|Hydrogen Peroxide or h2o2|
Calendula and Hypericum are both excellent skin healers, you can buy them independently as salves or as a combination known as hypercal. Hypercal is the Porsche of wound healing. I have the tincture in my medicine cabinet and add a few drops to water before I cleanse wounds and scrapes. Calendula is a natural astringent and antibacterial, hypericum perforatum is also known as St Johns wort and is commonly used as an antidepressant however it is also excellent at healing skin lesions and ameliorating pain and swelling. So the combination of Hypericum and Calendula is really ideal for all of those common childhood war wounds.
What for: Cuts, grazes and scratches
How to use: Use the tincture diluted in water to clean wounds or apply to rashes and grazes. The lotion can be applied throughout healing process as required.
Where: I get my hypercal tincture from Similimum, one bottle lasts an AGE.
Home version: If you have a calendula or pot marigold plant in the garden you can make a quick paste using a mortar and pestle out of the crushed petals and virgin coconut oil to apply to the wound.
|St Johns wort, Hypericum perforatum|
|Pot marigold, Calendula officinalis|
|Chickweed, Stellaria Media|
|Aloe vera, Aloevera Barbadensis|
|Calcium Bentonite clay|
|Witch hazel, Hamamelis virginiana|
|Rock rose, Clematis, Star of Bethlehem, Cherry plum, Impatiens|
Comfrey is a potent healer for ligaments, joints and bones, in fact its hedge name is ‘knit bone’ for it's ability to heal bones and tendons. It is a strong astringent so is excellent for resolving any internal bleeding or large bruises such as haematoma. Comfrey is rich in allantoin and is one of the best cell proliferants in the herbal kingdom which makes it the ideal remedy when there is any damage from strains and sprains that need to be healed. The leaves are also rich in mucilage which is a binding agent and a demulcent.
What for: Extended bruising and haematoma, strains, sprains and fractures.
How to use: Apply a comfrey cream or salve directly to the damaged area and repeat a few times a day. It's important to not apply comfrey to a bone that has not been set correctly as it can facilitate healing on a bad join. Most home use will be on smaller injuries anyway!
Where to buy: Kiwiherb are the foremost herbal dispensary in New Zealand and they do an excellent comfrey ointment made with certified organic sunflower oil.
Home version: A poultice made out of lightly steamed and chopped comfrey leaves is a powerful healer, and when you have some serious healing to do the roots can be mashed up and applied directly to the wounded region along with the leaves. Crushing the leaves releases a thick stringy goop which is the binding and healing agent. This component will also draw open wounds closed and bind it up. For large wounds I suggest seeing a Doctor before taking any action yourself, however once a wound has been treated conventionally you can still use comfrey during the healing process. Comfrey can also be taken internally but I would only recommend this under the supervision of a naturopath. Interestingly Comfrey leaves used to be battered and fried as an alternative to fish during the leaner years of the great depression as it has a similar flavour.
|Comfrey, Symphytum offinalis|
Lavender essential oil is a fabulous item to have in any first aid kid because of its versatility. It is a pain reliever, a healing agent, vulenary, antiseptic and even an antidepressant. The cicatrizant properties make lavender excellent for wound healing and helping to treat eczema and psoriasis where there is open weeping skin.
A few drops on a warm facecloth applied to the temples can relieve headache, a little massaged into the skin with some carrier oil can relieve pain and stress, applied neat to wounds it can relieve pain, itching as well as aid healing. Lavender oil is renowned for its ability to help heal burns. Once first aid has been used lavender oil can be applied to healing skin neat (do not use other carrier oils with it as they pull the heat into the wound)
What for: Burns, wounds, weeping rashes, eczema and tension.
How to use: Apply neat to skin (one of the only essential oils that can be used this way) or diluted with a little carrier oil. Even sniffing the bottle can relieve tension and stress.
Where: I use a specific genus of lavender oil call Pacific Blue from Arbordale Lavender farm. This is a very gentle and safe lavender oil which is low in camphor and can be used neat even on very small children. Cheap lavender oils are made in spike lavender which is not only high in camphor but low in healing properties. Many people find that spike lavender will give them headaches. To order contact Arbordale Lavender Farm on 03 4896191
Home version: If you have a lavender bush then you can bruise a few flowers and inhale them or make a tea from the flower heads to bathe wounds and burns in (make sure the water is cool or tepid)
|Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia|
|Manuka, Leptospermum scoparium|
Chamomile is a powerful pain reliever and mild sedative, Peter Rabbit was soothed with a cup of chamomile tea after over indulging and so chamomile tea is an excellent carminative and digestive aid for upset tummies. Chamomile tea can be used topically to relieve pain or internally for gastro upsets. It is also good for soothing grumpy children, for teething dramas and to aid in sleep and rest. Every first aid kit for children should have some dried chamomile in it for these reasons.
What for: Tantrums, tummies, teething and pain
How to use: If you have chamomile teabags you can dip them in warm water before applying directly to sore spot. For tummies, teething and tantrums it is best given as a tea and can be easily made up like any other tea. Giving children a small cloth bag of chamomile to sniff if they are having a grouchy day can help lift their mood and the same bag under a pillow will help with sleep and sweet dreams.
Where to buy: My absolute favourite chamomile tea is Artemis baby gripe tea as it also has the added benefits of aniseed, fennel, licorice, peppermint, dandelion and cinnamon. All of these ingredients aid digestion and soothe troubled minds. The plants used are processed to maintain full potency and not diluted with fillers such as fruit fragments or poor quality flowers. Note: if your baby has reflux then I would avoid this mixture and go straight to pure chamomile flowers as peppermint can relax the oesophageal valve worsening any reflux.
Home version: Any chamomile tea will do though most commercial brands are weak, if you have a plant out the back then so much the better. A handful of flowers in warm water makes a perfect panacea.
|Chamomile, Matricaria recutita|
Poultices warm or cool, drawing or healing are an excellent home tool to use for treating injuries with herbs from the garden. Every first aid kit should have half a dozen squares of clean cotton to use for poultices. An old sheet cut into 40cm squares is ideal but any hemmed cotton squares or rectangles will do. To make a poultice you simply encase the macerated herbs in the middle of the cloth and roll it up before placing on the injury. If the area harmed is a limb you can use the longer tails to tie the cloth on or secure it with some gladwrap. If you are using a liquid or decoction for the poultice you simply soak the cloth in the liquid before folding it up and placing it on the injury. To keep the poultice warm you can use a wheat bag or hot water bottle placed over the back of the poultice. Some poultices you can leave over night but ideally they will be changed every couple of hours, especially if it is a drawing poultice. A drawing poultice is designed to pull infection, foreign objects and toxins out of the body. A healing poultice is designed to bathe the injury in a healing medium. Most poultices will do both.
1. Lifestream Biogenic Aloe vera mist
2. Simillimum Hypercal tincture
3. Go Native Witch Hazel
4. J.Friend & Co Manuka Honey 10+ UMF
5. Artemis Itch Calm ointment
6. Simillimum Arnica cream
7. Kiwiherb Comfrey ointment
8. Simillimum Arnica pilules 30c
9. Arbordale Pacific Blue Lavender Essential Oil
10. Health Post Bach Flower Rescue Remedy
11. Go Native Calcium Bentonite Clay (packaging differs from standard retail)
12. New Zealand Coromandel Mountains Tea Tree - Manuka and Kanuka Essential oil
13. Thymeheal Chickweed cream
14. Artemis Baby Gripe tea
15.Home Essentials hydrogen peroxide
Not numbered: Pot of Gold Skin Balm
I have put together my ideal first aid kit based on the products I would use and consider to be the best for the job. If you like what you see then comment on this blog post before January 7 and you will be in to win this entire set. Entries are open world wide. Please note the final prize may differ from this image. Some items such as matches, tweezers and bandages may not be included in the final item. If you are an overseas winner it is your responsibility to ensure you check that all items will be allowed into the country and cleared through customs.
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