Written by Kevin Vania, HB Staff Writer |
Summer is in the air and many of us are geared up for outdoor activities like camping, hiking, gardening, fishing, and other sports. Whether you’re outdoors, at home, in the office, or even driving in your car, it’s important to have a first aid kit on hand. Being prepared for an emergency is the best way you can practice safety and help ensure you can enjoy the things you like to do.
For those looking for natural alternatives to a mainstream/allopathic first aid kit, here are a few recommendations:
Feverfew & White Willow Bark
Colloidal Silver & Grapefruit Seed Extract
Licorice Root & Echinacea
Med-Eye Wash (eye wash/compress)
Water purification tablets (iodine capsules)
PRINCIPLE EMERGENCY MATERIALS
Adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
Cotton gauze or swabs
Sterile compress dressings
1 blanket (space blanket)
1 CPR breathing barrier
1 instant cold compress
2 pairs of non-latex gloves
Oral thermometer (plastic/non-mercury)
First aid instruction booklet
What do these herbal remedies do?
Anti-inflammatory/ Fever Reducers/ Aches and Pains
• Feverfew has been used for centuries in European folk medicine as a remedy for headaches, arthritis, and fevers.
• White Willow Bark’s active chemical is salicin, the basic chemical synthesized by German chemists in 1853 to create aspirin. It can be used to treat headaches, fever, arthritis, inflammation and other pain.
• Curcumin (Turmeric) has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory action that can be used to treat minor wounds.
Antiseptic/Antibiotic (Cuts & Scrapes/Wounds)
• Colloidal Silver (Liquid & Gel) can be used topically to fight fungal infections of the skin or nails and to promote the healing of burns, wounds, cuts, rashes, and sunburn. It can also be used internally to fight infection as it has been shown to be effective against more than 650 disease causing organisms.
• Grapefruit Seed Extract is one of the most powerful broad-spectrum antibiotics available for use and is said to be perhaps the only true “antibiotic” of all herbs.
• Povidone Iodine as an antiseptic solution destroys a wide variety of microorganisms by local irritation and germicidal action. It is used to cleanse and disinfect wounds.
• Licorice root has been prescribed throughout history for colds, cough, sore throat, asthma, and other respiratory complaints. In Europe, it is still used extensively in cough formulas.
• Echinacea actively stimulates saliva and numbs the tissue it comes into contact with to treat any infection causing a sore, swollen throat. It can even be used as a wash to treat poisonous stings and bites.
Cold Sores/Fever Blisters
• Lysine is an essential amino acid that can be used to effectively fight and prevent herpes outbreaks. To maximize its effects, avoid foods that are rich in arginine (chocolate, peanuts and almonds).
• Aloe is an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial that can be applied topically to burns to speed wound healing and prevent infection. It keeps burn tissue moist, soothes the damaged tissue, and restores lost body fluids directly through the skin.
• Rhubarb root is used in large amounts for relief from constipation, whereas small amounts of the herb are used for diarrhea. It is also helpful to prevent and eliminate hemorrhoids.
Indigestion/Nausea (Motion Sickness)
• Ginger has anti-nausea action that relieves motion sickness and dizziness. Studies have shown that it works better than standard drug treatments in treating effects of vertigo. It can also be used to relieve indigestion and abdominal cramps.
There are books upon books of herbal remedies, but the ones included in this natural first aid kit are a few that stand out. Keep in mind, what works for one individual might not work for another. Our bodies are naturally different and will sometimes respond that way. Now, enjoy the beautiful summer weather and remember to stay prepared!
2) Balch, Phyllis A. and James F. Balch. Prescription For Nutritional Healing. Avery, 3rd edition, 2000.
3) Buhner, Stephen Harrod. Herbal Antibiotics. North Adams: Storey Publishing, 1999.
4) Castleman, Michael. The Healing Herbs. Emmaus: Rodale Press, Inc., 1991.
5) Ody, Penelope. The Holistic Herbal Directory. Edison: Chartwell Books, Inc., 2001.