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Monday, August 14, 2006

All Natural First Aid Kit

My family’s first aid kit doesn’t contain any aspirin, Neosporin, creams, lotions, pills, or any of the prescription or over-the-counter medicines you generally see in a first aid kit.

Following is a list of what is in our All Natural First Aid Kit. Most everything fits into a small plastic storage container with a handle, for easy carrying. What doesn’t fit is kept right beside it in the cabinet.

Our first aid kit includes remedies to administer on occasions when immediate attention is required. It is not an extensive list of herbal remedies as a whole.

Remedies
Bentonite Clay
Goldenseal
Tea Tree Oil
Hydrogen Peroxide
Garlic/Mullein ear drops
Rescue Remedy
All purpose herbal salve
Colloidal silver
Echinacea
Sambucol
(Garlic)
Lavender essential oil
Aloe vera gel

Tools
Tweezers
Nail clippers
Super glue
Bandages
Scissors
Surgical tape
Cotton cloths
Cotton balls


QUICK REFERENCE GUIDE

Cuts, Scrapes and Wounds: Hydrogen peroxide (for cleaning), Tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, (super glue)
Bumps and Bruises: Herbal Ice Cube compresses, lavender essential oil
Burns: Aloe vera, lavender essential oil
Headaches: Lavender Essential oil
Skin Rashes: Bentonite Clay & Goldenseal mixture
Earaches: Garlic/mullein ear drops
Emotional trauma: Rescue Remedy, Lavender essential oil
Insect Stings/Bites: Lavender oil
Antibiotics: Colloidal Silver
Colds & Internal Illness: Sambucol Black Elderberry Syrup, Garlic, Goldenseal and Echinacea, Colloidal Silver


THE FIRST AID REMEDIES

Bentonite clay:
Mixed with goldenseal and water (or just water alone), this is our miracle skin rash cure. Recipe found here.

Goldenseal: We use this mixed with Bentonite clay as a rash remedy. It can also be used internally to help speed healing.

Tea tree oil: An antifungal, antibiotic, antiseptic, anti-itch…basically anti-anything-bad solution. I use this as a topical for wounds.

Hydrogen Peroxide: Used to clean wounds before applying herbal remedies.

Garlic/mullein ear drops: Natural remedy for sudden earaches.

Rescue Remedy: This flower remedy has an immediate calming and soothing effect for emotional traumas including shock, panic, stress, anxiety and fear. When my kids have an injury that freaks them out, I put a few drops under their tongue and their anxiety is calmed instantly.

All Purpose Herbal Salve: I purchased mine, but it can also be made at home. Includes such healing agents as St. John’s Wort, calendula, comfrey, plantain and echinacea. The salve is helpful for minor cuts and scrapes, bruising, rashes and insect bites and stings. We use this generally as a back up if I’m out of the remedies we normally use.

Colloidal Silver: Used as a natural replacement for antibiotics. It safely speeds the healing of many ailments.

Echinacea: An antibiotic and antibacterial, it’s great for boosting the body’s natural healing abilities. Taken with Goldenseal, it helps the body heal itself of many ailments.

Sambucol: This is the brand name of a black elderberry syrup. On the rare occasion that someone in our family starts to show the beginning signs of a cold, the syrup is administered several times a day and the cold never has the chance to begin. It works wonders, but you have to catch it in the very beginning stages, so it’s good to always have some on hand.

Garlic (fresh): (Not kept in the first aid kit, but rather in the kitchen) Used to help any stomach illness. I can eat it raw, but my kids don’t like it that way. What I do for them is cut the garlic clove open and rub the juice onto the bottoms of their feet. Once the garlic is dry, I just make another slice. I slice away until the entire clove is used up. I do this several times a day and the illness usually goes away quickly. The skin quickly absorbs the garlic into the bloodstream.

Lavender essential oil: Applied to temples, it helps relieve headaches. The smell delivers a calming effect to relieve anxiety or stress. It works well to relieve the itching and pain of insect stings and bites. It can be applied to minor skin abrasions and bruising. It’s also helpful to relieve the pain of burns. (Mix a few drops with pure aloe vera gel and apply to burns.) It can also be used to make herbal ice cubes which can be applied to bruised/swollen skin.

Aloe Vera: 100% pure aloe vera gel is a must-have for minor burns. Mix it with a few drops of lavender essential oil and it’s even better!



TOOLS

Tweezers:
For extracting splinters.

Nail clippers: For hangnails and cleaning up broken nails.

Super glue: I have this in my kit though I have never needed to use it yet. It can be used instead of stitches on the occasion that the wound is too extensive for just a bandage, but not scary enough to warrant a trip to the emergency room. (Doctors now use strong glue instead of stitches in many cases.)

Bandages: Self-explanatory. I like to have multiple sizes available.

Scissors: I have small children, and sometimes there’s not a bandage small enough to fit around a tiny finger or toe. So I have scissors on hand to cut the bandage to a suitable size.

Surgical tape: For a deep wound that requires the bandage is secure and won’t be scraped off when someone bumps against a wall or some other such thing, I use surgical tape to cover the entire bandage to secure it. The convenient kind that you can easily rip with your fingers instead of cutting with scissors makes all the difference in the world when dealing with a first aid situation.

Cotton cloths: I have several squares of cotton cloths (that I hand-knit) in the first aid kit. I use these as a quick handy resource to wipe off the peroxide that drips down the skin when cleaning a wound, or to hold onto the wound to stop bleeding. Unlike cotton balls, these cloths can also be applied directly to the wound, as they won’t stick to it or leave fibrous debris in the wound. I also have some extra pieces of cotton fabric to use as a compress (to hold ice when needed to reduce swelling).

Cotton balls: Used wet, they can be helpful in cleaning a wound or the surrounding area of skin. When dry, however, they will stick to anything wet and leave cotton debris stuck to the wound which is very very hard (and painful) to remove.


**Some additional things I’ve heard are good in an herbal first aid kit are listed below, along with the reasons why we don’t personally have them in ours.

Cayenne pepper (powdered): Can be sprinkled on a wound to stop excessive bleeding. (I haven’t personally had a use for this yet, as I haven’t had to deal with a wound that wouldn’t stop bleeding. However I do always have this spice on hand for cooking, so it’s only as far as the kitchen if needed in an emergency.)

Powdered kelp: This can also be applied to a wound to stop excessive bleeding. See notes for cayenne pepper above.

Arnica: Used for bruising and/or sore muscles. The reason I don’t have this in our kit is because I have never really seen the need to administer help to a bruise. They come and go, and it’s no big deal, so I’ve never personally found a need to “treat” a bruise. And sore muscles isn’t something I’ve ever had to treat in my home.

Turmeric: I have read from several sources that applying turmeric to a wound helps speed the healing considerably. This remedy has proven unsuccessful for my family. I have tried it on two separate occasions, once on my son and once on myself. In both cases, not only did it not speed the healing, but it actually hindered the natural healing process, making the wound worse, and ultimately prolonged the healing time. So I cannot personally recommend this remedy.

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