What to heal after surgery
We are concerned about various things and effects that may be resulted from a surgery. Some of us might concern about how to make a surgery more bearable—how to make it less painful before, during, and after the process. Some others, however, might concern more about the expected scars, which will likely be gained after a surgery.
Scars are gained from a variety of trauma and injury, including incisions or scrapes during surgical treatments. Hence, scars might be either minor or major, depending on how big your surgery is. Consequently, these scars do take different healing period. Fortunately, there are some remedies that can be used post-surgery to speed up the healing process and at the same time, reduce the scar appearance.
List of essential oils that are useful post-surgery
Essential oils have been widely used for various purposes. There are a wide range of essential oils with each benefits and strength. Although these oils are not guaranteed to dismiss the scars entirely, most of them are studied to be able to make scars less noticeable. Natural ingredients consisted in essential oils also help promoting faster healing, which is an expectation of those undergoing any kind of surgery. Some essential oils are also able to reduce pain, work as analgesic and regenerative after a surgery.
1. Lavender essential oil
Lavender essential oil is one of the most well-known natural oil that is widely used as a relaxing agent. Applying lavender oil will relax the nervous system, which helps balancing emotional state after a surgery. Lavender also helps insomnia and thus, promotes better sleep quality. Simply put a few drop on your pillow before bedtime to relax yourself and have a better rest time. Adequate rest after surgical treatments is important to stimulate faster healing.
2. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is the next most popular essential oil used widely. This oil is known as a potent antiseptic that can be applied for post-surgery minor cuts and wounds. Tea tree oil solution will help eliminating debris on the wound site. To clean the wound site, simply add 2 to 3 drops of tea tree oil into a cup or lukewarm water. Use this solution to final rinse the wound site from dirt and debris after cleaning it with mild soap solution, before you cover it with gauze.
3. Clove Essential Oil
If you have undergone any oral surgeries, clove essential oil may help promote healing on the wounded site. Commonly, clove is used as a useful antiseptic for oral infections, as it kills infesting bacteria and a wide variety of microbes. After an oral surgery—and sutures removed, dilute some drops of clove oil into 100 ml of lukewarm water and use the solution for gargling the mouth. Hold it for 30 seconds on the wound site before spitting it out. This will help reduce inflammation and pain you might experience after both minor and major oral surgeries.
4. Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint oil is also known as one of the most versatile essential oils. This is a potent anti-microbe as well as natural antibiotics. After a surgery, peppermint oil is helpful for improving both physical and emotional healing. Physically, this oil works as a replacement for antibiotics, according an article published in the journal Phytomedicine in 2013. Emotionally, similar to lavender essential oil, this oil helps the release of “chi”, which is essential for your emotional balance post-surgery.
How to use essential oils
Essential oils are not commonly used alone. It is very potent that you will always need to dilute the oil before applying and using it for any purposes. Some common methods of using these oils include:
1. Mouth gargling
This will be useful for promoting healing after a tooth extraction and other oral surgeries. You can use clove or peppermint oils to help reducing inflammation and resulted pain after the surgery. Before use it as your natural mouthwash, dilute 3-4 drops of the essential oil into 100 ml of lukewarm water. Rinse the mouth with this solution for a half minute or until the pain subsides. It is best to do this natural remedy twice a day or after meal.
If you are suffering from severe sore throat or any surgeries that cause stuffy nose and headache, inhaling diluted essential oil may be helpful for promoting comfort. You can add 5-6 drops of eucalyptus, peppermint, or lavender oils into the diffuser or hot water and inhale the resulted steam for 30 seconds. Repeat this several times until the headache subsides.
Bathing with essential oils will calm your nerves and thus, promote healing after surgery. You can add a cup of sea salt into the water and dilute 10 drops of essential oils to make a useful aromatherapy bath. This will helps your circulatory, muscular, skin, and sleep problems, which may occur after surgery. Essential oils that should be chosen include lavender, sandalwood, and eucalyptus. Those of lemon and tea-tree, instead, should be avoided as they may cause irritation.
Some important cautions
Although essential oils are really useful in promoting better healing after surgeries, some cautions and contraindications should be paid attention to. These include:
- Herbs, including essential oils and supplements should not be applied at least two weeks before any surgeries, as they may affect the blood pressure and hence, increase the risk of bleeding. They may also affect medications or anesthetic after the surgery and hence, may decrease their post-surgery benefits.
- Organic essential oils are advised in order to avoid any added substances that may instead irritate post-surgery wounds.
- If your post-surgery-wounds require stitches or sutures, consult your doctor first before applying any essential oils. These oils might be allowed to be applied, as long as the sutures are left alone. Otherwise, wait until you have the sutures removed before applying any essential oils to promote healing and prevent noticeable scars.
- Do not use any essential oils as a replacement for post-surgery medications prescribed by your doctor. Despite their effectiveness in promoting both emotional and physical benefits after surgery, essential oils may be lack of substances contained by these medicines. Hence, the oils are advised to be used topically only.