Monday, July 28, 2014

Herbal First Aid

You know it's summer when your kids knees are full of scrapes and bruises.  It's bound to happen during this time of activity and adventure.  In my humble opinion, first aid kits are one of the most important items to pack for long trips, day hikes, or general outings.  Okay, I don't *pack* one for general outings, but I do keep one handy in the car and my backpack.  You just don't know when you're going to need it.  This, combined with the ability of a first aid kit to calm a scared and hurt child down, makes it invaluable!  Kids have a fascination with first aid kits.  The band-aids, the medical tape, the tiny tins of salve.  Who wouldn't be?

If you want to treat those boo-boos naturally, then assembling an herbal first aid kit is the way to go.  It's easy, inexpensive, and they make great gifts.  Here's a list of what I put in my own kits, but feel free to adjust yours for your own families needs.

1. The Basics
    -Natural Bug Spray (See recipe below)
    -Protein Bar
    -Emergen-C: These vitamin packets are a great way to keep your nutrients up when
             traveling.  Add the powder to water and you have a great way to re-hydrate
             after a long hike, boost your immunity, and shorten illness.

2. The Meds
    -Tea bags:  I always include peppermint tea bags for digestive issues,    
                 chamomile tea bags to calm nerves (internally) and pink eye or burns (cooled
                 and applied externally).  Traditional Medicinals also makes a great line of
                 medicinal teas for a variety of issues.  Great to have on hand!

    -All Purpose Salve:  Look for a salve that contains comfrey, St. John's Wort, calendula,
                or plantain.  Apply to cuts, scrapes,  & bug bites to disinfect, sooth, and
                accelerate healing.  Also great for dry, cracked skin.

    -Tea Tree Essential Oil: Another great disinfectant!  Use sparingly on infected cuts to
                       speed healing.  Also great to sniff to ease nausea, and apply
                       externally to get rid of parasites. 

    -Lavender Hydrosol: Lavender flower water with fully emulsified essential oil.  This is an
                   excellent spray that can soothe burns, rashes, ease anxiety, and
                    induce sleep.  Also works as a great "monster spray!"

    -Echinacea Tincture: A must have!  This works as an internal and external antibiotic, boosts
                  the immune system, and has even been used an an antidote to poison!

    -Homeopathic Arnica:  These little pills work wonders!  Take to ease muscle soreness,
                      heal bruises, ease arthritis pain, and ease headaches.

    -Rescue Remedy:  Made from flower essences, this is a great tonic to ease trauma and
                stress.  Also great way to relieve anxiety.  Just a few drops under the

3. The Hardware
    -Assortment of Band-Aids
    -Bandages, gauze, and surgical tape
    -Duct Tape
    -Cold Pack
    -Hot Pack
    -Ear Plugs
    -Sewing Kit

Carry these items in a waterproof bag or case, and you will be well prepared for any injury that comes your way.

Go have an adventure!
Kristin Henningsen M.S., C.H., R.Y.T.


24 Wellness said...

Great post! :)

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Kaplan Center for Health and Wellness
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