My Natural First Aid Kit & Remedy Cabinet

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How to make a natural herbal medicine chest for first aid and illness
Wellness Mama » Blog » Natural Remedies » My Natural First Aid Kit & Remedy Cabinet

Despite our best attempts to live a healthy and toxin free life, there are times when illness or injury strikes. 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?

The following is a list of what you’ll find in my “medicine” cabinet and natural first aid kit. It 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 for medical attention.

Remedies & Herbs in My Natural First Aid Kit

Before we start, keep in mind that I didn’t build up this list overnight! It took many years of research and trial and error to find the remedies I use and trust the most.

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 an injury. Not for internal use or use on open cuts.

Homeopathics – Along with arnica (above), I keep a stash of Genexa homeopathic tablets on hand for helping kids with sleep, cold relief, and even anxiety.

Cayenne Powder– Though this is a good addition to many foods, it’s 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 is shown to increase blood flow and speed recovery (although I do not give it to children).

Chamomile– 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 help relieve pink eye (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 soothe 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 best to keep the dried herb on hand for poultices and homemade salves.

Eucalyptus Herb and Essential Oils– I keep these in my natural first aid kit 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 soothe 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 tea. The tincture can be used internally or externally for headaches. When combined with a few other digestive herbs, it makes a highly effective digestive aid and nausea remedy. We also use this essential oil in our homemade toothpaste.

Plantain– You’ve probably pulled this as a weed without knowing it! I keep the dried herb on hand at all times to make into a poultice for poison ivy, bites, stings, cuts, and infection. In a pinch, I’ve picked some from the ground, chewed it, and put it on a bee sting for immediate pain relief.

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.

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 hand at all times. It’s perfect for disinfecting, cleaning small cuts, and in my homemade OxyClean. Personally, I also use a dropper full of hydrogen peroxide in the ear at the first sign of ear infection (but check with your doctor first). I leave the peroxide in for 15 minutes or until it stops bubbling and then repeat on the other side.

Homemade Neosporin I make my own “boo-boo” lotion as my kids call it (no petroleum needed). I keep it in small tins and in lip chap containers for on-the-go size. I use this 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 cosmetic uses. It makes a great skin toner and is good for the 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, and hot tea.

Baking Soda– Also a good remedy to keep on hand. For severe heartburn or urinary tract 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 probiotics we use during any illness and afterward 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 mothers. For children who get constant illness and ear infections, probiotics can also really help.

Coconut Oil– From skin salve to diaper creme, makeup remover, and even antifungal treatment, coconut oil is great to have around! I keep some in the natural first aid kit to add remedies to take internally, use in tinctures, and apply externally to dry skin and chapped lips.

A Better-for-You Medicine Cabinet

The only actual medicines you’ll find in my cabinet comes from Genexa and their line of no dye, no preservative, additive-free medicines. They have everything from pain reliever to saline, as well as homeopathic medicines. You may also be able to find these in a local pharmacy near you!

Other Natural First Aid Kit Supplies

  • Patch Bandages- These bandages are made from 100% organic bamboo and are enriched with coconut oil.
  • 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. This especially works for the face and other visible areas that scar easily or in the hair where other bandages can be difficult to apply. I’ve also used it 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
  • Homemade ice pack (just freeze liquid dish soap or rubbing alcohol in a double-bagged- ziplock bag and use as an ice pack.

Learn how to store and organize your natural remedies here.

This article was medically reviewed by Madiha Saeed, MD, a board certified family physician. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.

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

How to make your own natural herbal medicine chest and first aid kit with natural remedies, supplements and herbs to handle most minor injuries and illnesses.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


158 responses to “My Natural First Aid Kit & Remedy Cabinet”

  1. Amanda Groenewald Avatar
    Amanda Groenewald

    any suggestions for chronic sinusitis, please please..
    Turns into acute infection every six weeks and then i need antibiotic to clear it up, otherwise phlem goes to my lungs, I get asymptomatic pneumonia. So I have to go to dr to check out my lungs as soos as possible, ending up with a whole regimen of meds..
    My immune system is very weak at this stage…
    Please help

  2. Catherine Lum Avatar
    Catherine Lum

    Hi Katie,
    I’ve been using sodium ascorbate powder for many years, bit hesitate to continue now that I know it is usually made from GMO corn. Do you know of an affordable non-GMO option? I’ve read that long term effects may include thickening of the arteries, in addition to the GMO effects. Appreciate you and your many resources.

  3. Dee Avatar

    Most important, what is the best way to store herbs for the kit?

    With that many herbs and such in the kit, seems like it would have to be checked often.

    Is there one certain type of container to store the herbs in?

    and in what climate is best? like put in closet? or on shelf in kitchen or??

  4. Dee Avatar

    Great blog. Many good ideas for making a home kit. I have already added and made changes to mine.

    I write the date on the herb, probiotics, etc containers. That way I know how long they have been in the kit.
    Put all of the item that have to be monitored for “freshness” in one location. So don’t have to go digging in the entire kit looking for items that have a shelf life.

    Instead of the 2 oz bulb syringe you have a link to (the small blue one), I think it would be better to have a larger bulb syringe that holds more water or solution. I put the 90 ml and the 120 ml one piece bulb syringes in my kit.

    Having a larger bulb syringe give the ability to administer a small enema to the infant or toddler with it. The 2 oz syringe you put the link to does not hold enough solution.

    The larger bulb syringe can be used for ears, nose suction and also to give an enema. Of course always clean the bulb syringe as soon as you get it, before and after each use. Clean with warm soapy water in the kitchen sink. Rinse well with peroxide. Let it air dry for a few days. Make sure there is absolutely no dampness remaining in the syringe. If it is damp and put up in the closet it will cause mold.

    To be safe, always consult with your holistic provider before giving any home remedies, or doing any procedure such as giving an enema or cleaning ears.

    Not medical advice. Just what I do.

    1. Dee Avatar

      The other change I would make to your list is to buy the 2 quart red rubber enema/douche bag. The one that also comes with a screw in plug for it. That way it can be used for enemas, douche and also for hot/warm – cold compresses. Fill the bag up full with cold ice water or warm water and apply to sprains, back aches, muscle aches and more.

      The enema kit you put the link to is only for the enema. The bag one is more versatile. And can be used for other things.

      Best to wrap the rubber bag in a towel. Then apply as a compress. That way won’t get too cold or too hot. And the towel will retain the warmth or the cold longer.

      Then of course can always use the 2 quart red rubber enema bag for giving an enema.

      Always clean the bag, hose, nozzles and clamp with warm soapy water as soon as you buy it. And always clean before and after each use.
      Hang the bag up and let it air out for a few days. Be sure it is totally dry before storing in the box or closet. If it is even a little damp mold will form. Which will ruin the bag.

      Funny I am telling of the 2 quart red rubber enema bag as a good item for the kit….I gave an enema the other day. And it is hanging in the bathroom airing out.

      Someone asked a long time ago on here if the enema procedure was the same for a grown up and a 11 (think he was 11) yo.

      Basically yes it is the same. The enema could also be given to the 11 yo also with the 8 oz enema bulb syringe.

      The 11 yo would be given less solution than the grown up. I have given enemas to that age. Most of the time gave about 1/4 to 1/2 half of the enema bag to him. When I gave the enemas it was years ago and I administered the warm mild soapy water enema. The 11 yo receives the enema the same way. Either laying on tummy on a towel. On his side on the bed on a towel. Or on a table on a towel.

      Always check with your doctor, holistic provider before giving any home remedies. Including the enema.

      To be sure, I am not a doctor or medical person. Not giving medical advice. Again, consult with your doctor.

  5. Sarah Avatar

    I use 9 drops of clary sage, geranium and ylang ylang essential oils to a 5ml bottle filled the rest of the way with carrier oil. I rub it in my pelvic area where all our woman parts are. It is the only thing that works AMAZING and takes my pain right away.

  6. julia Avatar

    Lugols Iodine is very useful to have around too 🙂 do you use this Katie?

  7. Mary Avatar

    Hi Katie, I have a question about wellness kit to keep. Now I’m through raising my children. I have fibromyalgia and I am allergic to yeast and vinegar. Is there an alternate ingredient I could use instead of vinegar. I use Philips Probiotics now. I have not talked with my doctor as of yet. My appointment is soon. But I have seen several videos and took that short test. I’m not positive but there is a chance I do have leaky gut. I want to thank you for having so much good information on your web site. I’m not sure how treating the leaky gut and candida intermix. I believe the one video that I watched said they are connected. That would be a question for you and or my doctor. If there is anything I can interchange the vinegar with, please let me know. Thank you Very much


  8. Christina Avatar

    Hi Katie, any recommendations for pain relief for a toddler. Our little guy got stitches on his forehead and I want to make him as comfortable as possible. Any ideas anyone can offer would be great!

    1. Michelle Avatar

      I don’t know about pain relief, but to avoid a scar, you put Vitamin E oil on it. Just puncture a gel capsule and squeeze out the oil and put it on his forehead after he gets the stitches removed.

  9. Carol Avatar

    Magi you are not old fashioned. I am the same way.

    I have the book Prescription For Nutritional Healing.

    It has lots of the home remedies listed on here in it. You will love that book??

    Get at health food stores and book stores.

    With seven kids between us, My neighbor and I have used many of the remedies listed on this blog and in the book.

    Seems one of them is always coming down with a fever, constipated, minor cuts, tummy ache, or something.

    The more we learn the natural home remedies, the more we get away from the doctor, ER, ,,,, our children seem to recover faster from a ill since being treated naturally.

    The more we read this blog, and the book I mentioned, the better health they have.

    We also make 3×5 cards about remedies mentioned on this blog. Listed by conditions and also remedy,

    We found it a good practice to note their conditions and what remedy was given on the paper calendar. That serves as a good reference later. We even note the last BM on the calendar.

    Carol Mn

    1. Michelle Avatar

      I recommend that you read “Doctor on Trial” by Merilyn Muesing ( She talks about her father who was a natural doctor who was persecuted by the medical establishment. The book also covers the persecution of Harry Hoxsey by AMA president, Morris Fishbein, for the natural treatment that he created for cancer. They ran him out of the US.

  10. katherine Avatar

    my mom used it and it didn’t bother her. Put it directly on the wound after pinching it closed. Hold it for a few minutes.

  11. katherine Avatar

    have you ever heard of putting probiotic powder and a little cayenne pepper on a wound? I just tried it today on a cat scratch and scrape that was bleeding pretty good. There is no bleeding now. It burns a little. Not sure how long I should leave it but it has been on the wounds for a half hour. what do you think?

  12. Melinda Adams Avatar
    Melinda Adams

    Peppermint inhaled from tea or essential oil on handkerchief is a great help in easing asthma symptoms. Even during severe attacks it is helpful in easing breathing spasms. As a suffer with this myself I can confirm this myself. Also used in the same way and just as effective with longer effect is cannabis CBD. (Although more controversial it is legal in my state.) This also is very effective in my person experience.

  13. Barb A. Avatar

    Kristen, as Mama and Carol told you…the same basic procedure for the 11 yo and adult. But give less water for his enema. I have read to fill the enema bag up half full for that age. And administer about 1/4 of the enema bag.
    The “procedure” would be the same for him.

    Catherine Cavanaugh, R.N. has a good guide called “PARENTS GUIDE TO COLON HEALTH FOR CHILDREN Contemporary Bowel Health Among Children and Teens”. that may help you.

    For toddlers best to give the enema with a bulb syringe. Cara makes a 4, 6 and 8 oz enema bulb syringe for children, toddlers and infants.

    Always check with your doctor before giving an enema.

    Did you give him the enema? Why did he need an enema?

    Enemas are coming back. So much better to give a natural home remedy (enema) than giving miralax and other chemicals.

    Bless you.

  14. Laura Avatar

    I love using Swedish Bitters. I buy the package of herbs from my health food store (Flora brand) and brew my own in alcohol. It pulls out the deepest of splinters, helps relieve bee stings in under a minute, helps with constipation, digestive upset, can be applied as a compress to sprains, bruises… you name it! It is a cure-all and #1 staple in my first aid kit. We keep a bottle in all our vehicles, in my purse, at my inlaws house etc. Many people in our lives have been skeptical to use it for their mystery pains, but now are firm believers this stuff is magical from the results produced. It’s simply an age old fix-all remedy 🙂

  15. Faeeza Avatar

    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.

  16. Ashley Avatar

    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.

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