I’m frequently asked about what holistic products I use on a daily basis, so this is a first in a series that will cover:
- What’s in my natural first aid kit?
- What’s in my natural makeup bag?
- What’s in my natural medicine cabinet?
- What’s my supplement routine?
Many of these products are items that I’ve settled on after trying numerous brands. All of them fit my strict ingredient standards for purity and sustainability.
I’ve attempted to pare down my Natural First Aid kit to the essential items that I use on a regular basis. Also, the items in my “kit” isn’t neatly consolidated, but these things are distributed around my room and bathroom. If you want to create a handy kit with everything organized neatly, more power to you!
My Natural First Aid Kit contains:
Activated Charcoal Capsules – Activated charcoal capsules (or activated charcoal powder) are a natural remedy frequently used for food poisoning, detox and tummy bugs. For cases of mild food poisoning, I recommend opening the capsules and emptying the contents to get about a tablespoon of charcoal powder. Mix into water and swallow. I also mix activated charcoal with dry bentonite clay, add water to create a paste, and apply this paste to bug bites and blemishes.
Aloe Vera – I have an aloe vera plant so I can apply fresh aloe gel to soothe burns, sunburns and irritated skin.
Arnica Gel – Arnica is an herb that is traditionally used for wound healing and bruises. When I have aches, sprains or bruises, I generously apply Arnica Gel on the affected area up to 6 times per day. I experience pain relief and vastly quicker bruise healing. I keep a tube in my ballet bag and my first aid kit.
Bach Rescue Remedy – I use Bach Rescue Remedy, a homeopathic blend of five flower remedies, both internally and topically. Designed to provide support for periods trauma and stress, I always carry a bottle in my purse so I can take a few drops when I feel anxious. For first aid, I will place a few drops directly on a cut, bruise or burn. I swear that my burns heal twice as quickly when I use Rescue Remedy on them immediately. Another of my uses for Rescue Remedy: I add it to the water for cut flowers. It makes my flowers stay fresh for much longer.
Bentonite Clay – I have both dry Redmond Clay and Hydrated Redmond Clay in my natural first aid kit. The Hydrated Clay is handy for immediate use and I reach for it when I get a bug bite. I put a big dollop on the bite, cover with plastic wrap, and let the clay help draw out the venom for at least an hour. I also use it as a spot/mask treatment for acne. One time, I cut my lip and couldn’t stop the bleeding. I slathered on hydrated clay, which stopped the bleeding. Then, I coated the cut with manuka honey (discussed below). It healed very quickly.
Calendula Salve – I love this Calendula Salve for a myriad of uses. This silky salve is made with only calendula (a healing, soothing herb), olive oil, non-GMO vitamin E and beeswax. I apply it to cuts, burns, dry skin, and scars. My knees and elbows tend to get extremely dry in the winter and I always keep a jar of this salve on my bedside table to soothe the dry skin. This is also excellent for hives, eczema and rashes. It’s a small bottle, but a little goes a long way.
Colloidal Silver – I do not take colloidal silver internally because it is a natural antibiotic (it can kill the good gut flora as well as the bad). But this is my go-to remedy for pink eye… it works in just a few hours for me! I apply a drop or two of colloidal silver directly into my eyes a few times per day when I have pink eye.
Enessa Rescue Oil – (Available here) Although this is more of an investment than some of the other remedies here, I think it is worth every penny. It’s a blend of proprietary antibacterial essential oils blended in jojoba oil. It makes an excellent spot treatment for blemishes and also works well for soothing and healing bug bites. You just need the tiniest dab… a bottle lasts me at least 8 months.
Epsom Salt – Epsom salt baths are my natural remedy for sore muscles. I also use epsom salt for removing splinters. I also love soaking in epsom salt baths to relieve sore muscles – just add 1-2 cups of epsom salt to a warm bath. Finally, it’s a natural laxative that works in a pinch.
Essential oils – Essential oils are a hot topic in the blog world right now, and I take a pretty conservative approach when it comes to essential oils. As little as necessary, not as much as possible is my rule! For my first aid kit, I get by with frankincense oil and lavender oil. Both of these, when diluted with a carrier oil, are super healing for skin problems and bug bites/stings.
First Aid Salve – Make with antiseptic herbs, olive oil, beeswax and non-GMO vitamin E, I use the MJ Botanicals First Aid Salve in place of Neosporin for cuts and scrapes. In a pinch, I apply it to bug bites and blemishes. Like the Calendula Salve, I’ve used this on hives and rashes with good results.
Manuka Honey – Raw Manuka Honey (I use this one) is a special honey made from bees pollinating the manuka tree in New Zealand. It has exponentially higher levels of antibacterial properties than regular honey. I’ll often use this instead of Neosporin on a cut/scrape before applying a Band-Aid. Also, raw honey is proven to speed healing and reduce infection for wounds and burns. I’ve used Manuka honey on a 2nd degree burn and it healed much faster than it would have without it. I also love it as an indulgent mask for my acne-prone skin.
Tallow Balm – Although I don’t have eczema personally, this tallow balm is one of the few topical remedies I recommend for eczema. It’s lightly scented with essential oils and is the best smelling tallow balm I’ve found. You can also use the unscented version. Eczema needs to be addressed internally for lasting results, but tallow balm can be a very soothing “band-aid” remedy while food and digestion are being addressed. I always have tallow balm on hand to use as a heavy-duty skin moisturizer. Also, I credit tallow balm for preventing scarring when I experienced a terrible rash on my jar. I applied it multiple times a day and it drastically improved the healing time.
What’s in your natural first aid kit? Do you use any of the same remedies?
My daughter gets pink eye at least a couple times/year and colloidal silver is the best remedy (well, breast milk is best, but we haven’t had any of that in a few years…), but it does go bad if you don’t use it quickly enough. I don’t use it for much else and find myself trying to buy the smallest bottle possible, because we NEVER get through a whole bottle before it goes bad. It will get a funny smell and very tinny taste to it – I know this because strep throat is my nemesis and I do use it internally occasionally, but still not enough for a giant bottle to be used.
Lauren G (Empowered Sustenance)
Thanks for sharing your experience! I haven’t had a bottle go bad on me yet, but now I will definitely be smelling it before I use it 🙂
Hey Lauren, when I clicked on the link for the Manuka Honey it took me to a link for the Redmond Clay Facial mud. 🙁
Lauren G (Empowered Sustenance)
Sorry! Thank you for telling me, I’ll fix the link.
Super!! Thank you:)
Lauren I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog and ebook. Your knowledge on anything natural is very much appreciated. I am slowly incorporating this into my lifestyle. I can’t say I feel better yet but in time I am sure I will.
I do have a question and I am hoping you can point me in the right direction. I get really horrible migraines before and after my period which I assume happens due to a drop in estrogen. What the heck can I do to prevent or treat it naturally? Last doctors visit had them prescribing me drugs when I said no to them…..I am experiencing it now so I am a wee bit irritated:(
Any help is appreciated.
Lauren, you mentioned essential oils being a hot topic. Are you referring to internal use or external use as well? Thanks! =)
Lauren G (Empowered Sustenance)
I mean that essential oils are popular for using both internally and externally right now. I don’t really recommend using the oils internally (without a practitioner’s guidance) for these reasons: http://empoweredsustenance.com/ingesting-essential-oils/ I like using oils topically 🙂
Thanks! I read that article when you first published it, which is why I think I incorrectly perceived “hot topic” in the negative. =S Thanks for clarifying. =D
Love your site! I have been searching for more natural solutions to my acne/acne scars & your articles have been a great resource!
I was wondering if you had tips for face redness and bumpy skin? I can’t find any mention of these problems in your blog. I have redness on my forehead and on my nose, which makes me look like Rudolph! My forehead also has tens of tiny bumps on the skin, but they aren’t white or red “acne” bumps.
I eat paleo-no grains, dairy, and gluten or soy (other than incidental amounts). I have started honey cleansing but so far have not seen any improvements. 🙁 Any advice?
I’m in the exact same scenario. I found using ACV as a toner after washing my face with honey, they were noticeably less. I still get flare ups (dealing with a big zit right now) but I also accidentally ingested wheat recently so that could be the culprit. Good luck!
This is great info on a natural medicine cabinet!
The tallow balm info is informative. Tell me, does this apply to psoriasis as well as eczema? My dad suffers from psoriasis but it seems there is far more info out on eczema than psoriasis. Is there a short definition between the difference in the two or can you point me somewhere to find the answers? I appreciate your time and any advice you may have.
Great newsletter. I have found Manuka honey, aloe vera, raw garlic, herbs as needed plus more balanced alkaline organic diet with good probiotics and omega 3 EFA ‘s, assessing and cutting out all allergens, trans fats, and replacing with coconut oil, olive oil, avacado, grass fed animal products, has improved my health. No strep throat this year nor head cold, no skin problems. Listening/observing what our body needs or responds to helps us attune to our unique requirements. Thanks for the helpful tips on sourcing and using good first aid.
Dear Lauren, it was so helpful to read your first aid kit recommendations. I am going to now stock up on a few items. I have a question for you. My brother is undergoing aggressive radiation treatment daily for 6 weeks and it has left him with itchy, raw, red, burned skin. He uses aloe but do you suggest anything else tjat may help. He says the itchiness is really challenging. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Erin, My dad used lavender essential oil (in a carrier oil) on his radiation burns and it really helped him.
Shilpa_ My daughter had the same issue with headaches and vomiting. We found a Chinese herbal medicine acupuncturist doc who got her straightened out in just two months with a combo of herbal tea and acupuncture.
Tracey – Thank you. I will have to look in to that. Some months it is totally unbearable 🙁
I also have apple cider vinegar in my natural medicine chest. Great for itching especially from grasses or plants especially poison ivy as it neutralizes the poison ivy oils. It also works on most but bites but not black flys, for that I use magnesium cholride spray. The apple cider vinegar is great also to remove shompoo build up in your hair as I have to shampoo daily especially in the summer, this is the substitute I use. It also removes under arm odors and other sweaty areas of ones body.