If you told my 20-something self I would one day own a (self-made) natural first aid kit, I wouldn’t have believed you. I grew up at a time when antibiotics were used pretty liberally, and I’ve slathered myself in all kinds of medicinal creams and ointments throughout my life to ward off infections and treat various skin conditions. I simply didn’t know any other way, and for the first few years of my daughter’s life, I proactively treated sicknesses and injuries with whatever over-the-counter remedies I could get my hands on at our local pharmacy.
At the time, I thought I was being proactive in protecting my family, but when my husband sent me a link to an article about the dangers of using antibacterial soaps a couple of years ago, I soon found myself at the opposite end of the spectrum.
I now opt for natural cures and remedies wherever possible, and while I still default to our family doctor when one of us is sick or injured, I prefer not to medicate myself or my family if I can avoid it.
This has required a huge change in my thought processes, and I spend a lot of time reading various natural living websites and speaking with my daughter’s naturopath, but I’ve learned a ton of valuable information along the way.
And with the warm weather finally upon us, I’ve spent a lot of time creating a natural first aid kit to ensure we’re ready and able to handle whatever life throws our way while we’re enjoying the outdoors, and today I’m partnering with Boiron Canada to share 13 essentials I like to keep on hand.
Please remember that I’m not a doctor or licensed naturopath. This post has been written for informational purposes only, and is not intended to replace proper medical treatment when needed.
Before we get specific about the things you should be stocking in your natural first aid kit, let’s get one thing clear: you still need the basics. Stock up on gauze, surgical tape, band aids, butterfly bandages, tweezers, small scissors, disposal sterile gloves, a thermometer, etc. I also like to include speciality bandaids with my daughter’s favorite characters printed on them as well as a couple of small toys to help cheer her up when she hurts herself or feels under the weather.
I first heard about using salt as a natural antiseptic for cleaning wounds that have stopped bleeding from our local pharmacist when my daughter was about 12 months old, and I absolutely swear by it. It’s painless but effective, which takes a lot of the trauma out of cleaning cuts and scrapes. I mix about half a teaspoon per cup of water, and either soak wounds in the salt mixture or apply it using a clean, cotton wash cloth.
Suitable for kids and adults aged 3 years and older, Arnicare is used to relieve muscle and joint pain while also easing resorption of bruises and inflammatory oedema caused by falls, blows, and blunt injuries. I have kept a tube in my purse for YEARS as it’s the perfect natural go-to remedy when my daughter has a nasty fall or my husband throws his back out when we’re out of the house! It has truly been a lifesaver to us the last several years.
Aloe vera has long been known to relieve burns and sunburns, but few people are aware that it can also help relieve insect bites, blisters, and other skin conditions. Of course, the jelly-like substance within an actual aloe vera plant is preferred – my mom has always kept one in her kitchen! – but a tube from your local pharmacy will also have positive effects when skin issues strike.
APPLE CIDER VINEGAR.
Many of us use apple cider vinegar for weight loss (right?!), but did you know ACV can also help treat burns, sunburns, bug bites, and bruises? I didn’t either until recently! Simply soak a cotton ball or small cloth in ACV and secure it on the burn or wound with a bandage. Just make sure to dilute it first!
Arnicare tablets can be taken in combination with topical Arnicare Gel or Cream for both general and local relief, and are suitable for kids and adults aged 2 years and older. The tablets are quick dissolving – and can be taken without water – and they are free of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). I use Arnicare tablets a lot in the spring when I transition from running on a treadmill at the gym to running outside on the pavement, and I ensure to keep a box in our natural first aid kit to give me another option to alleviate pain and discomfort when my daughter falls down and hurts herself.
In case you haven’t realized, coconut oil is kind of a big deal. Cooking aside, its antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties make it the perfect item to include in you natural first aid kit. I make my own antibacterial ointment by mixing a bit of coconut oil with honey (which is also known for its antibacterial benefits), and then apply it to small cuts for immediate relief.
Cicadermine is an antibiotic-free solution that helps sooth skin and nasal irritations. Simply cleanse the irritated area and apply a thin layer of the product up to 3 times a day. My daughter and I suffer from red, chapped, cracked hands in the winter months, and she suffers from a grass allergy throughout the summer that can leave her nose quite sore, so I leave a tube in each of our bathrooms and another in our first aid kit to ensure we never run out!
If you enjoy the sweet taste of honey, you may be surprised to hear about its antibacterial benefits in treating skin wounds and ulcers. Pure, unpasteurized honey is said to turn into hydrogen peroxide when mixed with bodily fluids, making it the perfect natural healing aid. As mentioned previously, I like to add it to coconut oil to make my own antibacterial ointment.
If you or your child suffers from seasonal allergies, you’ll love these quick dissolving tablets as they are non-drowsy and anti-histamine-free! My daughter developed a grass allergy about 2 years ago when we moved from a condo into a house, and now that I know which precautions to take to limit allergens from entering our home, Sabalia offers the perfect natural remedy to alleviate her symptoms when we’re spending time outdoors, which means I rarely, if ever, need to use OTC medication. And that’s a win in my books!
I first learned about the benefits of activated charcoal from my dad, who swore up and down it was the best natural remedy for food poisoning and the diarrhea, gas, and bloating that comes with it. As it turns out, he was right! Activated charcoal is effective for all kinds of poisonings. I suggest keeping a bottle in your natural first aid kit, but call your local Poison Control hotline to confirm how and when to administer it for your specific emergency.
If you enjoy camping and/or spend a lot of time outdoors in the warm weather months, Dapis Gel is an important product to keep in your natural first aid kit as it alleviates pain, relieves itching, treats hives, and promotes the healing of insect bites in kids and adults. I developed an allergy to mosquito bites in my 20s, which makes bug bites a nightmare for me (think: swelling, redness, and horrible itching), and Dapis Gel has offered me so much relief over the years. In addition to keeping a tube in our natural first aid kit, I keep a tube in the glove compartment of our car and another in my purse as I find the sooner I treat my bug bites, the better!
TEA TREE OIL.
Also known as ‘first aid in a bottle’, tea tree oil has long been known for its antibacterial, antiseptic, and antifungal properties. It can be applied directly to the skin, although most like to dilute it first, and it should not be used by pregnant or nursing women without consulting with a physician first.
When it comes to creating a natural first aid kit, there are heaps of products you can include, and this list offers a great starting point. Remember to plan for all eventualities, to ensure you and the members of your family do not have any allergies or intolerances to any of the products or ingredients included, to check expiration dates periodically throughout the year, and to seek proper medical care when needed.
Heidi Dupree once said, ‘In our modern lives we have strayed so far from living in sync with nature that integrating natural health measures into our lives can paradoxically feel unnatural’.
Makes you stop and think, doesn’t it?
This is a sponsored post. All opinions are my own.
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