Maybe it was the 100th mosquito bite, or the sunburned shoulders, or the scraped knee, but this past weekend’s calamities were a good reminder that I should have a better stocked first aid kit for the summer at my cottage. I had become lax as the kids got older about checking expiration dates or making sure I had bandaids on hand, but being prepared is not something to let up on, especially if you camp or spend time in more remote areas.
That being said, having a good set of tweezers, assorted bandages, and some witch hazel are a good start to any first aid kit. But here are some other important things to have on hand in case of an injury or illness.
Arnica Montana: This homeopathic medicine improves circulation to an injured area and promotes the healing of bruises, sprains, strains, muscular inflammation, aches, pains, rheumatic joint pain, inflammation from insect bites, and swelling due to fractures. Arnica can be used topically as a poultice, or in a cream or salve. Arnica should not be taken internally except as a homeopathic preparation to help minimize bruising, pain, and trauma.
Calendula: Calendula cream, ointment, or salve is an effective topical treatment for wound healing and helping relieve skin inflammations and irritations such as rashes, cuts, itchy skin, abrasions and insect bites.
Ginger: Ginger root is something that many people have on hand in the kitchen. It has been clinically shown to prevent and relieve nausea and vomiting. A fast and effective digestive aid, ginger root tea helps with indigestion, lack of appetite and gas.
Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil disinfects with its antiseptic and immune-stimulating properties. It can be placed directly on cuts and scrapes to clean, disinfect, and reduce pain. Tea tree oil can be used for blisters, athlete’s foot, burns, cold sores, infected wounds, insect bites, rashes, and warts. It may be used directly on skin or with a carrier oil. Generally nontoxic and non-irritating, tea tree oil may cause skin irritation in sensitive individuals.
Lavender: Lavender essential oil is an exceptional remedy to use on burns, cuts and stings. Its healing and antiseptic properties stop pain and speed up the skin’s healing process. Its analgesic properties help soothe tired, sore muscles and relieve the inflammation of insect bites.
Aloe Vera: Easily found in health food stores and also easily grown, aloe vera can help soothe skin that has had too much sun. To remove the aloe gel from the plant, break off a leaf, slice it open, and remove the clear, liquidy substance. You can apply right it to the area that needs relief.
For a complete and detailed list of first aid (especially for kids), click here.
Photo from here, with thanks.