Nourish - How to Put Together and Use a Natural First Aid Kit – Part One
When calamity strikes, it’s always comforting to know that you’ve got a First Aid kit at home and whilst travelling to deal with unexpected bumps, bruises bites and bubbly tummies. But have you ever considered taking a holistic approach to First Aid?
Instead of chemical-laden harsh antiseptics, hydrocortisone or additive-packed medicines, try reaching for holistic remedies instead to soothe, calm, disinfect, treat and heal wounds.
You may be surprised to learn what your kitchen cupboards and health food shops can offer!
Of course, for any serious accidents you should seek medical help, but for the occasional scratch, bump, bite or bout of indigestion, pack nature’s remedies.
A natural first aid kit should contain the following items:
For Shock After an Accident Occurs
For the immediate relief of the shock or hysteria that often occurs with an accident try Resuce Remedy. Bach Rescue Remedy is a homoeopathic remedy made using natural flower essences. It helps you to relax, focus, feel calm and collected. It’s a fantastic herbal addition to any first aid kit.
Lemon Balm, Chamomile, and Lavender herbal Tea
Choose a blend or singular herbal teas. These herbs may help ease the shock and calm the body.
To repel insects such as mosquitoes, biting flies, and fleas, apply this natural insect repellent.
– 50 drops (total) essential oil mix of citronella, tea tree, and lavender (other options include cinnamon, eucalyptus, lemongrass, and rosemary)
– 4 tablespoons carrier oil (e.g almond oil, coconut, jojoba)
Blend the essential oils, then add to the carrier oil in a dark glass bottle or jar. Apply to the skin by dabbing it on your wrists, behind your ears, inside your elbows, behind your knees, and around your ankles. Remember to reapply after an hour and after exercise.
Personally, I like to use aloe vera gel to make it more spreadable across my skin. I just use a little dish and mix the above repellent with the aloe together before applying.
Insect Bites/Bee or Wasp Stings
[Note on bee stings: When you do remove the stinger, take your nail (or even a credit card) and scrape the stinger out. Do not grab the end and pull it out. The venom sac is at the end and you’ll just squeeze more out.]
Make a paste using baking soda and water to help neutralize the bee venom and reduce pain, itching and swelling. Apply a thick layer of baking soda paste to the affected area. Cover the paste with a bandage. Leave on for at least 15 minutes and re-apply as needed.
Aloe is great for relieving pain and soothing the skin. Use Aloe Pura Aloe Gel or if you’re at home and have an aloe vera plant, break off a leaf and squeeze the gel directly onto the affected area. Aloe vera is simply wonderful in all first aid kits for so many ailments.
Lavender essential oil helps to reduce swelling and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Apply one drop of lavender essential oil directly on the sting. (Make sure the stinger is completely out before doing so.)
Alternatively, you can dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil, such a coconut or olive oil using 5 drops to 5 ml (which is roughly one teaspoon of carrier oil). Do this twice the first day, and one time the next day.
Witch hazel is a fantastic herbal remedy for insect bites and bee stings. It can help reduce the pain, itching and inflammation of the skin. Apply witch hazel directly to the bee sting as needed.
Calendula is an antiseptic used to heal minor wounds and ease skin irritation. Apply the cream directly to the sting site and cover with a bandage.
Vinegar may also help neutralize bee venom. Soak a bandage or cloth in the vinegar and then apply it to the sting site. Alternatively, depending on where the sting is, soak the stung area directly in a small basin of apple cider vinegar for at least 15 minutes.
Lavender diluted (in a carrier oil), or blended with a bit of well-diluted Peppermint essential oil to ease itching.
Nausea, Digestive Troubles and Travel Sickness
Ginger is well known as a carminative and digestive aid. Consume in raw, tincture, powdered, capsule or tea bag form.
Ginger helps to relieve gas, nausea, reflux and stomach trouble. Additionally, its antispasmodic action alleviates cramping and griping as well as nausea, motion sickness, and morning sickness. It also helps soothe the stomach after a digestive illness or food poisoning.
Another great digestive herb, peppermint is available as a herbal tea, tincture or essential oil.
To help soothe an upset stomach or digestive problem, rub a drop or two of essential oil behind the ears, on the feet or rubbed into the belly (oil may be diluted in a carrier oil before doing so).
Alternatively, add 3 drops of peppermint oil onto a washcloth and hold it under your nose, and breathe slowly and deeply for 1-3 minutes. The menthol in peppermint oil improves circulation and stops nausea quickly.
And of course, a cup of peppermint tea goes a long way for anyone suffering digestive issues.
Again tea or capsules are great to treat nausea, vomiting or a nervous stomach. Chamomile is a great digestive aid due to its carminative, antispasmodic, and anti-inflammatory actions. It eases digestion by relaxing muscles in the digestive tract and relieving cramping.
Fennel tea is great for indigestion or when you’ve overeaten.
Although uncomfortable and inconvenient, diarrhoea is often nature’s way of eliminating something that probably shouldn’t be in the body. This may be caused by (but not limited to):
- viral or bacterial infections
- intestinal parasites
- side effects from medication
- eating while stressed
- eating too fast
- a food intolerance
The key is not to prevent the body from expelling what it needs to but to bring your body back into balance.
A great way to prepare for your next holiday and prevent any stomach troubles whilst you’re away is to take probiotics. And if diarrhoea does strike, they’re fantastic at helping the body to recover.
Probiotics discourage the spread of harmful bacteria and yeasts in the gut and help to relieve both diarrhoea and constipation. There are some probiotics specifically formulated for travel like Optibac for Travelling Abroad which don’t need to be kept in the fridge. There’s also a great yeast called Saccharomyces boulardii that’s also a safe and effective treatment for preventing tummy bugs. This is a unique probiotic yeast which naturally helps you maintain gut health by improving defence against pathogens in the gut.
So next time you are travelling abroad, and in particular, if you’re travelling to hot countries or less developed parts of the world, it is a very good idea to start a course of probiotics. Start a fortnight before you go and continue taking them during your holiday and for a fortnight after your return.
a teaspoon of carob powder blended into a cup of filtered water is an excellent diarrhoea remedy suitable for children and adults. The natural sugars make carob gummy, acting as a thickener to absorb water.
Try adding 1/2 a banana and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and blending it up. That way you’ll reap the additional benefits of the bananas stool solidifying action and cinnamons antimicrobial properties.
Other options to mix it with (or eat alone) include:
Grated apple|hot cereals, such as oatmeal or rice porridge| applesauce| plain white rice|toast | boiled potatoes. Bland is best!
Another benefit to using carob is that it contains tannins. Tannins are chemicals that give some foods their astringency, that is, the ability to bind up and contract tissue. Tannins are also found in raspberry leaf tea. This tea is great to help not only with its astringency properties but also to replenish lost fluids. This is important in preventing dehydration that may result from a prolonged bout of diarrhoea.
Another helping hand is activated charcoal powder, an ancient remedy for diarrhoea, indigestion and bloating. Activated charcoal adsorbs toxins and impurities in the body which are then removed from the body via your bowels. Make sure to drink plenty of water, and take away from any other supplements as this charcoal will impede their absorption. Activated Charcoal is also useful for acute food poisoning.
Plus, don’t forget to check out my blog posts:
- Natural Ways to Provide Relief and Help Recovery from a Stomach Bug | part 1
- Natural Ways to Provide Relief and Help Recovery from a Stomach Bug | part 2
Any questions? Drop into your local Nourish store to chat with our expert team and explore our full range of foods, supplements and skincare. You can also find our full product range in our online store.
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention.
Please remember that you should always obtain the all-clear from your doctor before starting any new supplement plan or diet if you’re on any medication.