Like most of you, I like to keep things as natural as possible around our little homestead.
I’m not afraid to break out our family’s first aid kit when a particularly bad cut comes across my motherly-path but for minor cuts, bruises and other common ailments, the big guns aren’t always necessary. For a lot of complaints, items in my herbal first aid kit can easily soothe and fix the problem.
I buy most of my herbs from Mountain Rose Herbs. I find their products to be of high quality, well packaged and easy to obtain. My local health food store carries many varieties of herbs, as well, but honestly, unless I’m in a bind, I still prefer the quality I get from Mountain Rose Herbs.
Also, before I start, I’m going to remind you that I’m not a doctor. Nothing in this post about herbal first aid should be used as medical advice. I’m just sharing what we’ve come to know, love and use in our little family. There’s a lot of information out there in the big, wide world. If you’re unsure, research!
Herbs in my Herbal First Aid Kit
- Arnica – I’ve used this herb to help treat minor bruises. It can also be helpful for joint pain and strains.
- Calendula – Said to have antiseptic properties, calendula is a good herb to use to treat minor cuts and scrapes.
- Chamomile – Most of us know about the calming properties of Chamomile. What you might not know is that it can also aid in digestion and settle the stomach.
- Comfrey – Comfrey is a very powerful herb. When applied to cuts, scrapes or other wounds, it is said to aid in the healing process and possibly help stop bleeding.
- Eucalyptus – Both an antiseptic and an expectorant, eucalyptus can help with congestion related to mild to moderate colds and flus.
- I’ve sung the praises of lavender in the past – http://edge.affiliateshop.com/public/AIDLink?AID=133322&Redirect=/bulkherb/l.php” >Lavender –
- Plantain – When I recently posted on Facebook about my son getting stung by a bee, many people said to use plantain. It is also helpful when used against splinters or other foreign bodies in the skin.
- Yarrow – When applied to a fresh wound, you may find that yarrow flowers will stop the bleeding. Yarrow may also help with soothing skin irritations and itchiness.
Modes of Application and Use of Herbs in your Herbal First Aid Kit
So, now you know which herbs to have around on a regular basis but do you know what to do with them?
There are many ways to apply, ingest or otherwise use an herb to heal whatever is ailing you. Here are some of the top modes of application and use:
- Salves – A type of ointment, herbal salves are generally made with an infused herbal oil and beeswax.
- Oils – This may be an essential oil or a product made by infusing the whole herb in oil.
- Teas/Infusions – Usually ingested as a beverage, but may be applied topically, teas are made by pouring boiling water over a whole herb and allowing it to steep until it reaches a desired strength.
- Tinctures/Extracts – A tincture is usually made by infusing a whole herb in alcohol over a period of time.
- Whole Herb – In some instances, using the whole herb alone is helpful. This is often the case when herbs are taken in capsule form.
This is a really basic overview but should give a jumping off point to learn more about herbal first aid. If you’ve already thought about it, which of these topics would you like to learn more about? I love this stuff and would love to share more if there is interest! Let me know in the comments.
Also, if you’re already familiar with this topic, what herbs would you add to my herbal first aid list?
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