First off, let’s discuss what exactly a first aid kit should contain. I’ve seen some that could fit in my back pocket and others the size of a suitcase, but in order to get this thing right, I’ve consulted with the American Red Cross. In turn, I’ve used and expanded their recommendations to lead you into the wonderful world of natural first aid and hopefully leave you fully covered for those tiny daily emergencies. And, basically, that’s what a first aid kit should be: the stuff you need for everyday boo-boos. Leave surgery and stitches to the professionals.
Stuff for Cuts, Scraps, and Blood
I’m a whiz at cutting my fingers, which in turn means my wife has become a whiz at bandaging them, keeping them free from infection and sometimes kissing it better. But, seriously, here’s what you need to do this naturally:
- Yarrow: Promotes clotting and stops bleeding. Shake a little on the cut and apply pressure. You could also include it in an all-around ointment.
- Calendula: Useful in healing wounds and preventing infection, it is an anti-bacterial flower that could live in your garden and reside in your first aid kit. It also combats pink eye.
- Arnica: Also a flower, it is used for sprains and strains and helps with shock, which may occur with excessive bleeding.
Minor Burns, From the Sun or Otherwise
I love to cook; hence, despite knowing better, I have on more than one occasion managed to nudge hot pans, spill molten liquid on myself, and just outright touch the stovetop burners. It helps to have something around for that.
- Aloe Vera: Needs no introduction — this soothes burns and is kind enough to naturally occur in gel form. Best to keep as living plant.
- Lavender Essential Oil: Has a calming aroma as well as relieves the initial, horrible sting of burning yourself. Two-for. Actually, it’s also good for acne treatment and insect repellent.
Bug Bites, Bee Stings, and Insect-Related Boo-Boos
Oddly enough, my wife and I have both managed to be stung by scorpions while in bed. After the initial shock of such a thing (these scorpions were not deadly), we learned to treat the offended areas like bee stings. It’s easy.
- Frankincense: Not just a gift for baby Jesus anymore — it controls itching and swelling while simultaneously relieving the pain of being stung or bitten.
- Plantain Weed: Neither a fruit nor newly legalized drug, plantain weed is in fact a very common garden weed that cools off those raging hot bug bites.
The Aches — Stomach, Head, and Muscle
- Peppermint: Works wonders for the stomach, including helping cramps, IBS, heartburn, and gas. Plus, it smells nice. Do it as a tea.
- Feverfew: Useful in warding off migraine headaches, as well as stomach issues.
- Ginger: No medicine cabinet is complete without it. Its anti-inflammatory action is great for joints and muscles. It even helps with motion sickness and stomach trouble.
Or, save some time and just make one super bad ointment with all sorts of stuff in it, including many of these things. You’ll also need bandages, which do come in kid-friendly natural varieties, as well as tweezers, scissors, and a thermometer. Red Cross suggests a first aid instruction booklet, but perhaps an herbal remedy booklet (or this link) would do you better.
I’ve found a nice site from which you can get your organic, sustainable first aid herbs delivered to your doorstep. Or, of course, you can peruse your local health food shops for them. Or, grow them in your garden. Whatever the case, you are well on the way to being able to hurt yourself guilt-free and impress shocked bystanders with your all-natural first aid supply.
*As with anything, pay attention to the goings-on of your body. If something starts to look irritated, infected, or just plain falls off, it is probably wise to seek help.
Image Source: Project Manhattan/Wikimedia Commons