By Michelle Jenkins, PhD
We try our best to live a healthy life free from injury and illness. But did you ever think about the times when the illness or injury is not life threatening and doesn’t call for medical professionals? After all, going to them can be time consuming and expensive. When you think about it, we don’t need medication to minor illnesses or injury. There are lots of natural remedies that don’t interfere with our immune responses and these remedies can help ease are ills without harmful side effects.
You may not know it but there are many natural remedies that can also be used in the comfort of your own home, instead of taking yourself or child to a doctor, exposing them to harmful bacterial, infections and disease.
Here is a list of my first aid kit that I use at home. They are very effective remedies that I’ve tested myself. Feel free to use this individually or in combination with other natural remedies.
Activated Charcoal: This may not seem like an herb but it’s very effective for acute food poisoning, vomiting, diarrhea, intestinal illness, etc.
Arnica- A very popular homopathic remedy that can used muscle pain or bodily injury, bruises or any type of trauma. It greatly reduced healing time or bruises and sore muscles. Just be sure to use it immediatedly after injury.
Cayenne Powder- I know you thought this was only used as a spice but it’s very effective and wise to have in your first aid kit. I always keep cayenne with me when traveling. I also have it my car, purse and office. When applied topically it stop bleeding quickly.
Chamomile- The herb Chamomile has been in constant use for thousands of years. It has been used to treat a plethora of ailments and health troubles, such as stomach upset, diarrhea, gas, insomnia and even anxiety. When brewed as a tea, chamomile has very relaxing effects and it can be cooled and rubbed on the stomach of colicky infants to help sooth them.
Comfrey- This is an excellent herb for to use externally for injuries and broken bones. All you have to do is make a poultice of dandelion and comfrey and place it on a wound can greatly reduce the healing time and help prevent and reverse infection. It’s very effective.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil- This is an excellent oil to have handy for respiratory problems. I use eucalyptus herb and essential oil in my humidifier or facial sauna for congestion or sinus troubles. I also make a mild natural version of Vapo-Rub without the petroleum jelly for coughing and respiratory illness. You can also dilute eucalyptus oil with shea butter or olive oil and rub it on your feet, chest and next to help expel mucus and phlegm.
Ginger Capsules- There are lots of healing components to ginger. Ginger is used for many illnesses such as: nausea, acid reflux, indigestions, morning sickness stomach pain and gas. It’s also a great remedy food poisoning so always keep a few capsules in your kit or cabinet.
Peppermint Essential Oil (or tea bag)- Here’s another GREAT digestive herb for you. Just like ginger, peppermint is excellent for nausea, acid reflux, indigestion, stomach pain, etc. You can use it as a tea or tincture. When used as a tincture it can be an excellent remedy for headache and digestive troubles. You can also apply the essential oil behind the ears and on the bottom of your feet to help ease headaches or nausea. This is even mild enough to use on babies.
Plantain- When we usually think of plantains we normally think of it as a side dish in Caribbean meals. Surprisingly, plantains are a natural remedy for poison ivy, cuts, scrapes and bites. You can also make a poultice and apply to an area that suffered a bee sting. You will be pleasantly surprised how it immediately relieves the pain. Plantain poultice is excellent for bites, stings, cuts and infections.
Slippery Elm- This herb is wonderful for sore throats and stomach irritation. It’s also a must have for singers and public speakers because coasts the throat preventing individuals from loosing their voice. Even you ever see slippery elm lozenges in your health food store…BUY IT! They taste great and are helpful for children suffering with sore throats. You can use slippery elm in a tea, tincture or capsule.
Apple Cider Vinegar- Always keep a bottle of organic Apple Cider Vinegar with “the mother” for digestive troubles, indigestion, food poisoning and more.
Raw honey is a great natural antibiotic.
Baking Soda- This is excellent for heartburn or urinary track infections, 1/4 tsp can be taken internally to help alleviate quickly. It can also be made into a poultice and used on sider bites.
Tea tree oil can be used topically for wounds, athlete’s foot and even ringworm.
Cayenne powder helps stop bleeding
Aloe Vera Plant- A low maintenance plant to keep in the house for burns and blisters.
Eucalyptus helps relieve respiratory problems
Epsom Salt- A big bag to keep in the bathroom to use as a bath soak for sore muscles. Dissolved in water, it can also be a good soak to help remove splinters.
Ginger helps with nausea, morning sickness and motion sickness
Hydrogen Peroxide- It’s good to keep a bottle in your home. This is excellent for ear infection or illness a dropperful of Hydrogen PEroxide can be put in the ear.
Clove oil has a numbing effect so it is good for teething, sore gums, etc
Slippery Elm for sore throat
Witch Hazel- This is good for use on cuts, scrapes, and in cosmetic uses. It makes a great skin toner for oily skin.
Lavender oil helps with headaches, (put some on temples) bug bites, relieves stress
Coconut Oil-. This is excellent for everything from skin salve, to diaper creme, to makeup remover, to antifungal treatment; you can use coconut oil to use to apply tinctures and help absorption externally and for dry skin and chapped lips.