Minor First Aid… Some Natural Remedies
If you’ve ever wondered what natural remedies might be helpful on your outings, here’s a list of a few possibilities to add to your existing first aid kit:
(The following list is simply informational, and not meant as medical advice. Consult your local healthcare practitioner for additional information.)
Homeopathic medicines are those which are made in very specific way and can be identified by a number followed by a letter (e.g. 3X, 6X, 12C, 30C, 200C etc.) Most oral preparations are available over-the-counter and given in 30C potency. Oral pellets are taken a few pellets at a time and allowed to dissolve under the tongue. They are inexpensive, convenient to carry and available at most natural health food stores and supermarkets.
Arnica. Arnica is a plant which grows in a variety of climates. It is the number one natural remedy for tissue bruises and injuries without open wounds. The gel or cream can be used topically to lessen the severity of tissue bruising and swelling. Arnica may be taken orally in a single dose of 30C or 200C at the time of injury.
Apis. This homeopathic remedy is taken orally and is often helpful for reducing the swelling and redness of minor bee or wasp stings. This is not meant as a substitute for an Epi-pen.
Belladonna. This homeopathic remedy is taken orally and often is helpful for reducing the immediate symptoms of heat stroke, flushing heat, earaches and deep throbbing pain. This is not meant as a substitute for other first aid treatments.
Cantharis. This homeopathic remedy is taken orally and often is helpful for reducing the immediate symptoms for burns and scalds. This is not meant as a substitute for topical treatments.
Ledum. This homeopathic remedy is taken orally and is often helpful for lessening the symptoms from puncture wounds due to insect bites (like mosquitoes), snakes, barbed wire and occasionally for black eyes. Specific homeopathic remedies are available for particular snake venoms.
Rhus Tox. This homeopathic remedy is taken orally and is often helpful for reducing the immediate reaction of redness and blistering due to poison ivy, oak, etc.
Silica. This homeopathic remedy is taken orally and often is helpful for enabling splinters, cactus needles, porcupine quills, etc. to be expelled from the body. This remedy is typically not used with individuals having any implants or metal pins.
Other Natural Remedies. Often antidotes for plant poisons can be found growing within a short distance from the offending plant. For example, plantain can often be found growing beneath stinging nettles. A plantain poultice can be very helpful in alleviating the symptoms of stinging nettle exposure. So, if you hike often in a particular area, it can be helpful to learn some of these plant combinations.
There are many resources available for learning more about natural remedies –consult your local licensed natural health care practitioner if you have additional questions or a specific interest. Feel free to add your favorites to the list!
Dr. Karen Benton, ND