For any of you wondering how natural medicine may be useful in an emergency, here’s your answer. First aid treatments are often most useful when you have them on hand. Whomever you may be, the knowledge of first aid gives you the ability to help prevent a situation from becoming worse while also creating a sense of safety or empowerment; Hopefully this article will teach you a few skills to provide care with confidence. *
Here we look at some common allergies and medical situations along with some simple ways you can administer First Aid:
- Bites and Stings: these are very common, especially in the summertime. They tend to cause much discomfort so if you do not suffer from an allergic reaction then reducing the pain and swelling is the simplest course of action. Some good things to have on hand to help with this:
- Aloe vera is an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic that can be applied directly to the skin on the bite or stung area to soothe the pain. (Alternative: banana peel)
- Lavender Oil applied directly on a sting will reduce swelling and discomfort.
- Raw Onion is something that most have in their pantry. A slice of raw onion is a great natural relief when placed on a bite or sting.
- Food Poisoning: We’re talking low grade.
- Activated Charcoal: found over the counter, charcoal is an excellent binder and recommended or used by professionals in poisoning situations.
- Fresh lemon juice will help cleanse the system and fight infection
- Fresh ginger root will help ease nausea and inflammation in the gut
- Apple Cider Vinegar with warm water will encourage vomiting to get rid of the poisons
- Cuts and Scrapes: The first thing to do is clean the area with warm water and/or a mild antiseptic. Things that can help with healing and pain:
- Aloe vera can be applied directly on a cut or scrape to encourage healing while reducing inflammation and preventing infection
- Lemon Juice can be diluted and used to clean a wound as it also works as a styptic meaning: “capable of causing the bleeding to stop” when applied.
- Sugar helps prevent scar tissue. Press a few teaspoons of granulated sugar into a clean wound and dress with gauze. Rinse the wound carefully and dress again. Repeat up to five times daily while being sure to not disturb the clotting action
- Lavender Oil can be massaged into the temples or applied directly to the nostrils to provide relief from sharp pain
- Burns: Always let the burn cool by running cold water over it until the pain has subsided. Try to not apply anything to the burn area until it has cooled completely. “Wet” burns should be dressed in gauze or fabric-like material to let the burn “breath.” Change dressing regularly
- Aloe Vera cools burns and prevents infection
- Onions can be applied directly to the burned area of the skin for instant relief
- John’s wort (oil or crushed leaf) can be applied directly and is used to cool and soothe the burn
- Crush blueberries and extract the juice: you can keep the juice in the refrigerator or freezer to use on burns or scalds in case of an emergency
- Lavender Oil (pure) is ideal for burns and can be applied directly to burned area (use sparingly)
Hopefully, this article has been helpful to you. If you prefer natural medicine over conventional medicine or if you have questions, please feel free to reach out to Dr. Beth McQuinn at the Camas Center Clinic.
*Please keep in mind that if you’re symptoms worsen, this is not a replacement for medical advice, and we urge you to seek medical care in any situation in which you do not feel comfortable or confident.