Always good to have these in the home for minor illness, scrapes, burns, colds and flu.
1. Aloe vera gel: For cooling and healing, aloe is at the top of the list for herbal first aid. Aloe vera soothes the pain of sunburn, minor kitchen burns and blisters. Cut a small section from the bottom of the plant, split the leaf open, and scrape out the gel. Aloe acts as a natural bandage, so be sure the wound or scrape is clean before applying the gel. As the gel dries it becomes stiff, preventing dirt and germs from entering the wound.
2. Calendula or Comfrey salve: Calendula salve is antimicrobial and contains anti-inflammatory properties. Comfrey has the ability to speed healing of wounds and minor skin infections.
3. Chamomile tea: Gentle enough for children, chamomile has a calming effect on the young and elderly. For colds and sniffles, nothing is better than a cup of hot chamomile tea. Cold chamomile tea can be applied to rashes and other skin irritations. If you have any left over tea in the tea pot, don’t toss it. Make ice cubes from the chamomile tea, and use it flavor other herbal tea blends.
4. Eucalyptus essential oil: A wonderful antibiotic and antiviral. It’s great for treating colds and sinus infections when used in combination with steam inhalation therapy. For external use only.
5. Echinacea liquid extract: Will boost overall immunity to colds, fevers, flu. Can be used internally to treat infections and externally for burns and minor wounds. Echinacea is also sold in capsule form as well as liquid.
6. Ginger capsules, tea bags or crystal ginger: Ginger relieves gas and digestive upsets. When taken before boarding a ship or plane, ginger has been proven in clinical studies to relieve motion sickness better than over the counter preparations.
7. Goldenseal: Capsules or powder. Goldenseal helps combat diarrhea. The powder contains antiseptic properties and can be sprinkled on minor wounds to slow down bleeding. Excellent for razor cuts from shaving and it can also be used to treat acne. Caution: Do not use goldenseal during pregancy.
8. Peppermint oil and peppermint tea bags: Peppermint soothes upset stomach, gas, diarrhea. Eases congestion from flu and colds. Cold peppermint tea stops itching from insect bites. Brew a pint or two of peppermint tea and keep it chilled for use during outdoor events and sports.
9. Witch Hazel: Distilled witch hazel is a most effective herb to have on hand. It contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. Useful for treating insect bites, mild cases of poison ivy, and blisters. Witch hazel makes an excellent carrier base for diluting essential oils for topical application. Some essentials that blend well with witch hazel- peppermint, lavender, orange, lemon and rose. Caution: Do not take witch hazel internally, and keep it out of reach of children and pets.
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