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The Herbal First Aid Kit

Please remember that when dealing with potentially serious injuries, first aid is a stop gap measure until adequate medical attention can be found! Follow up on any serious injuries with a qualified physician!


Break off an aloe leaf and scrape the gel to soothe minor burns, scalds, and sunburns. Aloe has tissue regenerative properties and will help heal all wounds.


Arnica cream or oil can be used on bruises or sprains where the skin is not broken. Caution should be used with Arnica however since it can become toxic in high doses.

Calendula Cream

Homemade or storebought, this is antispetic and antifungal. If you make it, try adding comfrey to the cream; it will help speed the healing process.

Clove Oil

Clove oil is an excellent antispetic for cuts and is also useful for treating toothaches. It should be cut with a carrier oil when used on the skin since severe irritation can occur.


Keep squares of gauze or cheesecloth on hand to make compresses. Use comfrey, witch hazel, or arnica for sprains; St. John's Wort for deep cuts; comfrey or witch hazel for burns.

Crystallized Ginger

Chew for motion sickness or morning sickness.

Eucalyptus Oil

This is a good inhalant for colds, coughs, and respiratory infections.

Rescue Remedy

This combination of 5 of the Bach Flower Remedies is effective for shocks and emotional upsets, especially in children.

St. John's Wort Infused Oil

Excellent for minor burns and sunburn.

Slippery Elm

Slippery elm powder is used to make poultices for drawing out splinters and bringing boils to a head.

Tea Tree Oil

Antispetic and antifungal. Useful for cleansing wounds.

Witch Hazel Extract

Use it to treat minor burns, sunburn, and insect bites. Apply to nasal passages to stop nosebleeds. Wash cuts with it to help cleanse them.

Definitions & Making Herbal Preparations


Soak a soft cloth in a hot infusion, decoction, or 5-20 ml tincture in 500 ml hot water. Squeeze out excess water and hold pad against affected area.


A mixture of fats and water that blends with the skin to strengthen and smooth it. Use 30 g lanolin, 15 oz beeswax, 100 g. vegetable or fruit oil, and 30 ml herb water. Melt the lanolin and beeswax in a double boiler, gently stirring in the oil. Remove from heat and whisk in the herb water. Keep stirring as it cools. Store in wide mouth jars.


Made by simmering larger pieces of the herb, such as bark, roots, or twigs. Use 30 g. dried or 60 g. fresh herb to 750 ml water; simmer until the water is reduced to 500 ml. Drink 1/2 cup three times a day.

Infused oils

--Hot infusion: 250 g. dried or 500 g. fresh herb to 750 ml Olive or Vegetable Oil. Heat gently in a double boiler for 3 hours. Strain through cheesecloth into dark bottles.

--Cold infusion: Pack a large jar with the herb. Cover it with cold-pressed oil and put the lid on. Let stand in a sunny window sill for 2-3 weeks. Squeeze the oil through a jelly bag and repeat the process. Store in dark glass bottles.


A tea made by pouring boiled (not actively boiling) water over fresh or dried herbs. Use approximately 30 g. dried or 75 g. fresh herbs to 500 ml water. Drink 1/2 cup three times a day.


To make, pour 500ml of cold water over 25g of herb and leave to stand overnight. Then strain and use as you would a decoction.

Massage Oils

Use 5 drops essential oil to 20 ml carrier oil. Sweet almond, jojoba, avocado or grapeseed make good carrier oils. You can also used infused oils.


A mixture of oils and fats that forms a protective layer over the skin. Melt 500 g. petroleum jelly or soft paraffin wax in a double boiler. Add 60 g. dried herb and simmer gently for 2 hours. Strain through a jelly bag and pour into jars while still hot.


Wrap the chopped or boiled herbs, or a paste made from them, in cheesecloth or muslin before applying to the affected area. This is good for herbs that might irritate the skin, such as mustard.


Boil herbs in a little water for a hot poultice, or bruise or chop slightly for a cold one. Smooth a little oil on the skin to keep the herbs from sticking, apply the herb, and wrap with muslin or gauze strips.

Steam Inhalants

Place a few tablespoons of the dried herb in a bowl and pour boiling water over them. Drape a towel

Herbal Vinegars

Specialty vinegars are becoming ever more popular throughout the country. They are sought after for their culinary uses and as medicinal aids. For those lucky enough to have their own herbs available, here is a simple recipe and method for making your own herb vinegars.

1 gallon jug of white vinegar

assorted fresh herbs
2 Glass Jugs .. 1 gallon size
Plastic wrap

A good assortment of herbs for vinegar, are Oregano, Chives, Garlic, Rosemary, Thyme, Tarragon, and Basil.

Harvest your fresh herbs early in the morning before the sun warms them too much. Wash the herbs thoroughly and pat dry with paper towels. Do not remove the leaves from the stalks, but do use tender, not woody, stalks.

While the herbs are drying .. Wash and sterilize the glass jugs Fill the jugs with the fresh herbs of your choice .. you might try combining Oregano, garlic and chives ... or Tarragon, with a few slices of lemon, ... Rosemary & Thyme make a nice vinegar, and Basil, all by itself is a treat.

Fill the jug to the top with the white vinegar, and cover the jug opening with a piece of plastic wrap, before putting the lid on tightly.

Invert the Jug and place it outside where it will get full sun ... then forget about it for the next 4 to 6 weeks ... you can leave the jugs out longer if you don't have time to decant them.

When you are ready to decant the herbal vinegar .. wash and sterilize smaller containers... some people use canning jars, some use recycled liquor bottles, and some use attractive bottles found at flea markets or yard sales.

Strain the herbal vinegar twice through cheesecloth .. if it still seems a bit cloudy, strain again .. it couldn't hurt (smile). Then simply pour the herbal vinegar into the prepared containers, cap and label them. That's all there is to it. They are ready to use, or give as gifts. Have fun experimenting with different flavors. I like this "Sun Tea" type of brewing the vinegars because the herbal oils slowly leech into the vinegar and do not separate. For those watching their diets, these vinegars can be used on salads with no need to add oil.

Herbal and Natural Alternatives

Chloraseptic - three parts horehound to one part white willow bark, infuse with boiling

water, sweeten with honey or sugar to taste. Drink or gargle with as needed. If sore throat persists, consult your doctor.

Neosporin - boil chickweed *, place in blender, cool. Spread mixture over cut and cover with wet cotton cloth. Remove poultice when it feels warm to the touch, dispose.

Midol - Make a tea of 2-3 parts chamomile to 4 parts white willow bark and 1 part red clover

(optional, red clover adds iron to combat fatigue.) Sweeten with honey or sugar to taste. Drink as needed.

Asprin - Make a tea of 2 - 3 tablespoons white willow bark to 2 cups water. Sweeten with honey or sugar to taste. Drink as needed.

WARNING: Consult your doctor before using this in place ofasprin if you are on asprin

therapy due to a heart condition &. DO NOT give White Willow bark to a child with a fever due the risk of Reye,s Syndrome.

Antacids- Chamomile tea, as needed. Ginger tea as needed. Peppermint to to ease that blaoted feeling and Rasperry tea for nausea. Taking calcium suppliments or powdered oyster

shell may also help lessen acid stomach.

sleep aids - Strong Jasmine or Chamomile tea before bed. Also a tea made of St. Johns Wort,or lavender has proved beneficial St. Johns Wort may be blended with any of these other teas to offset it,s somewhat "aquired" taste. Calcium suppliments may also help more severe cases of sleeplessness.

Anemia - strong red clover tea for milder cases. If you are anemic and vegeterian make sure to eat whole red clover and/or kale as an iron alternative for meat.

Vapor Rub - boil equal parts horehound, eucalyptus and mint*, put in blender and blend until smooth.Apply to chest area and rinse when the mixture cools. A less messy alternative is to make a poultice ofthse herbs in a muslin tea bag and apply till cool and then re-dipping the bag in the strng tea mixture instead of boiling & blending the herbs. It is also beneficial to chest & sinsus congestion to to inhale the scent of the tea as you prepare it.

Astringent - soak lavendar blooms in vodka or everclear for 3 to 7days in a tightly sealed

jar. Pour mixture through cofee filter to strain, keep in airtight bottle or jar and apply to

face as needed. Chammomile & Rosemary may also be added as well for their healing & softening properties. An eye makeup remover /eye oil can also be made using this recipe by replacing a light oil such as Sweet Almond,Sesame,Grape seed etc. .instead of the alcohol. Add a small drop of glycerine as a preservative if made with oil.

To prevent urinary tract infection - Douche after sex (if you are prone to UTI,s because of

this) 3 to 6 times (throughout the course of the day) with a strong infusion of white oak bark. If mild burning upon urination persists or has not lessened by the end of the day consult your doctor.

Herbal Insect Repellent

8 drops Cedarwood essenstial oil 5 drops Eucalyptus essential oil 4 drops Lavender essential oil 2 drops Neroli essential oil 2 drops Lemon essential oil 1 drop Peppermint essential oil 1 drop Cinnamon essential oil 1 drop Clove essential oil

For a refreshing change from the scent of citronella,try the above mixed into two ounces of carrier oil. AVOID CONTACT WITH EYES.

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