The Natural First Aid Kit
Three Must-Have Items for the Great Outdoors
Q: With the summer travelling and camping season on its way, what are your favourite natural first aid kit items? -Sadie, Bolton.
A: Sunshine, bike riding, exotic beaches, camping…mosquito bites, bumps, bruises, and traveller’s diarrhea. Yes, the summer is a time for excitement, adventure and travel, but life is full of surprises and it’s good to be prepared for those moments that could dim the light on your fun in the sun. Here are some must-haves to pack in your Natural First Aid kit so you can be armed and ready for summer vacation:
Traveller’s Diarrhea: Traveller’s diarrhea is one of the most common illnesses that affects travellers. It spreads from person to person or through the ingestion of contaminated food or water, and the risk is higher in destinations with poor standards of hygiene and sanitation. The First Aid kit go-to for traveller’s diarrhea is ACTIVATED CHARCOAL. It contains pores that “trap” and absorb pathogenic microbes and toxins for medicinal purposes. Traditionally it has been used as an antidote to treat poisonings, and is often used to help reduce and alleviate diarrhea. Added bonus: activated charcoal can also be used topically as a poultice to treat insect stings/bites and poison ivy.
Bumps, Bruises and Injuries: As the weather warms up there is often an increase in outdoor activity and adventure, leaving more opportunity for potential injuries. Also if you have children, or are just accident-prone like me, you will be thankful to have something in your arsenal for bumps and bruises. ARNICA MONTANA is a popular botanical used specifically for muscle pain, stiffness, inflammation, swellings, sprains and bruises. It can be applied topically,in a cream/gel/ointment form to the affected area to help speed up the healing process. It is also great to apply to affected areas that feel stiff from long distance flying or driving and is a must for those who bruise easily!
Bug Bite Care: There is a growing concern about disease spreading via infected insects such as mosquitoes, bed bugs, and ticks. In addition to this, the symptoms of a bite can be quite irritating and concerning for many. There really isn’t anything on the market that can guarantee you will be 100% bite-free. Homeopathic remedies are effective, non-toxic, and safe for the whole family; dosage can be adjusted based on how “attractive” you are to these types of bugs. Homeopathics like Staphysagria, Grindella cedron, Urtica urens, and Ledum palustre each have their own preventative or post-bite benefits. When taken orally, they can temporarily shift an individual’s susceptibility, in turn making insects less inclined to bite. Also if bitten, the effects of the bites will subside quickly and with fewer symptoms.
If you're looking for a post-bite care option, topical gels and ointments are readily available. I prefer topical homeopathic blends with ingredients like Apis mellifica, Ledum palustre, and Hypericum perforatum which together encourage the healing of any puncture wound, as well as calming the redness, swelling, stinging, and itching of insect bites.