I mentioned the other day that I actually used an aromatherapy method to help soothe my aching bones and nerves during my first few days home from the hospital after The Accident. I was taking 400mg tablets of ibuprofen plus another similar drug at the time…and really living from pill to pill. I hate that feeling and tend to stay away from medications of all kinds unless they are absolutely necessary.

I would usually do the following hot and cold compresses method right before going to bed…and it really helped me to feel more relaxed after building up so much tension in my right side over the 8 broken ribs. Since they basically do nothing to help mend these bones (aside from the inflammatory drugs), you basically just have to get through the 5-6 weeks of discomfort on your own…in whatever way you can.

People have mentioned to me that bruised ribs are more painful than broken ones — I honestly can’t say for sure. But I will say that broken ribs are really no fun at all. And if you end up with broken or bruised ribs (or both!) then I highly recommend giving this method a try to deal with the pain.

The cold compress is a bit rough…but the warm one is heaven. And even when I could barely even scratch an itch near the ribs, having the massage oil put on was pure heaven. My nerves in this are were extremely sensitive during the first few weeks and it often felt like my skin was tingling or even a bit like it was “asleep.”

Why This Works

  • Rosemary is a mental and physical stimulant which makes it awesome for your morning routine to get you awake and ready for the day, but it is also really great for tired or aching muscles at the end of the day. It’s also an antiseptic which means it kills germs and keeps microorganisms from growing on your skin.
  • Geranium (which actually doesn’t come from the pretty flowered plants you probably have at home but the species Pelargonium a.k.a. Geranium Robert or “lemon plant”) is a really powerful essential oil that smells fantastic. It works really well to tame your emotions and bring you back to a more even state. So it’s perfect when you need to cope with pain.
  • Lavender is one of the essential oils I use the most and it has many, many purposes. Lavender is fantastic for burns, bruises and even repelling flies. It’s an antibiotic, antiseptic, antidepressant, sedative and detoxifier which promotes healing and reduces scarring. Did I mention it also stimulates your immune system and helps you deal with shock? Only good things to say about this oil.

Treating Bruises (and Broken Ribs) with Essential Oils

Source: The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood (more on that monster book later)

Make up two bowls of water, one hot and one cold, and add the following to both:

  • 3 drops Rosemary
  • 2 drops Lavender
  • 1 drop Geranium

Soak a washcloth in each bowl and apply alternately to the bruised and surrounding area. Then apply a small amount of the following oil:

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable or jojoba oil
  • 2 drops Rosemary
  • 2 drops Geranium
  • 1 drop Lavender

This post was shared on Homemaker Mondays.

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