First aid is an often overlooked area of herbalism. As mom’s we know how often children experience cuts, bruises, injuries or other illnesses. Because of this it is wise to be prepared. During a life threatening emergency the hospital is often the best choice. There are times however that are less serious but immediate where we can use natural remedies in a non life threatening acute situation. Many normal first aid kits are filled with bandages and antibiotic ointment and very little to actually assist with other situations. Today we are going to go over a list of basic natural supplies to put inside an herbal first aid kit.
Basic Medical Supplies
Make sure that you have any necessary supplies for remedy making near your first aid supplies. Here is a quick list of things to consider having on hand. Some of the items in this article will need to be prepared and then stored in your first aid kit. Karli covered some of the basic supplies more thoroughly in her article Basic Medical Supplies for a First Aid Kit.
- Jars, scale and batteries, funnels, strainers, muslin cloth, droppers, bottles, tins, pans, tea bags, eye cup, squirt bottles, spray bottles, measuring cups-spoons, labels, pen, tape, bags, cups, bandages, ace wrap, sling and gloves.
Menstruum For Herbal Medicine Making
Although most situations you will want pre-prepared herbal medicines it is also important to have small amounts of necessary menstruum for mixing any remedies. A Menstruum is another word for solvent, a liquid substance used to extract medicinal qualities from herbs.
Alcohol– Though you won’t be making a tincture in a first aid situation 80 proof vodka can be beneficial to have on hand for sanitizing and mixing with remedies to put in spray bottles.
Apple Cider Vinegar– Vinegar is a natural antiseptic. Topically it can clean wounds, reduce itching, soothe sunburns, and alleviate stiff muscles. Taken internally it is often used to assist digestion. It can also be mixed with herbs and honey taken as an oxymel.
Glycerin – A good menstruum to use for children’s remedies as it adds sweet without a lot of sugar. In a first aid situation it can be mixed with herbs and made into pastilles to soothe the throat, digestion or to get children to take herbs.
Raw Honey– *This delicious sweet treat can be mixed with herbs to make pastilles, anoxymel or to sweeten tea. It is naturally antimicrobial and has been used to dress wounds and burns for centuries. Manuka honey has been specifically studied for it’s antibacterial and wound healing affects.
Oils- Used as carriers for essential oils, and tinctures. Natural oils can also be used as a lubricant and to mix with herbs to make a paste. A few good choices are organic olive oil, grape seed oil and coconut oil.
Water– Known as the universal solvent it is important to have on hand for wound cleaning, dehydration, tea making, and for mixing with herbs to make tea and other remedies. Bulk Herb Store carries a variety of Berkey water filters to assure that your water is pure and safe to use.
Sea Salt– A great source of minerals sea salt can be mixed with honey and herbs to makehomemade electrolyte drinks. It can also be dissolved in water and essential oils to clean or soak wounds, or as a gargle.
While pre-made remedies are handy in an emergency there are some bulk herbs that are beneficial to have in a first aid kit. I am going to share the actions of each herb and a brief description of potential uses. Please educate yourself on the proper form, and dosage especially for children, as well as any contraindications.
Yarrow – Anti-inflammatory, diaphoretic, hypotensive, diuretic, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, astringent, styptic. The powdered form can be applied to a wound to stop bleeding. A poultice can be made from the cut herb or powder for wound healing and antimicrobial effects. Yarrow is a go to diaphoretic herb when dealing with fever. It has a history of use for respiratory and urinary tract infections as well as a digestive aid for diarrhea. It has also been taken internally for free bleeding of bright red discharge, bleeding ulcers and uterine bleeding. Anti-inflammation and pain relief is another one of this amazing herbs qualities.
Cayenne– Stimulant, anticatarrhal, antimicrobial, rubifacient, styptic. Cayenne is another herb that will stop bleeding from a wound when applied topically. Used topically it can also stimulate blood flow and assist in pain relief from rheumatic pains. Internally it is a stimulant, general tonic, and stimulates circulatory and digestive system.
White Willow Bark– Analgesic, anti-inflammatory, tonic, astringent. Beneficial for pain, fever and inflammation.
Calendula– Anti-inflammatory, astringent, antiseptic, wound healing. Calendula flowers make a great healing poultice or infusion for bites, wounds, and eyes.
Plantain– Wound healing, astringent, diuretic, antispasmodic. This herb can be used to help heal wounds, and bites as well as help sprains and bruises. Beneficial for mucous membranes that are sore, infected, inflamed, or damaged. It has also been used to draw out splinters.
Comfrey– Astringent, wound healing, demulcent. Comfrey is used topically for wound healing on clean wounds that are not deep. It has also been used to help heal broken bones and sprains. Should not be taken internally.
Peppermint- Diaphoretic, aromatic, carminative, calmative. Peppermint is a great herb to use as a tea for relief of digestive upset as well as for fever reduction and respiratory difficulty. Can be used topically for cooling, headache, muscle pain, or cramps.
Chamomile– Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, relaxant, carminative, anti-allergenic, mild bitter. Another great herb as a tea for digestive upset as well as calming. Has anti-inflammatory properties beneficial for topical use and as an eye wash.
Double E-Imunne Booster– Contains Nettle Leaf, Peppermint Leaf, Echinacea Root Echinacea Tops, Elderberries whole, Eleuthero Root and Rosehips. This is a nice immune boosting tea or tincture blend in the event of illness or infection.
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