Hikers Helpers:
Building Your First Aid Kit

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May 22, 2019


June means summertime, and the weather is warming up! More folks will find themselves outside with the sunshine. If you are a nature lover like I am, you will be finding yourself searching out where the next place to camp is, where the next place to hike is, and where the juiciest swimming holes will be. With outdoor activities, there is always a potential for scrapes, stings, bites, rashes, splinters and run-ins with poison oak. Having a small herbal first aid kit that can be carried with you while on trails can be all the help when running into these types of problems.

I have found over the years, my first aid kit is ever evolving. It changes with me, the interests I have, and the activities I am involved in. I have found most beneficial to have a large kit, stored at the house, and a small bag that I can fill from the large kit. These first aid kits are not only limited to outdoor adventure, but for the car, the house, for children, for school, for work, etc. Make one that fits your lifestyle! It is crucial that you check in on your first aid kit at least once a year (preferably every few months). We want our kits to be in the best shape they can be. By checking on the supplies, we make sure that we are not out of anything and that herbs haven’t leaked, expired or melted. Most of the herbs listed below can be used in a tincture, or powder.

Astringents - to stop bleeding, diarrhea, tighten and tone tissue
Uses: bee stings, poison oak, diarrhea, bug bites, nose bleeds, burns
Herbs: plantain, yarrow, blackberry leaf, black tea and bentonite clay

Anti-fungals
Uses: fungal infection internally or on skin
Herbs: neem essential oil, chaparral, calendula

Anti-inflammatories
Uses: inflamed skin or tissues, broken bones, twisted ankels
Herbs: turmeric, licorice root, yarrow, black cohosh

Analgesics - pain relievers
Uses: to help relieve the pain response
Herbs: meadowsweet, willow bark, turmeric, california poppy, kava, st. john’s wort, wild yam

Anti-microbial - disinfectants
Uses: wounds and bites
Herbs: echinacea, myrrh, oregon grape root, thyme, lavender and tea tree essential oil

Diaphoretics - fevers
Uses: to break a fever, or detox through the skin
Herbs: yarrow, elderflower, cayenne, fresh ginger, catnip, peppermint

Digestives - assist digestion and the GI tract
Uses: upset stomach, nausea, gas, acid reflux, constipation
Herbs: chamomile, peppermint, fennel, ginger, meadowsweet, yellow dock, dandelion root

Nervines - calm and supports nervous system
Uses: stress, muscle tension, insomnia, trauma or injury
Herbs: chamomile, california poppy, lavender, skullcap, vervain, catnip, Rescue Remedy

Foods:
Honey - blood sugar regulation and burns
Sea Salt - natural electrolytes
Bentonite Clay - astringent and drawing, popular for a poison oak remedy
Chai Seeds - moisten and help hydrate
Activated Charcoal - vomiting, food poisoning
Energy bars for snacking

Extras:
Pen and Paper
Bandaids
Scissors
Tweezers
Ace Bandage
Magnified Glass
Matches and/or Lighter
Hand Sanitizer
CPR Mask
Swiss Army Knife

**This article is for informational purposes only. This is not written to treat or diagnose illness.

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