Keeping a first aid kit around the home and carrying one around during outdoor excursions such as camping and hiking is a smart idea. While many over-the-counter conventional remedies are standard in a first aid kit, you should not discount adding a few natural herbal products as well. In some instances, the natural herbal remedies actually speed healing and reduce infection risk.
Natural Herbal Products in your First Aid Kit
Your first aid kit will always carry the basics such as sterile gauze, adhesive bandages, sterile needles, tweezers, scissors, thermometer, sterile water and even hot and cold packs. However, your medicines for scrapes, cleaning wounds and bruise treatments can easily be treated with natural herbal remedies. Here are some handy products to consider:
- Lavender Oil – Lavender has antiseptic properties. If you have minor cuts, scrapes or even bug bites, applying lavender oil to the affected areas can help them heal, sometimes twice as fast as treating them with a conventional method.
- Honey – Honey has antimicrobial as well as anti-inflammatory properties. After rinsing a minor wound or burn with water, you can apply honey directly onto the affected area and cover with a bandage.
- Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil is a powerhouse herbal remedy because it has antifungal, antibiotic and antiseptic properties. You can treat a wound, rash and insect bite with tea tree oil.
- Cayenne Pepper – This spicy pepper not only opens nasal passageways and lower blood pressure if consumed, it also has the power to stop bleeding and reduce pain in a wound such as a cut, abrasion or scrape. Sprinkling the cayenne pepper straight onto the affected area may sound strange, but the throbbing pain will lessen and bleeding stops quickly.
- Calendula – Tincture made from calendula oil can be effective and safe for skin rashes, cuts and abrasions. It helps alleviate the pain, swelling and stinging sensations of a wound.
- Comfrey –A powdered form of comfrey can be mixed with distilled water to form a paste which could be applied directly to wounds. Comfrey contains a compound called allantoin which speeds the healing process as well as reduce swelling and inflammation. This herbal concoction has both antifungal and antibacterial properties.
- Vinegar – Containing natural antiseptic properties, vinegar can be used to cleanse wounds by mixing it with water. Vinegar also soothes rashes and insect bites. Sunburns are also soothed by a rag or bandage soaked in vinegar and then applied to the affected area.
- Yarrow – Powdered yarrow leaves can be mixed with a little distilled water to form a paste which can be applied to cuts and other minor wounds. The yarrow stops bleeding and even disinfects the affected area.
If you use an herbal essential oil for your first aid kit, be sure to pack a carrier oil such as almond oil, olive oil or coconut oil. You typically have to mix a few drops of essential oil with the carrier oil to prevent skin irritation. With the basics along with some or all of these natural herbal products, you have a solid first aid kit that can handle virtually any minor emergency.