A First Aid Kit is a necessary part of any home or workplace, however if you are looking to reduce your exposure to chemicals, then consider putting together a natural kit using these suggestions. If you are sourcing your herbal first aid kit supplies from a chemist or health food store, look for natural creams/oils/balms that aren’t based on petroleum products.
Lavender Essential Oil: One of the few essential oils that can be applied to the skin undiluted, lavender is useful as a disinfectant, and for insect bites/stings.
Tea Tree Oil: Possibly the best natural antibacterial and antifungal for topical use. Bosisto’s (a brand easily found in stores) now have this available in a spray, which makes application easier.
Arnica Cream: For bruises & sprains, to help aid healing. Caution – do NOT use on broken skin, only use where the skin is intact.
Calendula Cream: Good for cuts, grazes, burns (including sunburn) and for soothing irritated skin.
Potato: This might sound like an odd inclusion, but raw potato can be used for minor burns. Slice a piece of (well-washed and/or peeled) potato, and hold over the affected area, replacing as needed.
Apple: Grate an apple (no skin) and let sit until it goes slightly brown, then eat. For use during diarrhoea/irritable bowel episodes.
Natural Honey: Good for soothing a scratchy sore throat. Manuka honey may also be of use for treating minor burns and skin irritations. If applying to a child, ensure they can’t lick it off!
Coconut Oil: Great for dry, cracked skin. Coconut oil also has antibacterial properties.
Aloe Vera Gel: For burns, especially sunburn. A good brand to try is Thursday Plantation, which you can usually find in health food stores or chemists.
Chamomile Tea bags: Pour boiling water over a teabag, let steep for 5-10 minutes, cool, then use as an eyewash for conjunctivitis, or irritated eyes. You can keep the cooled tea in a clean container in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
Eucalyptus Oil: Use a few drops in a steam inhalation for sinusitis, or colds/flus. You can also mix with a carrier oil (eg almond oil) to make a rub for sore muscles/joints.
Slippery Elm powder: Mix with a small amount of water to form a paste. This can be applied to boils/abscesses/ulcers. It can also be taken internally to help soothe the gut (be sure to take with plenty of water, and at least 2 hours away from any medications).