The following is my top fifteen of natural DIY cures or relief for common symptoms you can’t live (well) without. The most impressive of Mother Nature’s offerings when it comes to health improving properties. Stock up on this array of nature’s essentials to help heal you and keep the doctor at bay. Do try these at home!
Cutting off a leaf of the Aloe Vera plant and slicing it lengthways down the middle will open up a world of natural healing. The gel-like liquid is a cleansing, soothing and healing balm for minor burns including sunburn, blisters, and sores. Just slather it straight on to the affected area. You will be amazed at the results but do try not to get it on the soft furnishings! Allow it to dry in to the area. The healing does not stop there, aloe can also be ingested in order to improve gastro-function as it contains three or more anti-inflammatory fatty acids which benefit the small intestines, stomach and colon. It alkalises digestive juices which prevents acid excess and therefore reduces digestive upset. As well as facilitating digestion it can improve liver, kidney and gallbladder function, aid lymphatic and blood circulation and help the body to maintain healthy tissue. You can take aloe in its natural form straight from the middle of the plant’s leaf or you can blend the pulp into a juice. It has a very bitter flavour and so requires masking with fresh sweet juices such as pineapple. You can also add some fresh peppermint to enhance the natural digestive healing.
Has incredible benefits for the circulatory system. It helps the body balance blood pressure levels and resists abnormal bleeding. It also nourishes the digestive tract. Cayenne also helps the body use other herbs more effectively whenever used in an herbal combination. When applied topically, it helps relieve minor muscular discomfort and can rapidly stem bleeding.
Has traditionally been used to treat anxiety, insomnia, loss of appetite, diarrhea, aches, colic, pains of teething, flu, vertigo, and inflammation. Take as a tea.
Contains a compound that effectively kills bacteria on the walls of the bladder and urinary tract. This prevents the bacteria from spreading, which eventually stops infection. If you suffer from a bout of cystitis drink fresh cranberry juice to alleviate symptoms. Furthermore, using cranberry regularly can prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Can be used externally for joint inflammations, arthritis, injury, contusions, bruises, tendonitis and sore muscles. Avoid putting it on open wounds. Arnica can be mixed with other helpful herbs such as St. John’s Wort, Ginger, Poplar or Cayenne and is best applied to the area as a salve, liniment or oil. Homeopathic Arnica can be taken internally for shock, sprains, concussion, bruising, muscle strain, injury and even before and after surgery.
Has been utilised for generations due to its wide variety of benefits. The essential oil is antibacterial, antiseptic, and antispasmodic. It can help to reduce the chance of infection when applied to cuts or abrasions. Applied externally it reduces pain, making it useful for injuries and cramps. Apply lavender essential oil to the temples to help alleviate a headache. Rub it directly on the area or add a few drops to a bath. Lavender repels mosquitoes and fleas; added to a vegetable oil, it makes a fragrant natural bug repellent. Lavender essential oil can be used externally at full strength, however, those with sensitive skin may want to dilute it in a little vegetable oil. Keep some lavender essential oil in a small glass spray bottle; this works especially well to apply to a burn or injury that you don’t want to touch. Research suggests that it may be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. Some studies suggest that consuming lavender as a tea can help digestive issues such as vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas, upset stomach, and abdominal swelling. In addition to helping with digestive problems, lavender is used to help relieve pain from headaches, sprains, toothaches, and sores. It can also be used to prevent hair loss. It also smells wonderful and can be used as perfume!
Is great to have in an emergency if someone has ingested something highly toxic or has overdosed. The charcoal will enter the system and literally soak up the poisonous chemicals. It can also be used for acute food poisoning, intestinal illness, vomiting, and diarrhoea.
Is one of the best known of all medicinal herbs. It is high in allantoin, a plant component that encourages growth and repair of connective tissue, skin and bones. Comfrey is soothing and healing for cuts, bruises, scrapes, bug bites, tears, rashes, hives and eczema. Use it to heal quickly and help prevent scarring. Comfrey is best used externally as a salve, poultice, oil, or wash. Do not apply to deep wounds as the wound can close before healed, causing potential for an abscess to occur.
Is a gift for the suffering respiratory system. Use eucalyptus herb in a face steam for congestion or sinus troubles. You can also make a mild (and petroleum free) child-friendly ‘vapo-rub’ by adding eucalyptus essential oil to a base carrier oil such as coconut and applying to the soles of the feet or chest to relieve a cough and blocked sinuses.
Is great for nausea, acid reflux, stomach problems and morning sickness. Take some on long journeys for car or motion sickness. It also helps soothe the stomach after a digestive illness or food poisoning. You can literally chew on fresh ginger pieces, they are strong and spicy and don’t agree with everyone but the healing properties are as powerful as it tastes. If you can’t stomach the taste of fresh ginger it is available in capsule form, or you can mix ground ginger with a base oil to take as a tincture, however the strength will be compromised. If you have a common cold or flu symptoms grate some fresh ginger into a cup with fresh lemon juice and spoonful of honey, steep in hot water for 5-10 minutes and drink throughout the day. You will experience relief and recover so much faster. It may also ease a dry or asthmatic cough, due to its anti-inflammatory properties.
Can be used to moisturise dry skin and chapped lips, as a base for all types of remedies that require a carrier oil, soothing for rashes, can be used as make-up remover, nappy cream, mouthwash to reduce plaque and gum disease, as anti-fungal treatment, as hair oil, as part of homemade sunscreen, mosquito repellant.
Has been used in Indian and Chinese medicine for centuries. Curcumin, the root’s yellow phytochemical, has emerged in western remedies in recent years after studies revealed its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial qualities. Turmeric eases joint pain by inhibiting the body’s inflammatory-response mediators working just as well as pain killers without the negative side-effects such as leaky gut or the long-term issues that ibuprofen can worsen, such as heart disease. Try some golden milk; a mixture of plant-based milk (coconut or almond for example), 1-2 teaspoons of ground turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger, plus a cinnamon stick or 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon, and a tablespoon of coconut oil for a moderate daily dose.
Is essential for any first aid kit. It is stimulating to the immune system, helping to fight off infection or cold. Because it reduces inflammation, it is also useful for allergies, and food poisoning. It can be taken internally and applied externally for infections, abscesses and bug, spider or snake bites.
Tea Tree oil
A renowned pesticide used to treat head-lice, can also be applied topically for infections such as acne, fungal nail infections, scabies, athlete’s foot (tinea pedis), and ringworm as well as a local antiseptic for cuts and abrasions, burns, insect bites and stings, boils, vaginal infections, recurrent herpes labialis, toothache, infections of the mouth and nose, sore throat, and for ear infections. Some people add it to bath water to treat cough, bronchial congestion, and pulmonary inflammation.
Has both culinary and medicinal uses and is a common remedy for a cough, a sore throat, bronchitis, and digestive issues. A cough syrup consisting of thyme and ivy leaves (you may also want to add marshmallow root for further benefits) relieved coughing more effectively and more rapidly than a placebo syrup in people with acute bronchitis. Antioxidants in the plant may be responsible for its benefits. To treat coughs using thyme, look for a cough syrup that contains this herb. Alternatively, make thyme tea by adding 2 tsp of dried thyme to a cup of hot water. Steep for 10 minutes before straining and drinking.
Nature’s Essentials – Recipes
Try these rescue remedy recipes for yourself and see first hand the power of the plant!
First Aid Application
- 1 part Marshmallow Rt
- 1 part Oregon Grape Rt
- 1 part Yarrow Herb
- 1 part Bentonite Clay
- 1 part Echinacea Rt
- 1/4 part Cayenne Fruit
Mix all herbs together in the blender until they are powdered. Store in a glass container in a cool dark place until needed. Add warm water or Echinacea tincture until the mixture forms a paste. Lavender essential oil can also be added. Apply to stings, bruises, infections, injuries and rashes. Rinse off and reapply as needed.
- 10 drops Lavender Essential Oil
- 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
- 10 drops Marjoram Essential Oil
- 1 teaspoon vegetable oil
Add essential oils to 1 teaspoon of vegetable oil such as olive, almond or jojoba oil. Rub on temples, forehead and back of neck. Avoid the eye area.
- 5 ml Lavender Essential Oil
- 1 ml Helichrysum Essential Oil
- 5 drops Rescue Remedy
- 1 ounce pure Aloe Vera Gel
- 1 ounce Witch Hazel extract (optional)
Mix ingredients together and apply topically to burns, sunburns and wind burns. This cooling and healing formula will reduce pain, inflammation and scarring. Add the Witch Hazel if you would like to apply the formula as a spray.
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