Natural First Aid & Illness Kit

How to make a natural herbal medicine chest for first aid and illness

Despite our best attempts to live a healthy and toxin free life, there are times when illness or injury strike. In some of these cases (like trauma) conventional medical treatment is certainly warranted and I’m certainly grateful that medical treatment is available if needed.

But what about the times when the illness or injury is not life threatening, but merely uncomfortable or limiting? While our first instinct (especially as parents) may be to get medication to mediate symptoms, there are often natural remedies that don’t interfere with the body’s own immune responses and which can help ease uncomfortable symptoms.

Many of these natural remedies can also be used in the comfort of your own home, rather than having to take yourself or your ill or injured child to a doctor and expose them (and  others) to more illness.

The following is a list of what is in my “First Aid Kit” and is a combination of remedies I’ve tested myself, ones suggested by a naturopathic doctor, and ones that I hope to never need! Please note that I am not a doctor and don’t play one on the internet, so this list is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be used as a replacement when medical attention is needed!

Herbs in My First Aid Kit

Note: Almost all of the below herbs are available here and are of excellent quality. Since they are just loose herbs, they do take preparation in some cases, but buying them here is a less expensive alternative to capsules or pre-made remedies. I personally get most of my herbs this way and make my own tinctures and salves. If you decide to order through Mountain Rose Herbs, just use the search box in the top right hand corner to find the herbs you’d like to order.

Activated Charcoal: For acute use in food poisoning, intestinal illness, vomiting, diarrhea, ingestion of toxins, etc. Also keep the local poison control number on hand in case a child ingests a toxic substance and immediately take a child to the hospital if he/she has swallowed a battery or magnet!

Arnica– Topical creme used for muscle pain or injury, bruises or any type of trauma. We’ve found that it greatly reduced healing time or bruises and sore muscles when used topically right after injury. Not for internal use or use on open cuts.

Cayenne Powder– Though this is a good addition to many foods, it is even better to have in a medicine cabinet. I keep a few cayenne capsules in my purse as well. Topically, cayenne powder helps stop bleeding rapidly. I’ve read cases of it being taken internally during heart attacks to increase blood flow and help clear blockage, though thankfully, I’ve never had to test this one. It is also a useful remedy to take internally during illness as it increases blood flow and speeds recovery.

Chamomile– I order this in bulk from Mountain Rose Herbs (and keep in the freezer). I use it to make a relaxing tincture that helps calm kids if they are ill or just have trouble sleeping. The tincture also works wonders on teething gums. The dried flowers can also be made into a poultice with some gauze and placed on an eye for 15 minutes every hour to reverse pinkeye rapidly (usually works in a couple of hours). Brewed as a tea, chamomile is a relaxing drink at night and the tea can be cooled and rubbed on the stomach of colicky infants to help sooth them. I sometimes add some brewed chamomile tea to the kid’s bath as it is great for the skin and promotes relaxation. I keep the tincture in my purse at all times.

Comfrey-An external herb that promotes healing from injuries and broken bones. A poultice made with plantain and comfrey that is placed on a wound can greatly reduce the healing time and help prevent and reverse infection. I make a homemade “Neosporin” with this and other herbs and use it on bug bites, cuts, bruises and poison ivy. It is available here and it is best to keep the dried herb on hand for poultices and homemade salves.

Eucalyptus Herb and Essential Oil– I keep on hand for respiratory type problems. We use eucalyptus herb in a face steam for congestion or sinus troubles and I make a mild (and petroleum free) version of Vapo-Rub for coughing and respiratory illness. The essential oil can be diluted with coconut oil or olive oil and be applied externally to the feet and chest to help open nasal passageways.

Ginger Capsules– Ginger is great for nausea, reflux, stomach trouble and morning sickness. I also keep some in the car for motion sickness. It helps sooth the stomach after a digestive illness or food poisoning.

Echinacea– I keep a homemade echinacea tincture on hand for severe illnesses. I don’t use it as a first resort, but it is helpful in prolonged illnesses.

Peppermint Herb and Essential Oil Another great digestive herb. For upset stomach or digestive illness, the herb is made into a tea. The tincture can be used internally or externally for headache or digestive troubles and when combine with a few other digestive herbs, it makes a highly effective digestive aid and nausea remedy. The essential oil applied behind the ears and on the feet helps alleviate headache or nausea and a weak tea made from the herb and rubbed on the skin can help sooth a colicky baby. We also use the essential oil in our homemade toothpaste. The herb and oil are both available here.

PlantainGood to have the loose herb on hand. It actually grows in most places in the summer and looks like the picture at the right. You’ve probably pulled it as a weed without knowing it.  It is a natural remedy for poison ivy, cuts, scrapes and bites. In a pinch, I’ve picked some from the ground, chewed and put it on a bee sting… it immediately relieved the pain. I keep the dried herb on hand at all times to make into a poultice for bites, stings, cuts and infection. My most recent use was on a confirmed brown recluse bite and a combination of plantain and comfrey in a poultice kept the bite from eating away the tissue and helped it heal completely.

Slippery Elm-Helpful for sore or irritated throat or when you lose your voice. These lozenges taste great and are helpful for kids with sore throats. The herb itself can be used in tinctures or teas for sore throat relief.

Other Remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar– I keep a bottle of organic Apple Cider Vinegar with “the mother” on hand for digestive troubles, indigestion, food poisoning and more. Taken in a dose of 1 teaspoon per 8 ounces of water every hour, it helps shorten the duration of any type of illness, though it is tough to get kids to take it willingly.

Vitamin C– Helpful for all illnesses, but especially flu-related illnesses. I keep the powder on hand because it is additive free and can be mixed into food or drinks to get the kids to consume it.

Aloe Vera Plant-We have one growing in the house for burns and blisters.

Epsom Salt-Good as a bath soak for sore muscles. Dissolved in water, it can also be a good soak to help remove splinters.

Hydrogen Peroxide-I keep several bottles on hands at all times. Besides using in my homemade OxyClean and for cleaning out wounds, it can help prevent ear infection and shorten duration of respiratory illness. At the first sign of ear infection or illness a dropper full of Hydrogen Peroxide can be put in the ear. The person then leaves the peroxide in for 15 minutes or until it stops bubbling and repeats on the other side.

Homemade Neosporin (recipe here)-  I make my own “Neosporin” Healing Salve (no petroleum needed). I keep it in small tins and in lip chap containers for on-the-go size. This “boo-boo lotion” as my kids call it, is used on cuts, bruises, rashes and anything else antibiotic ointment could be used on.

Witch Hazel I keep a gallon on hand for use on cuts, scrapes, and in cosmetic uses. It makes a great skin toner and is good for postpartum bottom 🙂

Gelatin– I take gelatin regularly for its health benefits, but I also keep it on hand for first aid and illness. The natural gelatin in homemade chicken soup (from the bones and tissue) is one of the things that makes it so nourishing during illness. During any type of illness, the afflicted gets gelatin in various ways: in food, homemade jello, smoothies, in hot tea, etc. After surgeries or when there especially bad cuts that might scar, I also give gelatin to speed skin healing. There is evidence that it is also effective in improving blood clotting when used externally on a wound, though I have not tested this.

Baking Soda-Also a good remedy to keep on hand. For severe heartburn or urinary track infections, 1/4 tsp can be taken internally to help alleviate quickly. It can also be made into a poultice and used on sider bites.

Probiotics-These are the strongest probiotics I’ve found and we use them during any illness and after the illness to repair gut bacteria. I’ve seen clients improve skin conditions with regular use of probiotics, and I especially recommend them to pregnant mothers, as newborn babies receive their gut bacteria from their mother and this can make a tremendous difference in if baby will get ear infections or illness in the first months. For children who get constant illness and ear infections, probiotics can also really help.

Coconut Oil– I’ve said it before, but I am to coconut oil as the dad in My Big Fat Greek Wedding is to Windex. From skin salve, to diaper creme, to makeup remover, to antifungal treatment, I use coconut oil for everything. I keep some in the first aid kit to add remedies to to take internally, to use to apply tinctures and help absorption externally and for dry skin and chapped lips. There is also growing evidence that daily consumption of 1/4 cup or more of coconut oil can help protect against Alzheimer’s and nourish the thyroid.

Other Supplies:

Butterfly Bandages
Gauze

Superglue– On minor to moderate skin cuts (not puncture wounds) use superglue and butterfly bandages. I’ve used this instead of stitches several times and it healed faster and left less scarring than the places I’ve had stitches. Especially good for face and other visible areas that scar easily or in hair where other bandages can be difficult to apply. I’ve also use on fingertips or knuckles (I’m infamous for grating knuckles while cooking) or other places where band aids won’t stay well.

Strips of sterilized muslin cloth in plastic bags for wrapping wounds.

Cut off wool sleeves from old sweaters to cover bandages and hold ice packs

Hot water bottle

Enema kit

Bulb syringe and NoseFrida for helping with congestion in children

Assorted bandages and gauze

Homemade ice pack (just freeze liquid dish soap or rubbing alcohol in a double-bagged- ziplock bag and use as an ice pack.

Do you use any natural remedies for illness or first aid? Share your tips below!

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  1. Love Love Love your little handy hints. I recently had a bout of food poisoning and remembered reading about your home remedy. I didn’t have any charcoal on hand but the apple cider vinegar really helped – so thanks from your little Aussie follower 🙂

  2. Thank you!  I’ve needed to give my cabinet an overhaul and now I have a list:)

  3. wait, superglue on cuts? please elaborate.

    • Superglue is a great alternative to “stitching up” cuts than going to the doctors and getting stitches. Super Glue was originally used to help put together open wounds out on the battle field, mostly cuts. Just clean up the cut and apply the super glue. The glue will come off on it’s own eventually.

      • Oh, don’t apply the super glue over wool or cotton (cotton balls). It will generate a chemical reaction that heats up and releases a smoke. if the wool or cotton is on your skin, it could result in a chemical burn from the heat. This only happens when the glue is still wet, the glue is harmless when dry, and water proof.

    • Just hold them together and glue. Works wonders, doesn’t sting to apply and less bothersome than a bandage..

      • I had heard this but was too scared a Doc said it MUST be special derma-bond glue and ended up getting stitches for my son’s 2 facial cuts that were all the way clean to the skull(you could see white bone at the bottom of the wound and the surgical tape would not hold it shut Doc confirmed it before sewing it shut both times) but I did use medical tape to “butterfly” shut his eyebrow that took a good chunk out so this would be same type of idea? how deep can one superglue? 2 years ago I had a 3.5″ laceration in bck of my calf going all the way to the muscle and the stitches barely held so I’m guessing the glue has its limits but how deep would you think it would hold?

        • I’ve only used on cuts that went through skin only… I’d take anything deeper to a doc to at least be checked out, but it has worked great on skin cuts, especially on fingers (which I occasionally slice when cooking…)

        • As a nurse, I can tell you that superglue is the goto. There isn’t always that special dermabond available…which is just a superglue hybrid….hope this helps

        • I had a cut on my cheekbone like that. Didn’t have an superglue handy, but yes it would have worked. Instead I used duct tape. The laceration went to the bone but you can barely see a scar. Due to the adhesives making a tight bond the skin can fuse together easily without having to grow new tissue to fill in (scar tissue). There is less scarring with duct tape and superglue than there is with stitches and staples. You don’t want to go deep, you only want to hold together the outer layers of skin. Never put superglue in an open wound, hold it shut then put the glue over it to seal.

    • Superglue has long been the secret for a number of trades, especially sheet metal workers and glaziers… they often get cuts and a quick dab of the superglue and they are back to work… works on deep paper cuts / cuts from knives and razors too… BTW, great info Kate

  4. Thank you so much for this. 🙂  It’s like you have my dream first aid kit in your own home!  🙂  Just a heads up-my mom uses witch hazel to soothe her sciatica!  I am loving the list and, one day when I have this same first aid kit in my home, I’ll be printing it out to go inside the kit area for quick reference!  Thank you!

  5. I’ve been using coconut oil as a makeup remover and it works great (better than anything I’ve ever used) and is good for my dry skin.  The only problem I have with it is that no matter how much I try to avoid it, my eyes are cloudy and fuzzy for hours afterward.  It seeps in no matter what I do!  How do you avoid this?  Does anyone have any suggestions?

    • I use grapeseed oil and have great luck with removing my makeup.

  6. I know you use Tropical Traditions, but do you use both the gold label and green label  or one or the other? Just curious if maybe you use one to consume and one for various other applications?

    • We mainly use the gold label for food use and I’ve used all of the others for cosmetic use and all seem to be great for other applications. To save money, I just stick to the gold for eating…

  7. Great list!  I also use a tincture of astragalus to keep the immune system healthy – as well as drinking echinecea tea regularly during cold/flu season.  It must be working – everyone in my office is out with the flu and I’m still going strong.  I think eating Paleo keeps the immune system strong.

  8. Hi! Love your site, it keeps me inspired!
    Just wondering about eh Hydrogen Peroxide for ear infections. Do you just put it in straight, or diluted? I have the 3% solution at home, and would love to try. My partner has been struggling with ear infections (and much more) over the last few weeks.
    Thank you! Violet

    • Just undiluted 3% straight into the ear… even used it in the kids this way without problem.

      • Have you used tea tree oil mixed with coconut oil? I use it with my doctors endorsement. I don’t like H202 personally because it gets in my inner ear and makes me dizzy. My doc doesn’t like it because it can get trapped under wax it’s trying to dislodge and put pressure on the ear drum.

  9. Does regular Apple cider vinegar work for tummy troubles or does it have to have “the mother”?

      • So what is “the mother”? And I was also wondering about the Echinacea you said you have handy but never used. Exactly what would you use it for?

  10. Any suggestions on internal pain (as in, menstrual cramps)? I can’t live without my advil for those four days every month…

    • taking magnesium regularly may help the cramps eventually go away. Also, a natural progesterone cream (applied to arms, stomach, legs, etc) for the second half of each cycle often really helps the cramps. If it is really bad though, I’d take the advil rather than have the stress of being in pain and annoyed. I take about 4 advil total after each baby to get past the after cramps too…

      • Arnica pellets are amazing for afterbirth pains, maybe they’d work for cramps?

      • GLA is great for prevention of cramps and all things PMS related. I didn’t believe it until I tried it.

        • Cool, haven’t seen a recommendation for GLA for dysmenorrhea before & I’ve been reading up on that for MONTHS. Thanks for another avenue to explore.

          Right now I’m trying Maca capsules & raspberry leaf tea, so we’ll see if those help. The most relief I’ve personally received has been with Vitex throughout the month & Black Cohosh a couple days before until the last day of symptoms. A couple days before, I take about 30mls 3x/day. As soon as my period starts, I’ll drop it down to 5-10 drops, but every hour or two. It’s ends up equalling the same dosage at the end of the day. For me, Black Cohosh has worked better than Cramp Bark & usually herbalists rave about Cramp Bark. Either way though, it gets me through without any using any pills. (I used to take 800mg every 5 hrs, plus tylenol sometimes — waay too much.)

          I’ve also heard Black Haw is best for cramps with a heavy flow, but I haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet. If the Maca doesn’t help, that’ll be my next experiment.

          • A drop or two of clary sage essential oil dissolved in half a teaspoon of carrier oil (coconut, sweet almond, grapeseed, emu, etc.) and rubbed on the lower belly works wonders on menstrual cramps.

      • My daughter has recently started using an application of Clary Sage EO to her stomach and feet. She hasn’t gone far enough into her cycle yet to tell if it’s working., though. She has pretty bad endometriosis so is really hoping it helps.

    • Dong Quai Red Date Tea works wonders for me

    • If you must take an OTC med, Naproxyn/Alleve targets menstrual pain more specifically than Ibuprofen/Advil. It acts directly on two of the prostaglandins, the imbalance in which causes cramping of the uterus.

    • Ginger is known for it’s pain relieving properties and a recent study showed it to be as or MORE effective than NSAIDs. Take it as a tea, tincture, in capsules or, my favorite, in a bath.
      Run a bath and add a couple cups, or more, of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) along with some ginger essential oil or straight up powdered ginger. Have a cup of ginger tea while you soak!
      Cayenne can also be taken internally via capsules. It is known for its pain relieving properties as well. Just be sure to take with food or you will feel even worse!

    • Calcium and magnesium starting five days before your period

    • Also epsom salts baths if you are crampy

    • I know this is an old post, but I can’t help but share this b/c I used to be so bad w/ cramps, I would get physically sick unless I constantly took advil.

      Meta i-3-C (from Metagenics); it’s a dietary supplement and it’s helped me with a lot of symptoms (PMS, strong cramps, etc). I had barely need the advil anymore. I take it twice a day per dr recommendation.

    • For menstrual cramps I’ve not found anything that works better than blue cohosh. It’s amazing!

      • Black cohosh is used for menopause isn’t it? So what is the real difference between the two colors?

    • Cramp bark tincture for menstrual cramps works great. 1-2 tsp every 3-4 hours

    • For menstrual pain I’ve been taking broad leaf plantain tincture regularly and have had wonderful results moderating my hormones and thus pain. I’ve seen lots of relief from menstrual distress by taking any kind of herb is used for cleaning the liver. Plantain got rid of my acne too.

  11. Wow, this is a fantastic list! I never though of using some of the herbs this way. I have quite a few of these herbs in my soap making kit for aromatherapy, as well as making natural teas.   Do you just use a mortal and pestle for making some of medicine, or the full herb? Sorry, a bit curious since I have been looking at growing some of these fresh for my soap hobby 🙂

    • Usually cut and sifted, or mortar and pestle…

      •  Thanks! I am also going to check out the supplier you use.  I’m curious if they are cheaper than my soap one 🙂  Also, sorry for editing my post above. I saw a typo and had to fix it.  I was looking at your site last night at like 1 am. You have so much fun information!

  12. Do you have any suggestions for ear infections? Also thoughts on causes of reoccurring ear infections? Trying to avoid surgery (tubes) for a friends 1 year old.

    • Recurring are almost always diet related (grains and dairy most often). Externally, hydrogen peroxide in the ear will help, or Wally’s Ear Oil. Coconut Oil internally can also help shorten the duration.

    • fYI, my sons are now 17 and 14. my first son had a few ear infections and I didn’t understand it at all. How they occurred and why the antibiotics worked , then he’d get another one. I met a woman who was quite crunchy and her husband aw an audiologist, not a doctor, who had an entire file of info on ear infections that he let me read. after looking all of it over,I did as he recommended and refused to medicate my sons next ear infection. To y surprise, the illness had the exact same duration and severity with one exception. One tiny spot of blood, like a pin prick, on his pillow one night, the obvious sign of a ruptured eardrum. The pain and crying ceased and he never got another ear infection and in fact has been very healthy. My youngest had one suspected ear infection which went untreated and didn’t cause a rupture but resolved on its own within a week and never recurred. treatment for ear infection? IMO, no treatment needed. Usually resolves on its own and it’s better in the long run for the immune system if it does. A small rupture is of no consequence. Moms and Dads need to do their research on this issue because we are ruining our children’s own defenses bu treating it unnecessarily

      • I don’t understand your experience but when it happened to my kids I would do anything to ease their pain! My daughters ears were oozing and causing other marks on her skin! She needed treatment.

    • We swear by H2O2, garlic drops in the ear and/or doTerra Basil EO behind the ear. It depends on who has the ear infection as to what we do. All three work great!

  13. What’s the enema kit for?

  14. I have been going natural since my son was born 9 months ago, making all of my own products, eating healthier, and taking various supplements that I’ve chose for good health. By 2013, I will have accomplished my goal- I have lotion bars and my first aid kid left- I am so excited to have this list- you are by far one of the best bloggers I come to see what you have!! P.S. there are only 2 others that I adore as well- but you’re great and I knew you would have what I need. I live in a rural area with a lot of people who think I’m crazy for doing any of this- you give me a peace of mind. I’ll be trying this in the next few weeks!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

  15. NOT that I actually believe everything that “The Doctors” television show says, but they did say not to use hydrogen peroxide in a wound since it kills all the protective bacteria and I have to agree with that. Can’t you just use coconut oil? I’ve even heard from many moms that it can heal ear infections. Oily ears might not be so pleasant though.

    • For wounds, I actually like oregano oil and cayenne pepper to kill the bacteria, but still have the hydrogen peroxide on hand because with my boys (and brothers in laws) we’ve had a few injuries where there was a potential exposure to some really bad stuff in lake water, etc, in which case the hydrogen peroxide is a lesser evil than a staff infection, but for most cases, I definitely agree..

  16. Any advice on the stomach bug? My daughter has been fighting MRSA on her arm and so we had to do oral antibiotics, however after 2 complete rounds and now on our 3rd plus a topical one, her immune system is weak. She takes probiotics daily and eats greek yogurt. Yet at 4am this morning she woke vomiting. Usually I brew ginger tea and combine it with ACV (raw) once tea is cooled to room temp and give it in a syringe. Any other advice? I feel so bad for the poor little one. 4 years old, her gymnastics demo tonight and preschool party tomorrow. Any advice on how to keep the rest of us from getting it? Besides, hand washing, laundry of blankets, towels, sheets, etc. and bulking up our probiotics?

    • What about Colloidal Silver? Topically & orally.

    • This in an old comment but Active Manuka Honey is great for MRSA. Make sure it’s activated. It’s a special honey from Australia and New Zealand from bees that favor the Manuka tree. I get mine from manuka honey USA- they are a great source of info.

      • I know this comment was awhile ago but DoTerra Onguard Plus capsules – been proven to fight MRSA. Research it and determine on your own. Hope all is well.

  17. This is a fabulous resource! I’m going to print it out and keep it accessible! I already order from Mountain Rose Herbs and couldn’t be happier with their products, but it looks like I now need to add a few things to my next order! One quick question … Do you have a comprehensive resource that you could recommend on herbs and their many uses? I would love to have a complete resource at my disposal that I can thumb through when seeking a natural treatment for a specific ailment. Since you have such a great herbal knowledge base, I thought you might have a trusted book or source you could recommend. Thanks!

  18. I have a million questions. I’m especially fascinated with the chamomile, but in the back of my mind it seems like I read that I shouldn’t take it while pregnant. Is that true?

    I’ve been drinking raw ACV religiously the last several weeks and it has eliminated my pregnancy reflux and the pregnancy burps. I’ve been taking extra to fight off a bug. The only part that seems to be winning is this annoying cough. That tickly cough that offers no relief. I mix 2 cups water with 2 tbsp ACV, 2 tbsp regular cider (just for flavor purposes), a tbsp raw honey, cinnamon (although I think last night that aggravated the cough tickle), a drop of lemon essential oil and a drop of On Guard essential oil. The On Guard is the only thing I added the last few days since I’ve been fighting this bug. Before I was just drinking it in the morning, but now I take it at night too with the cough. My kids are coming down with it and I cannot convince them to take it. It may completely take them over, but I can’t pour it down their throats.

    I’m pregnant with number 6, and all 5 of my other babies have had bad reflux. We use a Tucker Sling and Wedge to keep them elevated (which helps a lot!) among other natural remedies. The medications don’t stop the reflux, just make it not burn, and these other measure seem to help more. Anyway, I wish there were some way to give the AVC to my baby to help the reflux, but it tastes horrible! I wonder if the benefits can be passed on through my breast milk. But I also wonder if the ACV will negatively affect the flavor of my breast milk.

    I make a comfrey tea for healing, but I also used a comfrey oil (by Dr. Christopher) and applied it topically to help heal my diastasis, well to repair the connective tissue while I was doing exercises to bring the muscles together.

    What do you give for internal pain? One of my boys gets growing pains in his legs and has since he was teeny (he’s 6 now). I give him motrin and rub his legs. I always hits around 11 pm. If I just rub and don’t give meds then he is back within the hour. What would you give for that or earache pain?

    How do you use hydrogen peroxide for respiratory illnesses?

    I’ve had all c-sections (the first was with my triplets), and I’ve elected not to do a VBAC bc to me the risks are too great and not worth the danger. So number 6 will also be c-section. That means no populating the gut during delivery. So what do I do? We drink raw milk, and since we started that we haven’t needed probiotics. Do you think that is enough for me? I drink about a cup a day but could drink more if I need to. I just love water and tend to mostly drink that. Or should I take the ones you recommend?

    I probably have more questions but will stop with that for now.

    • I stick to Chamomile tea while pregnant since it is lower concentration and generally considered safe while pregnant.
      Depending on kids’ ages, we do herbal face steams, epsom salt baths, elderberry and slippery elm tea for coughs…
      I take ACV while nursing and haven’t seen any issues with milk taste. Have you ever done an elimination diet while nursing to see if there could be a food intolerance causing the reflux?
      My daughter gets growing pains occasionally and I give chamomile tincture internally and rub chamomile and peppermint tinctures externally…
      We use hydrogen peroxide in the ears until it stops bubbling at the first sign of illness…
      After birth, I personally refuse the antibiotic eye drops (which can get rubbed in to mouth and start populating in the gut) and use my finger to rub probiotics into the baby’s mouth before each nursing session to help with beneficial gut bacteria and I also take a lot of probiotics while nursing…

      • Nighttime leg cramps are often caused by a magnesium deficiency. I started taking Natural Calm (http://amzn.to/1b8kWs0) before bed when I was pregnant, and it eliminated my charley horses. Now my 5 yo daughter drinks her “lemon tea” every night and no longer gets leg cramps either.

    • Milk Kefir and Water Kefir and cultured veggies are all very cheap just buy the cultures and strain and use the kefirs just replace with new milk or sugar water depending on type of kefir and its super cheap and very powerful probiotics the cultured veggies can be made with salt or culture packs check out http://www.culturedfoodlife.com she is awesome. I think the probiotics will help your kids my 4mo old baby was getting relly spitty uppy and wold not settle when he was 3 weeks old one dip of y finger in goat milk kefir in his mouth 3 minutes later he settled and went to sleep for his usual ammount of night sleeping and was great when he awoke. Good luck!

  19. Call me old fashioned! Very thankful to have this available in the blogosphere, However, for personal ongoing reference I prefer a will indexed text. Is there a book you can recommend – or perhaps have you collected this info into an e-book I can download and print/

    • Pin it on Pinterest & index it yourself that way. Great place to store this kind of thing.

    • A home remedies ebook would be pretty cool… if you can stomach the idea of a new book so soon after your cookbook! 🙂

  20. hope this isn’t repeating any other comments — I keep Oil of Wild Oregano (organic) at hand in capsule form. Any sign of sinus or respiratory problems in us and we start two capsules 3 times a day until well past symptoms stop. It’s a natural antibiotic, so keep taking yogurt to keep your probiotics up. For my 2 year old, who cannot take capsules yet, I pierce a capsule and spread the oil directly onto his chest if he cannot sleep from congestion In my opinion it works better and faster than any Vics I’ve ever used. Rubbing it on the feet before bedtime also help tremendously. I’ve read that others have used it on feet against calluses effectively. I’ve read reports of it used on toe fungi and athlete’s foot. I’ve used it on cuts. You smell like “Pizza-man” for a while, but there are worse things than that 😉 It can be taken orally (sublingually) but the taste is peppery and many find it unpleasant.

  21. oh, I nearly forgot: I used organic fennel (fenugreek) seeds to brew tea for my newborn daughter to help with digestion. She fed well (I nursed) but would get gassy in the evenings (the a/c was pretty cold where we stayed so we had to bundle her up to get her warm and that helped, too). The fennel is safe for the baby and worked miracles. it’s like home-made gripe water. Also, the lactating mom can drink the tea and it will aid lactation.

  22. I have a question regarding the herbs and oils. What is the shelf life for these? When stored properly, do they last for a few months or a few years? Thank you!!!

  23. i just mentioned to my husband that I want to put together a natural medicine chest..this is exactly what I needed! Thanks so much for all this info.

  24. Curious if there is anything you take for standard, run-of-the-mill headaches? I try to stay away from ibuprofen and tylenol. I rarely get headaches anymore since switching to Paleo. But on those rare occasions that I do, it would be nice to have a natural remedy. Any thoughts?

    • So many! About a 1/2 inch organic ginger root boiled in a tea, juiced, or blended in a smoothie works as fast as Ibuprofen. Packaged organic Ginger root tea is good too. Peppermint essential oil (food grade like) in water, rubbed on back of neck or one drop on tongue is another great anti-inflammatory. Lots of water and deep breaths. Pressure on the webbing of your hand between the thumb and pointer finger. A nap works wonders too. Sometimes our headaches are stress related and anti-inflammatories are key. The reason why Ibuprofen works is because its an anti-inflammatory. The downsides are all the side effects. Keep me posted!

    • I read from kiva rose that peach tincture is wonderful for pain.

    • White willow bark is the original aspirin. You can make a tea from the bark or tincture from the powder.
      My go-to for painful & unproductive inflammation is turmeric capsules. It takes pain away in 10 minutes.
      If your headache is stress related, rub some magnesium oil into your shoulders, up your neck & between your shoulder blades. That will help those muscles relax & may disperse any trigger points which might refer headache pain.

  25. As one who suffered from frequent UTIs I became a huge supporter of Cranberry as a remedy as soon as I notice symptoms, I start pumping myself full of it. Just please dont think I’m referring to that horribly useless cranberry juice cocktail, it simply doesn’t have enough ACTUAL cranberry i it

    • I feel your frustration regarding UTIs. I used ti get them every month which meant every month the Dr would prescribe antibiotics. I think the bacteria started to get smart and find a way to fight it so then the Dr put me on a different type of antibiotic & not Cipro. That didnt work as well. After month after month of URIs I was fed up so I turned to the holistic ways of curing it. Thank god I did! I no longer get UTIs every month, maybe once a year if that. I didn’t find cranberry juice to really help me (the real juice thats bitter) so I made myself drink more water (I would go a whole day & drink only one cup) with ACV, take a detox bath (wellness mama has the ingredients on her site), if it was painful I would drink water with baking soda, & if it gets really bad I would take an over counter med called, Cystex Plus (found at Walgreens). I really dont want to take meds but sometimes you don’t have a choice or it will end up a Kidney Infection.
      If anyone has more info on UTI relief please share.

      • D-mannose has been a great product for me to use. I use the NOW brand. It is a sugar found in fruits (cranberries is one). It makes the walls of the urinary tract slippery and bacteria can’t stick to walls. I keep it in stock. It works very quickly. I usually take 4 capsules 3 to 4’times daily for 3 days. Dr. Mercola has info on his website and sells a 3 in one product ( d-mannose, probiotics, and cranberry) capsule.

      • Usnea taken internally supposedly clears up UTI’s wonderfully.

  26. Fantastic resource. Thank you!!!

    I have had excellent results using honey on my breasts for bacterial infection. Note: you must be sure that it isn’t a yeast infection as the honey could make a yeast infection much worse and both are similar and severely painful. – If you have all the symptoms and have tried treating for yeast with no results I would suggest treating for bacterial. I got tremendous relief in a very short time. Honey is one of the best natural wound dressings. It is antibacterial and healing.

    Also, had a ‘bug bite’ on top of my foot…it got inflamed, started spreading, had muscle pain…so I applied and re-applied an activated charcoal poultice for the next 24 hours or so. I am convinced that it was a bad spider bite. The charcoal stopped the deteriation process immediately. The wound opening had gotten as big as a pencil eraser. I used honey as my wound dressing. It healed quickly with no noticable scarring. I am also convinced that without the activated charcoal it could have been a different story.

    Hope this is helpful! Kindest regards to all!

  27. Another suggestion used with excellent results –
    Garlic oil for ear infections – use warmed olive oil, add crushed garlic allow to ‘perk’ then strain garlic out. use a few drops of warmed oil in affected ear. Stores in fridge for a while.
    G

  28. Sounds very similar to my First-Aid kit! There’s no sense in using toxic synthetic chemicals when nature works better 🙂 Great post!

  29. Vinegar for headache.1 tsp in a cup of hot tea with honey. Onion, mashed and put on a sting removes pain and reduces swelling! I keep one in the car for any outings. The kids just run back to playing.

  30. Is the enema procedure for kids (11 year old) the same for adults? Thank you!

    • From what I understand, yes but with less liquid

    • Kristen, yes the procedure is the same. But as Wellness Mama stated, with less liquid.

      Instead of the enema bag/bucket (the link takes you to when clicking on enema kit), I give enemas with a small rubber enema bulb.

      Speaking of home remedies and enemas, a catnip tea enema or a garlic enema are great home remedy to bring a fever down.

  31. One more item I want to recommend is Condoms. Yes, strange as it sounds, make sure you have several on hand. These are good for Chest Wounds!! Insert into the wound and inflate (using a straw) and knot and seal over wound. May save a life!!

  32. My name is walter and i am from New Zealand. I was HIV positive and three months until i met with Dr. Ajala who cure me of the deadly virus and my test results confirm Negative.

    Thanks to Dr. Ajala and please my friends, feel free to contact the doctor via email on aigboa.spiritual.temple@gmail.com

    Put aside your shame and get a cure to your problems.

    Walter.

  33. Do you have a link on how to make a Tincture?

  34. Anything besides tylenol or ibufrofen for a fever reducer?

    • I’ve herd usnea is useful. It is a very cooling and drying herb that is easy to find.

  35. When I was little I fell on some stairs and had a large cut just under my eyebrow, it was big enough that I was supposed to get stitches, but instead my mom broke an egg and used a small strip of that thin, white membrane that is stuck to the shell of the egg. It is a little tricky to put on, but once it dries you can literally feel it pulling the cut together better than stitches. I have only a very faint scar just beneath my eyebrow.
    To take it off all you have to do is wet it ( you can keep reapplying this for several days until the cut binds together again.
    I now use this with my boys when necessary. It REALLY works and is totally safe and effective especially on the face.

  36. My boyfriend wants to do an enema. He has a history of IBS. Is it safe? What dietary precautions should he take before and after?

  37. Haha I always say the exact same thing about coconut oil! It’s my “windex”

  38. What about first aid kit for the car? I live where it is triple digits most often so what would be good to keep on hand that heat wont effect…

  39. This is awesome! I’m in the process of making a travel First Aid Kit. I want it to be filled with natural remedies for cuts, stings, insect bites, burns, sore muscles, bandages and other quickie things.

  40. What is “the mother?” I’ve heard it many places, and I have yet to understand what it means.

    • It is what actually makes vinegar vinegar. It looks like cobwebs in unpasturized vinegar and is very healthy.

  41. Love this list! Added a few things from your stash to mine. We also keep Menuka honey, bentonite clay, and colloidal silver on hand.

  42. Hey, Wellness Mama,
    I like to read your posts once in a while and appreciate the desire to keep things natural. As a caution using any medicine of any kind, including herbs, it is wise to research precautions and side effects before use. This should be done by reading a variety of trustworthy sources, or talking to life-long or professional herbalists. I am bringing this up because of your recommendation on comfrey. Comfrey has been widely regarded known for its excellent medicinal properties and has been relied upon for years. But I recommend you looking up comfrey and the cautions around it. At one time comfrey was prescribed readily for internal use, now research recommends it NOT to be taken internally, or used on BROKEN SKIN, and I caution its use on children (I do not use it on children). As with many, many herbs, it is not recommended to use while pregnant or nursing either. Even time-tested herbs should be researched well so that one can take all necessary precautions and use the medicine safely.

  43. I had a UTI for over a week and could not kick it with my ordinary cranberry-pill regime. I bought Lady Somas Cranberry pills , and I kicked my UTI within a couple of hours.

  44. This is a wonderful list. I just thought I’d share something I keep in our med kit. I noticed that the main ingredient in Quickclot is kaolin. So, now I just make my own! I get kaolin clay from mountain rose herbs, sprinkle it on a gauze pad, and stick it in a plastic baggy. Works great! You could even add some powdered herb like goldenseal to the kaolin.

  45. I have a one year old who is on his fourth ear infection currently. This time his eardrum is ruptured and from what I understood, I cannot use garlic oil in his ears. I massage the oil behind and around the ears and on his soles but it doesn’t seem to be helping, but then it’s only been 24 hours. I am clueless as to how to treat it… Is hydrogen peroxide unsafe inside the ears as well if the eardrum is ruptured? I would appreciate any help. And another thing, how can I tell if he’s getting better if he can’t communicate yet? I had no clue his ear was infected again until I took him to his routine check-up, he had no fever or any signs of one.

  46. Hey, love your site. I was wondering about superglue for first aid. I have a friend who is a natural doctor who also told me he used superglue when his son cracked his head open, and it worked like a charm. But I can’t help but wonder if glue is toxic to the body, therefore unsafe to put into the bloodstream through open wounds? I’d really like to hear your opinion on this, its so interesting to me!

  47. Hi, any suggestions for UTI while pregnant? I am terrified to take the antibiotics. I am in my 1st trimester.

  48. Hi I am 18 weeks pregnant and in pain with either a UTI or Kidney Stone. Doctors cannot seem to figure it out. I have been through the ringer. Do you know any safe natural remedies or does anyone have any suggestions?
    Also how do you feel about Cranberry supplements during pregnancy.

    • cranberry supplements are very healthy for you, and they work well, and about kidney stones? according to my home remedie book, it suggests cranberry juice as well, I also heard somewhere that if you take 2 ounces concentrated lemon juice, 2 ounces olive oil, it helps to dissolve kidney stones and gives you relief, drink plenty of fluids, most stones are calcium based so lower your amount of calcium if your doctor approves, some stomach meds are high in calcium .magnesium and b6 may also help you as well. .good luck

  49. Do you use comfrey root, flower, or powder?? Do you have a recipe for comfrey salve? Thank you

    PS> You need to do a book on this stuff….love it.

  50. Hi. I very much enjoy this blog. I’m new to it. Thanks for the wonderful info! Are there any recommendations for severe, stubborn eczema? And for severe seasonal allergies to most things nature, especially grass? The 11year old for whom I’m asking completely avoids peanut, nuts, dairy, egg, food color, peas, flax, sesame seed, sunflower seed. He uses olive oil soap, natural laundry detergent, and has tried coconut oil and also olive oil for the dry skin, but no success in providing moisture. Thanks so much in advance!

  51. Hi, I love your site!!! ????
    I love all your natural remedies, I’ve tried many, thank you!

    Quick one; I’m 8 weeks pregnant and battling with constipation. I’ve been drinking lots of water and yet it does not help? Have u any natural suggestions?

  52. i made a “wound wash” / “magic moon fairy mist” by adding several drops of lavender eo to a bottle of saline solution ($1 @ dollar tree) for our family hiking/camping adventures. Seals well, travels easily, light weight, multi purpose…

  53. I love all of the suggestions. I would like to add a suggestion as an alternative to super glue. I have used myrrh and slipper elm root powder in the past to help with a large deep cut.

    3 parts myrrh powder
    1 part slippery elm root powder
    1 part dandelion root (optional)

    I mix it all together and leave it in glass container. I cut my finger one time with a sharp Japanese knife. It was a deep cut. I could not use a normal bandaid because the blood continued to gush through all the bandages and gauze. Well I sprinkled this mixture on the cut and the bleeding stopped immediately. I let this air dry on my finger for the next several minutes until it was hard as a rock. I went about my day. I was able to keep this on my finger for two weeks, while still washing my hair, washing dishes, washing my hands. It stayed hard the entire time. The hardness is what you want and then when the cut heals, it will push the harden mixture out of the wound to reveal fresh new healed skin underneath. I was impressed that it was waterproof and it allowed my finger to heal naturally.

    FYI, I buy myrrh resin granules because it is much cheaper for me to grind it to powder in my nutribullet than to buy a large quantity of the myrrh gum powder. I freeze the granules first, then blend it for 10 seconds and pour it into my glass container for storage.

  54. Exactly the info I was looking for, thank you!

  55. SUPERGLUE????? As in 3M superglue from the store?? It reaks of poison, is this the super glue to use? Any brand recommendations?? I would love to try this!!

  56. I had SilverBiotics (a colloidal silver by American Biotech Labs) on hand one day when I got food poisoning. I tried it and in a minute or two it was gone. I was amazed as I had not heard of that particular use for it…but why not as it does kill many pathogens. I buy mine on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1n1l3St

  57. This is a great list. Thank you.

  58. Enema kit is great to have at home. The link only shows the 2 quart red rubber enema bag.
    It is good to have a rubber enema bulb syringe also.

    I have given a few enemas with the bulb and glad I had it at home.

    Much better than giving meds and chemicals. Such as miralax.

    They come in 4 oz, 6 oz and 8 oz bulb sizes. I found the 8 oz is a good size to have in the home.

    • Also, forgot to mention…. catnip tea is wonderful for bringing a fever down. Garlic is a great remedy.

      To be fresh and potent, I guess that is the word, these have to be used often or thrown out.

      Every mom should have a copy of book Prescription For Nutritional Healing. Has many home remedies in it.

      I enjoy this blog. Great list for first aid and wellness kit. I have copied the list and will improve my home kit.

      Nancy, (posted above on Feb 1st) yes drink plenty of water. A small plain warm, not hot, water enema may help. It is natural and no chemicals.. Use either the red rubber bag one or a 8 oz bulb syringe. Of course before giving or getting an enema check with your doctor. Not a doctor. Just my personal experience.

      Many pregnant moms ask if doing a coffee enema is ok during pregnancy. The majority of the responses I have read say no. Because a coffee enema is for detoxing the liver and toxins may be released.

      But, a plain warm water enema while 8 wks pregnant may be ok.

      I got the Cara 8 oz enema bulb syringe at CVS. I saw they still carry it.

      Cara also makes a 1 oz , 2 oz and a 4 oz enema bulb. The smaller oz ones are great for infant and a toddler enema. I have the 8oz enema bulb.

      Every mom should have a enema bulb in the home wellness kit.

      Again, always check with your doctor before getting or giving an enema.

      • The enema kit Mama has link to is the bucket type. My mistake. It is not the 2 quart red rubber enema bag.
        The bucket type enema works just fine.

        The link for the hot water bottle, blue one, is a old fashioned type of hot water bottle and it looks like this is for hot water bag use only. Not for enemas.

        The small bulb Mama has a link to is for nasal cleaning. This one should not be used to give an enema.

        I am glad Mama put the enema and the nasal bulb on the list for all moms to have in the home.

        I recommend the two quart red rubber enema bag with hose and nozzle for giving a enema/douche.
        For children and toddlers, I recommend one of the Cara enema bulbs they sell.

        Both the red rubber enema bag and the Cara enema bulb can be purchased at CVS and other drug stores. or on line.

        Not a doctor and before giving or getting a enema, check with your doctor.

  59. A simple bee sting remedy that I have used for years with amazing results is applying a section of an onion to the bite/sting and leaving it on until the pain stops (anywhere from a couple minutes to up to 10 minutes). I always have an onion on hand for bites or stings. I got the idea from my grandmother who used sliced onions as a chest poultice for severe chest congestion. She swore by this remedy as a way to pull toxins from the lungs. And I’ve recently seen a remedy for flu symptoms that calls for slices of onions applied to the bottom of the feet, held in place with socks and worn over night. I haven’t tried this one yet since it seems like it wouldn’t be too pleasant for a significant other sleeping next to you.

  60. when we lived in the desert with 5 little ones, cactus and thorny plants were a major issue. to get them or lots of splinters out of soft sensitive skin, we put elmers glue on in a thin layer over the whole effected area. let it dry until clear (sometimes with the use of a blow dryer) and then wait 5 minutes. when entirely dry peel up an edge and pull off the sheet of glue. it will pull out the stickers/prickers/thorns or splinters with it.

  61. I recently purchased cramp bark powder from Mountain Rose Herbs and am not entirely sure how to use it. I get terrible menstrual cramps and so far, nothing has seemed to make any difference, so I’m hoping this will do it. Can I just mix it in some water and drink it like that, or do I have to make a tincture? Also, how much would I take?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much.

  62. What do you use to store the herbs for your first aid kit?

  63. Great post, I would probably add a tub of honey for wounds, some spices like ginger, cinnamon, cumin powders which could be mixed as a paste with honey for diarrhoea.