Building a Natural First Aid Kit
Jaclyn Chasse, ND
Bumps, bruises and bites…a common side effect of summer living (for my family anyway!) Besides an endless supply of character band-aids to distract from life’s troubles, there are a few essential items that any first aid kit can’t be without. Here are a few of my favorite items that I make sure to carry in my car, bag, picnic basket — essentially anywhere we go!
Arnica, the most famous homeopathic medicine, has developed a reputation for being one of the most important go-to first aid remedies — and for good reason! Arnica helps with bruising and also helps with the initial surprise of a minor injury. It’s helpful for temporary relief of minor pain and can be used orally or applied topically. Dose the oral pellets 3-4 pellets under the tongue every 15-30 minutes for the first hour, then 2x/daily or as needed. Any topical can be applied to closed skin during the same time frame.)*
Calendula succus is the juice of Calendula officinalis, one of the best botanicals for healing the skin. This go-to spray is helpful for all minor, self-limiting injuries of the skin, including burns, scrapes, cuts, etc.* Clean the area well and apply liberally before bandaging.
Turmeric and Boswellia
Turmeric and Boswellia are both known for their immune-modulating activity and have good research to support their use for the relief of temporary, minor pain due to overuse. And don’t we all overdue it on those summer weekends sometimes? I was referring to that tough hike, but they’re also helpful in the mornings after a few too many margaritas on the beach! Find your favorite combo and keep them handy for occasional headaches and body aches, and temporary inflammation due to mild muscle strains or overuse.*
For bug bites and bee stings, I’d turn to the application of plantain, a drawing botanical that can provide some relief from that temporary itch and sting.* I love this 1 oz option, as it’s so easy to carry around in the case that you can’t find some on the ground near you to make into a poultice and apply!
We’ve all been there. Lounging outside for a bit too long, or in my case, forgetting that all-important second application of sunscreen on your swimming children midday. Pink skin can cause some discomfort and even minor sunburns can be mighty uncomfortable! One of my favorite tricks is to pick up some aloe vera juice or gel and freeze it in ice cube trays. When sunburn strikes, wrap a few cubes into a soft cloth (I like a little t-shirt rag better than a rough facecloth) and tie off the end. Allow your child to gently rub the affected area. As the cold ice soothes, it will also melt, leaving a nice aloe application on the skin.*
There are so many great first aid options available that don’t involve antiseptics and harsh chemicals. I hope that you consider updating your kit with these natural essentials for a healthy spring and summer!
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.