Essential oils have been used for centuries to help promote healing of wounds and skin irritations. Certain essential oils contain powerful antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory compounds that can help protect against infection while also reducing pain and inflammation. Some oils even stimulate cell regeneration to speed healing. Here are some of the top essential oils to consider using for wound healing:
Lavender Oil Lavender essential oil is one of the most popular and versatile oils for wound care. It contains potent antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help ward off infection while also reducing pain and swelling. Lavender oil helps to promote faster healing by stimulating the growth of new skin cells. It also aids in reducing scarring. Lavender can be applied diluted directly to minor cuts, burns, bites, stings, and skin ulcers. The soothing floral aroma is calming which can help ease stress or anxiety related to the wound.
Tea Tree Oil Tea tree oil is another essential oil long prized for its anti-infectious effects. It is a strong antibacterial and antifungal agent that can be applied to wounds to help clear existing infection as well as prevent the growth of microbes. Tea tree oil helps dry out wounds while stimulating new tissue growth. It is often used to treat acne breakouts and other skin irritations. For wound care, tea tree oil can be diluted and dabbed onto cuts, burns, blisters, cold sores, or insect bites. Always do a skin patch test before extensive use as tea tree oil can cause skin sensitivity in some individuals.
Eucalyptus Oil Eucalyptus oil is a cooling, invigorating essential oil that can provide soothing pain relief to wounds while also protecting against infection. It contains the compound eucalyptol which has antimicrobial effects against bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Eucalyptus also reduces inflammation and interacts with pain receptors to provide analgesic effects. It can be applied diluted to minor burns, cuts, scrapes, blisters, or sores. The refreshing scent can help mask any unpleasant odors coming from the wound while also providing an uplifting aromatherapy boost.
Frankincense Oil The ancient resinous oil steam distilled from Boswellia trees has extensive use for skin healing and wound care. Frankincense oil has strong astringent, antiseptic, and anti-inflammatory properties. It helps to disinfect wounds while also protecting against tetanus and gangrene infection. Frankincense stimulates blood vessel contraction to help stop minor bleeding. It also aids in cell regeneration and scar reduction. Frankincense oil can be diluted and applied directly onto wounds or added to skin salves. The scent also has stress-relieving effects.
Helichrysum Oil Lesser known helichrysum essential oil is often called “everlasting” or “immortal flower” due to its wound healing prowess. The oil contains unique anti-hematoma properties that help reduce swelling, discoloration, and inflammation resulting from wound trauma. Helichrysum also stimulates new tissue growth while fading scars. It’s helpful for healing bruises, sprains, pulled muscles, cuts, and post-surgical wounds. Combine helichrysum with a carrier oil or balm to apply to the skin. The herbaceous, honey-like aroma is soothing.
Plantain Oil Plantain is one of the most abundant backyard weeds with incredible wound healing abilities. Extracted plantain oil is antimicrobial against common bacteria such as staphylococcus and helps prevent infection while accelerating new skin cell formation. Plantain oil also contains allantoin which stimulates collagen production and tissue regeneration. The astringent oil reduces inflammation, irritation, pain, and swelling. Apply diluted plantain oil to minor wounds, cuts, scrapes, burns, bug bites, eczema, and rashes.
Myrrh Oil This ancient biblical balm contains potent antibacterial and anti-fungal compounds that help protect wounds against infectious invaders. The astringent and antiseptic oil also stimulates skin cell regeneration and blood flow to speed healing. Myrrh essential oil can be diluted then applied directly to wounds or added to salves. Myrrh helps prevent infection in cuts, cracks, bedsores, mouth ulcers, and other open skin conditions. The aromatic resin smell also provides a calming, grounding effect.
Carrot Seed Oil Don’t let the name fool you - carrot seed essential oil is not extracted from the orange root vegetable but rather the dried seeds of the wild Queen Anne's lace flower. The oil has a long history of use for skin healing thanks to its antifungal and rejuvenating properties. Carrot seed oil regenerates skin tissue while fading scars and balancing moisture. It’s also helpful for minimizing the look of aging. Use carrot seed diluted on skin wounds or add to lotions and creams. The woodsy, earthy aroma is unique.
Using essential oils for wound healing can support the body’s natural recovery process while also preventing complications like infections. Always dilute essential oils before applying them directly to the skin. Perform a patch test before extensive use. Store oils properly away from heat and light. With their antimicrobial power and skin regenerative compounds, essential oils are a valuable addition to any wound healing regimen.