Since the beginning of time, Essential Oils have been used to support and heal common aliments of the skin, mind, body, and some might even say the soul. Essential oils are basically aromatic ingredients found in certain plants, which in turn, are used to shield from predators – and to attract pollinators. Call it divine intervention, but I was so eager to learn more about it and its healing properties, I took a nosedive smack dab in the middle of the street. Yep. All so I could test-drive Mother Nature’s antidote.

Here’s what happened…

I don’t believe in freak accidents, but I do believe that every single thing that happens to us and in our lives is meant to teach an important lesson. Thirty-eight years on this planet, and I’m still learning more than my fair share of ‘em. This particular lesson came in the form of a fall on a night that I so desperately needed groceries. Yes, my shoelaces were tied, and no I hadn’t been drinking. A damn white (and rather large) zip tie tangled both of my feet, and I took a nasty tumble right into the middle of the street. What in the holy hell. There I am, lying face down in the middle of an empty street, not really concerned about a car potentially running me over, but more appalled by the universe’s sense of humor. At some point I got up – and immediately felt sharp pains shoot up my both my legs. When you’re on a journey of self-discovery and transformation, know that you will be challenged. Hell. I still needed groceries.

Knees busted, y’all.

I’m talking swollen, bruised, battered, and tore up from the floor up BUSTED. Thank goodness I had an ace bandage, some Ibuprofen and enough ice in the freezer to deflate the balloons on my kneecaps. Or, so I thought.

Maybe it was the constant throbbing in my legs, or perhaps it was the little voice in my head cussing the Uber driver who didn’t pull up to the curb close enough, but I’d completely forgotten that I’d signed up for an online aromatherapy class just weeks before! An introduction to Essential Oils and how they just might change my life was exactly what I needed. Turns out, there’s a smorgasbord of essential oils that will combat excessive swelling and discomfort. Now all I had to do waddle to and find a store that sold them.  



Chamomile, Lavender, Rosemary and Peppermint essential oils all work to decrease inflammation and soothe pain. The difference between all 4 depends on the depth of pain you’re experiencing, the aliment, and your preferred aroma. Oh! And your pocketbook, ‘cause essential oils ain’t cheap. I opted for the peppermint oil not only because its anti-inflammatory properties, but because it also protects against infection. Not to mention, I’ve been an ingredient whore since I can long remember, and when I found out the oil contains Menthol, the deal was sealed. Menthol serves as a numbing mechanism, which provides pain relief in the affected area. The cooling sensation during and after application is just vanilla icing on the cake.

Here Are 3 ways to use Peppermint Essential Oil to Combat Swelling:

1. Add three drops of oil to warm bath water, and soak for about 30 minutes.

2. To use as a cold compress, wet a small washcloth and put in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove from freezer – and apply three drops of peppermint essential oil, and place on swelling for about fifteen minutes.

3.  To use as a warm compress, soak a small washcloth in hot water and remove access water. Add three drops of peppermint essential oil, and place on affected area for about fifteen minutes.

I’m just a little over a week into the healing process and I can tell you that hands down, the peppermint essential oil has provided more relief than any over-the-counter topical ever could. The bruising still looks like a box of crayons, but the swelling has significantly decreased, which allows more fluidity and dare I say, ‘pep’ in my step. I still haven’t learned the lesson yet, but the universe sure has one hell of a sense of humor. And, Mother Nature? Well, let’s just say she gets it every time.

Ever use essential oils? Share your favorites in the comments below.



 Photos: Getty + Nicole L. Townsend