By Sharon Truelove
Can you remember as a child, watching westerns or old war movies where the practicing doctor or medic always had their handy first aid kit with them and ready to use? They’d pop open their magical kit and there were all kinds of wonderfully organized items that were going to help make some one feel better.
When I was little, my mother would take me to the drug store with her and I would wonder off to the “first aide” aisles to see all the various items in neat and organized bins. Band aids, surgical tape, scissors, aspirin…..I was absolutely fascinated!
When I grew up and various first aide needs would arise with my family, I would retrieve my own magical first aid kit. Most people have a shelf in their home that houses what they consider to be the necessary first aide medical items. Putting together your own first aid kit will assure that your first aid needs are more readily available and in one place. This could help to lessen the time spent trying to find various items vs: time lost trying to help someone with a minor emergency.
Let’s build you a first aid kit. All professionals who take care of others should have access to one.
To begin addressing the contents of a first aid kit, ask yourself what are some of the common situations that might require the need of first aid?
- Cuts and scrapes
- Bug bites
- Upset stomach
- Muscle aches
- Bleeding and bruises
- Sore throat, colds, upper respiratory problems
Next, start gathering together some useful hardware items:
- Magnifying glass/glasses
- Razor blades
- Rugged folding knife
- Safety pins
- Cotton tipped swabs
- Variety of sizes of medical adhesive tape
- Band aids
- Strips of sterilized muslin
- Super glue
- Sanitary gloves
Below are common medicinal aides that every kit should have in it:
- Antibiotic cream/Neosporin
- Rubbing alcohol
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Baking soda
Put all the items in a waterproof container.
Let’s not stop with just antiseptics and gauze. Personally, I would include some beneficial essential oils:
- Lavender – calming, sleep aid, insect bites/stings, burns, cuts, dermatitis
- Eucalyptus – respiratory, sore throat, wounds, muscles pain, alertness, pesticide
- Peppermint – indigestion, colds/congestion, headache, stress, energy/alertness, sore muscles
- Rosemary – hair/mouth/skin care, stress, immune system, pain relief
- Cintronella – pesticide, astringent
- Cedarwood – anti-inflammatory, good for seborrhea, tonic, astringent, expectorant, insect repellant, fungicide
- Lemongrass – analgesic, antidepressant, antibacterial, anti-pyretic (fevers), antiseptic, astringent, insect repellant, fungicide
- Bergamot – anxiety, antifungal, psoriasis, vitiligo
- Clove – antimicrobial, antifungal, antiseptic, antiviral, dental/skin care
- Thyme – stimulates circulation, antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic, decongestant
To round out the first aid kit, below are some additional helpful ingredients:
- Epsom salts —When it is absorbed through the skin, (such as a bath), it pulls toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, is a natural emollient, exfoliator, and much more.
- Activated charcoal —reduces absorption of poisonous substances and absorbs chemicals.
- Aloe vera — This plant has been used for thousands of years. It can be used internally and externally. Commonly used as a disinfectant, anti-biotic, anti-microbial, germicidal, anti-bacterial, anti-septic, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory.
- Cayenne — The ingredient capsaicin helps decrease joint inflammation, decreases bad cholesterol, helps normalize blood pressure levels. It is a great blood cleanser.
- Ginger — Great for motion sickness, flatulence, joint pain, and it’s best known as a digestive aid.
- Fennel — has many uses: expectorant, laxative, great for PMS, antispasmodic, antibacterial, helps maintain healthy levels of good cholesterol, full of antioxidants, and good for flatulence.
- Witch hazel — Used to ease the pain of hemorrhoids and varicose veins; digestive complaints, sore throat, swelling, bruising, and skin care.
- Arnica — Great on inflammation: bruises, sun burn, wounds, arthritis and post surgery. Also, known to help muscle soreness, especially due to sprain.
- Calendula — Topically, a salve to treat minor cuts and abrasions, great for chapped lips and diaper rash. Used as a tea, mouthwash for gum and tooth infections, gargle for sore throat, drink for bladder infections and stomach ulcers.
- Slippery elm — used for most all bowel issues: constipation, diarrhea, IBS, GERDS, ulcers. It is soothing for upper respiratory irritation, great for sore throat. Wounds, infection, psoriasis, and burns benefit from this herb.
- Comfrey — aka “knitbone”, it is an anti-inflammatory, and best known for its bone healing properties as well as speedy wound healing.
- Echinacea — Per “Medical News Today”, people have reported using Echinacea for the following ailments: acid indigestion, ADHD, chronic fatigue syndrome, diphtheria, dizziness, genital herpes, gum disease, malaria, migraines, pain, snake bites (in the past Echinacea was also known as: snake root), rheumatism, septicemia-bloodstream infections, streptococcus infections, syphilis, the flu, tonsillitis, typhoid, urinary tract infections, and vaginal yeast infections.
- Willow bark — Used for aches, pains, reducing fever. The first aspirin was made from willow bark.
Homemade first aid kits make wonderful (not to mention) useful gifts.
If you were to put together your own first aid kit, what would you put in it?
If in doubt about any ailment, please see your physician. First aid can help until the person is able to get to a doctor.