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Create Your Own Herbal First Aid Kit

Lavender helps keep bugs at bay while supporting healthy moods.

Most people want a natural first aid kit complete with all the remedies that will help them address minor health issues. But where do you start? It’s easier than you think to create your own herbal first aid kit with only 6 herbs that will address most common concerns.

The following information is adapted from my book Be Your Own Herbalist: Essential Herbs for Health, Beauty, & Cooking. Be sure to check it out for lots of research-supported information on over 30 herbal remedies, along with recipes to use them in your food and even how to make body care products with them.

Anxiety, Depression:  While most first aid kits do not contain options for anxiety and depression, I think it’s important to consider the emotional side of traumas and injuries to complete an herbal first aid kit. That’s where lavender comes in. It is a potent anti-anxiety and anti-depressant remedy. In a study comparing the use of lavender tea to a depression medication, researchers found that the lavender tea was slightly more effective than the drug. Keep a jar of dried lavender flowers on hand and add two teaspoons of dried flowers to boiled water and let sit for 10 minutes. Strain and drink, two to three times daily. You can also inhale some lavender essential oil. After trying dozens of brands and reading studies on their purity, I prefer doTerra’s. It is a true lavender (most is made with a hybrid species that is not nearly as effective) and doesn’t contain the toxic solvents found in most other brands. Click “Shop” here to purchase lavender oil or click “Join & Save” to purchase a membership (only $35) which will save you 25% on all the oils, supplements, body care, and cleaning products you buy through the company…and you’ll get a free membership to my exclusive coaching group.

Bug Bites:  If you’re anything like me, then you probably think you’re invited to outdoor parties to act as mosquito bait for the benefit of the rest of the guests. I have tried many things to soothe the itching from bug bites but nothing seems to work as well as a tincture of echinacea (alcohol extract). I like HerbPharm’s echinacea tincture because it is made with organic ingredients.

Bug Repellent: Keep some lavender essential oil in your first aid kit so you can add a few drops to some unscented skin cream and apply to your skin to keep the bugs away.

Chickenpox or Diaper Rash: Chamomile is often used by herbalists in the treatment of skin conditions like chickenpox, diaper rash. For these purposes it is usually used in a bath or topically. Keep a jar of dried chamomile flowers and add a teaspoon to boiling water to make a tea, strain and swab affected areas with the cooled tea. I like Frontier’s dried chamomile flowers because they are organic.

Headaches and Migraines Reliever:  Keep a bottle of peppermint essential oil in your herbal first aid kit and rub directly on the temples and the back of the skull where the head and neck meet to help alleviate a headache or migraine. Most peppermint essential oil is diluted with carrier oils and contains solvents so it’s worth spending a few dollars more to get a superior quality peppermint oil. As I mentioned above, I like doTerra’s as it is the purest and most therapeutic variety I’ve used. Click “Shop” here to purchase peppermint essential oil or click “Join & Save” to purchase a membership (only $35) which will save you 25% on all the oils, supplements, body care, and cleaning products you buy through the company and get a free membership to my exclusive coaching group.

Lung and Sinus InfectionsOregano essential oil is almost an herbal first aid kit unto itself, with its ability to fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Research by the late botanist Dr. Duke, author of The Green Pharmacy, found 6 compounds that help expel mucus from the lungs and sinuses, making it an excellent herbal remedy to keep on hand to help fight lung and sinus infections. It can be used internally (follow the directions for the package you choose). DoTerra’s oregano is by far the most potent oregano essential oil that I’ve ever used (and I’ve used brands that are only sold to doctors). If you’re dealing with lung or sinus infections you’ll want a highly potent oregano oil as the bacteria or fungal strains linked to these types of infections tend to be powerful and are often resistant to treatment. It’s so strong that I recommend adding a drop to an empty capsule and taking it internally. As with lavender and peppermint essential oils, click “Shop” here to purchase peppermint essential oil or click “Join & Save” to purchase a membership (only $35) which will save you 25% on all the oils, supplements, body care, and cleaning products you buy through the company and get a free membership to my exclusive coaching group.

Mouth Ulcerations and Sores: Even if you don’t have kids with diaper rash or chickenpox, you’ll want to keep a jar of dried chamomile flowers in your first aid kit. Brew a tea (as indicated above and use the cooled beverage as a natural mouthwash to deal with mouth ulcerations and sores.  Store the infusion in the refrigerator for up to three days or make fresh on a regular basis.

Muscle or Joint Pain:  Keep some dried, powdered ginger in your herbal first aid kit or some fresh ginger (which is even better) in your fridge. Make an herbal decoction for any muscle or joint pain related to injuries or chronic conditions by adding 2 teaspoons of ginger powder or a 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, coarsely chopped, to a quart of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover. Allow to brew for at least 45 minutes. Strain, cool, and drink 3 cups daily. Alternatively, take 3 gingerroot capsules, 3 times daily. Avoid use if you’re taking blood-thinning drugs.

Infections:  More and more exciting research showcases ginger’s potency against viruses and bacteria alike. Follow the instructions under “Muscle or Joint Pain” to make a decoction. Drink 3 cups of the ginger tea daily to help with infections. Oregano oil can also be used to help fight infections. Follow package instructions for internal use of oregano oil.

Wounds: Calendula is not just a pretty garden flower, one of its most common uses is as a wound healer, particularly when it is applied as a salve or ointment. Keep a calendula salve or ointment, which is readily available from most health food stores, in your herbal first aid kit to apply to wounds, scrapes, and skin irritations. I haven’t tried this brand myself but like that it is free of parabens, petrochemicals, gluten, and other unwanted ingredients and it is also made with organic ingredients.

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