Herbal remedies are a must-have in your medicine cabinet. Keeping just a few products on hand empowers you to handle many small injuries and boo-boos.
Aloe Vera: Works wonderful to ease the pain of burns, including sunburns and to encourage healing. Aloe is easy to grow and you can use cut a leaf close to the base of the plant. Rinse the leaf and remove the serrated edges of the leaf, next run the knife just under the surface of the leaf and peel it away, repeat this step for the other side of the leaf. Take the remaining gel and store in a glass container in the fridge, apply as needed to your skin.
Tea Tree Oil: Nature’s natural anti-septic and anti-fungal. You can use it full strength or diluted. You can also use it as an insect repellent. Fill a spray bottle with three ounces water, one ounce witch hazel or aloe vera juice, and 24 drops tea tree oil. Tea tree oil can also be applied to insect bites to stop the itching.
Lavender Oil: Provides immediate relief for the sting or itch of insect bites. This remedy also helps in healing burns. Two to three drops added to a carrier oil and massaged into the temples or neck can alleviate a headache or migraine. It is best used at the first sign of the headache. The same mixture can also help relieve minor burns, scalds and sunburn.
Arnica Cream: The first remedy to think of in any case of injury, arnica is used for injuries in the soft parts of the muscles to alleviate bruises, joint inflammation, muscle strain/soreness and minor sprains. You can massage arnica tincture onto unbroken skin every three to four hours to reduce pain and swelling and promote healing. Arnica is available in oil, cream, drops and homeopathic tablets. Do not use Arnica on open wounds.
Bach Rescue Remedy: Helps ease stress and stabilize the emotions during times of upset. It has a calming effect in a wide range of stress-inducing situations. Can be used safely for children after any kind of minor upset or accident or to help them relax at night. It is even recommended for calming pets when traveling.
Calendula Ointment (Pot marigold): Indications: Abrasions, scratches, burns, superficial wounds, gnat bites, and incised wounds. Excellent as a lotion for cleansing wounds and diaper rash.
Symptoms: Skin irritation or injury requiring a smoothing lotion or cleansing. Designed to protect the skin and promote healing, prevent infection. Not to be used for puncture wounds.
Dosage: Apply topically as needed.
Witch Hazel: This astringent is a good topical treatment that can be used as a disinfectant to clean skin, relieve itching and it can also be used as a liniment for sore muscles and growing pains.
Vinegar: Can be used for sunburns, bug bites or most skin eruptions that itch.
Honey: An excellent healer when applied on wounds such as cuts, grazes, scrapes and then bandaged.
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Dr. Jaspreet Mundeir, ND is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor practicing in the East Bay Area. She is the owner of East Bay Natural Medicine where she focuses on helping patients achieve their optimal health state using homeopathy, hydrotherapy, nutritional supplements, botanical medicine and bio-identical hormones.
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