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. Kimberly Cunningham Avatar
    Kimberly Cunningham

    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.

  2. Debrah Thompson Avatar
    Debrah Thompson

    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.

    1. Michelle Avatar

      To stop a bleeding cut, put some coffee grounds from the fridge on it (the kid that you use in a coffee maker – BEFORE you make coffee). It forms a natural bandaid on it and stops the bleeding!

  3. Susan M Avatar

    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.

    1. Susan M Avatar

      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.

      1. Susan M Avatar

        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.

  4. Abby Mosher Avatar
    Abby Mosher

    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!!

  5. evanye Avatar

    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.

  6. Carrie Kinard Avatar
    Carrie Kinard

    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…

  7. Nancy Avatar

    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?

  8. Jennie M Avatar

    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!

  9. christie Avatar

    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.

  10. Chelsea Paurus Avatar
    Chelsea Paurus

    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.

    1. mary Avatar

      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

  11. Roxanne Avatar

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

  12. daphna Avatar

    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!

  13. Marina Avatar

    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.

  14. Jen Avatar

    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.

  15. Irise Avatar

    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.

  16. Jackie N Avatar
    Jackie N

    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.

  17. Becca Avatar

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

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