Alternatively Speaking: First and foremost

Alternative medicine expert Natalie Marx gives her tips on the best herbs and essential oils to include in a first aid kit.

June 17, 2013 12:28
3 minute read.
Alternatively Speaking - Natalie Marx

Alternatively Speaking - Natalie Marx. (photo credit: Courtesy)

There are always plenty of opportunities to have a first-aid kit at home. From treating cuts and bruises to motion sickness and colds. I have selected simple, multipurpose remedies to pack into your small lunch box that’s always ready to throw into the car and take with you on trips.

With the following herbs and essential oils, you will be able to treat just about any common first aid condition you are likely to encounter either at home or while travelling.

What to put in your herbal first aid kit?

The following remedies are ones I consider indispensable for a first-aid kit. You can find all of these remedies available at any well-stocked health-food store.

Aloe Vera gel: This impressive gel is both cooling and healing. It not only soothes the inflammation of sunburn, but can be applied directly to common kitchen scalds and burns.

Arnica Cream: Arnica (Arnica Montana) flowers have exclusive anti-inflammatory and circulation-stimulating properties. Arnica cream is excellent to apply to sore muscles, sprains, strains and bruises.

Calendula Salve: The Calendula flower has antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties. It contains a compound that stimulates the growth of new tissue and helps heal wounds.

Chamomile Tea bags: Chamomile is excellent for both adults and children. It has mild sedative, antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory properties. Chamomile promotes relaxation helping sleep related problems. It also relieves indigestion and when applied topically can soothe skin inflammations.

• Clove Oil: This wonderful spice has a numbing agent particularly useful in dental emergencies. You can dilute clove oil to numb the gums, mouth, and teeth. Due to its antibacterial properties it keeps tooth infections from spreading. Always dilute clove oil in water prior to application, and although it can be used in the mouth it should not be ingested.

Echinacea liquid extract or tablets: Echinacea is nature's answer to boosting the immune system and can be used for any type of infection. At the first signs of an infection echinachea should prevent the onset, and when taken during an infection it will speed up the persons recovery. Liquid extracts are perhaps the most versatile because they can be used both internally and externally.

Elderberry capsules or tincture: Elderberry is essential for preventing a cold or flu from ruining your vacation. The berries contain compounds that prevent the virus from invading and infecting cells. You can also take elderberry as a preventative if you are flying or where you may be potential exposed to viruses.

Eucalyptus Essential Oil: When used as a steam inhalation, Eucalyptus globulus is excellent for treating colds, flus and sinus infections. It is also a potent antibiotic and antiviral which can be applied with oil or witch hazel extract directly to the skin.

Ginger tea bags or natural ginger: Ginger has hundreds of healing qualities. Perhaps the most commonly known are its antispasmodic and gas-relieving properties, which help soothe digestive upsets. Ginger also relieves motion sickness, morning sickness and general nausea.

Goldenseal capsules: Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) is very effective against traveler’s diarrhea. A powerful antimicrobial, the powder has magical antiseptic properties and can be applied onto cuts or wounds to stop bleeding.

Lavender essential oil: Lavender is calming, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. It really is an all-purpose remedy and can be helpful for anxiety, insomnia, headaches, burns and repelling mosquitoes. It can be applied directly to the skin.

Peppermint essential oil or tea bags: Peppermint soothes upset stomachs and also reduces nausea. The essential oil is fantastic at clearing sinuses and when applied topically also curbs itching from insect bites.

Witch hazel extract: Make sure you pack a bottle of distilled witch hazel into your first aid box. This wonderful extract has mild astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, making it useful for insect bites and skin irritations. Do not take it internally.

This column is brought to you as general information only and unless stated otherwise is not medical advice nor is it based on medical experiments. This column is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. For more information about specific problems, please contact a doctor.

The most effective way to treat everyday ailments is to make an appointment with Natalie so that a plan can be created specifically for you and your specific symptoms. There are wonderful natural remedies that can support you. Book your free consultation today:

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