We’ve found that arranging our remedies in places where we see them and are likely to use them really helps us get them into our daily lives. We keep our kit in our bathroom and smaller first aid kits in the back of our cars so we can access them when we are out with the kids. When we travel somewhere, we usually take the bigger kit.
When combined with your new skills in making herbal preparations, these kits will assist you in dealing with many first aid situations.
About the Remedies in This Kit
The great part about this kit is that you already know how to use many of these remedies. The extra ones we feature in this lesson are wonderful and safe herbs that are easy to learn about, and that should be part of every home apothecary.
Comfrey salve: This salve will be useful for helping to heal minor cuts and scrapes. It can also be used on bruises and to moisturise dry skin. Since comfrey is a powerful and quick healing plant, please be sure to clean your wounds out well before applying your salve so that you don’t heal in an infection.
Lip balm: We have been so glad we included lip balm in our travel kit, especially after a day at the beach. It’s so nice to be able to soothe dry, cracked lips as soon as we notice them!
Valerian tincture: This can be invaluable to help ease frazzled travel nerves. A dropperful before going to sleep can help you have a restful night in an unfamiliar place or just calm your nerves in the midst of a stressful situation.
Dried yarrow: A quick spit poultice of dried yarrow can help stop bleeding, disinfect, and help heal even serious cuts and wounds.
Lavender essential oil: A few drops of this on a damp cotton ball will help disinfect cuts and scrapes.
Slippery elm lozenges: These are helpful for sore throats and coughs. Liquorice and slippery elm are both soothing for irritation in the throat and healing for any inflammation that may be present. The slippery elm will be particularly soothing for a dry cough and the liquorice will act as an expectorant.
Chamomile tea: A cup of chamomile tea can help ease nausea and anxiety. Tea bags can also be used to create a chamomile steam to help clear congestion, or used as a poultice for eye issues.
Peppermint tea: A simple cup of peppermint tea can greatly ease stomach upset from eating unfamiliar or less healthy food (as we all sometimes do when on vacation). It’s also great for reducing flatulence and easing heartburn.
Echinacea tincture: A few drops of this tincture can also be used to disinfect wounds. This is also great to carry with you on trips. Taking a dropperful (30 drops) a few times a day for a couple days before travelling can help boost your immune system so you’re less likely to get sick. We always do this before getting on an aeroplane, for example. Echinacea is also great for sore throats. Simply squirt a dropperful directly onto your throat every hour until symptoms cease. You can also take a dropperful of tincture every hour under your tongue when a cold or flu comes on to boost your immune system.
Wormwood tincture: This is a strong tincture that can be used to treat food poisoning and parasites including roundworms and thread-worms as well as intestinal worms. To treat cramping, diarrhoea, gas, and bloating that is a result of these issues, take 3 drops of the tincture in about a 1/4 cup of water every hour for up to 4 hours.
Yarrow tincture: This tincture can be used as an anti-bacterial both internally and externally. So it is great for disinfecting and healing wounds. It is also useful cold and flu prevention, healing sore throats, and bringing down fevers. Finally, your tincture in the spray bottle makes a great insect repellent. You can use it straight or dilute it.
Tea tree essential oil: This is also a wonderful disinfectant for most wounds. It can also be used for fungal infections and for healing the herpes virus. It is a great remedy for cold sores. Simply put a few drops on a Q-tip and dab on the cold sore when it first appears.
Homeopathic arnica: This is our family’s favourite remedy for bumps and bruises. One or two little tablets dissolved in your mouth immediately after a bump will really help reduce swelling and bruising.
Rescue Remedy: We keep this on hand to help settle our nerves after an accident. Just a few drops under the tongue of any upset individual can help calm them down in just moments.
Bentonite clay: You can mix with water and make a paste for insect bite relief and healing of poison ivy. You can add to a bath for itching as well. There are internal uses as well that you can research, such as using for diarrhoea.
After you feel comfortable using all of the above remedies, you are free to add others to your kit as you feel needed. In the video I feature aloe gel for sunburn, St. Johns wort oil for sunburn and sun protection (more on this in other parts of HerbMentor), grapefruit seed extract for an herbal antibiotic, white willow tincture for headaches, and even activated charcoal for when someone swallows something they shouldn’t have. Now, this paragraph is a simplistic write up for these remedies. Please research these before adding these and other remedies to your kit.
How to Make Your First Aid Kit
We suggest finding a handy waterproof bag or bin to store all your first aid kit items so that it can be easily transported and accessed. For the kit in this video, I just googled “soft fish tackle box”.
Downsizing for a Small Travel Kit
To make a smaller kit, just take out the following from your larger kit:
- Lavender essential oil
- Echinacea tincture
- Tea tree essential oil
- Homeopathic arnica
- Rescue Remedy
Simply put these in a little bag or case, and you’ll be covered for many minor wounds, and oncoming colds. Of course, research these remedies and see what else you can use them for. You might want to personalise it by adding one or two other remedies from the big list above.