Essential Oils for Burns plus blend recipes


How to use Essential Oils for Burns

Having worked, clumsily, in a commercial kitchen for years, I can tell you that burns are a pain that can last for days and even years. Whether it’s just minor skin damage of a first degree burn or its severe nerve damage and scaring from third degree burns, it’s an injury that lingers in more than one way. I hope you can find some pain relief from burns in this article about how to use essential oils to treat various burns, plus some additional natural and herbal burn relief tips.

Understanding Burns

To help you heal yourself it’s important to understand burns. We all get them from time to time, some of you may have had a severe and traumatic burn injury, but we often don’t understand the physical and chemical processes that make a burn so painful and hard to heal.

There are three degrees of burns:

  • first degree burns – Least severe, skin gets red but doesn’t blister
  • second degree burns – moderately severe, skin blisters and scaring is likely
  • third degree burns – extremely severe, immediate medical attention is required

First degree burns

First degree burns are superficial and not dangerous, but they are still painful. This type of burn only damages the top layer of skin and will heal in about a week after the top layer of skin is naturally shed; this is common to sunburns. In the meantime, you’ll want to address the pain and make sure the wound doesn’t get any worse, so look for the essential oils that are analgesic

Second degree burns

Second degree burns are more severe because they extend deeper than the top layer of skin. You’ll blister at this stage and you’ll want to treat not only the pain but also the likelihood of infection. You may also want to follow-up, after your burn has healed, with treatments to reduce scars that may develop due to the nature of this burn. For this you’ll want essential oils that are cicatrisant as well as analgesic.

Third degree burns

Third degree burns are the most severe and will land you in a hospital. There is often little to no pain associated with small third degree burns because extensive damage to the nerves keep them from functioning normally, triggering a pain response. At this point you should not be using these treatments for your initial burn injury, and essential oils and herbal treatments should only begin after you have fully healed or with the approval of your doctor. Using essential oils for scaring, residual pain, and aroma-therapy for emotional distress is recommended after you’ve been stabilized and do not have open or healing wounds.

What happens to skin when it’s burned, and what do I need to heal it?

Simply put, when you get a burn you are cooking your skin, and the first thing you should do is run a fresh burn under cold water to pull away the heat and stop the damage. Never use ice on a burn because it could damage the skin further.

Your damaged skin releases chemicals that trigger inflammation, so you will want to treat the swelling. There is pain because your nerve endings have been triggered, meaning you will want a pain reliever. If your skin blisters it becomes susceptible to breaking open and being exposed to infection, and for that you’ll want something antibacterial and antimicrobial. You will also want herbs and essential oils that are supportive to healing wounds (vulnerary) and that reduce or smooth scaring.


 

Essential Oils to Treat Burn Wounds

 

1. Lavender Oil

lavender essential oil

Lavender essential oil was first recognized in 1910, by French chemist Rene-Maurice Gattefosse, as a valid treatment of burns. It is one of the top-notch essential oils for burns because of its soothing nature. It relieves the burning sensation, heals the wound faster, and prevents scaring, due to its anti-inflammatory and cytophylactic (promotes cell growth) properties.

  • Soothes pain
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Reduces scarring during healing
  • Promotes new cell growth

You can find this oil here

 

2. Frankincense Oil

frankincense essential oil

Frankincense essential oil has been used for thousands of years for its various medicinal and aromatic qualities, It even gets a biblical shout-out.  It is a great essential oil for burns for its ability to reduce scaring by stimulating natural healthy skin cell growth, as well as supporting the health of existing skin, while the burn heals. It also speeds up the healing process, making recovering that much quicker.

  • Stops bleeding
  • Speeds healing of cuts
  • Reduces scarring
  • Supports skin health

You can find this oil here

 

3. Angelica Oil

angelica essential oil

Angelica essential oil has an extensive list of beneficial and medicinal uses. That’s because it’s chocked full of highly beneficial compounds, Including Alpha Pinene and Beta Pinene, Camphene, and Limonene. Alpha Pinene is supremely effective for burn treatment because it’s both a pain reliever (analgesic), antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory. Limonene is a supportive compound to Alpha Pinene because it helps the oil penetrate the skin and work from below the surface, making this an irreplaceable essential oil for burns.

  • Pain relief
  • Antibacterial/microbial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Penetrating (works below the surface of the skin)

You can find this oil here

 

3. Myrrh Oil

myrrh essential oil

 

Myrrh essential oil is another essential oil with biblical history. Like Frankincense, it has been used for millennia because of its various properties. For burns it is helpful as an anti-fungal, anti-bacterial that reduces swelling and inflammation. Myrrh also helps promote healthy new skin growth and reduces scarring as it’s applied to the wounded area.

  • Anti-fungal
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Promotes new skin growth

You can find this oil here

 

4. Patchouli Oil

 

Patchouli essential oil  is known for its skin restoring properties. It is cytophalactic and anti-inflammatory, protecting the cells from further damage due to swelling. It is also cicatrisant, stimulating skin cell regeneration and causing the wound to heal faster. It is an excellent essential oil for scar tissue healing. Mixed with an oil that has Limonene, such as Angelica essential oil, it is a powerful healer and has a wonderful scent.

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Protects cells from further damage
  • Heals wounds faster

You can find this oil here

5. Eucalyptus oil

eucalyptus essential oils to treat burn wounds

 

Eucalyptus essential oil is a great wound protector because of its antiseptic properties. Upon exposure to air ozone, a well-researched antiseptic, is formed. “Therefore, eucalyptus oil is used for healing wounds, ulcers, burns, cuts, abrasions and sores“. If your burn blistered and has opened than this is a good oil to keep the wound free from infection, and if you fear you have infection then definitely try this essential oil. It is also has a cooling effect which can help relieve some of the pain from burns.

  • Highly antiseptic
  • Anti-fungal
  • Cooling relief

You can get this oil here

 

6. Geranium Oil

geranium essential oils will heal burns

 

Geranium essential oil is packed with the types of compounds that are perfect for burn treatment. It will protect your wound from infection, it promotes skin growth to heal the wound faster and it is cicatrisant, reducing scaring while the wound heals. It has both Alpha Pinene and Limonene which work in harmony to penetrate below the surface of the skin to heal from the dermis up.

  • Protects from infection
  • Heals wounds quickly
  • prevents scars from forming

You can get this oil here

 

7. Yarrow Oil

yarrow essential oils

Yarrow essential oil is a very effective analgesic pain reliever as well as a powerful anti-inflammatory, thanks to a number of skin healing constituents. It also has emollient and vulnerary properties, which keep the skin moisture balanced while promoting faster healing. This is a great oil to use if you find other healing oils dry your skin, especially astringent oils such as Tea Tree oil.

  • Pain reliever
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Moisturizing
  • Promotes fast healing

You can get this oil here

 

8. Helichrysum Oil

helichrysum essential oil

Helichrysum essential oil is valuable for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic pain relieving properties. Besides being a pain reliever, it also has properties of fast wound healing and reduced scarring. Like Yarrow essential oil, it is also an emollient and will keep skin soft and moisturized.

  • Pain Relief
  • Moisturizes
  • Prevents/reduces scarring
  • Promotes fast healing

You can get this oil here


 

Essential Oils for Burns – blend recipes and application guide

Single Oil Topical Application

There are two methods for applying a single oil topically. The first is using a dab of pure essential oil, called neat application, but for many oils this is too potent and my cause mild to severe irritation. The second application method is to use a carrier oil. These are mostly inert or supportive oils that you can mix with your essential oil to dilute it for a more practical application regiment.

Quality carrier oils include:

  • Jojoba Oil
  • Grape Seed Oil
  • Almond Oil
  • Coconut Oil
  • Peach Kernel Oil

For burns I recommend Peach Kernel Oil because it’s safe with sensitive skin. Almond Oil or Coconut Oil are also great carrier oils, they are nurturing to the skin and are supportive to the essential oils in this list.

When mixing together your carrier oil and your essential oil the recommended dilution ratio is 12 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) of carrier oil. This ratio changes depending on the sensitivity of your skin, the strength of the oil, as well as your personal preferences.

Application of single essential oils for burns depends on the essential oil used, as well as, the age and type of burn they are applied to. Try using oils once to twice daily, if symptoms worsen either reduce applications or stop all together. If symptoms don’t get better try to slowly increase application, but don’t exceed 5 times daily. Even though these are essential oils to aid in skin health and wound healing, it is still possible to cause irritation and sensitivity by over-use of them.

 

 

Burn Blend Recipes

Emergency Burn Stop Bath

Ingredients:

Essential Oil Pain Relieving Blend

  • 1 tablespoon carrier oil of choice (recommended oil: peach kernel oil or almond oil)
  • 2 drops helichrysum oil
  • 2 drops yarrow oil
  • 4 drops lavender oil
  • 1 drop geranium oil (optional)

This is a great blend for second degree burns as they have a tendency to cause more pain and are more likely to scar. It is heavy on pain relief, with all three essential oils having powerful analgesic properties. It is also an effective scar preventative, you can even add 1 drop of geranium oil into this mix for extra scar prevention. To apply, dab a bit on a cotton ball and apply gently to the burn as needed for the first two days.

Essential Oil Scar Preventing Blend

  • 1 tablespoon carrier oil of choice (recommended oil: peach kernel oil or almond oil)
  • 2 drops angelica oil
  • 2 drops geranium oil
  • 4 drops lavender oil

The pain relief of angelica oil, mixed with the scar-preventative properties of geranium oil, and the soothing relief of lavender make this blend great for a fresh burn that you’re currently treating. It’s also highly anti-bacterial in the event your burn blisters and opens. Using peach kernel oil is a nice addition for the sensitivity of a fresh burn. Just mix these all together in a non reactive container and apply twice daily until your burn has healed (about a weeks time)

 Essential Oil Scar Diminishing Blend

  • 1 tablespoon carrier oil of choice (recommended oil: peach kernel oil or almond oil)
  • 3 drops frankincense oil
  • 3 drops myrrh oil
  • 3 drops angelica oil

Use this blend for old scars, whether they’re from burns or other wounds. Both frankincense and myrrh act as skin smoothing agents that can reduce scar tissue. Apply this blend once a day for two weeks, then stop application for two weeks and repeat. Follow this schedule for a few months and you should see your scar diminish.


 

Herbal and Botanical Treatments for Burns

Listed below are a few herbal treatments for burns that aren’t suitable for essential oils or aren’t manufactured as an essential oil yet. You can find more herbal and botanical remedies in our herbal teas and tonics sections.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera is a pretty ubiquitous plant. It’s made into bottled drinks and its in a multitude of burn relief gels and creams. The healing and soothing properties of Aloe are actually strongest when used right from the plant, since Aloe gels tend to have many extra ingredients that dilute the active ingredients of pure Aloe. It has long been used for burn treatments. The juice instantly seals the wound while drawing the flow of blood to the wound, thus enhancing the process of wound healing. In many studies, it has been proven that aloe effectively treats third-degree burn victims and it restores the burned skin faster┬╣.

  • Burn relief
  • Healing
  • Seals and protects wounds

Aloe Vera preparation and use instructions:

Incase you don’t have access to an Aloe plant, or you don’t want to be bothered to harvest some, this is a pure organic Aloe Vera gel that is a quality replacement.

  1. With your thumb nail, pry away ALL of the thorny spines on the edge of the Aloe leaf
  2. Pry the leaf in two, exposing the clear gel-like center
  3. Use your thumb to “juice” the center gel and release the liquid trapped within
  4. rub the leaf, and the juice, onto the affected area
  5. repeat 2- 3 times daily

Gotu Kola

Gotu Kola is a marsh plant that is aquatic. It’s indigenous to India and South East Asia, but you may be able to find it growing wildly in the marshy parts of the United States, like Florida and Louisiana. It’s used in cooking recipes but it’s also an Ayurvedic herb. It has the ability to stimulate collagen formation and heal or rejuvenate skin. Mixed with aloe gel, it is an excellent treatment for minor burns, sunburns, minor scrapes and abrasions┬▓.

Get it here

Aloe and Gotu Kola Salve Recipe:

If making your own Gotu Kola salve isn’t appealing to you, this scar diminishing cream uses Gotu Kola and might be of interest to you.

  1.  1oz (2 tablespoons) of Aloe Vera Gel
  2.  1oz (2 tablespoons) of Gotu Kola Powder [if using an extract, use 1/3 ounce (2 teaspoons)]
  3. Mix both together in a non-reactive container
  4. Apply to burn liberally

Noni Leaf

Noni leaf comes from the Noni plant, a native tree to the south pacific islands. Hawaiians have used Noni’s healing and super-food qualities for centuries. Often times people will take the leaves from the plant and heat them with an iron or boiling water to release the oils trapped in the fibrous parts of the leaf. Then the leaf is simply held to the afflicted area with bandage tape and/or gauze. Changed twice daily, it will promote healing from any sort of skin ailment in a matter of days.
It is hard to come across whole, undried, Noni leaf unless you live in an area where they grow. If you’re from Hawaii then you’re in luck, and probably already know about how useful this plant is.

  • Promotes faster healing
  • Anti-bacterial
  • Anti-fungal

You might try this Noni Leaf tea

Noni leaf preparation and use instructions:

  1. Heat the Noni leaf with an iron or very hot water until it darkens and is slightly wilted
  2. Apply the shiny side of the leaf to your skin
  3. Secure the leaf to your skin with bandage tape and/or gauze
  4. Repeat 2 -3 times daily

 

Organic Raw Honey

Organic raw honey is a powerful anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial. It’s history for use in treating wounds is vast but not generally known these days. However, as natural alternatives for medical treatments become more popular, they also become more mainstream and normalized. These days you will find honey added to bandages to promote healing. These aren’t always effective though, as the honey is usually not raw. The reason raw honey is important is because the natural healing properties produced by bees isn’t destroyed in a refining or pasteurizing process. Organic is also very important because whatever the bees, used for honey production, are exposed to will end up in their honey.

Get it here

Organic raw honey application:

  • Simply apply an even amount of honey over the afflicted area and cover with a bandage.
  • Reapply honey and recover with no bandages once a day for the first 2-3 days after your injury

 

Thanks for reading! I hope this guide helps you with your burns and scars; it’s a work in progress and will change and mature as I become more aware of treating burns with essential oils. Please leave a comments telling us if this guide helped you, or if you have any information you want to share about other burn treatments, and please join our newsletter for more upcoming information on how you can be healed with herbs!

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