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Herbal Remedies I Keep on Hand: First Aid/Topicals

Making the transition from western remedies to more natural herbal and homeopathic remedies can be a hard one.  Knowing what to have on hand for everyday ailments and having the courage to throw away the old remedies is difficult.  I'm nowhere near an expert (working on it, though!), but here are some of the herbal remedies I like to keep on hand and what they do.  Most can be found in my Etsy Store, and if not I'll link to where you can buy them (or you can look for a similar product in your local health food store).

Remember you don't need to have ALL of these remedies right away.  Start with the one or two you feel will be most useful to you and your family (example- if you or your children are accident prone, Arnica Salve would be a great place to start!).  Many many common ailments can be treated with household items, so don't worry that you won't have just the right thing on hand to prevent you from turning to conventional meds.

But also remember that there is more to the transition than just changing your medicine.  You also have to alter your expectations.

Disclaimer- don't use anything medicinal, including herbs, during pregnancy without doing extensive (extensive...) research or consulting an herbal professional.  Herbs are potent medicine, and the same kinds of substances that are harmful in OTC meds are harmful in herbal meds (example- herbal anti-inflammatories are as big a no no as OTC anti inflammatories during pregnancy).  Same if you have any underlying chronic health issues or allergies.  In short- I am not a doctor, I am not responsible for what you take, proceed at your own risk:)  (you all know I have to say those things, right?  Don't let them scare you away!).

First Aid/Topicals:
  • Arnica Salve- for general bumps, bruises, and sore muscles (not for open sores). 
  • Calendula Salve- great for soothing sensitive, inflamed, or painfully dry skin.  Can be used on open wounds, and is mildly both antibiotic and antifungal. 
  • Lavender or Tea Tree Oil Salve- antibiotic salve for open cuts and sores.  Either is effective, it's just a matter of preference and sensitivity (some people are sensitive to one or the other).  I prefer lavender because it's also effective when lightly rubbed on the temples for headaches or for general relaxation.
  • Mullein Salve- not the highest priority cream if you're just getting set up, but it's great to use on burns.  What?  An oil on burns?  Isn't that bad?  Yes, it is.  You never, ever put an oil based product on a burn while it's still hot.  However, after you've pulled the heat out mullein salve is great a reducing the pain.  It's also good for hemorrhoids and rashes, so it may be a priority for you if someone in your family is prone to rashes or if you have frequent exposure to and are sensitive to poison ivy, stinging nettle, etc.
  • Green Black Walnut Salve- Another specialty item that I like to have on hand, mostly because I have an abundance of walnuts growing on my property.  But it has proven handy for me- Black Walnut is a strong antifungal, so the salve is effective on athlete's foot, ring worm, and other topical fungal infections.  Black Walnut hull (the part the salve is made from) is also high in natural iodine, so in lieu of other antibiotic ointments it can be used on cuts and sores to kill bacteria.
  • Dr. Christopher's Complete Bone and Tissue Ointment- This is a great all purpose ointment, but I prefer to save it for the really serious injuries.  I don't so much like it for burns or open sores, although it can be used for both.  I prefer it for deeper problems, like joint pain, super sore muscles, etc.  I helped one of my roosters recover from a mystery leg injury with this stuff (what can I say, my medicine cabinet is also THEIR medicine cabinet!).
,Stay tuned for the next installment in this series- up next is Preventative herbal preparations!

This post has been shared at the Healthy Home Economist's Monday Mania, Kelly the Kitchen Kop's Real Food Wednesday, Real Food Forager's Fat Tuesday, Food Renegade's Fight Back Friday, Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl Friday, Simple Lives Thursday at GNOWFGLINS, Keep It Real at Beyond the Peel, and Homestead Revival's Barn Hop.


Herbal pain Relief said...

I read your blog. Its so nice and also provide such a good knowledge for us. I really like it, Thanks to write this blog.

Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily Farm Girl said...

New follower here from Homestead Revival. I would love for you to come share at my weekly Farm Girl Blog Fest: Hope to see you there! Lisa/Fresh Eggs Daily

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