4 Essential Items for your First Aid box
I am going to let you know what’s in my first aid kit! Yes I know, not the most glamorous post, but nevertheless something very useful. It has been top of my mind, as my son seems to be trialing for some kind of extreme sports event with his persistent climbing, jumping and diving about the place, our first aid box has seen a lot of use the last few months.
What I won’t cover…
I am not going to go through the usual conventional bits, like bandages, saline water, alcohol wipes, or how to ice the bruise, wash the cut and so on. Assuming you have those parts covered and are up to date on your first aid skills. I will add just 4 essential items you can include with your conventional kit.
· 1 tube of arnica cream for bruises and sprains
· 1 tube of calendula cream for wounds
· 1 bottle of tea tree essential oil for insect bites and to disinfect wounds
· 1 bottle of lavender essential oil for burns, also can use on all of the above injuries too
This is for external injuries in which the skin is not broken such as bruises, muscle & joint issues, hemorrhages, swelling and even fractures.
Arnica is grown across northern Europe and likes being in the wild, it’s a tricky plant to cultivate, which has led to over harvesting and agricultural farming is compromising its existence. It is a very old remedy which has been used for centuries in herbal medicine. The family of plants it heralds from, are said to be rich in manganese, which is essential for healthy bones and healing wounds, explaining its ability to heal bruises. It also has strong anti-inflammatory properties.
This can be applied on open wounds, cuts, grazes and so on.
Calendula is an aromatic plant that is probably native to southern Europe and by contrast to arnica is cultivated easily. It has strong vulnerary properties (amongst others) making it a strong option for open wounds, skin inflammations and other skin conditions. The lipophilic and hydrophilic extracts promote healing and skin repair, along with anti-inflammatory agents.
Please note, both arnica and calendula can also be taken as a homeopathic remedy for bruises and cuts if the sustained injury is more serious. I will be doing a more in depth post on this at a later date.
Lavender essential oil
Apply to burns, but also can be applied to cuts and bruises too and just about any skin condition.
This super oil, as I keep calling it, has such a wide range of properties. But one of its most powerful qualities, allows it to increase the rate at which the skin cells regenerate. Producing a rapid healing of wounds and burns, lessening and sometimes eliminating scarring. It is also antiseptic and analgesic, reducing the likelihood of infection and easing pain.
Tea Tree essential oil
Apply to wounds and insect bites
Along with Lavender, this oil holds a high place in the pecking order of essential oils. As many of you will know, it is a small tree or shrub native to Australia. The aboriginal community have long known of its valuable properties. There have been a lot of studies documenting its effectiveness as an antimicrobial agent, anti fungal and benefits in treating skin conditions.
This is my absolute favourite oil to use on insect bites; it’s a strong anti-pruritic, meaning it stops itching!! Honestly, I have tried lots of oils and various shop bought products claiming to stop itching, none of them work like tea tree oil. The minute my son gets a mosquito bit, I dab one drop neat on it and the inflammation goes quickly and he never itches it. I myself use it like this too and can instantly feel the itch disappearing.
If you don’t have a simple but well stocked and easily accessible first aid box, please make the time to put one together. If there is an emergency it can really make a difference.
Plus I do recommend having a small one to take when you are on the go, especially if you have young kids.
I had a horrible incident once, when a bowl of scolding hot soup was poured down my daughter’s back in a restaurant and the lavender oil which I poured onto to her, really saved her skin! More on that another time!
Normally we always dilute essential oils before they are used, but lavender oil is fine to apply directly to the skin. Tea tree is a little stronger and if you are washing the wound you can mix with a saline solution. For bites and cuts you can always add a drop directly to the skin, this is fine to do in emergencies or sporadically.
Finally please seek medical attention if it’s a serious injury or burn!