Friday, June 11, 2010

Herbal Medicine: First Aid Kit

I've found several goodies for my files at this blog. The first is a sharing on putting together an Herbal First Aid Kit.

We do very little with OTCs here. Yes -- when I feel we do need them, I will use them. We aren't just sitting here suffering because I'm some kind of an herbal nut. But by and large, you don't see many here. Right now in the top cabinet we do have ibuprofen (for when my carpal tunnel has me so twisted in pain I'm ready to gnaw my arms off....which thankfully is pretty rare these days!).
I think there's some Benadryl in both pill and liquid form for those fun bug bite flare-ups. I haven't found anything that seems to being them comfort quicker...thoughts?
With Dewey home for the weekend, we have blood pressure meds - surprisingly, until going back to work there in Texas, he hadn't taken but 3 the entire 4 months he was home from surgery. Now he's stressed, and eats way more junk and has needed to take up to 4 each week :( (Another reason we need to just go off-grid and keep him home -- large family living is better for his health than working is!).

That's pretty much it for common stuff. I have other things up there...that "brain surgeon" of an idiot doctor who said Dewey just had bursitis and get over it gave him a script for a cream called Voltaren. Awesome "icy hot" sort of meds that I use very rarely for extreme discomfort in my wrists/forearms. We keep a quart of Betadine -- mainly used for the animals, but we've put it to use several times as well. We have quart containers of peroxide and alcohol as well. Witch Hazel is there (well, in the fridge as it's summer and a cool rub across the face feels soooo good!)

What "alternative" medicines do you have on hand? What are your non-traditional go-to meds?

Alternative First Aid Notes
When putting a first aid kit together, there are several types of ingredients to remember. If you chose to go ALL herbal for your kit, then you would include at least one item from each category, but if you aren't quite ready to go "all the way" yet, look through the list and choose things you are familiar and comfortable with.

General Activator
Immune Stimulant
Natural Antibiotic
Topical Analgesic
Shock Remedy
Burn Remedy
Pain Remedy
Tissue Healer

And of course, there are those items in the category we'll call...
Other Supplies

Cotton Balls
Gauze Pads
Enema bottle
Bulb Syringe
Emergency Radio

The activators have the ability to enhance circulation and energy. By doing this, several things get accomplished at one time, which (of course) is good. One such activator is
capsicum, or as you might call it, "cayenne pepper".
The immune stimulants help the body fight infection by increasing the production of white blood cells and antibodies. Echinacea is a familiar and gentle herb that works this way. It's not something generally recommended for constant use. Using occasionally allows you to avoid becoming immune to effects.
Natural antibiotics don't have the side effects of synthetic versions. You still need strength when fighting infections, and probably the most awesome choice here is garlic. The most potent of that is in its fresh and raw state. It's something you can use externally AND internally, giving it a broader spectrum.
Topical analgesics are things you apply to the skin to relieve pain. Essential oils can provide that, and they can blended with creams, lotions, water, other oils,... and provide many ways to apply as needed. Lavender is one such essential oil that can be used for pain relief of insect bites, burns, scrapes, headaches and other needs.
Astringents help to stop bleeding. They can do other things too! Cayenne pepper powder can stop bleeding (try it and see!) and so can other plants. One such plant is
yarrow, and that's a plant that grows wild all over the place, making it fairly easy to locate.
A mucilant is an absorbant material, meaning it will help absorb stuff. If you get food poisoning and go to the hospital, chances are they will give you some
activated charcoal
to absorb the toxin. It helps absorb toxins that promote diarrhea too. This is NOT charcoal out of your grill! It should already be in pill form.
Shock remedies are important, because they help us "keep it together" under stressful conditions. The Bach flower remedy Rescue Remedy is a good one here, and helps bring relief to panic attacks.
Expectorants break up mucus and congestion. This a job for more than one ingredient, and Nature's Sunshine has combined ingredients just for this purpose. One such product is called AL-J and can bring wonderful relief to allergies and colds by simply taking care of the mucus.
Burn Remedies are important, because burns can come from so many sources: the sun, fire, cooking, under the hood of the car,... Aloe Vera gel is excellent to care for burned skin, and so is raw honey!
Antispasmodics relax muscle cramps and spasms, which of course ease pain and anxiety. Lobelia extract is good here, but this herb also can induce vomiting if taken in large enough doses. This is not bad in some cases, but it can be if you aren't expecting it! Relaxing spasms can bring relief to coughs, muscle tension, asthma attacks, earaches and more.
Including a pain remedy is an obvious thing. White willow
is where aspirin came from originally, so including it in a first aid makes sense!
A tissue healer eases pain, reduces swelling and promotes healing. Arnica gel is an option here (so long as it is NOT applied to broken skin). Nature's Fresh enzyme spray is another option provided by Nature's Sunshine.

With those options in mind, sort through your first aid kit and see what additions you can make. You might find you are better prepared than you thought!


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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