When SHTF, it won’t take long before pharmacy and store shelves are completely wiped out. One of the leading causes of death following any type of disaster or extended power outage is illness caused by poor hygiene and lack of sanitation services. People will suffer from infections, and even a minor cut will become bad news if left untreated.
You can start now and stockpile some quantities of first aid, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items to get you through for a little while. But the truth is that for an extended chaos situation, having alternatives other people don’t know about will come in handy.
The ability to treat minor wounds, infections, colds, and other issues could be a life and death difference in a survival situation that lasts more than a few months.
If you haven’t already tried them, now is a great time to research essential oil uses for survival purposes. Essential oils are concentrated, and in most cases, are used with a carrier oil or diluted with water, which means a little oil goes a very long way.
f you stockpile essential oils now, you’ll find you can store a large amount in very little space. In fact, lots of people save money every day by substituting essential oils for everyday first aid, cleaning, personal hygiene, and cooking needs.
1. Cleaning Uses
When chaos erupts, the power is out, and running water is virtually nonexistent for most people, your regular home cleaning routine will of course be disrupted.
But it’s important to understand that in a survival situation, there’s an even greater need to keep your immediate living area free of germs and pests that can carry disease.
Essential oil uses for survival cleaning will come in handy when commercial cleaning products are unavailable and every drop of water used is precious.
Using essential oils for cleaning is also better if you need to recycle your greywater for watering plants, doing laundry, or other tasks when water is scarce.
Lemon is a phenomenal oil to use to disinfect which makes it great for cleaning and disinfecting just about anything.
Orange oil works great to cut through grease and grime and it leaves everything smelling fresh and clean. It also is effective deterrent for ants.
Eucalyptus can be combined with baking soda and used to clean items such as mattresses or stuffed animals and other things when you can’t wash normally. Eucalyptus is a germicide and works well against dust mites. The smell of eucalyptus oil in your pantry or among your stockpile can help deter pests too.
Thyme oil has been known to be effective in fighting salmonella which makes it a great oil to use to disinfect cutting boards and clean other areas where you prepare raw meat.
2. Personal Hygiene
When SHTF and the world is chaotic for an extended amount of time, personal hygiene will suffer for most people. One way to prepare for this is to learn how to make your own products that can be used for personal hygiene during a survival situation.
Essential oils are concentrated so ingredients won’t take up much space in your storage area. Another great thing is that many of the essential oils you can use in your personal hygiene products double as antibacterial or antiviral agents to help you and your family battle those nasty germs, even when your normal bathing routine is disrupted.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca) can be used for a wide variety of DIY personal hygiene items in your everyday life and when SHTF.
Tea tree is great for battling the nasties such as bacteria and germs, which will be abundant when running water is scarce. Use tea tree oil to make your own wipes or add it to your homemade soap.
Rosemary is a perfect ingredient to create your own air freshener. Following a SHTF event, you may be forced to spend time shut indoors to avoid looters and others who would do you and your family harm.
Rose oil and Lavender oil can be combined with coconut oil, witch-hazel, and just one teaspoon of something like Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap to create a great feminine hygiene wash.
Peppermint oil combined with baking soda makes a great homemade toothpaste. You only need 10-15 drops of peppermint oil to 2/3 cup baking soda.
As a prepper, you are aware that cooking methods will change drastically following a SHTF event. Your family members will be scared, they will be exhausted, and morale will suffer.
One of the ways to boost morale and keep your family from breaking down completely is by doing the best you can to make sure they have satisfying meals.
There are tons of essential oils that can be used in cooking to enhance flavor, boost immunity, and generally save your family from the bland, boring meals that many other people will be forced to endure.
A little goes a long way so rather than carrying a ton of different spices and seasonings, you can afford to tuck a few bottles of essential oils into your bug out bag.
Some oils for cooking that have other survival uses include:
4. Mood Enhancement
The list of uses for essential oils is endless and ultimately depends on your needs and your knowledge of how to use the oils. Many people also use essential oils in their home every day to impact mood, reduce restlessness, calm anxiety, inspire confidence, etc.
In a survival situation, using an essential oil to give you a burst of energy or boost your mood could mean you make it to tomorrow instead of giving up.
Popular essential oils said to help with depression include Bergamot, Jasmine, Roman Chamomile, or Lavender. Lemon has been known to promote focus and to have calming effects if you are experiencing anxiety.
Rosemary oil has properties that may help actual physical exhaustion and mental fatigue and relieve headaches. If you intend to use essential oils for mood enhancement when SHTF, it’s best to start experimenting with them now.
Every person is different and your reaction to an oil may not be the same as someone else. Essential oils are powerful so consult your physician in advance to fully understand how they may work with your current medications.
5. Insect and Pest Repellent
Tea Tree oil can be combined with water in a spray bottle and used to spray your campsite or other shelter area to repel pests such as lice.
Peppermint can be mixed with water and sprayed around the home or campsite to keep away pests such as spiders, ants, and even mice.
Cinnamon oil, or ground cinnamon in a pinch can be effective to deter pests from your home or campsite. Cinnamon is antiseptic and antibacterial and works well against mold.
Shopping for Essential Oils
There are lots of competing companies that sell essential oils. Make sure that you buy only 100% pure therapeutic grade oils.
Research the extraction process used by that company and know where the oils are coming from and what kind of methods are used in the growing process.
You want the entire process to be as organic as possible for best results. Don’t be fooled by companies offering cheaper oils, as these often contain filler, perfumes, and other additives.
Hopefully you’ve found one or several of these essential oil uses for survival that you can incorporate into your SHTF planning. In keeping with the “two is one and one is none” philosophy, it doesn’t hurt to have alternatives on hand.
Maybe you’ve even found some ideas that you can begin to integrate into your daily life now to help keep your family healthy and save money that can be used for other stockpile items.
Born and raised in NE Ohio, with early memories that include grandpa teaching her to bait a hook and watching her mom, aunts, and grandmothers garden, sew, and can food, Megan is a true farm girl at heart.
For Megan, the 2003 blackout, the events of 911, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, spurred a desire to be more prepared for whatever may come along. Soon to be living off-grid, this mother of four and grandmother of nine grandsons and one granddaughter, is learning everything she can about preparedness, basic survival, and self-sufficient homesteading. She is passionate about sharing that knowledge so that others can be increasingly prepared to protect their families.