Accidents often happen away from home, but being prepared can put your mind at ease, cure minor ailments or offer immediate treatment before you can see a physician. Typical first-aid kits contain chemicals, but an herbal first-aid kit contains everything you need to treat and prevent a variety of issues. You will be prepared for most common conditions while away from home with this collection of herbal first-aid kit essentials.
Aloe vera gel can be used to soothe sunburn after a long day at the beach. The cooling gel can also be used to treat scalds and burns that occur in the kitchen.
Chamomile tea bags do not just brew tasty tea, they can also produce a mild sedative with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic properties. Keep a few bags on hand to promote relaxation and relieve indigestion or to apply topically to irritated skin.
Arnica cream or gel is a great treatment for sore muscles, bruises, strains and sprains. Made from arnica flowers, the gel has circulation-stimulating and anti-inflammatory properties.
Wounds can be soothed and healed using calendula-comfrey salve, made from the bright orange-yellow blossoms of the calendula plant. The astringent is anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory and contains allantoin, a compounds that helps heal wounds by stimulating the growth of new tissue.
Instead of coating your skin with chemicals to repel bugs, stock your kit with a citronella-based insect repellant to keep the bugs off in a natural way. The essential oil works well when applied frequently and liberally.
Before your next flight, take an elderberry capsule or a dose of elderberry liquid extract. The berries contain compounds that can prevent flu and cold viruses from infecting cells. Keep a few extra capsules in your kit in case you do come down with a virus while away from home. The elderberries can speed up your recovery time so you feel better faster.
Motion sickness can be relieved using ginger capsules, crystallized ginger root or tea bags containing the root. The antispasmodic properties of ginger can soothe a variety of other digestive upsets like gas, heart burn and sour stomach as well.
No herbal first-aid kit would be complete without a supply of lavender essential oil. The all-purpose remedy has anti-inflammatory, sedative and antiseptic properties that can be helpful for insomnia, anxiety, burns, wounds and headaches.
Itchy insect bites, upset stomach and stuffed-up sinuses can be treated with peppermint essential oil or tea.
Witch hazel extract, with its antiseptic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, is a useful treatment for skin irritations and insect bites. It can also be used to dilute other essential oils, such as peppermint or lavender.
When packed together with tweezers, moleskin, small scissors, elastic bandages, sterile gauze pads, adhesive bandage tape and hand sanitizer, these herbal solutions can prepare you to deal with nearly any condition or issue while away from home.