The Pain-Relieving, Inflammation-Reducing Power of Trauma Oil
Picking medicine in the yard...the way Grandma used to.
Back to the basics
When our grandmothers got aches and pains, bumps, bruises, fevers and other illnesses that their family might have suffered from, they didn't have a corner drugstore to run to, and the nearest doctor might have been miles away. I know that was the case when I was growing up in a rural town in Jamaica. I remember having lots of foods growing in the yard. We had our own chickens. We grew lots of herbs. It was great.
My grandmother and other older family members relied on simple wisdom, common sense, and pantries that were well-stocked with herbal remedies, or other items that were readily available to be picked from the yard, gathered in the fields or the nearby woods...like fever-grass, pepper leaves, and a host of others.
There is a growing awareness of the importance of returning to the use of whole foods and healthy herbs into our modern lives. When I was studying to become a certified Herbalist over 4 years ago, I could not help but remember the times that I shared with my Grandmother, and other family members in making these items. I can't forget, also, having these remedies used on me, when I got boils all over my legs, or when I got a fever, or some other ailment.
It is my goal to preserve the knowledge and wisdom of my grandmother, elders and culture for now as well as for future generations. I have seen these products work, not only in my private life, but also in the lives of my friends and family.
The item that I will discuss here is called Trauma Oil. It is one item that everyone should have in their natural medicine cabinet.
If you have a natural first aid kit, you’ll want to be sure to include Trauma Oil among your primary items.
What is Trauma Oil?
Trauma Oil is:
- a blend of three organic flowers
- St. John’s Wort
These three flowers are infused in organic olive oil to create Trauma Oil.
Trauma oil, then, is an infused oil.
An infused oil is a carrier, usually olive oil, that has been soaked (infused) in herbs or flowers. If you’ve ever made sun tea, you’ve made an infusion!
The oil that results from an infusion contains the wonderfully, medicinal properties of the plants that were soaking in it. The result is a versatile product that can used alone on the skin for healing or added to salves and balms.
TIP: Using an infused carrier oil in addition to essential oil is a terrific way to double the therapeutic benefits!
What does Trauma Oil help with?
- Muscle and Joint Pain
- Sciatic discomfort
- Injuries and Wound care
- Strains of muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints
- Inflammations of muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints
- Fractures and dislocation
- Sprains, bruises and contusions
- Arthritic joints and rheumatic pains.
Trauma oil can be massaged into injured area as is or blended with essential oils to enhance healing, reduction of inflammation, and relief of pain.
When I was first diagnosed with lupus, I was placed on several pain medications and steroids that nearly killed me. I searched for more natural methods to deal with the pain, as well as to heal my body, and this was one of the methods that I discovered. Trauma oil not only helps me with lupus, but also with my neuropathy pain as well.
Since learning how to make it, I also started to blend essential oils into it to make it even more potent. I shared it with several friends who were experiencing fibromyalgia, and they expressed to me that it was the only product that gave them any relief. These friends still use it today.
Marigold or more commonly Calendula has been used medicinally for centuries.
Calendula oil is great for:
- dry and damaged skin (unopened)
- skin inflammations
- diaper irritations and other skin disorders.
- to treat conjunctivitis
- minor burns including sunburns
- minor injuries such as sprains and wounds
- to treat cramps
- snake bites
- has a high content of flavonoids, chemicals that act as anti-oxidants in the body. Anti-oxidants are thought to protect body cells from damage caused by a chemical process called oxidation. Oxidation produces oxygen free radicals, natural chemicals that may suppress immune function.
- in reducing inflammation
- promoting wound healing
- as an anti-fungal agent, it can be used to treat athlete's foot, ringworm, and candida. The tincture applied neat to cold sores (if unopen) encourages healing.
- as an anti-septic and anti-inflammatory effects due to its flavonoid content. In mouthwashes and gargles, calendula soothes sore throat or mouth tissue (do not ingest).
- is being investigated for it's anti-cancer properties. In conjunction with other herbs such as Echinacea purpurea, Scorzonera humilis L., and Aconitum moldavicum, there has been evidence of success in treating certain cancers (Heren's carcinoma) according to the Fedkovich Chernivtsi State University in the Ukraine.
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort is:
- powerful anti-inflammatory
- helps speed the healing of wounds, bruises, varicose veins, sunburns, bee stings, and mild burns
- known to be effective to treat nerve pain or sciatica
- used as a breast massage oil especially after radiation treatments.
- is highly antiseptic
- helps to relieve muscle cramps
- helps prevent scarring
- has extensive research proving its highly effective skin healing actions
- is used to treat depression
- is used to improve mood swings
- is used to relieve anxiety
- is used to reduce the severity of pre-menstrual symptoms
- eases addictive tendencies
- regulates hormonal activity
- prevent cancer
- protects against viral infections
- has been used to help people quit smoking
- has been used for fibromyalgia treatment
- has been used in the treatment of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- is traditionally used for its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties
- used to treat sprains, bruises, and muscle pain
- speeds the healing of strains, contusions and muscle and joint pain
- improves the local blood supply where it is applied
- reduces inflammation
- is used to treat swelling
- is used to treat arthritis
- is used to relieve sore gums after removal of wisdom teeth,
- is used to treat insect bites,
- is used to treat painful and swollen veins near the surface of the skin
- In manufacturing, arnica is used in hair tonics and anti-dandruff preparations. The oil is used in perfumes and cosmetics.
- is made up of about 50 percent fatty acids, including linolenic, palmitic, linoleic and myristic acids. The other 50 percent is a mixture of thymol, various ethers of thymol, thymohydroquinone dimethyl ether and phlorol isobutyrate.
- is a recommended natural remedies for delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS.
- can help increase local blood circulation, thereby promoting hair growth
•Side Effects of Arnica Oil
Pure arnica oil can be toxic if it gets inside the body, so avoid ingesting it. If taken orally, this herbal oil may cause:
•Heart irregularities and increased heart rate
•Dizziness, tremors weakness and vomiting
•Mucous membrane and gastrointestinal irritation
What is an infused oil?
Now that you have learned what the 3 amazing herbs are that are used in this blend, how do we create the blend?
Trauma oil is essentially a combination of infused oils of the three herbs, or the 3 herbs can be combined in equal quantities and infused at one time.
I personally like to make individual infusions, and then combine equal parts of the oils to make the final Trauma oil. The reason for this is I sometimes use the calendula oil on my granddaughter, or use it in some of my DIY beauty products. It is entirely up to you whether you combine the three herbs or make individual infusions and then combine those oils to make the final blend.
Making infused oils is a process of transferring flavor and scent into a carrier oil. It can be used to add flavor to cooking oils. As well as making scent oils for use in aromatherapy, massage oils and making beauty products like soaps and lotions.
It is a simple process of infusing flowers, herbs or spices into an oil by heating or letting it sit in a sunny spot so that the volatile oils can transfer into the carrier oil.
How to make an herbal oil infusion
Choose your herbs/spices.
Choose your carrier oil.
Popular carrier oils: Olive, Jojoba, Grapeseed, Sunflower
The carrier oil is simply what you infuse the herbs into.
I prefer to use dried herbs and flowers because fresh herbs contain water that can cause mold growth and spoilage of your finished oil. Grow your own or purchase organic dried herbs so you don’t end up with pesticides in your herbal oil.
Methods of infusion
Sun Infusion: There are several ways to infuse oils, but my favorite is the Folk or Simpler’s Method which relies upon the sun to naturally infuse oil with herbal properties.
You can use countless herbs with this method.
1. Place your dried herbs in a clean quart jar. If using fresh herbs, wilt them first for 12 hours to remove the moisture (too much moisture will cause your oil to go rancid), cut into small pieces, and crush with a mortar and pestle before adding to the jar. You can skip these extra steps if your herbs are dried.
2. Pour oil into the jar, making sure to cover herbs by at least 1” of oil and leaving at least 1/2” of space at the top of the jar so the herbs will have room to expand. If your herbs soak up all of the oil, then pour more on top to ensure that the herbs are well covered.
3. Stir well and cap the jar tightly.
4. Place the jar in a sunny and warm windowsill. Shake once or more per day. You can also cover the jar with a brown paper bag if you prefer that to direct sunlight.
5. After 3-6 weeks, strain the herbs out of the oil using cheesecloth. Make sure and squeeze every precious drop of oil out!
6. Pour into glass bottles.
7. Label and store in a cool dark place.
The oil should keep for at least a year. Vitamin E oil may also be added to prolong the shelf life.
Slow Cooker Method
If you prefer, you may use a slow cooker with a “warm” setting which prevents the oils and herbs from getting too hot while cooking. The lower the heat and the slower the infusion, the stronger your herbal oil will be. If your slow cooker only has a “low” setting, you can still use this method, but you’ll need to check the temperature frequently, turning your slow cooker off and back on to regulate the heat.
1. Place a hand towel in the bottom of your slow cooker. This serves to keep the direct heat off jars and promote more even heat distribution, as well as cushioning jars from bumping the pot which could cause chips and breakage. Fill slow cooker about half way with water. Turn slow cooker on “warm” setting to preheat.
2. Prepare herbs by following steps 1-3 as for sun infusion
3. Cap jars and place into slow cooker on top of the towel. Allow oils to infuse for 8-12 hours on your slow cooker’s lowest setting. Temperature should remain between 100° – 120°. You may want to check the temperature every few hours, turning off the slow cooker for a bit if needed. Stir or gently shake jars a few times during the infusion process.
4. Once herbs have been infused, turn off slow cooker and allow to cool to room temp. Strain herbs/flowers out using a tea towel or several layers of unbleached cheesecloth. Compost or discard the spent herbs.
5. Transfer your infused oils to clean glass jars or bottles and cap tightly.
6. Label your jar with
- the type of oil used
- herb it was infused with
Protect your herbal oils from heat and light by storing in a cool, dark place. Your oils may last a year or more if stored properly.
Stove top method for herb infused oils.
Place the herb filled jar in a sauce pan that has been filled about ¼ full of water, simmer for 4-8 hours. Remove jar from saucepan and allow to cool. Decant, bottle, label, and store in a cool dark place.
Oven method for herb infused oils.
Place the herbs and oil in a large oven proof dish and place in a preheated 250 degrees oven. Turn the oven off and place the herb filled bowl in the oven for 24 hours uncovered. Cool the mixture than pour through a cheesecloth lined strainer into a bowl with a spout. Bottle, label and store following the instructions above.
Double boiler method for herb infused oils.
Prepare and place the herbs and oil in a double boiler and bring to a slow simmer. Slowly heat for 30-60 minutes. Keep the heat nice and low for a longer simmer time and to help release medicinal properties. Decant, bottle, and store following the instructions above.
Don’t forget to label!
DIY Trauma Oil
The recipe for Trauma Oil is simple:
1 part Arnica-infused oil
1 part St. John's Wort-infused oil
1 part Calendula-infused oil
Make an infusion of equal parts of the three herbs combined in a jar and filled with your choice of carrier oil.
Use your choice of infusion method.
Have you used or made Trauma Oil?
© 2016 Gina Welds Hulse