First Aid essentials – we should all have a basic knowledge of first aid and of course that would entail possessing a first aid kit. Here are our favourite top ten essential natural items to have handy in times of need.
Our all-natural first aid kit consists of
A topical gel or tablet which helps to reduce bumps and bruises, sprains, strains, and even a fracture. Arnica does an amazing job at naturally easing pain and swelling quickly without side effects meaning you can apply liberally and as often as you like. It can also be applied topically for muscle aches. Homeopathic arnica can even be used to help treat shock, which can happen with uncontrolled bleeding. It’s recommended to take some with any first aid incident. Select one that is free of parabens, perfumes, menthol, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, made with Arnica Montana and 100% naturally sourced medicinal ingredients and experience its natural soothing cooling effect. Arnica Montana is the Latin name for a perennial that grows 1-2 feet tall with bright, yellow daisy-like flowers. It has grown to be one of the most popular homeopathic remedies around the world.
2. Eucalyptus & Coconut Oil Vapo-rub
This simple concoction is a fantastic alternative to the commercial vapo-rubs our chests were smothered with as bunged-up kids. Try this petroleum free option by combining organic, virgin coconut oil and organic eucalyptus essential oil. Place in a pump dispenser and keep in the kit for those moments when you just need to breathe more easily, or when there’s a chesty cough in the house apply liberally to the soles of the feet and cover with socks to keep the sheets clean, that should help the patient have a more restful sleep.
3. Ginger Tablets
Nausea, car or travel sickness can all be relieved by the ginger root, you can buy natural ginger capsules or tablets to keep on hand for any upset passengers. You can also eat raw ginger but it isn’t the best version of the plant to keep stored in the first aid kit! In a honey, lemon and fresh mint tea a teaspoon of grated ginger works wonders for a sore throat and relieves common cold and flu symptoms.
4. Activate Charcoal
A natural remedy frequently used for food poisoning, detox and tummy bugs. For cases of mild food poisoning, I recommend opening the capsules and emptying the contents to get about a tablespoon of charcoal powder. Mix into water and swallow.
More to keep well than to get well, Echinacea can boost your immune system, if you do start to feel a bit run down it will help your body to keep fighting off any illness.
6. Vitamin C
Taken in capsules or powder form this will aide your body to fight off all illnesses, especially flu-related symptoms.
7. Aloe Vera
Burns, blisters and sunburn can all be relieved immediately with pure aloe vera, just apply directly to the affected area for instant soothing and healing. The gel in aloe contains an array of bioactive compounds including vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants that help healing. Aloe also has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties that can help to inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria that could lead to infections.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
This wonder ingredient can treat a plethora of complaints. Apple cider vinegar is a natural antiseptic that can be used to treat and clean minor cuts and abrasions by mixing ½ cup of vinegar and ½ cup of water. It can also be used for reducing the itchiness caused by poison ivy or insect bites. For sunburn you can cover the affected areas with a towel soaked in the same mixture of water and vinegar. For stiff muscle relief do the same but with warm water and leave on for as long as possible, even wrap it in plastic and keep it on overnight. Apple cider vinegar also works to treat diarrhoea, digestion, and acts as an antiseptic in your intestines and digestive tract. One tsp of the vinegar in a glass of water before each meal will lessen diarrhoea and improve digestion, reducing indigestion and acid reflux. A tablespoon of local honey mixed with a splash of apple cider vinegar can help reduce the symptoms of hay fever. Gargle with a 50/50 ratio of apple cider vinegar and water to reduce a sore or scratchy throat. Rinse afterwards to reduce acidity effect on your teeth.
9. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Since travelling in Australia I have carried a Tea Tree antiseptic spray in my first aid kit at all times as an excellent antiseptic. Any cuts or wounds are instantly cleaned and it also helps in the healing process. Plus it is all-natural goodness. It can help to support healing for everything from cold sores, fungal infections (athlete’s foot, candida, toenail fungus), head lice, insect bites, sores, and sunburns. It’s also often used as a natural way to soothe symptoms of the common cold such as head congestion, runny noses, coughs and sore throats. You can either put a few drops in a diffuser or put your head over a hot pot of water containing 5-10 drops of tea tree oil and inhale the steam. For minor burns simply rinse the area with cold water then add a few drops of tea tree oil to the affected area. You can also make a healing salve by mixing 20 drops of tea tree oil with 3oz of Manuka honey and 1/2 tsp of triple-strength grapefruit seed extract, if that suits you better.
10. Lavender Essential Oil
A must-have oil for your first-aid kit. Lavender oil is believed to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, which can help to heal minor burns and bug bites. Research suggests that it may also be useful for treating anxiety, insomnia, depression, and restlessness. Consuming lavender as a tea can help digestive issues such as vomiting, nausea, intestinal gas, upset stomach, and abdominal swelling. Lavender is used to help relieve pain from headaches, sprains, toothaches, and sores.
Essential items to consider for your First Aid kit
- Cotton Wool & Tissue paper
- Saline Solution
- Safety pins
- Bandages – Choose cloth so they can be washed and reused. You can even cut up old t-shirts into various sizes to use as bandages.
- Plasters in a variety of different sizes and shapes
- Small, medium and large sterile gauze dressings
- Alcohol-free natural cleansing wipes
- Sticky tape
- Thermometer (preferably digital)
- Homemade hand sanitiser – this concoction will ensure your hands are sanitised when you need to dress a wound or something but can’t wash your hands:
- 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- 30 drops tea tree essential oil – 0.5% concentration
- 1 Tablespoon witch hazel extract or high-proof vodka
- 8 ounces 100% pure aloe vera gel
- ¼ teaspoon vitamin E oil – a natural preservative to increase shelf life (It will also help soften hands!)
Mix well and place in a spray pump (shake well before use).
And there you have it, some key essential elements for a handy, eco-friendly and all natural first aid kit.
Become qualified in First Aid and save a life!Here at the School of Natural Health Sciences we run a very popular distance learning diploma course in First Aid which is appropriate for all holistic / complementary therapists or for those individuals who just want to be ready for any emergency! An important part of the role of a person trained in first aid is to know how and when to summon the appropriate emergency services. The course will provide information needed to identify emergency situations, assess a casualty, manage an incident and take applicable actions.