natural first aid kit with herbs

Top 7 First Aid Herbs to Add to Your Kit

March 06, 2019

First aid kits are great, but have you ever read the labels on most ointments and creams? They can be filled with toxic additives and chemicals. 

Instead, try these effective first aid herbs that have been used for centuries to treat everything from cuts and strains to bleeding and tummy aches. 

Best First Aid Herbs and How to Use Them

1. Chamomile

Chamomile is a natural herbal remedy derived from a daisy-like flower that’s classified in the Asteraceae plant family.

This is herb has been used for centuries and is increasingly gaining worldwide acceptance because of its ability to manage several conditions.

The wild chamomile is native to Europe and Asia and is often referred to as German chamomile. However, nowadays it can be grown in almost any part of the world.

How It Is Used

The most common formulation for using chamomile is by preparing chamomile tea. Conveniently, this tea can either be applied topically to manage skin conditions such as acne, irritations, rashes and oily skin, or it can be consumed to treat gastrointestinal issues.

Properties That Make Chamomile Beneficial for First Aid

The reason chamomile is so popular is because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, antibacterial and mild sedating properties.

The anti-inflammatory properties of chamomile also doubles up as antioxidant properties because it inhibits the expression of an enzyme called inducible nitric oxide synthase as discussed in this study published in 2010.

It has a component called apigenin that gives it the sedative effect. This property makes it a potent sleep inducer and a mild tranquilizer.

Tips for Using It in a First Aid Situation

Chamomile is best used at night because it can make you sleepy. However, it can be used anytime of day if need be.

When you prepare chamomile tea (which is its most common application), you can either drink it to remedy internal conditions like upset stomach or apply it topically for skin conditions such as rashes or bug bites.

2. Yarrow

Yarrow is a plant of the Asteraceae plant family, which is known scientifically as Achillea millefolium. It is native to the temperate regions of Asia, Europe and North America, particularly in the northern hemisphere. Yarrow goes by several names, including but not limited to:

  • Thousand weed
  • Nosebleed
  • Old Man’s Pepper
  • Soldier’s herb
  • Knight’s milfoil

How It Is Used

Yarrow has several uses in the management of disease conditions. Nevertheless, the most common application is in the form of a yarrow poultice, compress or salve for wounds.

These formulations are very beneficial when managing wounds caused by cuts, scrapes or burns.

Properties That Make Yarrow Beneficial for First Aid

Yarrow contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic oils, which work well for minor injuries such as cuts, scrapes and burns. It is also rich in astringent tannins and resins hence an excellent remedy for rapid wound healing.

It has also been determined that both the antioxidant and cytoprotective roles of yarrow aid in its wound healing abilities.

Tips for Using It in a First Aid Situation

There are several methods to use yarrow for wound care. You can apply yarrow wound powder by drying yarrow to make salves.

You can also make yarrow tea and use it to wash your cuts, scrapes or burns to speed up their healing.

Yarrow poultices and compresses are also great. A poultice is made from the whole herb while a compress can be made from an extract of yarrow like tea or tincture.

Of the methods described above, yarrow salve is the most commonly used and the favorite for most herbal applications.

3. Ginger

Ginger is known by most people as a decent flavor for cooking in the kitchen, but its medicinal value far surpasses its flavor. Ginger is classified under the zingiberaceae plant family.

How It Is Used

The beneficial part is the underground rhizome, which can be consumed fresh as it is, powdered, dried, or made as juice or in the form of ginger oil.

Properties That Make Ginger Beneficial for First Aid

Ginger contains a substance called gingerol, which has powerful medicinal properties. It can help manage gastrointestinal issues such as nausea, especially the nausea that accompanies morning sickness. Ginger is also effective against post-operative nausea and vomiting.

Ginger is able to relieve stomach pain because it effectively treats chronic indigestion by accelerating stomach emptying.

Tips for Using It in a First Aid Situation

The most convenient way to use ginger is by consuming it directly in food. Alternatively, you can add fresh ginger to a juice or a smoothie. Fresh or dried ginger can also be added to a homemade salad dressing for better results.

Some people also prefer making ginger tea by adding freshly peeled ginger to boiling water.

4. Cayenne

Native to Central and South America, cayenne pepper is a hot pepper categorized under the Capsicum plant family. It’s great in hot salsa but even better for inflammation and stopping blood flow due to injury.

Properties That Make Cayenne Beneficial for First Aid

The health benefits of cayenne pepper are chiefly due to its key component called capsaicin. Capsaicin has been a key remedy in ayurvedic medicine for the management of various circulatory problems for centuries.

Tips for Using It in a First Aid Situation

You can apply cayenne pepper to any wound to stop the bleeding in as little as 10 seconds. For severe bleeding, you can consume 1 tablespoon mixed in warm water.

It won’t taste great, but it’ll get the job done. Of course, this is to be done while also making your way to the ER or urgent care center.

5. Comfrey

Comfrey is a complicated herbal plant because it contains both beneficial medicinal value and toxic alkaloids. A member of the Boraginaceae family, comfrey dates back thousands of years as a useful tool to alleviate pain.

How It Is Used

The health benefits of comfrey can be achieved by forming comfrey tea. The tea can either be drank or applied topically to speed the healing process of wounds.

Properties That Make Comfrey Beneficial for First Aid

Comfrey contains potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties as well as a substance known as allantoin, which aids in wound healing by boosting the growth of new cells.

Studies have shown comfrey to be effective in a wide range of conditions, including bone fractures, arthritis, bruises, back pain and more.

Tips for Using It in a First Aid Situation

The simplest way to use comfrey for your wounds is as comfrey poultice. Take fresh or dry leaves of comfrey and combine them with warm water. Lace the resulting poultice over your wound, taking care to hold the product in place with a bandage or clean piece of cloth.

6. Lavender

Lavender is a flowering plant characteristically known for its sweet scent. The plant is native to the Mediterranean climate as well as the middle east and India.

How It Is Used

Lavender oil can be used in a diffuser where its soothing scent can lend its calming effect to everyone within the vicinity.

Alternatively, you can purchase lavender capsule supplements and use them as directed by your healthcare provider.  Lavender tea is also a calming beverage that can be used to help ease anxiety and/or help with the induction of sleep.

Properties That Make Lavender Beneficial for First Aid

Lavender is an effective antiseptic and anti-inflammatory natural remedy. For this reason, it can help treat minor injuries.

Studies have also suggested that lavender has sedating properties which can treat insomnia and can be used to relieve anxiety, restlessness and depression.

Tips for Using It in a First Aid Situation

Depending on what is convenient at the time, you can opt for lavender oil or lavender tea. It comes in handy when dealing with a distressed child who has a scraped knee, headache, busted lip and more.

Children tend to overreact to injuries and calming them down can be half the battle. Lavender is an excellent, all natural way to soothe, comfort and calm in first aid situations.

7. Arnica

Arnica is a plant native to central Europe and Siberia. It is a perennial herbaceous plant that belongs to the sunflower family – Asteraceae. Studies have touted the health benefits of arnica, especially in the management of muscle pain, aches and bruises.

How It Is Used

Arnica can be taken orally to treat sores in the mouth and throat or other internal body pains such as phlebitis and muscle-related pain.

Alternatively, you can apply arnica directly to your skin to manage skin pain and swelling that may occur secondary to sprains or bruising.

Properties That Make Arnica Beneficial for First Aid

The active ingredients in arnica are anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. This means that it can be helpful in managing inflammatory symptoms such as swelling and pain.

Its antiseptic properties also help prevent bacterial infection of wounds during the healing process.

Tips for Using It in a First Aid Situation

Arnica can be used in various ways both internally and externally. Infusion spray can be applied on the skin for aches and sprains.

Besides, you can make a tincture by adding 1 ounce of dried arnica flower to one cup of food grade alcohol. You can also use arnica oils and creams to manage muscle pains and aches.

The Best First Aid Herbs Combined in a Potent, All-Natural Cream

Our Organic Pain Relieving Rub, known as Banja Balm, is a great addition to any natural first aid kit. Current users love it for its ability to soothe sore muscles and alleviate joint pain. It not only helps alleviate pain, but it goes to work to actually heal damaged tissue as well.

It features organic cayenne pepper, arnica flowers, ginger and more in a rich shea butter and avocado oil base. If you’re looking for an easy, safe, all-natural addition to your first aid kit, try it today!