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First Aid From Your Kitchen

“Let thy kitchen be thy apothecary, and let foods be your medicine”. –Hippocrates

Many who have gone to organic gardening have also gone to seeking natural and herbal remedies for healing the ailments of their families. What I have found lacking in my home is a first aid kit that is just as natural in its contents as my medicine chest. So I have gone searching for those things we should have on hand for healing our families’ bumps, cuts and bruises.

One word of advice: those who have not moved to an organic diet and natural or herbal remedies for primary ailments may not find as much relief in these suggestions as those who have.

First Aid Suggestions:

  • Onion slices – applied to bruises may relieve pain and reduce discoloration.
  • Garlic poultice – applied to the chest to ward off cold symptoms.
  • Ginger, peppermint, or chamomile tea – for upset stomach.
  • Baking soda – a paste of soda and water will pull the stinger out of a bee sting and pull the poison from the area stung. Drinking a cup of water with teaspoon of soda in it can reduce or prevent indigestion and gas.
  • Raw apple cider vinegar (with the “mother” in it) and rubbing alcohol – equal parts dropped in the ear may kill an ear infection.
  • Raw apple cider vinegar (with the ‘mother’ in it) – drinking an ounce in a cup of water can reduce hay fever symptoms (some claim this will even cure it) when drunk daily during the season. It has also been claimed to be a catalyst in the body’s own repair system. Adding one tablespoon of honey to this may aid your weight loss efforts, or heating the solution and breathing the fumes may relieve a headache.
  • Arnica – when treating for shock, place a rag soaked in arnica on top of the head or around the wrists or put a drop of the homeopathic solution under the tongue of the wounded person. Those in shock should also be kept warm and still. Stop any bleeding, splint any breaks, and bandage as necessary.  Arnica compresses may also be used to treat bumps, bruises, sprains, and strains.
  • Potato poultice – raw, grated potato used as a poultice can relieve burns, swelling, swollen joints, strains, and sprains. It has also been said that treating wounds and burns with this poultice can prevent scarring. When using on burns, you should first cool the area with cold running water, then add the potato poultice. Grate a clean, raw potato into mush. Apply directly to the affected area. Hold it in place by wrapping with plastic wrap or bandages.

Constipation – Drinking plenty of water is the first step to having regular bowel movements, and the second would be a taking a brisk walk each day. When having occasional problems with constipation, you can try one of the following treatments for assistance:

  • ¼ cup wheat bran in a cup of hot milk.
  • Regularly eating ripe fruit, such as bananas, dates, grapes, raisins, apricots, guava, and papaya.
  • Hot milk with two tablespoons honey or four to five dried prunes.
  • Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, especially spinach, raw spinach juice, beets, lettuce, and cabbage salad.
  • ½ teaspoon licorice powder mixed with some sugar and warm water.

Diarrhea – This malady should never be neglected, as it will cause dehydration very quickly. Here are some treatments that you may want to try:

  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg mixed with mashed banana. This can be given to children. Infants can be given a bit of the liquid with a little water – ½ teaspoon or less. This will relieve stomach cramps and colic in infants.  This remedy can be sedative in nature. Also remember that too much can be addictive as well.
  • Barley water, arrowroot, rice, and oat gruel can be very nutritious for those who can’t retain solids. A few slices of onion or their leaves can be boiled with the gruel and strained out before eating.
  • Buttermilk or fresh yogurt can be taken to ease the stomach too.

Indigestion – take a teaspoon fresh ginger juice with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt after meals twice a day for a week or two. You can also try chewing a small slice of fresh ginger sprinkled with sea salt before meals for a week or two.

Items To Keep Handy:

  • Baking soda
  • Honey
  • Lemon juice – fresh or concentrate
  • Epson Salt
  • Raw apple cider vinegar
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Herbs and spices:
    • Cayenne
    • Cinnamon
    • Cloves – ground, whole, and clove oil
    • Dill
    • Fennel
    • Ginger powdered and fresh gingerroot
    • Oregano
    • Peppermint
    • Rosemary
    • Sage
    • Thyme
    • Parsley

As always, only use these treatments under the care and advice of your healthcare professional. Be safe and healthy!


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