Essential Oils For Travelers

As a traveling family general health care is a big concern and something that we need to think about well before taking off on a trip. We're a family that believes very much in the merits of natural remedies and when we travel our most cherished natural oils and herbal treatments have to come along.

Western medications are okay and necessary sometimes, but what we find works best in staving off colds, treating fungal and bacterial infections, and helping us sleep or reduce anxiety is natural oils and herbs.

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While traveling the world we have found that some countries really value natural treatment as well. So replenishing our supply is usually simple, but other countries require us to purchase things online if we run low. Napiers is a great site to purchase natural products of all kinds. They provide oils, herbs, and all sorts of natural remedies.

So just what do we carry with us?  Read on to hear about our top 4 favorite oils...

Tea Tree Oil
TTO is a big one for us and an oil that has many uses. When we were first putting together our packing list we had decided to bring a bottle along with us. As we thought through the availability issues we decided to bring several bottles with us and we are glad we did. We have found that it's the oil we use most and have gone through quite a bit over the last year alone.

Tea tree oil is both antibiotic as well as anti microbial. This makes it a wonderful, safe, and effective cleaner for any household. A few drops of oil in a liter of water makes a great all purpose cleaner. 1-2 drops in the laundry works well to freshen up clothes especially when traveling and things seem to get grungier than usual.  We also use it for skin blemish treatment, to clean cuts and scrapes, to prevent razor burn, to cure pink eye, to treat fungal infections, as aromatherapy to treat sinuses during a cold, and to treat dandruff when added to a bottle of shampoo or pure castille soap.

There are many more uses and many different concentrations for TTO use, but these are our top applications.  I have also recently discovered that you can use it as a bug repellent so I plan to give that a shot!  It is quite a strong smell so it stands to reason that bugs will steer clear.

**Never ingest tea tree oil.  It is only to be used topically**

Lavender Oil
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Lavender oil comes in as our second most used essential oil. It is perhaps the most versatile of all the essential oils we have used making it a great choice for travel.  I would love to travel with loads of oils but carrying it all around presents challenges so we need to really pick and choose what we can get the most from. Lavender is one of those oils.  The plants comes in 39 different species but only 1 is used as a therapeutic oil for humans. You should only be using pure therapeutic grade oil as that is more effective and can be used for ingestion as well as topical application. 

The biggest use we have for lavender oil is in treating sleep issues. When any of us is having trouble with stress or insomnia we place some on our temples or for small children on the soles of their feet before bed.  When my 5-year-old started to have night terrors (which are most terrifying for the parents) we went straight for the lavender. A few drops on the soles of his feet 2 nights in a row and he stops them completely for months. We also use lavender oil for massage of sore muscles, calming anxiety, soothing minor burns, for use on insect bites to reduce itching, and as a general fabric freshener in the laundry.

I have also learned that lavender can be used as bug repellent, in a diffuser as an air freshener, to treat sunburn, to treat motion sickness, and loads more. Versatility is it's biggest selling point for travelers, no doubt!

**Be very careful when using lavender oil while pregnant**

Eucalyptus oil
Eucalyptus oil is another one our favorites.  We do not use it near as often as we do the other 2 but when we need it we really need it!  It is made from Eucalyptus tree leaves in Australia and is known for its strong odor, similar to something like Vick's.  It is a powerful anti microbial making it a great choice for laundry use as well as all purpose cleaner.

We use TTO and vinegar primarily for cleaning when we need it, so for us eucalyptus oil is used for more personal things. The 2 most important uses for us are for treating insect bites and relieving cough.  Usually 1-2 times a year one or more of us come down some type of cold and more times than not it ends with some sort of cough, the kind that keeps you up at night and for our young guys can get so bad it wakes them and leads to vomiting.  All we need to do to cure the cough is to rub slightly diluted eucalyptus oil on their feet at bedtime and cover with a sock.  When we do that they sleep straight through the night, when we forget to put it on the coughing persists.  Amazing stuff!

Eucalyptus oil can also be used for clearing sinuses, cleaning wounds, calming muscle pain, in dental care to prevent cavities, as an ingredient in homemade soaps and mouthwashes, and to treat mental exhaustion through its cooling and refreshing effects.

**Eucalyptus oil is never to be ingested orally or used undiluted**

White Flower Oil
White flower oil is probably the best oil specifically for travel.  It is a blend of several aromatic oils (eucalyptus, camphor, lavender, peppermint, menthol, and wintergreen) and is usually sold as an analgesic for sore muscles.  I had heard it could be used for many purposes so before our big trip I invested in 2 bottles.  Little did I know it would be sold everywhere in Asia and just how much we would come to rely on it.

I have never used it for its intended purpose but rather primarily as a motion sickness cure.  At the beginning of any journey we rub a little on our wrists and into our temples (being careful to not get any in the eyes) and we remain nausea free.  When motion sickness creeps in on a long ride we simply reapply and something about the smell takes all the nausea away.

We have also used it as a headache reliever, stress reducer and a mosquito repellent.  But it's ability to cure motion sickness makes it a must have for traveler!

**Do not put WFO on open wounds**

As with most things seeing (and using in this case) is believing.  Not so long ago I questioned the efficacy of natural treatments, but over time I have learned so much in regards to how harmful medications, lotions, and soaps that are commercially made can be. Additionally, after using some of these oils as well as supplements and herbs we have seen, as a family, that they really do work and we can feel good about minimizing harsh chemicals usage in our home and in our bodies.

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  1. I love Eucalyptus oil, interesting post

  2. Mmmm! sounds interesting, haven't heard anything like this before. I use to travel a lot. pretty important article to be concerned.