Recently one of my student’s asked if she could make her own Trauma Oil, the answer to which is yes. Trauma oil can be very effective for pain and inflammation and is a combination of three infused oils, St. John’s Wort, Calendula, and Arnica.
Ingredients of Trauma Oil
Arnica – Arnica montana.
Parts used: Flowers.
Cautions: Do not take internally except under supervision of a qualified herbalist or homeopath. External use may cause skin rash or irritation. Never apply to broken skin.
Garden cultivation: It likes sandy acid soil, rich in humus and a sunny position.
Harvest: Pick flowers for medicinal use in summer, just before they come into full flower. Pick in full flower, with stalks, for drying.
Action: External use only.
Use: Bruises and contusions where skin is unbroken. Severe bruising after surgical operation. Neuralgia, sprains, rheumatic joints, aches and pains after excessive use.
Calendula – Calendula officinalis.
Parts used: Petals.
Cautions: None noted.
Garden cultivation: A very tolerant plant that will grow in any soil that is not waterloged, but it prefers a sunny position.
Harvest: Pick flowers just as they open during the summer, both for fresh use and for drying. Dry at a low temperature.
Action: Immune stimulant, anti-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, andi-spasmodic, anti-haemorrhage, anti-histamine, anti-bacterial.
Use: Wounds where the skin has been broken. Sores, leg ulcers, abscess etc. Sore nipples in nursing mothers, varicose veins, nosebleeds, grazed knees. Bee, wasp and other insect stings. Chilblains, fistula, inflamed nails, whitlow, dry chapped skin and lips, wind burn, air pollution.
St. John’s Wort – Hypericum perforatum.
Parts used: Aerial parts, flowering tops.
Cautions: Prolonged us can lead to photosensitivity. Only take internally under supervision.
Garden cultivation: Tolerates most soils, in sun or light shade. Can be invasive in light soils.
Harvest leaves and flowers as required.
Action: Antiseptic, astringent, antiviral, relaxing nervine, anti-depressant, sedative, anti-inflammatory, analgesic
Use: Neuralgia, sciatica, pain and neuralgia, physical shock. Injuries to flesh rich in nerves. Shooting, stitching pains. Puncture wounds, bites from animals (dogs, cats, etc). Painful piles. May help with relieving cramps. Anxiety, stress, depression. Menopausal nervousness. Menstrual cramps.
Carrier oil of your choice. Often this is olive oil.
When making up your Trauma Oil, all three infused oils will be used in equal parts. You may choose to make your own infused oils, or you can buy them ready made up. Because you combine them in equal parts, you will bring the properties of each individual infused oil, to your final product in equal measure.
How to make a Cold Infusion
Standard quantity: Use double quantities of enough herb to pack a storage jar, and about 1 litre of carrier oil, depending on size of your storage jar. If you harvest your own material, make sure it is as dry as possible before starting. You can use fresh material but keep in mind that this has a high water content and will need to be replaced sooner than with the dried herb, otherwise it could turn your oil rancid and encourage microbial growth.
Method: Pack a large jar tightly with the herb and cover completely with oil. Put the lid on and leave on a sunny windowsill or in a greenhouse for 2 – 3 weeks. Strain the mixture through muslin, making sure all the oil is extracted. Refill the large jar packing it tightly with new herbs and add the infused oil already obtained. Leave again on the sunny windowsill and after 2 – 3 weeks, strain once more. Pour into storage bottles. Cold Infusion is used for Arnica, Calendula and St. John’s wort.
As all three infused oils can be obtained through Cold Infusion (Maceration), some people may choose to create just one infused oil, by combining equal amounts of the three herbs and packing them into the large jar. As you have seen from the above description of the three herbs, each one has it own unique properties and cautions. So others may prefer to have the individually infused oils on hand to use for specific purposes.
Because you have created a new compound, this new compound will have its own unique properties and cautions.
Cautions: Do not put on an open wound.
Actions: Analgesic and anti-inflammatory.
Use: Injuries of all kinds (provided the skin is not broken), bruises, muscle pain, nerve pain, sprains, and strains. Arthritic joints and rheumatic pain. Fractures and dislocations.