Sunday, August 19, 2018

Natural First Aid

Before the plethora of stores on each and every corner and the online shopping, people found ways to take care of simple first aid needs at home. Yes, this may have been a generation or two ago, but the stories of our grandparents can teach us something. Some "home remedies" are tried-and-true and work very well. Below is a list of home remedies from Jessica Rubino at Delicious Living.

We need to take care of our bodies. why not use natural ingredients? Some of these you can keep on hand, others you need to purchase rather than chemical based products.


Aloe is great for healing burns. If you can keep a small plant on hand in your garden, in a container, or on a shelf, you could break off a portion and put it on a small burn.


This homeopathic remedy is known to ease bruises, reduce swelling and speed recovery. Research is inconclusive, but some studies show promise for bruise and muscle relief


Calendula, nicknamed the “mother of the skin", has been used since the 12th century for its range of healing benefits, including antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Lotions, oils and ointments using calendula alleviate chafing, blisters, bites and burns. A beautiful calendula flower is pictured below. If you can, try to plant some on your yard or in a container garden!

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is not just for cooking; it makes a great salve. You can rub coconut oil on your skin while in the shower to get a deep tissue massage without the oily skin residue.  To make a salve that lessens and lightens scars, mix a bit of lemon juice into coconut oil.

Eucalyptus Oil

Why not have on hand a toxin free bug repellent? Research shows that lemon eucalyptus oil is as effective against mosquitos as low concentrations of DEET. The Environmental Working Group recommends products with a concentration of 30 to 40 percent eucalyptus oil to protect for long periods of time (but don’t use on children younger than 3 because they might get it in their noses, where it could be toxic at high doses).

Manuka Honey

Thanks to the New Zealand manuka bush pictured below (and the bees that pollinate it), dark manuka honey is considerably more potent and therapeutic than the honey sitting in your pantry. It exhibits well-researched antimicrobial, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties to heal wounds, subdue irritation and even regenerate skin cells.

Lavendar Essential Oil

Lavender oil is a multi-tasker with its soothing, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that work on everything from scrapes and burns to bites. Lavender is a favorite first-aid ingredient because while it heals it can also reduce scarring from burns. Dilute it in a carrier oil before applying to skin.


This herb (which, fun fact, flavored beer in pre-hops days) shows promise in fending off bacterial infection. Try using a moxa stick (a cigar-like stick packed with mugwort) for bites and stings. You’ll also find mugwort in salves. The mugwort plant, an Irish wildflower, is pictured below.


The neen tree, pictured below, is native to India. Locals gave it the title “village pharmacy” as it has been touted for its range of beauty uses and beyond for more than 5,000 years. Its versatility holds true for modern applications, too. Why add it to your first-aid kit? Thanks to antihistamine and antibacterial qualities, neem combats irritation and even infection from cuts and scrapes.

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