These are the 10 herbs and supplements I most frequently use and recommend in my natural First Aid Kit. They have been the most helpful and easily available for remedies in almost any situation. I usually make a batch once a year or I just replace what I run out of. Many of these herbs are available wild or in gardens and you can learn to identify them, harvest them and have them available for emergency use. It's very difficult to choose just 10 herbs and supplements, because there are so many wonderfully useful ones available, but I chose those that I use most often in my first aid kit and that are locally available both here in Israel and world wide. I grouped a few of them together that can be used interchangeably or together.
1. Aloe Vera
This little humble plant is amazing for treating cuts, burns, rashes, infections and constipation. Contains healing agents and cooling gel for fast painless healing.
Cut out the gel by peeling the skin and sides off. It can be used in lemon aide , in smoothies, as a poultice, in baths and as a lotion to apply to skin problems. Change the dressing reapply frequently .
It's easy to grow in a pot or in the ground. Each plant gives a baby plant or two, so you can pull out the baby plant and replant it wherever you like.
During times of viruses flying around, this little herb packs a powerful anti-viral punch. it can be steeped in water over night or pour hot water over it and steep for 15 minutes. It is also extremely helpful for respiratory problems. If there is coughing, phlegm or a chest cold, this is a great herb to have around.
Lemon is anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. If anyone gets cut outside, we immediately squeeze lemon juice on the cut to clean it out. it stings at first, but it goes away quickly. It is able to get into the cut quickly and kill whatever might cause an infection. Lemon can also be used to clean knives, counters or to wash hands if you've got nothing around in an emergency. Lemon has Vitamin C for fighting illness, infections, or viruses. It is good to drink with water (especially in the mornings) to flush out toxins from the liver which helps us to heal from whatever we might be suffering from in less time.
Lavender can be used for cuts, burns or bruises as a quick healing agent. It is powerful, but gentle enough that the oil can be put directly on the wound for immediate healing. It is helpful for sleep issues and as a tea to calm nerves. I like to make salves with it so that I have it ready for any emergency.
5. Activated Charcoal
This black powder is an all around useful ingredient for a first aid kit. It can be used in drawing salves for pulling poisons or stings out of the skin. It is also used for making natural tooth powder which pulls harmful bacteria out of the mouth. It can be ingested in case of food poisoning or an over-indulgence of alcohol, and it can be used in baths in case of irritants on the skin, such as pesticides. Many people have used it in a Black Drawing Salve for insect bites and stings, scorpion stings and splinters, thorns and closed blisters. While driving to the hospital, it can be spread over the spot of a snake bite to slow the spread of poison . It is powerful in pulling the poison or thorn to the surface of the skin. I make a large batch to have on hand. It needs to be used liberally on the infected spot and reapplied as needed .
6. Comfrey Root
Comfrey is an amazing healer, both the leaves and the roots. But the roots are preferred in terms of thier power for healing broken bones, fractures and sprains. It is easiest to work with in powder form so that you can add water and make a poultice that can be spread over the injured area and wrapped. The leaves can be used by pouring hot water over them and wrapping them around the area. When dry, remove and reapply a fresh poultice. Comfrey is also potent as a salve. Steep in a carrier oil such as olive oil or almond oil for an hour over low heat or 6 weeks in the sun, heat with beeswax until melted and pour into jars. Let cool and store in the first aid kit.
7. Garlic, ginger ,onion and turmeric :
I like to group these together because they are all highly medicinal roots and easy to use internally as well as externally for inflammation, detox and strengthening the whole body. During cold and flu season, these are used often to bring down fevers and help recover from infections. Cut onion placed around the house soaks up harmful substances floating around such as viruses, bacteria and fungi (Replace every couple of days). Garlic is also great to put in olive oil and use as drops to sooth ear infections. I make a simple ointment for athlete's foot, ringworm or any other fungal infection on the skin, by using coconut oil, turmeric, garlic and an essential oil such as rosemary, sage or tea tree. Rub this daily on the area. It will slowly disappear, stop itching and stop spreading . Continue to apply as needed. All of these four roots can also be made into a soup for an immune boosting infusion to keep you and your loved ones safe during flu season.
8. Rosemary and Eucalyptus
These are used mostly for respiratory troubles such as coughing, phlegm and stuffy noses. As a chest rub , the essential oils are added separately to a natural lotion or salve and rubbed over the chest and back to help clear up the lungs and calm a cough. I put drops on children's pillows when they are sick. It helps calm the cough and relaxes them for sleep. They can also be used in an infuser, or in a bowl of water over a candle to clean the air . The fresh or dried herbs can be put into a tea pot separately and let them simmer over the stove or as tea. They are both anti-viral and anti-bacterial. Eucalyptus sap can also be used as a poultice over wounds or as a gargle for oral problems.
This herb is the perfect herb for treating mouth problems. It can be a gargle for sore throats, cold sores, canker sores, bleeding or infected gums, tooth infections, or inflamed tonsils. Because of its oral uses, it is also perfect to add to tooth powders for prevention.
This is one of my favorite because it is so versatile and powerful. Frankencense has been used to dissolve cysts and tumours, relieve rashes, quickly heal cuts, burns and bruises. It can be added to lotions because of it's ability to regenerate old or damaged tissue which makes it very good for the skin, scars and healing.
11. Rescue Remedy
This is an amazing humble little tool for stress, anxiety, bad dreams, sleeplessness and PTSD. It is made from flowers which have the homeopathic effect of calming. The comes in handy living in a terrorist affected area. We use it liberally with the whole family to keep our nervous systems calm and steady. I use it to help children get to sleep or get back to sleep after a traumatic event, bad dream or overactive imagination at bedtime which keeps them from falling asleep. After any injury, fall, scare, accident , even sibling fights it helps to calm everyone down, slow the heart rate and return them to a sense of calm and recovery. It works almost instantly and has amazing results on children, adults and pets.
In addition to these wonderful medicinal herbs, I always include oils as a base to mix the essential oils, charcoal or herbs. This allows for easy and versatile use. These oils could be olive, almond, shea butter, cacao butter, sunflower, coconut , sesame, among others and/or beeswax . For more on recipes and instructions , please see related videos and blogs.