Letter Re: Essential Oils for Survival

Knowing that a survival situation will be most likely without medical help – one of my first thoughts is – make sure I have some essential oils.

What are essential oils? Think herbs, with the important oils all “juiced” out of them.

I first became interested in oils after learning that oils are mentioned in the Bible quite frequently – both in the Old and New Testament. God had/has a keen interest in them. Maybe I should too, I mused.

Lately, I’ve tried to stock up on my favorites, as they may become difficult to buy in the future, as the economy weakens. If I had to pack my G.O.O.D. bag with oils, I would do them in this order:

1. Tea Tree Oil – an all around favorite for washing/sanitizing hands, applying to cuts or wounds, and a general antibacterial, antifungal oil. Tea tree can be obtained at Wal-Mart (a full 2 ounces–the big oil bottle, for under $10 bottle. The price has gone up, just recently). Look in the vitamin section.

2. If I had room for a second bottle, I would put in a concoction of several oils to ward off/ deal with current typical illnesses (colds, flus, bronchial, weak immune system, bleeding gums, etc)…. It would consist of: thyme, oregano, clove, eucalyptus oil. Some of these are harder to find than others, and the price would be around $35 or so. You need to mix these (equal parts or so) yourself. This can be applied directly to the chest and/or the bottom of the feet. A few drops will do. Make sure you have a “dropper” style lid under the cap.

3. A tie for second place bottle would be a “pain relief” bottle – consisting of a blend I would make myself of peppermint, wintergreen, clove, and cypress oils (go heavier on the peppermint and wintergreen). This should be around $20. Peppermint has a heavy “fume” to it, and if it is even near the eyes, it will feel like it’s in your eyes – be careful (If you do ever get oils in your eyes – any kind of vegetable oil helps bring it out – not water). This is great for headaches, injuries (like a hurt knee or slight sprain or backache), etc. Again, a couple drops will do. Have your dropper style lid in place.

4. If there’s still room in the bag, go for some Rosemary (under $5 for .5 oz). I’ve personally found Rosemary excellent at antifungal applications. A survival situation may entail some tangles with athletes foot, toe/finger fungus or ringworm, and the Rosemary (which can also be teamed with a little Tea Tree) will almost always do the trick. Again, just one drop, using the dropper lid.

I’ve found the key to essential oils is to use very little – maybe just one drop, for your problem…but to do it constantly – like at least three times a day. Conventional medicines don’t require that kind of attention…but, who can get a refill on prescription in the middle of the wilderness?

5. And, if you can, grab a bottle of Lavender oil. (Usually around $10). The intense stress that we will all be under when times get really tough can be relieved by a little lavender oil. It never ceases to amaze me how a drop or two can relax and then – put to sleep! – myself and others – in anxious circumstances.

People in the essential oil business argue which manufacturer is best. I’ll tell you my 2 cents and leave it up to you. Young Living is probably the most expensive (purchased on the Internet), but they claim most of their oils can also be ingested. That part is appealing. For oils that you can apply or use in different ways, you may be happy with other brands. I’ve used Aura Cacia, Thursday Plantation, and Sante with good results. They and others can be purchased at health food stores.

There are many other varieties of essential oils that I could comment on, but thought I would keep it to a few important ones.

I’m in the process of packing the family’s G.O.O.D. bags. And I hope to not leave home without the oils. Thanks for all you do, Jim. Take care, – Jean L.

JWR Replies: Thanks for those suggestions. Here is a good on-line reference on how to safely use essential oils.