Thursday, December 17, 2015

Make Your Own First Aid Kit

As you are traveling for the holidays, vacation, business or any reason you have to be away from home it is always a good idea to make your own first aid kit to take with you if you subscribe to the natural remedy philosophies of treating what ails you. When you are traveling it is not always easy to find your favorite natural remedy and if you already aren't feeling your best then you certainly don't want to be running all over a strange town looking for ingredients or herbal remedies. If you don't have your own favorite natural remedies for common ailments, then perhaps you'll find some here to start using at home and on the road. When using oils, be sure you do get essential oils and not just fragrance oils for the most effectiveness.

Immune System Support
Before hitting the road it is always a good idea to make sure your own natural immune system is in really good shape and performing at its best. This will give you the most protection from germs you encounter traveling in airports, bus stations, restaurants, public restrooms, and all the other strange environments you encounter. If you are traveling to other countries or places with different altitudes, water, or sanitation than you are used to, your immune system may have to work overtime so you'll want it to be in tip top shape. Echinacea is one of the herbs that has been found to help boost the immune system or that can be helpful to fight off some types of illness if you use it as soon as you begin feeling symptoms. Echinacea has antibacterial and antibiotic properties and can be found as a tincture or as a tea. It works particularly well in conjunction with Vitamin C which is also good for an immune system boost and can be found as tablets or powders. WGP beta-glucan, a special ingredient found in baker's yeast that has been shown to have a number of immune-boosting properties, and a variety of mushrooms that have antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties are some other ingredients to stock up on to boost your immune system. An easy way to get not only the beta-glucan, but also reishi, cordyceps, maitake, shiitake, Turkey Tail, and Agaricus blazei mushrooms, with astragalus and nutritional AFA bluegreen algae is with this immune support supplement.

Cuts, Scrapes, and Infections
Goldenseal powder or All-Heal creams or ointments can be used on cuts to avoid infection and help in healing as they have antibacterial and antibiotic properties. If your cut is bleeding quite a bit, cayenne powder has been used to stop bleeding. If you have a scrape or scratch, tea tree oil is a good natural astringent to clean it up and can be useful to use on fungal conditions like athlete's foot. Atomidine is a special form of iodine that will disinfect any injury and take the pain and sting out of most injuries. Another natural remedy for open cuts or scrapes is to mix spring water with acidophilus and powdered blue-green algae to make a paste. Then apply it to the cut or scrape and either use a bandage or leave uncovered to dry in the open air to support the body's natural healing processes. You can also dilute this paste more and use it for sunburn or skin irritations such as poison ivy. 

Stomach and Digestive Problems
If you find yourself with an upset stomach or feeling nauseous, there are a variety of herbal remedies that can be helpful. Among these are ginger, peppermint, and baking soda. These can help with motion sickness from traveling in a car or by water too and help relieve gas or bloating. If you suspect your upset is of the parasitic variety from unclean water or food, goldenseal can help clear the parasites from your digestive tract. If you have contracted food poisoning then activated charcoal may be a better alternative. This can be used when symptoms include vomiting and diarrhea and if you suspect poisoning then definitely call the poison control center for advice and/or seek out emergency medical care. After treatment for food poisoning, ginger can help to soothe the stomach. Apple cider vinegar works well for several types of digestion problems including indigestion as well as gives a boost to your immune system. Indigestion or heartburn can be helped by drinking baking soda mixed in water. Probiotic supplements can be used during and after an illness to replace gut bacteria that are a necessary part of the immune system functioning. One of the conditions we all dread when traveling is diarrhea. Goldenseal in capsule or powder form can help kill off microorganisms causing diarrhea, but should not be taken if you are pregnant. My favorite natural remedy for diarrhea however is Ume Plum balls or tar which are made from the umeboshi plum. This substance is so concentrated that it appears purplish black and is extremely alkaline. Ume plum tar is great for preventing jet lag and immediately soothing any sort of digestive upset including getting diarrhea under control quickly. If you have the opposite digestive problem and find yourself constipated, magnesium tablets, capsules, or powder can help you out as can taking an extra bifidus probiotic supplement.

Bruises, Swelling, or Soreness
For bruises, swelling or muscle soreness, Arnica is a homeopathic remedy that can be taken as pellets or that you can find in a cream or gel form. This isn't for use on open cuts, but more for those bumps and bruises that leave you feeling sore or for a sprain or strain connected with soft tissue injuries. Magnesium can be found in tablet, capsule or powder form and is useful as a muscle relaxer as well as being soothing to your mood. Anytime you have chronic pain or pain from injury and strains, this stem cell support supplement is a good addition. Having healthy, well-nourished stem cells allows them to help the body repair itself as stem cells can travel to any area in the body and become any other type of cell needed to repair damaged cells.

Anxiety and Stress
Traveling and holiday traveling in particular often brings on anxiety and stress. Rescue Remedy is a Bach flower essence remedy you can find easily in most health food type stores and works wonders on helping relieve anxiety and stress whether it is mental, emotional, or physical. Chamomile is another natural remedy that works well when you need to calm down. It can be found in tincture form or as a tea and not only can help you relax, but also has antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties so it can also help with indigestion and soothe irritated skin. Taking extra probiotics of acidophilus and bifidus also helps reduce stress as your own natural friendly bacteria in your gut aid in the production of B vitamins that help you stay calm in times of stress.

Mouth Pain
For pains of the teeth, gums and mouth, clove oil can help numb the pain until you are able to seek dental help. It also has antibacterial properties so can help keep infections in the mouth from spreading. The oil should be diluted in water and even though you can use it in your mouth, it shouldn't be swallowed.

Headache
For headaches, essential oils of lavender or peppermint work great. You can use lavender oil for aromatherapy and inhale the scent, rub on pressure points inside your wrists and under your nose, or rub it on your temples. It also has the added benefits of anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties and is great for cleaning dirty surfaces that might have germs. You can also get lavender tea to help in relaxing. Peppermint oil can be applied on the temple, behind ears, or on feet to help with headache pain.

Sunburn
Aloe vera is good for relieving the pain of sunburn, other types of burns or scalding, and blisters. You can break off a spine from the plant and squeeze the juice out of it or for traveling find an aloe vera gel.

Cold or Flu Symptoms
Herbal remedies for cold and flu type symptoms seem to work best when you start them as soon as you feel the first symptoms coming on. Goldenseal, echinacea, elderberry, slippery elm, and zinc can be found in lozenge form, tablets, or tinctures and are good for sore throats as well as other cold and flu type symptoms. Eucalyptus oil can be used with steam for inhaling to help with sinus infections as well as cold and flu symptoms. We talked earlier about how probiotics help with digestion and can help boost your immune system, but they can also work like a natural antibiotic. When you feel cold or flu symptoms coming on, take 6 to 8 acidophilus with a glass of spring water and take 2 more every 2 hours until symptoms are alleviated.

Bug Bites
The best way to take care of insect bites is to not get them in the first place. This is when using citronella can be useful. You'll find this ingredient in many herbal type insect repellants. Just remember to use the herbal varieties more often, about every 2 hours, and use more of it than the chemical varieties. If you do get bit, witch hazel extract, baking soda with water paste, or diluted peppermint oil can all help provide relief.

There are many natural remedies that work to relieve ailments if you are looking for alternatives to typical medicines with chemical bases. The ones mentioned here can get you started with some basics to try. Then explore the internet and books for natural remedy treatments and you'll find many, many more to help keep you and your family healthy naturally. Of course there will always be circumstances in which you need to seek emergency medical care or consult with your healthcare provider so none of these remedies is intended to replace competent medical care. But for some small acute conditions, natural is a great way to go.

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Image courtesy of  Mister GC / FreeDigitalPhotos.net/


Sources:
http://matadornetwork.com/life/14-natural-items-for-your-alternative-first-aid-kit/
http://wellnessmama.com/3516/natural-first-aid-kit/
http://www.motherearthliving.com/health-and-wellness/make-your-own-natural-first-aid-kit.aspx

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