My Natural First Aid Kit & Remedy Cabinet

Katie Wells Avatar

Reading Time: 6 minutes

This post contains affiliate links.

Read my affiliate policy.

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. Elizabeth Avatar

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

  2. Sam Avatar

    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.

  3. Marissa Avatar

    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…

  4. Bethany Maltais Avatar
    Bethany Maltais

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

  5. Amanda Avatar

    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?

  6. Merlyn Avatar

    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.

    1. D.Sharp Avatar

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

    2. Carol A Avatar

      I hate OTC stuff. Prefer natural home remedies.

      Garlic is a good fever reducer. So is chamomile.

      Look in the book Prescription For Nutritional Healing.
      Also, look at
      Called OHN.

      You can find the garlic enema on Mandy’s page at real food discovery.

      Before giving any home natural remedies it’s best to talk with a holistic doctor.

      I’ve given many enemas for fever reduction in my home and as a nurse in other homes. They’ve always worked.
      No NOT a mess and NOT painful. Enemas hydrate, cleanse, remove harmful toxins.

      For baby – toddler I use a 4 oz bulb syringe. Older ones got enemas with an 8 oz bulb or bag.

      IT’s best to discuss with your pediatrician/holistic provider beforehand.

      Not medical advice.
      Just mom-to-mom experience.


  7. briana Avatar

    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

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


  8. Dixie Avatar

    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!!

  9. Kristen Avatar

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

    1. Carol Avatar

      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.

    2. Barb A. Avatar

      Kristen, you did not state why he may need an enema?

      I have gotten many enemas. My mom gave them.
      I have given mine enemas for constipation, fever reduction and other reasons.

      I find the enema to be a great home remedy. Does not hurt. Soothing and even relaxing.

      Just take your time giving the enema.

    3. Herbal mom Avatar
      Herbal mom

      You asked awhile ago about the enema,
      Hopefully, you have given the enema by now.
      This article about giving enemas may help you and others wondering about the procedure.

      She is a RN and has administered many enemas.

      Besides instructions on how to give a bulb enema and a bag enema, she also talks in her article why the child is constipated. More so today than years ago.

  10. Carri Avatar

    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.

  11. Emmy Avatar

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

  12. Rachel Gilliland Avatar
    Rachel Gilliland

    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.

  13. Rachel Gilliland Avatar
    Rachel Gilliland

    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!

  14. Tracy Hnatkovich Avatar
    Tracy Hnatkovich

    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

    1. Dee Avatar

      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.

      1. Dee S Avatar

        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.

      2. Michelle Avatar

        I read that if you take 1,000 mg of Vitamin C before you go to sleep, you won’t get UTIs. Urinary tract infections happen when bacteria starts growing in your bladder. The VitaminC makes the urine in the bladder overnight, thus discouraging bacteria overgrowth.

  15. Jen Miller Avatar
    Jen Miller

    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?

    1. Cristina Avatar

      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!

    2. Stephanie Avatar

      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.

  16. Mia Lucero Avatar
    Mia Lucero

    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.

  17. Michael Bergquist Avatar
    Michael Bergquist

    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!!!

  18. Carrie McClung Avatar
    Carrie McClung

    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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *