In addition to a home first aid kit, I like to keep an herbal “first aid” kit for emergencies. The following natural remedies are always good to have at home. Homeopathic remedies should not be stored next to strong smells, so keep your homeopathic tablets separately from your essential oils.
Useful Natural Remedies for a Herbal First Aid Kit:
Aloe vera: Aloe vera gel is a soothing remedy for sunburns and other types of burns. Grow your own aloe plant (Aloe barbadensis) at home or keep a jar of aloe gel in your natural remedy cupboard.
Arnica cream/ointment and homeopathic arnica tablets: Arnica cream (Arnica montana) is used externally on sprains, strains, bruises and sore muscles. Homeopathic arnica tablets are used internally for relief in injuries and shock.
Arsenicum album homeopathic tablets: a homeopathic remedy for stomach upsets such as diarrhea and food poisoning.
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia/purpurea): Echinacea has traditionally been used to boost the immune system and to fight off colds. The easiest way to take Echinacea is in tincture form. I have also used the tincture (diluted in water, follow instructions in the bottle) to gargle a sore throat and to clean cuts and small wounds. Echinacea is sometimes combined with Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), another traditional folk remedy for colds and other upper respiratory tract infections. (Goldenseal is not recommended for pregnant or breastfeeding women.)
Eucalyptus essential oil: Eucalyptus oil (Eucalyptus globulus/radiata) is a great home remedy for colds, coughs and sinus infections when used in a steam inhalation or in a bath. It is also a natural insect repellent – the lemon-scented Eucalyptus citriodora is especially good for homemade bug repellents.
Ginger, Peppermint and Chamomile herb teas: ginger tea relieves nausea, including travel sickness and morning sickness. Ginger tea is also a great help for colds and sore throats. Peppermint tea relieves indigestion, flatulence and travel sickness. Chamomile tea helps with diarrhea and other stomach upsets.
Lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia/officinalis/vera): Rub a drop of lavender oil on the temples to relieve headaches or make a Lavender compress to relieve muscle aches, headaches and period pains. Lavender oil is also a good home remedy for insect bites: a drop of pure Lavender oil on a mosquito bite relieves the itching.
Propolis lozenges: propolis lozenges are a gentle natural remedy for sore and irritated throats.
Rescue Remedy: Dr. Bach’s Rescue Remedy*(Recovery Remedy) is a safe natural first aid treatment in a shock or in any stressful situation. It also comes in spray form or as pastilles. (*affiliate link)
Tea Tree essential oil: Tea tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) is antibacterial and antiviral. It is a traditional home remedy for colds and other respiratory tract infections (use it in a steam inhalation or in a bath), and it can be used to clean cuts and wounds (dilute it to avoid irritation). You can also use a drop of pure tea tree oil on a wart or on a cold sore.
Which natural remedies do you always stock at home?
Aloe vera: Erin Silversmith
TeaTree Oil: Wikimedia Commons user Kriplozoik