This first aid kit is intended for an “every-day” kind of situation. Whether you are at home, driving in your car, or fit it into a decent bag for your backpack to take outdoors, this kit sets a good foundation for a variety of first aid issues. Of course, this is a list of herbal applications, I do not include bandages, clothes, syringes, etc. Alongside the physical tools and herbal remedies, I recommend having a First Aid quick reference guide and the local emergency number for the poison control center.
I mainly use Echinacea as an antiseptic, antibiotic and antiviral. All of which are important properties to have in a first aid kit. I use it to help the immune system, fevers, flight infections, and also as an antiphlogistic. Tierra states, “for inflammation, poisoning, venomous bites, to promote healing, as an antiseptic and antibiotic, pain relief and allergies (12-25).”
Oregon Grape Tincture
I use Oregon Grape as my native Goldenseal. I understand that it is not as powerful as goldenseal, yet I have had significant results using it as an alterative, astringent, antibiotic, bitter tonic and anti-inflammatory. Oregon Grape Tincture can be used as a liniment to clean/ disinfect an infected wound and also an anti-fungal. It helps internally for gastrointestinal issues, parasites, and dysentery diarrhea.
Use this tincture internally and externally as a liniment. Internally, this tincture counters all bacteria. Like Echinacea it can help the immune system as a preventative for colds, flus, fevers and sore throats. It also helps disinfect other bacterial infections such as staph, UTI’s, boils, insect/snake/spider bites and carbuncles. Externally it helps disinfect around wounds and also repels insects.
Keep Calm Tincture
This tincture consists of borage, chamomile, kava kava, lavender, lemon balm, linden, skullcap, valerian root, and vervain. This tincture helps settle my nerves and anxiety. Taken in large doses, it can also aid as a sleep tonic. It’s for nerves, shock, pain, sleep, cramps and spasms.
Bach Flower Rescue Remedy has been in my first aid kit for years. I work with kids, so it’s such a wonderful remedy to administer to kids having a panic attack after/during an injury (especially bee stings). I have also used this with adults who are in shock or need to calm down. The dosage varies with the person and injury. Rescue remedy helps with hysteria, shock, trauma, anxiety and nerves.
I prefer to have store-bought tea bags of chamomile in my first aid kit. This can be used for making tea or a compress. The tea helps with nausea, anxiety, clearing up congestion, or a digestive aid. I use the compress to clean dirt, fine particulates or infections out of eyes, and to reduce inflammation.
This is my stop bleeding powder mix. I either wet this powder with water or spit to create a poultice before applying it to wounds. It reduces or stops the bleeding without bringing more infection into the wound. It can help clean the wound depending on how deep it is. I have also applied this as a poultice to a bee sting and experienced immediate relief. If you are without a digestive bitter or the Oregon Grape tincture, this powder can be made into a tea for dysentery diarrhea.
Goldenseal powder (with capsules)
I feel like goldenseal can solve most issues I addressed with the herbs above, so it seems wise to always have goldenseal on hand (if accessible). Goldenseal internally as an antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, blood purifier, and gastrointestinal issues (indigestion, gas, heartburn, and dysentery). Externally, this powder can be made into a poultice or fomentation for conjunctivitis, pink eye, hemorrhoids, or an infection. I have also used this on ingrown hairs and it has helped clear the follicle.
Cayenne for stimulation. This powder can be applied externally to stop/reduce bleeding, prevent infection or blood poisoning and stimulate circulation on open wounds. It ultimately helps with circulation, hence it can help draw splinters/foreign objects to the skins surface, it relieves pain due to swelling and inflammation, it warms the body if you need heat activation. Internally the cayenne powder can be capsuled or mixed with water or tea to help fatigue, convulsions and strokes, prevent colds, flu, respiratory infections and fevers, and shellfish poisoning.
Triple Herbal Salve
The cottonwood, yarrow, plantain salve is my equivalent to Neosporin. This salve can be applied to open wounds to help clean, heal, and relieve pain. It reduces inflammation, swelling from stings, and it can even be applied to burns (after cooled off) or rashes. It’s my all-in-one antiseptic, pain and itch relief salve. **Also it’s a great emergency lip balm**
Arnica cream is my go-to external treatment for sprains, brakes or bruising. It’s that herb that hasn’t changed its purpose throughout recent history because it is so good at what it does. Arnica helps the blood vessels repair after striking injury. It’s healing actions also help with pain.
Tea Tree Burn Cream
After cooling a burn with water, I immediately apply this cream. The herbs in this cream are: myrrh, nettles, plantain, usnea, comfrey, St. john’s wort, calendula, goldenseal, witch hazel and turmeric, along with tea tree, lavender and palmarosa essential oil. It has worked wonders in cooling the skin while restoring it after any type of burn. I have used it on sunburns, water burns, fire burns and electric burns, all have healed quickly and effectively. This cream is also stimulating immune response to bacteria, fungus and virus; good for acne, athletes foot, herpes, sold sores, insect bites and rashes.
This is mainly for ear aches or infections, yet the oil also helps sprains and strains. Internally, garlic oil for the prevention of colds, flu, or respiratory infections.
This is to help increase blood sugar and provide energy in an emergency situation, basically help fatigue. It can also help administer some of the powders internally, further strengthening the immune system. I keep honey sticks in my backpack for hiking, wilderness trips and outdoor education classes. The honey sticks can also be used externally on wounds, burns, rashes, stings or to cleanse foreign substances from the eye.
This will help with any food poisoning. Externally activated charcoal will help against infections.
Lavender Essential Oil
If you don't have a Burn Cream at hand, Lavender Essential Oil can be applied sparingly after you have cooled and washed a burn with water. If you put a couple of drops on your temples and in between your eye (on your third eye), it will bring ease and relaxation through the aromatherapy. This can be useful is a stressful situation for you and/or the person being cared for or giving care.
Everyone's First Aid Kit is unique and different in its own way. If you are mainly outdoors, backpacking, remedies for bites, stings, infection and rashes may be more prevalent. If you are a parent, your kit may be a little bigger depending on what your kid gets themselves into. And if you are in the kitchen, cooking a lot, you might need more remedies for burns and cuts. Think about what your First Aid needs will be primarily. Make a list. Create a laminated notecard, describing how and when to use certain remedies, just in case you are not around or conscious to explain it yourself. Make it functional and easy to use.