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Thursday, May 6, 2010

Of Lavender and Peppermint

A few days ago my 5yo daughter (dd for short) came to me with what appeared to be a significant headache. She was crying and clearly in pain. It seemed to me that it came on suddenly, but she told me it had been hurting for a bit. I think it being near bedtime and her being tired exacerbated it. My first inclination was to give her a dose of Motrin, which I did, yet it was no easy task as she resists liquid medicines. A few minutes later as dd lay on the couch emitting random crys of pain it occurred to me that perhaps an essential oil concoction might help her. I pulled out my book (The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood) and turned to the section on headaches. I selected the "General Headache" recipe to try. I mixed 3 drops of lavender oil, 1 drop of peppermint oil, and about 1 drop of coconut oil. (The book called for a drop of vegetable oil, but I substituted coconut instead.) I massaged it on her temples and at the base of her skull at the hairline as the book directed. I did not massage for long as she was not fond of it. The results made me take notice. Within 5 minutes she was obviously feeling better. The whining from discomfort had stopped. I put her to bed as it was her bedtime, but very soon thereafter she came out looking for her baby doll. Any signs of a headache and discomfort were ... gone. In my experience, Motrin does not work that quickly.

I have used the combination of oils also found in the book to relieve a migraine headache that was accompanied by intestinal discomfort. I had recalled reading about a 'gastric headache' that Worwood attributes to eating the wrong foods and decided to try the book's suggestion. My sweet husband helped me out as I was rather incapacitated. He mixed 1 drop of peppermint oil with a teaspoon of honey in warm water and brought it to me to sip. He then mixed 1 drop of Rosemary, 2 drops of Peppermint, and 1 drop of Lavender together and put a drop or two of the mixture on a tissue for me to inhale. (The book calls for inhaling 1 drop on a tissue, or massaging back of the neck with 1 drop, or putting 3 drops in a steam inhaler.) Within 30 minutes I was almost totally back to normal. It sure beat letting the migraine run it's course!

I have used lavender oil myself recently to relieve skin irritation and burns from cooking. The book by Worwood tells of a chemist(I think a perfume maker) who burned himself in the lab and immersed his hand in lavender oil as it was the only liquid close by. He thus discovered that lavender oil aids in the healing of burns.

Another thing that aids in the healing of burns is Xango- a supplement I have taken for years. It's a juice one can take internally, or apply externally. It's a fabulous anti-inflammatory. I have not used it much externally except for my son's acne (amazing results especially when combined with ingesting it) and burns. Earlier this week I decided to test it out on my foot. Feet, actually.
I have different issues going on with each foot- but the root of both I believe to be inflammation. ( I have a suspected neuroma in one foot and pain and tightening from the heel to inside of my arch on the other.) I have been massaging my feet and experimenting with placing a cotton ball soaked with Xango on the inflamed parts of my foot once or twice a day while sitting. I have been very surprised at the results. I have noticed a rather dramatic improvement in how my feet feel immediately after I'm finished sitting and letting the Xango soak in as compared to when I first sat down.

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