2015 has been a year of changes for our family and one of the biggest was that we pretty well walked away from most chemicals in our home. Sure, we still have a few left that we have to work on, but for the most part, we are a chemical free home. This means we use all natural cleaning supplies, all natural personal care supplies and most importantly, all natural medicines and treatments. I remember when I first brought up making these changes to my hubby, Tom. He gave me the typical response that a lot of folks get when they start talking about going “crunchy.”
“I don’t know about all that new age stuff.”
Cue the Gibbs slap and a bit of education. While the 60’s and 70’s made natural healing more of a mainstream thing, using nature to heal our bodies (among other uses) has been a practice since ancient times. Ancient Egyptians and further back all knew the healing power that a specific plant or oil could have. Their use is even mentioned in the Bible in multiple places. Yes, the same Frankincense and Myrrh that were brought to celebrate the birth of Christ are the same Frankincense and Myrrh that I have in my essential oil storage box. A couple thousands of years later of course, but the same oil used for the same things now that they were back then.
So needless to say that when we started ditching chemicals, one of the first places I went to was our first aid kit. While I’m absolutely positive that there are more than 10 items that you will want to include, these 10 natural first aid items are must haves. Currently our first aid kit involves over 30 different products, but these 10 are the base items and they’re all a fantastic place to start for folks wanting to add a little bit of “crunchy” to their life.
The thing to remember when using natural first aid products is that they generally won’t work as quickly as commercial products. There are some that will but for the most part they will take the better part of an hour or sometimes longer to work. Honestly? I would rather have a product that takes a few more minutes to work than a product that could say…kill my liver such as one specific over the counter pain medication.
10 Must Have Natural First Aid Items
When you first start detoxing your medicine cabinet, make sure that you don’t go off of any medications that you’re already taking without talking to your doctor. That only leads to bad juju in the long run and avoiding health issues is the whole point of going natural. I wanted to make that perfectly clear before we start. We are not doctors here at Six Dollar Family so please, please, please always check with your doctor before making any major changes. With that said, natural first aid items and natural “medicines” are much better for your overall health and the health of your family so if you can reasonably make the switch, I highly recommend that you do. These 10 items are where you will want to start:
Epsom Salts – Epsom salts are great for more than making homemade bath salt scrubs. When used properly they can be used as a laxative or a healing soak to reduce swelling in hands or feet, and included in a hot pack to reduce swelling in other injuries as well.
Home grown herbs – There are a ton of herbs that you can grow right in your home that all have medicinal properties like Mint and Thyme. Adding these to your natural medicine cabinet is more than smart. Not only will you have them on hand for health reasons, but you’ll also have them for cooking tasty tasty meals!
Coconut Oil – Coconut oil is one of the base ingredients in a lot of homemade ointments and salves so it’s important to have around. In addition to that though you’ll also find that the oil by itself has medicinal properties that can help too such as being a great moisturizer for dry skin. I keep both solid coconut oil and fractionated coconut oil on hand. Fractionated is great as a carrier oil for essential oil blends.
Lavender Oil – Lavender essential oil is a must have in our natural first aid kit. Not only can it help calm cranky babies and help you get to sleep, but it is also great for treating acne, soothing bug bites, taming a headache and more. Since it is safe for infants when used correctly, it makes it a great addition for a homemade diaper rash cream.
Peppermint Oil – Peppermint essential oil is another must have. It can be used for everything from soothing a tummy ache or head ache to helping with irritable bowel syndrome and heartburn. It’s also a great addition to pain creams since its cooling effect can help loosen tight muscles or added to a soothing bath soak recipe to help both relax muscles and energize at the same time.
Tea Tree Oil – Tea tree oil might not smell the greatest but it’s perfect for keeping around for cuts and scrapes since it has anti-septic properties. You can also keep fleas and lice from your home by adding a few drops to your shampoo bottles. It can also be helpful in preventing fungal infections like athletes foot.
Vitamin E Oil – Vitamin E oil has many uses in a natural first aid kit, but its most important one is that it can help preserve any homemade healing salves or creams that you make. In addition, it’s also fantastic for extremely dry skin and can even be used on your lips to soften them.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil – Skip the store bought Vicks and instead, make your own with Eucalyptus oil. Eucalyptus oil stays in our first aid kit because of the fact that we all have severe allergies and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better treatment for allergies and colds. Not only that but it also has antimicrobial and antiseptic properties making it great for cuts and scrapes.
Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple Cider vinegar is awesome in the kitchen, but its just as awesome in the medicine cabinet! Used with other natural remedies, it can help control high blood pressure and diabetes. It can also help lower cholesterol, ease a sore throat, soothe skin issues and more.
Raw Honey – Honey is good for more than just sweetening foods. It is a natural antibiotic, can help heal cuts and scrapes and locally gathered honey can even help with seasonal allergies. The best part is that it will never expire and tastes great! Make sure that you are buying real honey and not counterfeit stuff and that you are using raw honey because processed loses a lot of its benefits.
Like I said in the beginning of the post, these aren’t all you’ll want to add to your natural first aid kit, but its a GREAT list of items to get started with!
Looking for more natural products you can make? Check these out!