Everyone should have a first aid kit on hand for those times when someone is mildly injured. However, the regular kits are full of products that are laden with chemicals and you might prefer to have a more natural alternative. With the ideas here, you can create your own herbal first aid kit and have the herbs and natural alternatives that you love ready to go.
First, you’ll need a kit or bag to collect everything. This makes it very simple to grab your kit and go. Keep in mind that herbs tend to deteriorate in heat, so keep the kit in a cool place and don’t leave it in your car.
It’s a good idea to keep a bottle of water in your kit so you can brew tea, wash down a capsule, or mix up a paste from dried ingredients. It’s also helpful for diluting tinctures, which may be too strong to use as is.
Grindelia Tincture – Alleviates Irritation From Poison Ivy
Had a run-in with the leaves of three? Not to worry. This tincture can be sprayed on the area and is ideal for treating the rash caused by both poison ivy and poison oak. It’s a good idea to dilute slightly (50/50) before adding to a metal spray bottle so you can spritz the affected skin.
Ground Chamomile – Anti-Spasmodic and Skin Soother
You can make a tea with a tablespoon of the ground chamomile in hot water. Drink after five minutes to ease stomach cramps and ease anxiety.
To use on irritated skin, you can simply mix the powder with a little water to make a paste and then apply it to the affected area. Alternatively, you can use the tea as a wash for the skin.
Shepherd’s Purse Tincture – Stops Bleeding
Add 30 drops of the tincture to half a cup of water and soak a clean cloth in it. This can be applied as a compress to the wound and will help stop the bleeding. You can also use it as a wash for bleeding wounds.
Cayenne Powder – Stops Bleeding
If you have a gushing wound and need to stop it immediately, cayenne in the wound will cause more pain, but stop the bleeding. It’s for emergency use only, since it can be very painful and burn.
Plantain Leaf – Replaces Band-Aids
Since it’s basically impossible to carry a plantain leaf with you and keep it fresh, you’ll need to have these in your garden or pick a couple of leaves to keep with you when you’re out and about. Just tie the leaf over a cut to help slow the bleeding.
Echinacea Tincture – Antiseptic and Immune Booster
If you have a cut or puncture wound, you can dilute echinacea tincture in water (15 drops in half a cup of water) to create an antiseptic wash.
To boost your immune system, add 10 drops of tincture to a cup of water and drink it at the first sign of a cold.
Charcoal – Treats Diarrhea and Food Poisoning
Feeling ill due to some bad food or constantly running to the bathroom? Activated charcoal tablets are useful to keep on hand. You can also purchase these, and they’re still a natural option for your kit.
Honey – Antibiotic
This is easily stored in a squeeze bottle or individual straws that are sealed at either end. Spread the honey over a cleaned cut or burn to prevent infection. It can also be used to help diabetics if their blood sugar drops, just give them a spoonful of the honey to eat.
Valerian Tincture – Eases Anxiety and Insomnia, Mild Pain Reliever
Valerian is a sedative and can be taken with 5-10 drops in a glass of water to help you ease nerves and calm pain. If you have difficulties sleeping, 20 drops will help you calm down enough to sleep. It’s ideal for headaches, as well.
Witch Hazel – Blister Treatment, Antiseptic Wash
A bottle of witch hazel is great for a rinse for any open wounds. You can also use it to treat blisters by dampening a piece of moss or gauze with the witch hazel and applying it to a blister. Cover with a plantain leaf and tie in place.
Arnica Cream – Eases Pain in Bruises and Sore Joints
Skip the anti-inflammatory pills and use arnica cream instead. Mix 20 grams each of shea butter, beeswax, and 25 grams of coconut oil and melt over a double boiler. Add ¾ cups of oil (coconut oil works well) that has been infused with arnica for a couple of weeks. Make it more powerful by adding St. John’s wort and lavender, as well. Mix well and add to small jars or containers to put in your kit.
To use, just swipe a bit onto your fingers and rub on a sprain or bruise. You can apply to closed wounds, but not open ones.
Meadowsweet Tincture – Anti-inflammatory and Painkiller
Taking 20 drops of this tincture in a cup of water will help reduce inflammation and ease the pain. It’s great for use when you have a sprain or something that is obviously inflamed. You can also soak a cloth in some of the mixtures and apply it to the area that is inflamed.
Ginger Capsules – Relieves Nausea
Dry some ginger and grind it up, then pour the powder into gel caps for your first aid kit. Take a couple whenever you have nausea. Alternatively, you could do the same with fennel or even peppermint. Ginger can also ease gas or menstrual pain.
DIY Insect Repellant – Keep Insects Away
To make your own natural insect repellant, you’ll need essential oils. Add 10 drops each of lavender, lemongrass, eucalyptus, and citronella to half a cup of alcohol and half a cup of water. Mix well and pour it into a metal spray bottle. Spritz your skin as needed.
Comfrey Tincture – Bug Bite Relief
If you are stung or bitten by an insect and it hurts or itches, you’ll find that a drop or two of comfrey tincture works wonderfully to ease the irritation.
Willow Bark – Painkiller
You can dry strips of willow bark and keep them in your first aid kit. Where possible, drop a handful into a cup of boiling water for five minutes to create a tea (add some mint to help offset the bitter taste) or you can simply chew on the bark. It works like aspirin and helps reduce pain naturally.
Make a Tincture
As you’ve seen, there are a number of tinctures that can be used in your natural first aid kit. To make these, take a glass jar and fill 2/3 of the way with chopped fresh herbs or dried herbs. Add alcohol of choice to the top of the jar, completely covering the plant matter. (if you use roots, only fill 1/3 of the jar, since they will expand). Vodka is ideal for alcohol.
Cover the mixture with parchment paper, then screw on the lid and keep the mixture in a cool, dark place. Shake it every other day and make sure the herbs aren’t exposed. After 6-8 weeks, strain the mixture and store in a dark glass bottle.
A natural first aid kit should be fairly easy to create if you have an herb garden or are able to forage in your area. It does take a little prep to make sure you have remedies that can be stored for a bit, but it’s well worth being able to eliminate most of the chemical options that you’ve probably used up until now.
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