It’s that time of year in the South when the bugs can drive you mad, or at least drive you indoors. If you are interested in using more herbs, homeopathics and essential oils in your life, but don’t know where to begin, start with stocking your natural first aid kit. I have been using these products for years, and have experienced great results. I’m telling you about them because I like the products. I’m not getting any endorsement money from the companies.
1. Traumeel cream: a homeopathic with many ingredients. This is a pricey tube of cream, but it is really great when you or your kids get bumps, bruises, stub a toe, pull a muscle, etc. My father put it on his wrist where he had a cyst that was inflamed after taking down some shelving. His wrist was aching/throbbing for several days. Within 30 minutes the pain was almost gone. After a couple days of using Traumeel cream, the cyst went away!
2. All Terrain Herbal Armor: Great herbal insect repellent, especially mosquitoes. I use this all the time when at outdoor events and camping.
3. Calendula gel, by Boiron: a homeopathic gel that is great if you forget to use the Herbal Armor. It helps the itch and welt of a mosquito bite go away in about 60 seconds.
4. Plantain, Plantago major: If you have some of this growing around, either chew it up and put it on a mosquito bite or ant bite, or squish it in your fingers for awhile if you don’t want to chew it. Check out my article on Plantain which was published in the Jetwork magazine from Mumbai, India.
5. Lavender essential oil: Excellent for cooking burns, either from steam or touching a hot pan. I cannot stress enough how necessary it is to have Lavender essential oil on hand in the kitchen. Make sure the ingredients list only Lavendula angustifolia. This is also antibacterial, so you can add a few drops to an atomizer and spray it in your house or around your seat when you’re in an airplane. Your neighbors will love it, too.
6. Aloe vera: The gel is great for sunburns, chapped skin. There was a Jason product that was primarily Aloe vera, which I really loved. The juice is great for upset stomachs. Lily of the Desert is a good brand for juice.
7. Tea tree oil: If you happen to get chiggers, bless your heart. I know they are miserable. Tea tree oil helps keep them from itching and getting infected if you’ve been scratching. Tea tree is good on open cuts as an antiseptic. I know a couple people who have an allergic reaction to tea tree oil. This is not common, but just in case, use the oil in a small spot first before applying liberally.
8. Herbs etc. Ivy Itch ReLeaf: This is a great spray for stopping the relentless itch of poison ivy rash. One of the key ingredients is Grindelia flower. It forms a little coat on the rash and cools it down.
9. Rhus tox: The homeopathic Rhus tox is good for keeping poison ivy from spreading if you take it internally when you first notice the poison ivy blisters. Follow the directions.
10. Cardamom pods, fennel seeds, ginger, peppermint leaf or dill seeds: If you eat something that gives you painful gas or bloating, the above herbs will act as carminatives, meaning that they relieve the gas, bloating and nausea. If you have GERD, then stay away from peppermint unless its enteric coated.
There are lots of other fresh herbs which are useful when you have them on hand. There are also lots of products I’ve tried and wasted my money on. These are the products that I use again and again. If you use them, please follow the directions.