Suffering a burn while baking that special cake for the family, or roasting pork chops on a Sunday afternoon can knock the fun out of a relaxed afternoon with family and friends. You know what I am talking about.
The ensuing pain and sensitivity on the burnt area, as everybody tries their mom’s remedy for burns on you, is usually very uncomfortable. However, a home remedy could just salvage your afternoon and turn it from a pain-filled one to a soothed one.
Some essential oils, blends and salves are considered good home remedies for some type of burns and have been known, not only to reduce pain but also reduce scarring as the healing process progresses.
There are 3 types of burns. The most common, but not too serious are first and second degree burns.
- Typical first degree burns will include sunburn or a burn suffered while on the grill. Usually, the burn just turns red and the area generally may become sore and mildly painful. This means only the first layer of the skin has been affected. Application of cold water to cool the area helps and some essential oil like lavender will help in soothing the area and hasten the healing process.
- Second degree burns may result in blistering, discomfort and some possible scarring. This type of burn affects the first layer and second layer of skin. Both first and second degree burns can be treated at home.
- Third degree burns, however, are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention without applying anything. This should be left to the professional medical staff at the hospital.
Essential oils have various uses depending on their biochemical profile. As such, not all essential oils are suited for burn relief.
It also contains an anti-bacterial agent Terpinen-4-ol (2-6%). These anti-bacterial properties mean that the wound stays sterilized contribute to lavender being one of the remedies that is used for soothing burns.
Peppermint contains 40% menthol which has amazing cooling effect.
It is a great essential oil to have handy in the kitchen as oven or steam burns can be particularly nasty. You can cool the burnt area with tepid water and then apply this essential oil which will provide further cooling while soothing the area.
This essential oil is a great way to treat a burn, especially if you are feeling a lot of pain and it’s one of those must have in your medicine cabinet.
It combines anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties to aid in healing, pain reduction and prevention of infections as the burn heals.
Manuka essential oil’s constitution contains natural skin healing properties and antiseptic qualities. When applied to a burn, its healing qualities work in tandem not only to prevent infection but also to promote healing.
This essential oil bears natural pain reducing, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. These qualities help in reducing pain on the burn site.
Frankincense’s antiseptic qualities also make it a good option as it not only cleans a burn wound but also prevents infection.
Myrrh, like frankincense, is an essential oil that dates back to biblical times and it has long been known for its anti-fungal, anti-bacterial properties which in the case of burns reduces swelling and inflammation and prevents infection.
Essential oils for sunburns
A sunny day at the beach or lazying around the pool soaking in some sun is a much-needed exercise for most of us. What do you do then when afterward you realize that you might have overindulged just a touch and you are now crisp due to sunburn?
Particular essential oils can be of great help relieving skin pain and discomfort associated with sunburn.
Consider these two essential oils that provide impeccable sunburn relief:
Sandalwood essential oil is known for its natural skin cooling properties and ability to rid your skin of excess heat. This makes it ideal for use in sunburns.
It has anti-inflammatory qualities that fight and ward off germs. As it cools your skin it also hydrates it making the affected area supple which lessens scarring.
Coriander essential oil is derived by steam distillation from seeds of the coriander and is a close relative of cilantro oil which is derived from the coriander plant.
Coriander oil has a range of benefits, including being used as a relaxant and its ability to tone and rejuvenate the skin.
These properties make it great for sunburn as it allows the skin to lose heat which causes inflammation and it also regenerates skin cell growth.
Essential oils for burns scars
When it comes to scars from burns, there are specific essential oils that are most helpful in:
- Preventing infection
- Hydration and expediting the healing process
- Reducing scar marks on the burn site
However, it is important to note the right course of action to take when you have a burn. As mentioned, burns that are not too serious can be treated at home.
For such burns, we have highlighted some of the essential oils that alleviate the pain of the burn and aid in lessening the scars:
Neroli oil can actually make the scar shrink to unnoticeable levels or disappear altogether. It is so effective that it is used on both fresh and old scars.
To heal a scar, mix ten drops of neroli oil with an ounce of rosehip seed oil. This mixture should be applied to the scar twice a day.
Old scars can be stubborn. As such, you would need to apply the mixture consistently as they can take as much as three to six months to fade.
This essential oil has anti-inflammatory and pain reducing properties that makes it incredible in healing burns.
It helps reduce pain and promotes blood flow and circulation to the burn site, thus expediting the healing process. It also effectively prevents scarring on fresh burns and helps reduce the visibility of old scars.
Calendula essential oil effectively combats the redness, pain and swelling associated with a burn site. Its anti-inflammatory and pain reducing qualities help in soothing and preventing inflammation especially if the wound is not covered.
In addition to helping in the healing process, calendula oil also helps to prevent scarring by promoting cell and tissue re-growth and regeneration in the burn area.
Geranium essential oil has anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties that are crucial in the prevention of infections on a burn.
It is also very effective in preventing scarring, as it encourages a quick healing process of the wound through cellular growth and regeneration.
Burn salve recipes
Knowing how burns in the kitchen and elsewhere are common place, being armed with several homemade burn salve recipes is essential.
Here are 3 homemade burn salves recipes that are easy to create and will prove worth having in your medicine cabinet.
For a heat from a stove, grill or hot steam
- 2 ounces of manuka oil or regular honey (the honey can serve as a substitute if the oil is not available, however, it is good to note that manuka oil contains extra healing properties)
- 20 drops of lavender essential oil
- 2 tablespoonfuls of extra virgin olive oil
- Place all the above ingredients in a glass and mix well
- Spread over affected burn site
- Cover with a gauze dressing or band-aid
- Spray bottle
- Half a cup of Aloe Vera juice
- 1/8 of a cup of virgin coconut oil
- 10 drops each of lavender and peppermint essential oils
- Pour 2 or 3 inches of water in a saucepan and place it on moderate heat
- Pour the Aloe Vera liquid and virgin coconut oil into a jar and place the jar in the saucepan. Stir the mixture until the mixture has liquefied completely
- Once the mixture is fully integrated with the jar, remove the jug from the pan. Add your peppermint oil and lavender then mix up well
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and store in a cool dry place ready for use
For scars from burns
- 6 drops frankincense oil
- 6 drops helichrysum oil
- 6 drops lavender oil
- 2 droppers full of vitamin E oil
- Fractionated virgin coconut oil
- Use a glass roller bottle, mix all the above ingredients well with the exception of the coconut oil
- Now fill the rest of the bottle with the fractionated coconut oil and shake thoroughly for a proper mix
- Apply to burn site 2-3 times daily until the scar is visibly reduced or gone
Things you should consider when using essential oils for burns
As much as certain home essential oils remedies are beneficial for burns, you should always check with a medical expert before deciding to use any if in doubt.
If you are prone to allergies or are allergic to certain ingredients, then we advise that you always check with your doctor before use of certain essential oils that might trigger your allergies.
For instance, if you are allergic to citrus fruits then it’s best to avoid lemon and orange essential oils as they are direct extracts from citrus plants. Seek advice from your medical doctor on alternatives.
When you need to apply selected essential oils for burns, it is imperative to do extensive research to use the right product for the correct need.
Trans fats and hydrogenated oils
It is important to note that trans fats and hydrogenated oils are not to be used on burns as they help increase inflammation of the burn site and decrease the ability of the body to self-heal.
When healing from a burn, it is highly advisable to abstain from processed foods as they contain harmful chemicals and dyes that may undermine the healing process.
Foods with high levels of sodium should be avoided as they can immensely slow down the healing of a burn site.
Essential oils for burns have natural healing, anti-inflammatory and soothing qualities provided from the bosom of Mother Nature herself.
These qualities are yet to be explored and taken advantage of. Although this is a vast subject, the use of essential oils is practical and can be employed in our everyday life with incredible benefits.
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