heal yourself like a hippy

How to… heal yourself like a tree-hugging hippy // natural remedies are the nuts

I’ll get straight to the point; I dislike conventional medicine with a PASSION.

Many years back, I suffered a particularly bad ear infection that had to be treated with two courses of harsh antibiotics. Eventually, the infection went away (it took over a month), but the antibiotics caused my immune system to crash. I got ailment after ailment, and it took a long time to recover. I did some research into how medicine works as much against us as it does to help us, and was horrified. It was this that led me into my aromatherapy training, in an effort to be kinder to my system and to help other people to be kinder to their own.

So before you reach for those tough painkillers that could upset your poor stomach lining, try something from Mother Nature’s first aid kit < didn’t just say that, honest.

heal yourself like a hippy

PLEASE NOTE: Certain essential oil, carrier oils and herbal preparations should NOT be used at any time during pregnancy, and can contra-indicate the effectiveness of certain medicines. Nut allergy sufferers must avoid nut based carrier oils, obviously. If you’re at all unsure, please contact a qualified aromatherapist for information, or speak to your doctor/pharmacist. End of disclaimer…

Cuts and scrapes

For cuts that aren’t too deep, and everyday scrapes, bathe the area with cotton wool dipped into a little warm water, with 1 drop of Tea Tree oil added to clean the wound. Swish it about to disperse the oil.
Incredibly, antiseptic Tea Tree oil is approximately 12 times stronger than carbolic acid.

Non-serious burns

All burns are serious (and bloody painful), but you get the gist. Run the burn under cold water for as long as possible to stop the heat from travelling through the skin layers. Apply neat Lavender oil to the burn and surrounding area to calm and ease pain. Re-apply 1 drop each day until healed.
In this case it would be fine, but as a general rule, essential oils should never be applied to the skin undiluted, yeah?


Take milk thistle as a supplement regularly (check with your doctor that it’s safe for you to do so first) as it contains an ingredient, Silymarin, that has an antioxidant effect on the liver.
The morning after: drink a large glass of cold water, followed by a cup of ginger tea (steep approx 4 inch piece of fresh ginger in hot water for 5 mins), as this will ease sickness. Calm forehead with the headache treatments (see Headaches), lie down. Vow to never drink again. Until tomorrow.

Nausea / feeling vommy

About 3 drops of Peppermint oil on a handkerchief (does anyone own a hankie anymore?) or tissue to inhale can really help when you feel sick as an old sea dog. Similarly, you can diffuse Peppermint in a burner (never leave unattended, safety first, don’t sue us, etc) while you’re having a cheeky lie down.


Simplicity itself. Run some water into a bowl, not too hot, just pleasantly warm. Put a clean flannel in, wring out and fold to forehead size. Put 4-5 drops Lavender essential oil onto this, lie back, and drape across your forehead. The oil will penetrate the skin and sort out the pain, plus you have the benefits of inhalation to help you relax. You can also use cooling Peppermint oil (approx 5 drops in 20ml of carrier oil) to massage gently into temples. Keep it out of your eyes though, that’d cause you all sorts of bother.

Pesky colds

Nothing can cure a cold (particularly the Man Flu strain; we hear it’s fatal…), but aromatherapy can ease certain symptoms. Place a bowl of hot water in your room and add a few drops of Eucalyptus oil to help breathing. 2 drops on a tissue can be similarly inhaled. The headache treatments (see above) will help with sinus pain.

Sore throat

Grab a mug of the ceramic variety. Add a 4 inch piece of fresh ginger chopped up, a few slices of fresh lemon, a big glug of runny honey, and drown them all in just boiled water. Stir, then put a saucer on top and leave for 4 minutes. Strain this mixture into your favourite mug, and enjoy. My dad swore by this, and requested I made it whenever his throat was bad. It’s also a good hot toddy when you’ve got a cold.

Toof hurty

You can apply neat Clove oil from a cotton bud to the gum of the affected tooth. I must warn you, it tastes like shit. Get thyself to a dentist as soon as possible.

Period pain

I find the following more than effective: mix together 20ml sweet almond oil, 4 drops of Lavender essential oil and 4 drops of Geranium essential oil. Rub this gently into the abdomen, and into the lower back. The Lavender relieves pain, is calming and anti-spasmodic, while the Geranium really helps balance hormones. I use this instead of painkillers and find it does calm my symptoms. Rose can also be used instead of the Geranium, but is hideously expensive as an absolute.

Go on, give ’em a try. You might just find they work better for you than the more ‘traditional’ remedies, and bear in mind that until about 100 years ago, these were the traditional remedies!
And yeah, I know what you’re thinking.
But I swear, I don’t own a kiln.


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