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First Aid to Go

Treating bumps & bruises naturally

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First Aid to Go

To handle the hurts that plague summer, a first aid kit is essential. To add to the kit, natural and homeopathic first aid remedies are readily available.

To handle the hurts that plague summer fun, a first aid kit is essential for all families. To add to the kit, natural first aid elements are readily available and extremely portable—whether you are at home or on summer vacation. Just pack this family-friendly first aid kit and go.

Aloe vera

Green, spiky aloe vera is used for treating minor cuts and burns. It can be found in pure gel form at most natural health stores or can be easily grown indoors.

To remove the aloe gel from the plant, break off a leaf, slice it open, and remove the clear liquidy substance.

Administration

Spread aloe gel, either bottled or directly from plant, onto the scrape or burn.

Precautions

  • Do not ingest.
  • Due to its potential antidiabetic properties, those with diabetes should consult their health care professional before using aloe vera.

Top 5 reasons to use your first aid kit

  1. Bug bites can be painful and itchy. Ease discomfort with lavender oil and baking soda. Watch for signs of anaphylaxis.
  2. Cuts can become infected so keep them clean and protected.
  3. Sunburns, as much as we try to avoid them, are sometimes inevitable. Soothe them with aloe vera gel or a cool
    oatmeal bath.
  4. Poison ivy can cause painful contact dermatitis. Soothe with baking soda paste or with an oatmeal bath.
  5. Splinters are not only painful but can also cause infection. Dislodge the embedded object and cleanse the area.

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is a natural antiseptic for cuts as well as a remedy for fungal infections such as athlete’s foot. It is also effective for combatting head lice, which can flare up as a result of summer sleepovers.

Administration

First aid: dilute tea tree oil in a ratio of 1 part oil to 2 parts water before applying to cuts.

Lice: add 2 drops tea tree oil to 4 oz (120 mL) shampoo and mix. Wash hair with the same amount as you would normally.

Precautions

  • Do not ingest.
  • Avoid contact with eyes.
  • Consult a professional for deep cuts and serious wounds.

Lavender oil

Lavender oil eases pain, relieves burns, and reduces swelling. It is known as an effective natural mosquito repellent and also relieves the itch and pain of bug bites and stings. Lavender oil can also be used as a calming sleep aid.

Administration

Minor burns: apply 2 drops of lavender oil onto dressings.

Sunburns: add 15 drops lavender oil to 1 Tbsp (15 mL) distilled water. Gently dab over affected area.

First aid: apply 1 drop directly onto minor cuts.

Bruises: add 5 drops of oil to a bowl of water. Soak cloth, wring out, and apply to affected area.

Insect bites or bee stings: apply 1 drop directly onto
affected area.

Sleep aid: apply 1 drop directly onto the edge of pillowcase.

Precautions

  • Do not ingest.
  • Avoid contact with eyes.
  • For large or deep burns, call 911or your local emergency number.

Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction

Anaphylaxis, which affects multiple body systems, is a life-threatening allergic reaction. It can be triggered by bee stings, insect bites, foods, medicines, or any other allergen. Call 911 or your local emergency number at the first sign of this serious medical condition:

  • hives or rash
  • nausea, abdominal cramps, vomiting,
    or diarrhea
  • swelling of the eyes, face, tongue, or throat
  • shortness of breath
  • weakness
  • loss of consciousness

Baking soda

A paste made of baking soda will calm bug bites and stings. It also soothes the itch of sunburns, poison ivy, and chicken pox.

Administration

Create the paste by combining equal parts water and baking soda. Apply directly to affected area.

Precautions

  • Do not ingest.
  • If a sting results in a severe allergic reaction call 911 immediately.
    See sidebar for symptoms.

Banana peels

Banana peels are thought to have a healing effect on wounds. They can soothe bites and burns, and are also useful for removing splinters.

Administration

Natural wound dressing: as a temporary measure, place the peel with the pulp side down on cleaned wounds

Stings and itches: gently rub the pulp of a banana peel onto stings and bites for relief.

Splinters: cut peel to size and place pulp side down over the splinter. Fasten with surgical tape and leave overnight.

Credit card

While not exactly plant-based, a credit card or any other plastic card can help remove bee stingers if you’re caught without tweezers.

How: remove stinger by gently scraping with the edge of a plastic card.

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