well. I am not a doctor, but I still recommend these and many other oils because they have helped me. They work to help heal the bite wound, and they are anti-inflammatory agents as well as anti-bacterial aids. I would not be caught without them. By the next day I had no red rings, no pain, and might not have needed any treatment for lyme disease. However, I do believe that western medicine also has it's benefits when used with balance in mind, as everything should be. I took doxycycline to catch any development of lyme disease because in this case, with the rings, it seemed wise to do it all. I am sure the essential oils, along with my immune system, took care of any other possible bacteria and I would not hesitate using them again and again! With all of the great evidence out there that therapeutic grade essential oils help, why not?!
I told this story for two reasons: I trust you will read this and update your oils. Second, have a little trust in yourself to make decisions about your health. Take control of your health, you are your own best advocate. Listen to the professionals and then check in with yourself. Look for help on the outside of yourself but look for the truth within. If it resonates with you and feels right, then follow their advice. If not, do your research and go back to them with your questions. It is okay to question those who assist you in maintaining your body’s health. There are some who will agree and those who may not, but ultimately it is your body and your decision. This is about you! Take your power back. Take care of yourself and be healthy!
From both Merri and I: Have a wonderful summer and we trust we will see you at MBS throughout the season!