When you started living a toxic-free and natural life, you probably changed your diet first. But did you know the health and beauty products we use every day also pose a source of toxicity? When you’re sick or injured, it’s even more important to adhere to your natural lifestyle. When a cut, bruise, scrape, or other minor first aid injury arises, try these products instead:
1. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel has long been known for its oil absorbing properties. For generations, women have been applying witch hazel to reduce inflammation, oiliness and other symptoms of acne. However, witch hazel can also be used to help disinfect wounds. Apply witch hazel to a cut or scrap like you would rubbing alcohol to disinfect and promote healing.
2. Coconut Oil
Some say coconut oil is a superfood—but if you ask me it’s a total miracle food. You might be used to cooking with coconut oil, but it definitely belongs in your natural wound care kit. Coconut oil is naturally antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal. Because it’s become such a popular product, it’s also widely available. Look for organic, unrefined, and cold-pressed coconut oil. Coconut oil is particularly effective against nail fungus. Simply rub a little into the infected nail twice a day. Coconut oil can also help fade scars from scrapes and other cuts that have already healed.
3. Aloe Vera
Did you accidentally touch a scorching hot pan in the kitchen? Or perhaps spend too much time in the sun? Aloe Vera juice (and gel) is great for soothing burns. You can buy the juice in large bottles and store it in your fridge to maintain freshness and provide a cooling and soothing feeling of relief. Better yet, grow a small aloe vera plant in your kitchen! You can easily cut an aloe vera leaf when you need it and use the gel to soothe painful cuts, burns, and scrapes.
4. Organic Cotton Swabs and Wound Dressings
What you apply topically isn’t the only thing that’s important with natural wound care. The kinds of bandages you use matter too! Always strive for organic cotton swabs, balls, band aids, and other forms of wound dressing. Cotton is one of the most heavily sprayed crops in the United States, and a pesticide or herbicide is the last thing you want touching the delicate skin of a cut or scrape.
Arnica has a long history in the Medieval period where it was used frequently in Europe and parts of Eurasia for its healing capabilities. It’s a natural anti-inflammatory and can help relieve inflammation when applied externally. Arnica is especially helpful with bruises, swelling, and other painful tenderness from sprains or strains. It’s available in an oil or ointment.
Goldenseal has been widely used in Native American culture for centuries. Native to Canada and parts of the United States, it acts as a microbial when applied to the skin. Goldenseal can be purchased in capsules, which I personally recommend. These capsules can easily be broken and applied directly to open cuts and sores. This is particularly useful when traveling, on a camping/hiking trip, or a diaper bag.
7. Hot Water Bottle/Compress
This last one might seem like a no-brainer, but with all the fancy hot and cold compresses out there it’s easy to get mixed up in the confusion. Avoid chemical cold compresses that you need to break to release a cool effect. These compacts usually aren’t biodegradable and can harm the environment. A reusable cold compress that you store in the freezer is a much better option. There are even some reusable compresses out there that can be used for heat or cold. Do your research and find a product that uses natural resources and doesn’t damage the environment.
Creating your own natural wound care kit doesn’t need to be rocket science. All it takes is doing a little research and figuring out which herbs and products best suit your needs. What’s your go-to natural wound product?
Image source: Phyzome/Wikimedia