By Brigitte Mars
Being prepared with the right remedies and knowing what to do can save much discomfort when minor emergencies occur. Reduce hazards, maintain awareness and have some basic natural first aid supplies on hand when mishaps occur. The following are excellent supplies to have on hand, each with multiple uses. When an accident happens that is beyond the scope of natural remedies, please seek professional medical help.
Homeopathic arnica pellets can be taken orally under the tongue for shock, sprains, bruises and trauma. Arnica helps move fibrin, a blood protein that forms at the sight of injury and reduces swelling and inflammation. Usually four pellets are placed to dissolve under the tongue. Arnica oil or liniment can be applied to unbroken skin to minimize bruising, pain and swelling.
Rescue remedy can minimize shock, panic, fear and trauma. It is made from five flowers – Star of Bethlehem for shock, Rock Rose for terror and panic, Cherry Plum for desperation, Impatiens for stress and Clematis for loss of consciousness and that “far away feeling.” Four drops are taken under the tongue or added to a glass of water and then sipped. If a victim is unconscious, rub a few drops into the lips, behind the ears or on the pulse points of the wrist. A cotton cloth can also be soaked in a pint of water to which five drops Rescue Remedy have been added and applied as a compress. Rescue Remedy is also sometimes marketed under names such as Five Flower Remedy.
It has a very calming effect and can be given not only to an injured person, but to the person administering care who needs to remain serene.
Herbal salve can be applied to cuts, scrapes and wounds once the area has been cleaned. A good herbal salve will speed wound healing if it contains vulnerary (wound healing) herbs such as plantain, comfrey or calendula as well as prevent infection if containing antiseptic herbs such as echinacea, chaparral, golden seal, calendula and lavender essential oil. Vitamin E is good to have in a salve as it speeds healing and helps prevent scarring.
Antiseptic soap is used to clean wounds. Look for liquid soaps that contain essential oils such as lavender or tea tree.
Lavender ( Lavandula officinalis ) essential oil is antiseptic and anti-inflammatory. Apply topically to wounds, burns, bruises, insect bites and blisters. Lavender reduces the risk of infection, reduces pain and stimulates skin regeneration. When inhaled it has a calming effect on the nervous system and gives comfort during times of trauma.
Tea tree ( Melaleuca alternifolia ) essential oil is a multi-purpose remedy to apply to cuts, rashes, mosquito bites, stings, fungal infection, sprains, pimples and burns. It can also be dabbed onto pulse points as an insect repellent. Two drops in a glass of water can be used as a gargle for sore throat. A drop or two can be applied to a toothache. Anti-fungal and antiviral, tea tree oil is one of the best non irritating antiseptic essential oils. Avoid ingesting essential oils in anything greater than a drop or two dosage.
Echinacea ( Echinacea purpurea, E. angustifolia ) tincture made from the root, leaves, flowers and/or seeds. Echinacea is used internally and topically for infection as it stimulates the immune system by increasing white blood cell production. Echinacea is a time tested remedy for preventing and treating infection including colds and flu. Echinacea can be applied topically to wounds, bites, boils and any skin infection. Echinacea is anti fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antiviral and wound healing.
Charcoal capsules or powder are made of pure carbon from burnt wood. It adsorbs toxins, meaning it collects substances on its surface and can adsorb forty times its weight preventing poisons from entering the bloodstream. Charcoal can be applied as a poultice on spider bites, stings and infected wounds by mixing the contents of a capsule with enough water to make a paste. It is taken internally, usually two capsules at a time for food poisoning, diarrhea, gas and many types of poisonings. In cases of poisoning do not give internally unless suggested by Poison Control. Do not use charcoal briquettes which contain petrochemicals.
Ume concentrate or umeboshi plum paste is made from a fermented plum. (Prunus mume) and is an excellent remedy for food poisoning, diarrhea, constipation, acid indigestion, motion sickness, headache, hangover, fatigue, dysentery and parasite prevention. “Don’t leave home without it” reminds me to always bring this first aid kit in a bottle when traveling. Stir a small mount (about 1/16 teaspoon) of the ume concentrate or 1 teaspoon of the umeboshi plum paste which has salt added into a cup of hot water and sip to relieve a multitude of digestive ailments.
Don’t forget Band-Aids, butterfly bandages, gauze pads, roll of adhesive tape and small pair of scissors. Tweezers are good for removing splinters, thorns and other foreign objects.
It is a good idea to have a first aid kit in the car and home as well as one in the backpack. Take a course in CPR (cardio pulmonary resuscitation) and First Aid and do your best to prevent accidents before they happen. Many blessings!