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  • Why You Should Use Essential Oils in Emergencies

    A friend of mine carries 10 essential oils in her purse for emergencies. When she travels, she takes a dozen or more.

    Emergency Essentials now sells essential oils. Here are a few that could be useful in a first aid kit.



    Essential Oils LavenderOne day this summer, when my special needs daughter had lost her temper and was screaming on the ground in a full-blown meltdown, Cherylee, another friend who knows essential oils, suggested I try lavender essential oil.

    Lavender was a logical suggestion. Although the evidence is limited, some clinical studies suggest patients waiting for surgery seemed calmer if they inhaled lavender through aromatherapy than those who used other calming methods, according to a 2014 literature review in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

    It may also be good for skin.

    Cherylee said she used some this summer when her daughter went outside without sunscreen. She believes it helped soothe her daughter’s skin irritation.

    “I use it on all my kids’ little scrapes and burns,” she said.

    A few cautions: Lavender essential oil can cause irritation if applied directly to the skin and is poisonous if swallowed, according to Homesteading, a 2009 book edited by Abigail Gehring.

    Also, watch out for products labeled “lavender scented.” They don’t contain real lavender.



    Bottle of Peppermint essential oils

    Peppermint oil is one of the oldest European medicinal herbs. Its main active ingredient is menthol – that nasty-tasting ingredient in mouthwash and throat lozenges. It’s been used for many years as a traditional medicine to treat stomach pain.

    Peppermint oil has some of the most reliable evidence suggesting it could be effective for treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome, according to a 2014 review in the journal Digestion.

    Cherylee uses peppermint to help her muscles cool off after a workout. She also uses it for occasional head pain.

    For tension headaches, patients in a study cited by WebMD applied 10% peppermint oil in ethanol solution across their forehead and temples then repeated the process after 15 and 30 minutes.

    Don’t use too much, though. Peppermint oil is considered fairly safe in small doses but can have side effects of allergic reaction and heartburn, according to Homesteading.


    Tea tree (Melaleuca)

    Melaleuca Essential OilsCherylee said tea tree oil has “limitless applications.”

    The chemicals in tea tree may have antifungal properties. One study mentioned in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found a 10 percent tea tree oil cream worked about as well as over the counter athlete’s foot cream (tolnaftate 1%) to relieve symptoms of athlete’s foot. It didn’t cure the infection, though. Researchers found a 100 percent tea tree solution used twice daily for six months decreased toenail fungus in 60 percent of patients.

    “I’ve used this for occasional ear irritation, for minor skin irritation,” Cherylee said.

    Don’t take tea tree oil by mouth. It’s likely unsafe, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can also be mildly irritating to skin and cause an allergic skin reaction in some people.



    Frankincense Essential OilsFrankincense is Cherylee’s favorite oil for emergencies.

    “I’d use this any day over any oil. When in doubt, I use it,” she said. “It will help the body take care of itself at any level.”

    Even though frankincense has been in use for thousands of years, we still don’t have that much information about it or how it works, according to WebMD.

    It’s made from hardened sap of a type of tree from the genus Boswellia. When tested in labs, components from sap extracts might have anti-inflammatory properties, according to an overview in the Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

    Cherylee also feels frankincense, when mixed with other essential oils, helps enhance their effects.

    Since there’s not that much known about frankincense, WebMD recommends you always follow package directions and talk to a health care professional before using it.


    Essential OilsThe U.S. Food and Drug Administration identifies three ways to use essential oils for the body: internally as a dietary supplement, topically and aromatically.

    Elementa Essentials, the company that makes the oil sold on this site, does not recommend using any of its products internally without a doctor’s approval.

    It advises caution for any type of application if you’re pregnant, on medication or have sensitive skin.

    Don’t apply undiluted essential oils directly to your skin. Put 3-10 drops in an ounce of vegetable oil or lotion. Oils need to be as pure as possible.

    Cherylee dilutes her essential oils in fractionated coconut oil, a coconut oil from which one type of fat has been removed.

    “It’s not oily and it help(s) the skin absorb the essential oil better,” she wrote.

    Aromatically means using a diffuser to spray a diluted oil mixture into a room. Diffusers are available at many retailers.

    However you use essential oils, be careful and consult an expert first.

    “Treat essential oils with the same care that you treat medicines,” said an article in AromaWeb.


    - Melissa


    Essential Oils Blog Banner



    Gehring, Abigail R. (2009-11-01). Homesteading: A Backyard Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More (Back to Basics Guides) (Kindle Locations 2-3). Skyhorse Publishing. Kindle Edition.

    Trinkley KENahata MC, “Medication management of irritable bowel syndrome.” Digestion. 2014;89(4):253-67. doi: 10.1159/000362405. Epub 2014 Jul 2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24992947

    Stea, Susanna, Beraudi, Alina, and De Pasquale, Dalila, “Essential Oils for Complementary Treatment of Surgical Patients: State of the Art,” Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 726341, 6 pages

  • Survival Test: Can You Bug Out with Your Bag?

    Survival Test: Can You Bug out with Your Bug Out Bag?

    A few weeks ago, I went on a hike in Southern Utah. It was a warm day, but not unbearably hot. I carried nothing but my cell phone. The hike was only about three miles, but by mile two I felt like I was going. to. die.

    It didn’t help that half of the hike was through a sand wash (I had to empty my shoes at least four times because they were too full of sand for my feet to fit!), or that the steepest hill was toward the end of the hike. Either way, it got me thinking: What if an emergency had happened unexpectedly and I’d been forced to “hike” my way to safety in those same conditions, but carrying a 20, 30, or 40-pound bug-out bag?

    I’d say I don’t want to think about it, but I have to think about it—partly because it’s my job, and partly because I really am invested in getting prepared. I hate to think that in spite of all my other preparations, skills, and gear, I’d be up a creek without a paddle simply because I’m not fit enough to hike to safety while carrying my emergency kit.

    So, I’m committing to a series of survival tests this summer: once a month I’ll do the same hike (one that’s more local) with my survival pack on my back, and I’ll see how far I can go.

    Between tests, I’ll be working to build endurance and strength so I won’t have to worry about “getting out of Dodge” if or when the time comes.

    How about you? Have you ever done a test run with your emergency pack on? Care to join me?

    If you’d like to join me for my Bug-Out Survival Tests throughout the summer, watch the blog and our other social media channels for announcements, and use the hashtag #eesurvivaltest to share your photos and experiences.


    Until next time.


    --Urban Girl

  • Check Out our NEW Disaster Preparedness Guide

     When Disaster Hits Home--A Disaster Preparedness Guide

    Home fires, downed power lines, and winter weather can be just as deadly as earthquakes and tornadoes. It’s important to prepare for natural disasters, but our NEW Disaster Preparedness Guide, “When Disaster Hits Home” is a great reminder to be ready for any crisis that may strike—big or small.

    We’ve teamed up with the Deseret News to create this free guide to help our customers and readers confidently answer the question: Am I prepared for the unexpected?“When Disaster Hits Home” can teach you and your family how to prepare for the unexpected in several ways. It includes helpful hints on how to …

    • Stay safe and prevent home fires
    • Prepare for floods (did you know floods are the most common natural disaster?)
    • Get the entire family involved in preparedness (It even includes a preparedness activity sheet for kids)
    • Build an emergency kit for school, work, home, cars, and pets
    • Survive in your car in freezing temperatures
    • Provide the basics of survival (food, water, shelter, and warmth) during an emergency

    This 12-page feature is a great resource for getting prepared whether you’re a seasoned prepper or new to emergency preparedness. “When Disaster Hits Home” will teach you things you may not have known about preparation, and statistics about natural disasters and unexpected emergencies that happen in the U.S. It even offers personal stories from people who have lived through unexpected disasters.

    Check out our new Disaster Preparedness Guide, “When Disaster Hits Home” online or, if you live in Utah, you can pick up a printed copy at one of our stores.  The demand for printed copies of our Disaster Guide was so high that we no longer have printed copies. If you would like to  print or download a copy, you can go to  http://viewer.zmags.com/publication/16e9a228#/16e9a228/ and print a copy to put in your emergency supplies.  It’s totally free and full to the brim with great info.

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