Typically made from gauze or a similar soft material, a compress can be applied with pressure to specific parts of the body to help control hemorrhage, help relieve pain-related symptoms, or support the body's natural defenses against infection. For example, cold compresses are traditionally used with sprains, localized swelling, blisters, insect bites, stings, bruises, and headaches; hot compresses are traditionally used with abscesses, boils, cystitis, and dysmenorrhea.
A simple method for using essential oils with compresses is to:
- Add 6 drops of essential oil to 9 oz of water. (Use ice water for cold compresses and boiling water for hot ones.) First pour the water into a bowl, and then add the oil.
- Saturate a clean piece of unbleached muslin (or similar cloth, such as clean cotton) in the mixture, wring out, and apply.
- With sprains: Peppermint, chamomile, eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, pine, rose, and rosemary
- With bruises: Eucalyptus, geranium, ginger, lavender, and peppermint
- With localized swelling: Ginger, rose, and rosemary
- With abscesses and boils: Bergamot, eucalyptus, rose, manuka, and tea tree Australia
- With menstrual pain: Chamomile, clary sage, lavender, peppermint, rose, and rosemary
* This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, heal, or prescribe. A primary care physician, naturopathic physician, or Registered Aromatherapist should be consulted before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine.