Develop Your Home's Natural Medicine Chest
What to do in case of ...
Illnesses and injuries don't happen at convenient times and places, but you can be ready by assembling a simple Herbal First Aid kit of just a dozen basic remedies. In this issue, learn what these remedies are, and how to use them.
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Perhaps you are old enough to remember when a large percentage of the population lived in rural communities, perhaps not. Back in the 1960s about 40% of the population lived in the rural areas while the other 60% was urbanized. Today almost 85% of the population is urbanized and the other 15% is rural.
We mention this because with the urbanization of the population, there has been a tendency to do less for ourselves and rely more on various experts, especially in the area of health care.
Today, many parents head to the doctor or emergency room for even small injuries and common ailments. Maybe it is because these services are so convenient that we have forgotten it is possible to care for many of these ailments ourselves, very simply, and very effectively.
With increasing health care costs and a growing understanding of some of the risks of allopathic medicine, perhaps it is time we started relearning on how to care for common ailments at home.
To do so, however, requires we reestablish the time honored tradition of having a home medicine cabinet. Iodine, alcohol, alum, ipecac, baking soda, salt, gauze bandages, cotton balls (real ones!), cotton swabs on wood sticks, and the ever proverbial supply of Band-Aids have been traditional components of the trusty home medicine cabinet.
Remember begging mom to put a Band-Aid on every little cut or scratch? Hey, it was cool to have a Band-Aid on the knee, elbow, or wrapped around a finger. Ahhh, the memories.
A home medicine cabinet is more than a first aid kit, although first aid supplies should be part of the kit. It needs to have remedies for coughs, colds, flu and any other ailments the family is commonly prone to catch. If you are into natural health care, it is vitally important to keep a good supply of basic remedies on hand, since you cant get them from the local grocery or drug store, and health food stores and herb shops are often closed on weekends and holidays.
The first thing to do is head out to your local sporting goods store or the outdoors sporting department of a local K-Mart, Wal-Mart or Shop-Ko. You are going to purchase a large fishing tackle box. We have found over the years that this item has stood the test of time as the most cost effective, convenient, easy to use means of putting a home medicine chest together. They can be as roomy as you choose to get. They are compartmentalized with different size spaces for differing items. If you get one of the better ones (which we highly suggest), it will be sturdy and can take quite a pounding. And they are portable which in todays world is a real plus. Inside, you will find suggestions for what to put into your medicine chest and how to use it.
Keep this article with your chest as a handy reference.
Stocking Your Home Medicine Cabinet
Here are some suggestions for items to keep on hand to care for your family's health and well-being.
Start with some standard first aid supplies, like bandages, gauze, tape, real cotton balls and so forth. A Swiss army knife that has scissors and tweezers is very handy. If you don't have a Swiss army knife, at least have a pair of scissors and/or a small pocket knife.
A couple of sewing needles and a pair of tweezers for extracting slivers are useful items as well.
Now it is time to stock our natural medicines.
The following is a list of items we have found valuable in our own medicine chests. Feel free to add or subtract items according to your own family's needs.
DISTRESS REMEDY - A MUST HAVE!
Distress Remedy is a homeopathic preparation that aids the body's recovery from trauma.
Distress Remedy is a flower essence that can relieve both emotional and physical shock. It can also be applied topically to speed the healing of minor injuries. This excellent homeopathic product can also be used with children... they love it!
Apply on solar plexus (to relax when stressed for ex.) with a few drops under the tongue. Keep for a few minutes under the tongue and then swalow.
Have difficulty sleeping? try distress remedy!
Abrasions & Scratches
Any of the following can be applied topically to abrasions, scratches and simillar injuries to prevent infection, ease pain and/or promote healing: Aloe Vera gel, Silver Shield, Nature's Fresh and Tei Fu Oil.
Acne, measles, chicken pox, rashes and hives
Red Clover Blend Liquid is a blend of bitter herbs that is used for blood purifying purposes. This is needed where infection is present in the bloodstream and for all skin eruptive diseases including acne, measles, chicken pox, rashes and hives. When taken with Garlic and Echinacea, Red Clover Blend is an excellent preventative as well as corrective for infection. The liquid form (which we recommend) can be diluted with water and used to wash wounds and burns.
Antibiotic - Infection fighting
Garlic, the most time honored and proven botanical antibiotic, is also useful for high blood pressure and respiratory congestion. For your kit we recommend the Garlic Oil in the gel caps or the High Potency Garlic. These are more potent infection fighting remedies.
Antiseptic, healing salve
Small jar of light greenish-yellow ointment. Helps tissues rapidly. Use on any external tissue damage including burns, sores, scratches, cuticles, diaper rash, etc.
Useful for hemorrhoids and as lubricant for the insertion tip for enema.
Eucalyptus oil, sage and gum benzoin,
White oak bark, black walnut, marshmallow, mullein, lobelia, scullcap, yarrow, wheat germ, vitamin E have been added.
Golden Salve helps to soothe and moisturize rough, chafed, or chapped skin, nose and lips. Apply liberally as often as needed.
Administer small doses of lobelia every 2-3 minutes while encouraging the person to breathe slowly and deeply. Distress Remedy is also helpful for anxiety atracks.
Lobelia acts as a bronchial dilator and can be used in cases of asthma attacks where other medication are not available. Administer doses of Lobelia Essence every two minutes (about 1/4 teaspoon) until the attack subsides. This may cause vomiting, but will ease the attack.
Asthma Homeopathic is also an excellent product to consider.
Bacteria, fungi, protazoa and viruses
Silver Shield is an effective anti-microbial substance. A natural antiseptic is a must for a first aid kit and Silver Shield is one of the best. Silver Shield has been shown to kill every pathogenic microbe known. The liquid can be taken internally or applied topically. It can also be sprayed on the throat for sore throats, or into the sinuses for sinus infections. It can safely be atomized and inhaled or used as eye drops.
The Silver Shield Gel is excellent for all topical applications and is safe to use on open wounds.
The very minute ionized particles of Silver suspended in pure water appear to inhibit the function and metabolism of bacteria, fungi, protazoa and viruses. It works quickly on contact.
Many people think of Silver Shield (Colloidal Silver) as becoming a second immune system and report that they feel much better, more energetic, more relaxed.
Bites & Stings
Insect bites and stings can be treated with a wide variety of remedies. Black Ointment, Echinacea, Tei Fu oil, Lobelia and Nature's Fresh are all remedies that can reduce swelling and ease the pain of insect bites and bee stings. For poisonous spider bites, apply a poultice made of activated charcoal and black ointment and seek medical assistance.
Also seek assistance for allergic reactions.
To stop external bleeding, apply pressure directly to the wound. You can also sprinkle capsicum into bleeding wounds to help stop the bleeding. Capsicum can be taken internally to help stop internal bleeding, too.
Of course, seek medical help for internal bleeding.
Apply remedies like Tea Tree oil, Healing AC Cream, Silver Shield and Aloe Vera Gel topically to blisters and cover with a bandage to promote healing.
Black Ointment is a drawing, healing salve.
Used on boils, splinters/slivers, infection, tumors, insect bites etc. Seems to help draw foreign and unhealthy materials to the surface and expel them.
Apply generous layer of the slick black goo topically and cover with a bandage.
Not for internal use.
Contains: Lobelia, comfrey, golden seal, plantain, red clover, mullein, marshmallow, chickweed, myrrh, in a base of olive oil, beeswax, pine tar and vitamin E oil.
FIVE OILS by Pure Herbs, Ltd. also a good product to have as insect repellent and pain reliever.
Bumps & Bruises
Healing AC Cream or Distress Remedy to be applied directly to bumps and bruises to rapidly reduce swelling and ease pain. You can also hold or rub the afflicted area for 5-20 minutes to take down swelling even more rapidly.
Tei Fu Oil or Nature's Fresh may also be helpful.
Burns & Scalds
First degree burns involve redness, pain and swelling and second degree burns cause blisters. You can treat both first and second degree burns by applying cold water immediately to the burned area to cool it down. You can also dress the burn with Aloe Vera Gel to soothe pain and cool the burn. Nature's Fresh, Silver Shield and Distress Remedy also make useful burn remedies.
Two other good burn remedies you will probably have in your kitchen include French Vanilla extract (not imitation) and raw honey. Both ease pain and promote rapid healing. IF Relief can be taken internally for pain.
For third degree burns, which involve charring of the skin, seek medical attention.
Canker Sores (Mouth Ulcers)
A small, painful mouth ulcer usually is called a canker sore.
Apply Tei Fu Oil or Peppermint oil directly to the sore to ease pain and promote healing.
Colds - Infection
At the first sign of a cold, stop eating and start drinking lots of fluids. Take remedies to clear congestion like ALJ or Capsicum.
You can use Ultimate Echinacea, Immune Stimulator or Silver Shield to help the body fight the infection. It is also helpful to rub Tei Fu Oil topically into the chest and throat or inhale them into the sinuses.
Ultimate Echinacea can help contain infections and stimulate the body to fight off microorganisms. Useful for colds, infection, blood poisoning and wounds (especially where sepsis or tetanus are imminent, such as cuts on rusty metal or puncture wounds).
Cramps & Spasms
Lobelia is excellent at relieving cramps and spasms. It can be taken internally, but works even better when the extract is applied topically mixed with equal parts of capicum extract. This draws blood into the the afflicted area and relaxes muscles.
Styptics are herbs, usually astringents, that
have the power to stop bleeding, close cuts and speed the healing of cuts. Capsicum is a useful styptic. Silver Shield or Silver Shield Gel is a good remedy to apply to cuts to prevent infection.
Activated Charcoal makes an excellent remedy for diarrhea. It absorbs substances that are irritating the colon and firms up the stool.
You can also take infection-fighting remedies such as Sliver Shield, Ultimate Echinacea and/or Immune Stimulator internally if the diarrhea is caused by infection.
Ear Infection - Earaches
Two remedies which make good ear drops for ear infections are lobelia (which eases pain) and Silver Shield (which fights infection). Before putting these into the ear they should be warmed to body temperature. You can do this by puting the bottle into a cup of warm water or holding under your armpit or some other warm spot of your body.
Here are two other simple home earache remedies.
One, cook an onion and put some body temperature drops of the juice from the cooked onion in the ear.
Two, cut a clove of garlic in half, coat it with olive oil and place it on the outside of the ear.
Internally AL-J, Ultimate Echmacea or Immune Stimulator can be helpful for earaches.
It is also a good idea to avoid wheat and dairy foods in children with frequent earaches.
You can induce vomiting by taking large quantities of lobelia or you can take activated charcoal to absorb toxins (or both). Silver Shield will help fight the infection and Peppermint Oil will help settle your stomach (after you throw up).
Seek medical assistance if the problem is severe.
Food Poisoning - Diarrhea
Activated Charcoal is an absorbing agent.
It is useful in cases of food or chemical poisoning and should always be kept on hand in homes with small children. It absorbs gas and rapidly relieves bloating. It is excellent in severe cases of diarrhea. It can also be used topically for spider bites with black ointment, but use caution as it will stain clothing.
Sprinkle tiny amounts of capsicum in socks or gloves to prevent frostbite.
Warm areas affected by frostbite in cold water and seek medical attention.
(Visit this page for major headaches and migraines)
Headaches in the frontal region of the face are usually caused by congested sinuses. Inhale Tei Fu Oil, take AL-J internally or spray Silver Shield into the sinuses to help decongest them. Use Sinus Homeopathic appplied several times a day on sinus areas.
Drinking several glasses of (clean) water may also help.
Headaches involving a sense of pressure and tension can be eased by massaging the neck and shoulders using Lobelia and Capsicum and following this with Tei Fu Oil.
You can take lobelia internally to relax muscle tension or use IF Relief as a pain reliever.
Nausea & Vomiting
Peppermint oil can be used to settle the stomach in cases of nausea and vomiting as well as ginger.
Lobelia in tiny doses (2-3 drops) can do the same thing. Large doses of lobelia induce vomiting.
Remedies in the first aid kit that can be helpful for pain include IF Relief and Lobelia, which can be taken internally. You can also apply Tei Fu oil or Tei Fu Massage Lotion, Peppermint oil, Distress Remedy, Nature's Fresh, Healing AC Cream, Aloe Vera Gel or Lobelia and Capsicum mixed topically for pain.
FIVE OILS by Pure Herbs and ARNICA OIL
Poison Oak or Ivy
Wash thoroughly after exposure. Aloe Vera gel or Sliver Shield can be applied topically to aid healing.
Shock is a response to severe physical or emotional trauma and is characterized by paleness, rapid but weak pulse, rapid and shallow respiration, restlessness, anxiety or mental dullness, nausea or vomiting associated with reduced blood volume and lower blood pressure and subnormal temperature. Cover the person to keep him/her warm, elevate the feet and give that person Capsicum. They can also inhale Tei Fu Oil.
Grab and hold the finger tightly until the pain subsides (about 5-20 minutes), then apply Healing AC Cream, Nature's Fresh or Distress Remedy. Tei Fu Oil can also help.
You can gargle with Silver Shield and/or Capsicum extract diluted with a little water or spray Silver Shield directly on the throat. You can also rub Capsicum and Lobelia, Tei Fu Oil or Silver Shield Gel on the outside of the throat.
Sore Throat Homeopathic applied on sore throat.
Sprains & Pulls
Healing AC Cream, Distress Remedy and Nature's Fresh are all excellent remedies to apply topically to help sprains heal.
IF Relief can be taken internally to ease pain and promote healing.
Aloe Vera gel, Herbal Trim Skin Treatment and Nature's Fresh are good remedies to apply topically for sunburn.
Note from Beatrice and Christian at Four Winds: We go to the beach every Sunday and always use Healing AC Cream at night when needed.. works wonder!
Wounds & sores
Remedies that can help various kinds of injuries and sores to heal faster include:
Aloe Vera gel, Ultimate Echinacea, Nature's Fresh and Silver Shield Gel.
Wounds - Stop Bleeding
Capsicum is available in both capsules and tincture.
For first aid purposes both are acceptable. The tincture is faster acting and more easily applied topically. Capsicum can be used internally for shock (either in tincture form or by opening the capsules and dumping the powders directly into the mouth). The powder or tincture can also be applied directly to open wounds to stop bleeding.
The tincture can be rubbed on body surfaces to increase circulation after or during exposure to cold. It can also be applied topically (alone or in combination with lobelia) for relief of pain. Taken internally at the onset of a cold, it can help to ward off the cold.
Respiratory congestion - Allergies
AL-J is available in capsules and as a liquid.
For your medicine cabinet we recommend the liquid, because it is faster acting. AL-J is for most types of respiratory congestion, including colds, seasonal allergies and chronic sinus problems. It also aids digestive problems.
Upset Stomach - Colic - Gas
Catnip and Fennel a liquid combination which helps to settle an upset stomach. It is used for colic, gas and mild acid indigestion.
It can also be used in cases of heat stroke or to help break a fever.
Swelling - bruising - tissue healing
Healing AC Cream is a homeopathic cream made using Arnica and Calendula which reduces swelling, stops bruising, soothes sunburn and speeds tissue healing.
This cream can be applied to almost any injury except puncture wounds or deep cuts.
To induce vomiting
Lobelia Liquid is an antispasmodic that relaxes muscle cramps or spasms and can be used to ease pain, relax the body during anxiety attacks and stress, ease asthma attacks, and relieve tension headaches. Lobelia can also be used as an emetic to induce vomiting in cases of food poisoning or flu.
Blue Vervain is a milder alternative some people prefer for young children.
Settling the stomach
Peppermint oil settles the stomach and helps promote mental alertness. Apply on the stomach area.
Topical disinfectant and antiseptic
Tea Tree oil is an excellent topical disinfectant and antiseptic.
A drop or so can be applied directly to cuts, scrapes, bruises, burns and other injuries. It does not sting. In a pinch, it can be used to sterilize a knife, tweezer or probe in the absence of matches or fire.
A drop or two added to water can be used as a gargle or mouthwash.
It can be diluted in olive oil (1 drop tea tree oil in 10 drops olive oil) and used as ear drops.
Tei Fu oil is used for bruises, aching muscles and tension headaches.
Just place a few drops on the finger tips and rub into the sore spot in a circular fashion. It can also be used as an inhalant for stuffy congestive conditions.
To Calm Nerves
Valerian Root extract is used to calm the nerves so a person can relax and rest.
This is especially effective after shock has begun to wear off or a person is still in a fitful state of anxiety.
It can also help induce sleep.
(In place of chemical products)
Sunshine concentrate cleaner
Irish Moss Hand and Body Lotion
Crystal Fresh Deodorant
You can, of course, add anything else you feel might be useful in an emergency. Just keep the items small and have a variety so as to meet a variety of different needs.
We encourage everyone to get serious about putting your own Home Medicine Chest together. You never know when you might need one or more of these remedies. Once you have it assembled, you can insert a copy of this page for a quick reference on how to use your kit.
If you need additional information, consider some of the following:
The How to Herb Book by Velma Keith and Monteen Gordon
Natural Remedies for Common Health Problems by Steven Horne
Home Medicine Chest tape by Steven Horne
The ABC Herbal by Steven Horne
This information is for educational pur-poses only. Consult with a qualified health practictioner for all serious or persistant illness.
Copyright 1999 by Robinson & Horne, L.C., P.O. Box 1028, Roosevelt, UT 84066. This material may be printed from this database (in single copies only) for educational pur-poses only (not for resale) provided it is not altered in any way.