Essential oils for summer comfort

February 26, 2012

Essential oils, Natural therapies, Skin

Yet after all the day’s activities, discomfort from sunburn and mosquito bites can keep you awake and miserable.

by Carol E. Gutierrez — 

Spending time in nature is one of the best ways to rejuvenate, and summer and fall offer a great time for outdoor fun. Yet after all the day’s activities, discomfort from sunburn and mosquito bites can keep you awake and miserable. Fortunately, nature offers remedies with essential oils, which make a wonderful addition to your natural medicine cabinet.

To prevent mosquito bites, lavender essential oil mixed in vegetable oil or in a personal spritzer can be applied topically to exposed areas before going outdoors. To repel those pesky bugs, the essential oil blends need to be reapplied every four hours. Apply more frequently if you go swimming or are sweating excessively.

Sunburns are a frequent outdoor hazard. Lavender essential oil has a soothing effect, while peppermint essential oil gives a cooling sensation. Mix essential oils with refrigerated aloe vera gel to subdue the burning sensation and bring some welcome relief.

Be aware that peppermint essential oil is stimulating to the nervous system, so you may have trouble falling asleep if used at night.

The summer heat can cause mild swelling as the blood vessels dilate and fluid collects in the tissues. A few drops of cypress, juniper or citrus essential oils, mixed in vegetable oil, can be applied topically to the mildly swollen area.

Please check with your medical doctor about leg swelling, especially if you have diabetes, high blood pressure or heart disease. Also, avoid using citrus essential oils if you are going to be in direct sun, as the combination of strong sunlight and citrus oils can lead to permanent skin discoloration.

Essential oils are an inexpensive, natural and great-smelling way to add comfort to your life. For problem-specific recipes, contact an aromatherapist for expert advice and personalized blends. The Internet is also a great resource for recipes. Enjoy the summer, naturally.


Carol E. Gutierrez holds certifications in holistic nursing, massage therapy, clinical aromatherapy, healing touch and guided imagery. She specializes in reflexology and toe reading. 480-510-9144 or

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 29, Number 4, Aug/Sept 2010.

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