Despite our best efforts, there will bumps, bruises, cuts and stings in life. When injuries or illnesses are not life threatening, they can often be addressed with natural remedies that do not interfere with the body’s immune responses. Here are just a few basic remedies to start with. As with any substance, consult a physician and/or qualified herbalist before use. Any good first aid kit will also contain phone numbers to a nearby hospital, poison control center, and any other people that you might need to contact in an emergency.
Helpful for sore or irritated throat or when you lose your voice. These lozenges taste great and are helpful for kids with sore throats. The herb itself can be used in tinctures or teas for sore throat relief
Feeling nauseous? While we commonly think of ginger as a digestive aid, it can help with nausea, too. Chew the root raw (without the skin, of course) or drink it in tea. Ginger is also great for reflux, motion sickness, and morning sickness. It helps soothe the stomach after a digestive illness or food poisoning.
With warmer weather comes more outdoor activities…and more sunburns! Aloe Vera gel will soothe and cool your burned skin while decreasing inflammation and irritation. Aloe can also be taken in a beverage which provides many benefits including, immune support, aiding in joint function, circulation, as well as soothing the bowel and creating regularity.
Cayenne is a good addition to many foods but it is even better to have in a medicine cabinet. Topically, cayenne powder helps stop bleeding rapidly. It is also a useful remedy to take internally during illness as it increases blood flow and speeds recovery.
This herb is ideal for quickly eliminating insect bites. Chamomile flowers can be steeped in vodka and strained after a few weeks then applied to the affected area. Alternatively, encapsulated chamomile can be opened and mixed with vodka for an immediately usable bug bite solution. For maximum effect against insect bites, make the solution well in advance as it becomes much stronger with time. It is an anti-histamine, and can therefore suppress allergic reactions. Bear in mind that chamomile is a mild sedative. Chamomile is also a relative of ragweed and should be used with caution in those who suffer from ragweed allergies. If any allergic symptoms occur, discontinue use.
Even mainstream medicine uses activated charcoal to neutralize poisons. It is an antidote for arsenic, mercury, pesticides, strychnine, warfarin, hemlock, E. Coli, gasoline, and over 4,000 chemicals, drugs, plant and microbial toxins, allergens, venoms, and wastes. It can be used for venomous snake and spider bites. Thus, taking it on any extended trip in the wild is very wise. Dampen one teaspoon powdered charcoal with water before taking internally or applying directly to wounds, or take internally in capsule form. Be aware that activated charcoal is much less effective against alcohol and cyanide.
Mullein Garlic Oil:
Mullein is a great herb to relieve earaches. When combined with garlic, a natural virus and bacteria killer, ear infections don’t stand a chance. Note of caution: before you stick anything in your child’s ear, make sure you have a doctor visualize the ear drum to make sure it is intact.
Iodine can be a life saver for deep wounds. It penetrates deeply to kill all infectious bacteria. To prevent infections, apply iodine liberally on a regular basis to any injury that breaks the skin until the wound has scabbed over. The iodine will boost the immune system, and promote rapid healing.
Source: Dr. Ashley L. Russell | Naturopathic Doctor at Serenity Natural Health Center | Frederick, Maryland
Source: “How to Create a Natural First Aid Kit.” Web | n.d.| Retrieved from http://healthwyze.org/index.php/component/content/article/476-how-to-create-a-natural-first-aid-kit.html (accessed April 1, 2015).