by Tracey Watson, Natural News:
There is no doubt that many parts of the globe are in crisis, and to many it seems as though a natural or man-made disaster could strike in their area at any moment. While it is always important to have certain basic first aid items like Band-Aids and bandages on hand in case of emergency, there are other, more natural items that can prove to be worth their weight in gold when disaster strikes. After all, it may not always be possible to run out to a pharmacy or grocery store to purchase medical supplies.
Your natural first aid kit can be used effectively to treat a variety of conditions, including burns, cuts, Poison Ivy and other rashes, bug bites, stomach upset and diarrhea, bleeding and bruises, to name a few.
Some suggested survival kit items include:
Aloe vera: Many of us have firsthand experience of how soothing aloe vera can be for a sunburn, but this plant is also an incredibly powerful all-round natural healer for many other skin conditions. It’s a good idea to keep an aloe vera plant in your home so that you can pick off a leaf and apply the gel directly to wounds, mild burns, cuts and abrasions.
Essential oils: While it’s always a good idea to keep certain essential oils like lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus and lemon on hand, it’s also important to do the necessary research about how each oil should be used. Certain oils must be mixed with a carrier oil, and some are so powerful that they are not suitable for use by pregnant women as they could induce miscarriage. Thyme essential oil is especially good for a sore throat or toothache. Simply mix 2 drops in 4 ounces of water. It can also be applied externally for parasitic infections, crabs and lice.
Lamb’s ear plant: It’s a good idea to keep one of these plants in the garden, as it has antiseptic, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and can be used as a natural bandage.
Vitamin E balm: Can be used to treat diaper rash and other skin rashes quickly and inexpensively.
Echinacea tincture: The echinacea plant is a natural immune booster and antibiotic. It can keep a looming cold at bay, and according to Planet Herbs can even be used as an antidote to certain poisons.
Charcoal tablets or Bentonite clay: Planet Herbs suggests keeping these on hand for diarrhea and to assist with detoxification in the case of poisoning.
Meadowsweet tincture: This natural anti-inflammatory has pain relieving properties similar to aspirin. It can be used to treat rheumatism, headaches, stomach cramps and acid reflux, as well as any other mild to moderate pain. To make your own tincture you will need around 2 cups of meadowsweet flowers, 400ml of 50 percent vodka and 100ml glycerin. Place the flowers in a jar; add the vodka and glycerin; shake well. Leave the mixture to develop for four to six weeks. Check regularly to make sure the flowers haven’t soaked up all the liquid. If this does happen, add a bit more alcohol and place a stone on the flowers to weigh them below the liquid level. Strain through cheesecloth or a tincture press. Bottle and label.
Cayenne capsules: Can be opened and applied directly to open wounds to stop bleeding.
Conventional first aid supplies: Planet Herbs suggests the following:
Band Aids, Bandages, 1/2 inch surgical tape, small scissors, single edged razor blade, tweezers, cold pack (cools on impact), ace bandage, bandana. Eye cup (or shot glass). Carry case (soft sided, waterproof) for the kit.
The Survival Mom also suggests keeping small tins and amber bottles with eyedroppers for blending your own oils, creams and salves. Keep tightly capped or sealed as light and oxygen will degrade the contents quickly. (Related: Learn to how to dry herbs for long-term storage and health self-reliance.)