Summer has arrived here in south Texas and it looks like it is going to be a busy one for our family. We already have several day trips planned and a couple of overnight trips to visit family are on the calendar. Looking forward to the time away, but as a mom of seven there is one thing I know for sure…leaving home means we will not be eating as healthy as we normally do, we will be resting less than we should, and we will be exposed to foreign germs and unfamiliar surroundings. Let’s face it, every time we travel we have a greater chance of getting sick or hurt.
I can’t tell you how many times we have been away from home when something comes up that I need to treat my family for and I am unprepared. I should know better, I know. But sometimes I just get so busy and my good intentions don’t get the job done.
Several months ago as I was looking at the Natural Hope Herbals website, I saw that they were offering herbal kits. These mini-apothecaries are a great way to bring herbal medicines with you when you are traveling, hiking, or just visiting the park. Although they do have a few first aid supplies included, this kit is really so much more than a “first aid kit”.
Items in the Kit
People’s Paste Powder
This is a unique item in the kit. I had never seen a blend quite like it, so I started brainstorming ways that I could use this with our family. It is a powdered substance in a small jar, so it doesn’t go bad quickly and can either be used dry or moistened with water before applying.
The base of the mixture is slippery elm powder. When water is added, the slippery elm powder increases the viscosity of the mixture and helps the paste stay on the wound. The comfrey works as a cell proliferant and decreases the time it takes for the wound to heal. The bayberry, garlic, and myrrh are all very effective antimicrobials that work together in a synergistic fashion. Great combination!
This would be great to put on wounds, especially it there is infection. I would also use this on ingrown toenails or fungal infections on the skin. Another way I would use this is as a gargle or mouthwash for sores in the mouth or possibly strep throat.
Cayenne is a stimulating and warming herb that has an affinity for the cardiovascular system. Dr. Christopher used cayenne as a styptic, specific for hemorrhages. I have personally used a pinch of cayenne under my son’s tongue to stop a nose bleed. It has also been used in emergency situations to stop a heart attack until medical help can be obtained.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is one of the best remedies for minor burns and sunburns. It is one of the few essential oils that can be used “neat” without dilution in a carrier oil. It is very cooling to the skin and relieves pain due to insect bites and stings. Just today I had to use some on my 5 year old’s wasp sting. The relief was immediate. I also like to use lavender eo in bath salts for a relaxing bath.
Deep Tissue Oil
I wish I had this when I was pregnant. I always suffer from sciatica when I am pregnant and think this would be a wonderful blend for treating it. Other things I would use this for would be pulled muscles, carpal tunnel syndrome, and when you get a “crick-in-the-neck”. I would use caution using this with children as I think it may be a little too warming and stimulating.
Matthew Wood uses echinacea for depressed tissue states that need a boost to move into a healing state. This could be instances of septicemia, swollen lymph glands, poisonous insect bites or stings (spiders, bees), and boils/abscesses. I like to included echinacea with other herbs rather than just alone.
Arnica/St. John’s Wort Salve
This is a little milder version of the deep tissue oil. I would be more prone to use this on children for achy muscles, sprains, and bumps/bruises.
Such a simple medicine, but yet very effective as a general all-purpose salve. Calendula has been used traditionally as a vulnerary. Used as a breast ointment when nursing, this would help heal dry, cracked nipples and the antiviral action in calendula would help with thrush. You could also use this for rashes, skin irritations, and eczema.
This handy little spray works wonders for cleaning out fresh wounds, scraps, and road rash. Could also be used for fungal skin infections such as athlete’s foot. I also think this spray would work well for body acne.
Black Drawing Salve
I have actually never used a drawing salve so I am anxious to get to try this. I would use it for anything that needs “drawn out” including splinters, infections, or toxins.
Many years ago when I first started learning about herbal medicine, a friend mentioned to me that she gave her kids activated charcoal when they had stomach viruses. I had never heard of such a thing! It wasn’t until a few years ago when I took a class from 7Song that I learned of the medicinal qualities of activated charcoal.
My brothers stopped by my house after returning from a road trip. They had stopped at a convenience store and bought burritos for lunch. By the time they arrived at my house, they were doubled over and running to the bathroom. I gave them each a cup of water with activated charcoal. By the time they got to their house an hour away, they were feeling much better and very thankful I had made them drink that gritty black stuff!
Other uses for activated charcoal…face masks! Love this stuff for pulling the yuckies out of skin and reducing black heads. We have also tried it as a teeth whitening agent, but let me tell you, it gets a little messy!