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  • Writer's pictureNarelle

Potato, Peppermint and other Natural First Aids

There are some really useful natural remedies for First Aid from essential oils to herbs to things you can find in your pantry.  And whilst natural remedies should never take over from medical treatment when needed, they are a great option when you are looking to reduce your exposure to chemicals or when you have nothing else on hand.

Here are a few tips and things you can use for minor first aid injuries and irritations across summer and beyond.  And all things you can easily acquire from your garden, the health food shop or your pantry.

The first are essential oils (always remember to dilute them):

Lavender is an all round antibacterial and anti fungal so great topically for cuts, topical wounds, scrapes but also for insect bites and stings  Lavender is very handy for headaches and calming for sleep.  It can be applied to skin undiluted.

Tea Tree is probably the best topical antiseptic and antibacterial great for healing bites, stings, acne and athletes foot for those sweaty feet in shoes (one brand make a spray meaning you don’t need to touch those fungating bits).  Also very helpful for coldsores.  Remember a little goes a long way with Tea Tree so dilute, dilute, dilute!

Peppermint is the best for overindulging - poor digestion and an upset tummy.  You can rub it on your tummy or inhale for nausea. It can also be used for headaches and even muscle aches - just rub it on the affected area.

Eucalyptus is a great antiseptic for sweat infections - like toenails.  You can also mix with a carrier oil like almond oil and make a rub for sore muscles and joints.

Homeopathics are gentle, effective and a little goes a long way. Most of these are common remedies you can get from your health food shop.

Arnica is the best known and is an all round winner for bruises, strains, bumps, stiffness and muscle aches, pains and minor injuries.  It comes as a cream as well as tablets and you can use both together.

Nux Vomica is the best for overindulgence, that morning after remedy when you feel really nauseous and gassy and just horrid.

Ledum is brilliant for bites, stings or puncture wounds that are more pale and cold.  Whereas  Apis is for those bites and stings that are red, hot and puffy.

Arsenicum is for travellers belly or food poisoning (rather than the overindulging Nux Vomica).

Herbs are great as a tea, tincture or cream.  If you are making a tea steep the herb in boiling water for about 15 minutes, allow to cool and then apply.

Calendula is my favourite for wound healing and it is so effective it is really important to make sure the wound is clean before you apply.  Use it for cuts, grazes, chafing and even sunburn.

Chickweed is very soothing and cooling so great for itching with insect bites or rashes.

Aloe Vera is for sunburn and soothes inflamed skin.

Chamomile is great for digestive upsets and as a relaxant if it all gets too much.  But it is also a brilliant antiseptic and great for inflamed and irritated skin.  As a teabag you can place it on your eyes for conjunctivitis or when they feel irritated.

Ginger is for nausea especially motion sickness be it from trains, planes, boats or automobiles.  Use it as a tea with whole chunks of ginger in, gin gins, ginger lollies or even dry ginger ale.

Finally even common food items in your pantry can be helpful.

Raw Potato can be used for minor burns slicing a piece of a peeled (or well washed) potato over the affected area.

Apple grated and left to go slightly brown is helpful during diarrhoea episodes.

Slippery Elm powder can be mixed into a paste and applied to boils.  Plus you can also take it internally to soothe the gut (make sure you drink lots of water and don’t use the paste you used on your boil…obviously).

Onion can be cut it in half and applied to a small bleed to help the healing process.  You can also apply onion to an insect bite or mosquito bite to reduce the sting and irritation.

Black tea is great for sunburn.  Drop two teabags in a cup of water, soak for a minute or two, take them out and put them on the inflamed area

Bicarb is great for mozzie bites. Make a paste of bicarb and water and put it on the bite.  Or use ice cubes.

So aside for remembering to please seek medical care for all accidents, injuries and illnesses, you can find  a remarkable number of common foods, essential oils, and herbs around your home that can work effectively as a first call for minor injuries, bites, cuts, and stings.

Your new natural first aid kit - go on, treat yourself!

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