Make Your Own Herbal First Aid Kit

I took Holistic Herbal Wellness with Savayda in 2014, and one of the most useful things we learned was how to assemble a herbal first aid kit. Because we learned how to make tinctures and infused oils in the course, I knew how to make some of these items myself after the class, and there are also some items on the list that are worth buying. They’re easy to find at most natural health stores. 

Minor injuries like cuts, bites, burns, bruises and sore muscles can happen to anyone at any time, so it’s a good idea to start assembling these items to cover all the bases. 

Start collecting these herbal remedies now so you’ll be prepared for any minor injuries or discomforts.

Rescue Remedy

A commercially available blend of Bach Flower Essences, available in dropper, spray, or lozenges. For shock, emotional and physical, and stressful situations like dentist visits. Take 4 drops immediately, followed by regular dosing until the situation has stabilized. It can be rubbed onto a person who is injured or in shock and can’t take medicines orally, and can be used topically on pets and with house plants. 

 

Arnica cream Arnica montana

An arnica cream or gel is good to have on hand for bruises, sprains, recovery from operations, dental work etc. It can also be used after mental strain and heart strain.  Can help with back pain. Take 2 tablets every two hours for shock or injury, and even after surgery.

 

You can find Arnica products that are either homeopathic or that contain extracts. I like the Weleda Arnica cream because it has a high percentage of wild-crafted Arnica, but many people also get great results with a homeopathic cream. Traumeel is a popular homeopathic brand. 

 

Tea tree oil Melaleuca alternifolia

Antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal. Use on cuts or sores, directly or diluted in a carrier oil.  Also use as a mouth rinse or gargle, douche, sitz bath. Wipe for preventing and soothing bug bites.

 

Ginger capsules or tincture Zingiber officinale

Use for nausea or motion sickness, stomach flu and morning sickness. 1-2 caps or 20 drops tincture before traveling. Valuable for cramps of any kind and indigestion. Combine with other remedies for fever, colds and flu.

 

The tincture is easy to make with the folk method. Fill a jar ¼ full of fresh ginger, fill the jar with vodka or brandy. Steep for 2 weeks. Strain out the ginger pieces. Put your tincture in a dropper bottle and keep some in the car in case of motion sickness. 

 

Echinacea tincture Echinacea angustifolia, E. purpurea

Use at first sign of cold or infection by taking 30 drops, undiluted, on the back of the throat, every hour, until symptoms subside, up to ten times a day.

Can be used topically for inflammation of the skin, skin infections, bites, stings, cuts, and infections.  Dilute 60 drops tincture in ¼ cup of water and use as a wash or compress.

 

Ear oil Verbascum, Hypericum perforatum, Allium sativum

Infused oil of mullein, St.John’s wort, and garlic.  Infuse the oils separately so you can use them for other purposes, and then combine as needed for earache. For earache warm the oil in a double boiler and use 3-5 drops in each ear.  Lie on one side and rub the area outside of the ear. It may be helpful to apply heat outside the ear.

 

Shepherd’s Purse tincture  Capsella bursa-pastoris

For minor bleeding, that is non-life threatening such as nose bleeds, minor cuts, bleeding gums. Apply the infusion as a compress.  ½ cup of the tea, or 60 drops of tincture can be taken, up to 6 times daily. 

 

Topically: To use as a wash, dilute 30 drops of tincture in ½ cup water

Internally: Take 30 drops every hour until bleeding stops. A cup of the tea is also helpful.

Honey

For burns cover area immediately and leave on until pain subsides (approx. 30 minutes)

 

Fresh Plantain   Plantago major

It’s hard to keep this one in a herbal first aid kit because it is really best used fresh as a poultice. So instead of your herbal first aid kit, keep it in your herbal first aid garden or just leave it growing in your lawn so you’ll always have some on hand. Use it on bug bites, bee stings, burns and cuts and scrapes. To make a poultice, chew a few fresh leaves into a pulp, place this moist leaf pulp directly on the injured/bitten area and wrap in gauze. Keep on the skin for a few hours, re-applying as needed. 

 

Lavender Essential Oil  Lavandula angustifolia

A versatile addition to any herbal first aid kit, lavender essential oil can be used topically to help many ailments, including burns, cuts, bruises, sunburns, itchy skin, and cold sores. It also does double-duty because of its aromatherapeutic effects. Lavender is renowned for its ability to relieve stress and anxiety, and promote relaxation. Since you may be a little stressed or irritated if you have an issue that requires a first aid kit, it’s nice to include lavender to soothe your mind. 

 

If you’d like to learn how to forage wild medicinals, infuse oils, and make tinctures, you’ll love Savayda’s 1-year Holistic Herbal Wellness course. 

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how to make flower essences

How to Make Your Own Flower Essences

Summer is the time to make your own flower essences. 

Flower essences are a type of vibrational medicine, akin to homeopathy, in which the healing energy of flowers is captured in a process of dilution, and no flower parts remain in the finished remedy. 

It is easy to make flower essences and they are a wonderful complement to herbal medicine because they address the underlying emotional causes that create problems in the body. Sometimes addressing the emotions can resolve physical symptoms and ailments.

They can work quickly, or take time to clear blockages. Similar to doing a detox cleanse, it is possible that you may initially feel heightened awareness of symptoms as stagnant emotional patterns are unearthed.

Why Use Flower Essences

Flower essences offer a wonderful way to heal and grow because they affect change at a deep emotional level.

They are safe for all ages, and even pets, and the don’t interact with medications. 

There are a couple of popular brands of flower essences available at natural health stores, including Bach and Wild Rose, and Nova Scotian essences produced by Blue Fairie and Star Flower essences.  Globally you will find flower essences produced with local blooms. 

And, it is easy to make your own…

Making Flower Essences

Making the Mother

Float the flowers in pure spring or well water in sunlight for 20 minutes to 3 hours or until more than half the flowers are wilted. Remove the flowers and transfer the liquid to a clean bottle. A small tincture bottle is good, about 50 ml. A funnel would be helpful.

Mix the flower water with an equal amount of brandy or glycerine.

Succus the bottle 100 times to mix them. 

Label as “Mother.”

Notes: Flower essences made with brandy will last decades, glycerine will last about 5 years, and plain water essences will last a few days. Look for or prepare glycerine based essences if you do not consume alcohol. 

Making a Stock Remedy

Fill another small bottle with half water and half brandy. Add 5 drops of the mother. Succus 100 times. Label as “Stock Remedy.”

Making a Treatment Bottle

Combine water and 30% glycerine or brandy. Add 5 drops from the stock bottle. Succus 100 times. Label. 

Keep the Mother and the Stock, and you can make flower essences to last a lifetime (if you have used brandy). Simply make more treatment bottles with the stock, and make more stock from the mother when you run out. 

The treatment bottle is what you will use for the following methods: 

Ways to Use Flower Essences

Take 3-5 drops in the mouth or in water, 3 or more times daily.

Use as a room spray – add 3 to 5 drops to a spray bottle full of water.

Add about 20 drops to a  bath. 

Flower essences can also be added to healing creams or lotions. 

Flowers to Look For

For a brief couple of months, Halifax is bursting with flowers, so don’t delay and make your essences soon. The following flowers can be found here in Halifax, and across much of North America:

Mallow 

Althea spp.

Mallow is for people who feel cut off and isolated, and long for warmth and openness. It’s for you if you have difficulty making friends or committing to relationships. Whether it stems from insecurity, fear or lack of trust, mallow will help you overcome barriers to friendship. 

Horse Chestnut

Aesculus hippocastanum

Do you feel like nothing ever changes? Horse Chestnut helps you stop making the same mistakes over and over.  Rid yourself of unwanted, repetitive thoughts and break out of stagnant patterns.

Dill

Anethum graveolens

If you’re busy, stressed, and overwhelmed with the hustle and bustle of a full & chaotic life. Dill is particularly good if you’re suffering from overstimulation, will promote relaxation and inner nourishment. 

Daisy

Bellis perennis

Daisy is the plant for getting your #%@ together! It’s for planning and organizing. Absorb more information and organize it in a meaningful way. It also enhances concentration.

Borage

Borago officinalis

Borage is a heart remedy to ease the brokenhearted. It’s good for those suffering grief, loss, sadness, or discouragement and it lifts the spirits and prevents depression. It promotes courage and optimism.

Greater Celandine 

Chelidonium majus

Celandine flower essence enhances communication. It’s good for singers, teachers and lecturers. Celandine assists giving receiving information, and is good for people who are stubborn or opinionated, do not listen, or can’t concentrate. It also helps enhance understanding of information given in dreams. 

Hawthorn

Crataegus monogyna, C. oxycanthus

Hawthorn is a renowned heart healer. As a flower essence, it heals broken hearts, opens the heart chakra and enhances expressions of love. It also eases emotional extremes. 

Opium poppy

Papaver somniferum

Poppy flower essence is for escapists who find it hard to face up to the realities of life, and for those fearful of expressing strong emotions such as anger. It gives you the courage to assert yourself, and express your feelings. 

Linden

Tilia europea

Linden is another flower essence for the heart. It increases awareness of our connectedness to the rest of humanity, and increases feelings of peace and happiness.

Mullein

Verbascum thapsus

Mullein provides an inner light to guide us along our path. It helps us to withstand social pressure, and strengthens the moral compass for those who are weak and confused. 

 

If you’re interested in learning more about flower essences, herbal medicine, and holistic wellness, you’ll love our Holistic Herbal Wellness course. It’s a year-long, seasonal self-care course featuring herbal medicine. We meet one Saturday per month in Halifax or Moncton. 

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