A first aid kit should contain more than just bandages and antiseptic creams. There are a variety of items in your kitchen cabinet and perhaps on your window ledge that can be added to first aid kits.*
- Aloe Vera is a member of the succulent family, related to cactus. It has a reputation for healing and soothing burns. Keeping a plant growing in a kitchen window will make it handy to snip a leaf and apply it to burns. Aloe Vera can be used to make a mouth rinse and hand sanitizer. It is also soothing for sunburn. 1
- Cayenne Pepper can be used for wounds that won’t stop bleeding. Apply the powder topically over the wound. Mixing a teaspoon of cayenne to a cup of warm water and giving it to the person to drink has been reported to stop a heart attack in progress. 2
- Ginger helps reduce nausea or motion sickness and lower blood sugar levels (diabetics use with caution). Available in many forms: capsules, powder, tea, essential oil, crystallized or fresh rhizome, it has also been used for indigestion, gas or bloating.Sipping a tea made from boiled ginger rhizome has been shown to reduce nausea for cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. 3
- Clove Oil has pain reducing properties. It is often used in dental emergencies. I’ve made a small pouch of ground cloves in gauze, tied with dental floss and tucked it under and around the inside of a broken molar. This provided pain relief and kept the side of my tongue from being sliced by the sharp filling until I was able to see a dentist. 4
- Raw Garlic Cloves have been touted as great medicine for asthma, coughs, difficulty breathing and other disorders of the lungs. It can be used to clear sinuses, stop bug bite itching, and relieve ear aches. 5
- Peppermint Oil is especially useful for headache and stress relief. Use a small amount of carrier oil, like almond, and a drop of peppermint oil rubbed on your temples, forehead, over the sinuses (avoid the eyes), and on the back of the neck to soothe headache.6
- Witch Hazel has been used for centuries by Native Americans as an astringent. In addition to treating acne and oily skin, it can be used to reduce eye puffiness and for shrinking blood vessels (did you know it is a major ingredient in Preparation H® hemorrhoid cream?) Witch Hazel is an excellent remedy for sore throats. Make a tea from leaves and twigs by soaking them in very hot water. Add a few cloves and soak for at least 15 minutes. Strain off the solids and gargle with the tea. Tattoo artists use Witch Hazel to cleanse a new tattoo. It cleans the skin of germs and bacteria and soothes inflammation.7 Dab it on cuts and scrapes to reduce bleeding and clean an injured area to prevent infection. Eases sunburn discomfort.
These are just a very few natural products to add to your first aid kit. We would love to know what other items you include. Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Note: The author is not a licensed physician, the suggestions in this article should not replace the advice of trained medical staff and officials. This information is not intended as a substitute for a first aid course, but offers information that could be used when professional medical assistance id delayed or temporarily unavailable. All information presented in this newsletter is for informational purposes only and neither the author or Sun Oven International, Inc. can accept responsibility for any injury, loss or damage arising from the use of this information.