Well, so far this summer, we have only gone through about half of my box of band-aids, which come in packs of 60. It’s the middle of June. We’re actually beating last years’ average and thankfully we’ve only had 5 skinned knees, 2 smashed fingers, 0 bee stings (phew!), no sun burns and only a few minor lacerations, bruises and tumbles which are due mostly to growing pains and dyspraxia (that’s the nice way to say “clumsiness”) so far this summer.
Although we are still (mostly) in one piece, this is, of course, only June, and we have another good 2.5 months of summer weather and outdoor play to survive. I’ve been slowly building my natural first aid kit, and there are a few extra things, both in content and quantity, to add to your kit if you have little ones around.
Natural remedies can be extremely confusing, and although I may keep some more elaborate concoctions in my medicine cabinet, I keep my summer-time first aid kit fairly simple because we are on the road, at the park or visiting relatives throughout the summer months, and so I need something that can be thrown in the diaper bag and used in a pinch.
Here is what my kit looks like so far…
My Summer Time Natural First Aid Kit
- Aloe Vera Gel: We have an Aloe plant in our kitchen, but I also have a bottle of all natural aloe vera gel in our 1st aid kit. Great for moisturizing after a day in the sun or for soothing minor burns.
- Band Aids (all shapes and sizes) and gauze + tape – I have 3 kids. I own stock in band-aids.
- Witch Hazel: This is great for minor cuts and scrapes. It’s anti septic and will also help blood clot, so it’s great for superficial cuts, scrapes and even for nose bleeds.
- Peroxide: I keep this in a tiny dark bottle – the longer it’s exposed to light and oxygen, the less effective it is. Another anti-septic option, use only on superficial cuts, scrapes and bug bites to fight infection and clear the wound.
- Citronella-based insect repellent: You can find some great DEET-free bug spray options at your regular grocery store or on Amazon. I’ve used several different brands but you can just as easily add any of the following essential oils to some filtered water in a small spray bottle and apply liberally and often: lemon grass, cedar, geranium, rosemary and peppermint.
- Arnica gel/spray: Arnica is an amazing all-natural ingredient used is soothing sore muscles and tension. If we’ve been out moving all day, hiking or swimming (or even from the muscle kinks of camping!) we apply this as we would lotion and it helps ward off sore, strained muscles.
- Plaintain: Not like the extra large bananas at the grocery store. Plaintain - like the weed in your yard that is ugly and grows everywhere! Bet you never knew it was medicinal! Here’s some great info on using plaintain on bee stings.
- Homemade Chapsticks: great for dry lips after a day at the beach.
- Calendula Salve: This is one of my favorite go-to boo-boo fixers. My girls know that it’s great for skin, so whenever they need something to make them feel better, this is what I hand them. It’s ideal for small scrapes (without much/any blood), and is a great option when they need “medicine” to feel better. I reviewed Frugal Granola’s e-book Herbal Nurturing several months ago and shared her recipe and my review of it here. Also, if you’re looking for a great herbal remedy book, subscribe to Andrea’s posts at Frugally Sustainable and get her new ebook, Herbal Rescue, totally FREE!! (and BONUS: Cheeky Bums contributed to her e-book! We were honored to be part of her project and Andrea did a fantastic job compiling a very thorough and useful collection of herbal remedies!!)
- Benadryl/Epi Pen: This one is anything BUT natural, and thankfully I haven’t had to use it yet as we’ve never encountered poison ivy/sumac or nasty bug bites/stings. However, many people in our families have severe allergies and so I keep this on hand, in the event that we need it.
And that’s pretty much it! This kit is meant for travelling, and these few simple things will cover the most bases for general treatment until we can get home and I can break out all of my oils, herbs, tinctures and science experiments! For a more complete list, you can take a look inside my medicine cabinet or you can start building your own, but these simple items are great for when you’re out and about!
What are some of your favorite herbal remedies for summer?
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P.S. Here is the infamous disclaimer where I make sure that you all understand that: 1.) I am not a doctor, I am a mom and any recommendations that I make come from my own experience, not from a medical background or basis, and 2.) If you’re sick, hurt, or in need of medical help, please stop reading this blog and call your doctor.
originally posted on June 12, 2012