Lately, on Facebook, we’ve been talking about how we handle first-aid type situations. That is, do we rely on various OTC drugs, or do we use alternatives? What’s come up often times is that many people are still using some OTC drugs, largely because they are unsure of what to use instead. So this week we’re going to be talking about a lot of alternatives! Today’s focus is using homeopathy (with some other, herbal remedies thrown in) for first-aid type situations. Wednesday I’ll be highlighting a company that will make this easier for you and there will even be a giveaway involved! So don’t miss any of it. 🙂
First, I must note that we are only talking about first aid here. If you suffer from any serious or chronic condition, these remedies are not appropriate. You should not attempt to self-diagnose anything serious; seek the advice of a trained homeopath. (We’ll be talking about that, too, here soon.)
Please note also that in some cases I have specifically noted that a remedy is not safe in pregnancy, if I know this information. This does not mean that all other remedies are safe; it just means I don’t know for sure. Please check with a qualified homeopath if you are uncertain before using any remedy in pregnancy.
First Aid Conditions
What types of conditions are we talking about treating with first aid?
- Insect stings
- Sunburn or other burns
- Muscle aches
- Acute rashes (like diaper rash)
- Minor allergic reactions
- Scrapes or cuts
Again, if any of these are serious (like an anaphylatic allergic reaction), do not attempt to self-treat. Seek qualified medical help immediately.
Let’s talk remedies! What do we do about these things?
Coughs and Colds
- Pulsatilla — A homeopathic remedy that can stop colds (green/yellow discharge, sneezing). It can also relieve ear aches or infections. I’m told it has many other uses, if readers would like to enlighten us!
- Bryonia — A homeopathic remedy that helps colds, especially if in the chest. Can also help poison ivy.
- Elderberry — Known to boost immunity and help the body fight off colds naturally (and flu).
- “Tonic” — This is something people make that is a potent sinus-drainer and often cures colds in a matter of hours. It combines garlic, onion, cayenne, and a number of other herbal remedies.
- Kudzu — An herbal cold-fighter; it mixes well into drinks and can also be used as a thickening agent.
- Ginger — A great way to clear sinuses and fight colds. Brew as a tea and add honey and/or lemon as desired.
- Honey — Plain, raw honey can calm sore throats and quiet coughs.
- Slippery Elm — Lozenges can be made of this, and it helps sore throats and also clears mucus from the throat.
- Wild Cherry Bark — A cough syrup that thins mucus and relaxes the lungs.
- Eucalyptus oil — Can help to clear the sinuses; placed into the ear (diluted), it can help to clear ear infections.
- Quecertin — Good for allergic reactions, it can minimize swelling and redness from a sting or bite if taken internally.
- Tea tree oil — Diluted, use on the bite/sting itself to reduce the risk of infection.
- Lemon balm — Helps to heal wounds, including cold sores, and is also known for its calming properties (it can help gas, bloating, and colic too).
- Citronella essential oil — This can actually prevent insect bites or stings by using a diffuser or applying directly (diluted) to your skin.
- Ledum — Homeopathic remedy that helps reaction to the sting (especially if cold to the touch, yet immersion in cold water helps relieve).
- Apis — Homeopathic remedy for a sting if warm to the touch. Can also treat hives.
- Urtica Urens — Helps red, swollen sting/bite areas; may also be used to treat hives.
These remedies should be used only for minor burns, like sunburns. For serious burns, seek professional help immediately.
- Aloe vera — Apply the pure gel directly to the skin to relieve burns and help heal. (Check labels on commercial products; they may be a blend with little actual aloe vera.)
- Calendula — Soothing and promotes healing. Can be used as a salve or a tincture.
- Goldenseal — This can help to heal skin when used as a salve or cream.
- Hypericum — A homeopathic remedy that can soothe intensely painful burns.
- Arnica — Reduces pain and swelling and can help prevent shock. Usually, a secondary remedy is also used.
- Comfrey — Promotes healing of wounds. Can be used as a salve.
Headaches and Muscles Aches
- Pulsatilla — Homeopathic remedy; good for headaches following rich foods or accompanied by indigestion.
- Nux vomica — Homeopathic remedy; headaches from rich food, or accompanied by digestive symptoms.
- Iris — Homeopathic remedy; used for migraines. It’s best to see a professional for your best remedy, but this is the most common one.
- Lavender oil — Used to promote relaxation, and may help relieve tension headaches.
- Clove oil — Can help relieve headaches. Not safe in pregnancy.
- Wintergreen oil — Aspirin is based on this; it can help relieve headaches. Should be used with extreme caution.
- Massage — Tension headaches can often be relieved by massage. Temple massages can help too, possibly with hot or cold compresses.
- Heating pad — Heat a rice-filled sock and place on the effected area.
- Goldenseal — Helps heal damaged skin; is anti-microbial too.
- Apis — Homeopathic remedy; antihistamine, can help stop an allergic reaction. Can treat hives.
- Urtica Urens — Homeopathic remedy; can help treat hives or other skin reactions.
- Arsenicum album — Homeopathic remedy; can treat food allergies (including dairy and wheat) and chemical allergies or sensitivities.
- Thuja — Homeopathic remedy for many conditions, including warts and vaccine reactions. Not safe in pregnancy.
- Chamomile — Taken as a tea, it can relax the digestive system and stop allergy symptoms.
- Marshmallow root — Helps to soothe mucous membranes and slow some reactions.
- Cinchona — A homeopathic remedy that can help stop diarrhea and minimize digestive distress.
- Activated charcoal — Helps to absorb excess fluids, stopping vomiting, diarrhea, and minimizing poisoning.
Cuts and Scrapes
- Mercurius sol — Homeopathic remedy used to aid acute dental pain. Can also help with mercury toxicity.
- Ruta — Homeopathic remedy for pain from a dry socket or infection.
- Arnica — For muscle aches, cuts, scrapes, black eyes. Can be used any time bruising is likely. An all-purpose type remedy that everyone should have. Salve or orally.
- Goldenseal — Soothes skin and is anti-bacterial, naturally “cleaning” the cut.
- Hypericum — Homeopathic remedy useful for any type of nerve damage or cut.
- Lavender oil — This promotes and speeds healing, as well as disinfecting the cut. High-quality essential oil may be used pure (non-diluted), but use with caution.
- Tea tree oil — Used instead of lavender, it will also disinfect the cut and help prevent scarring.
- Honey — Apply raw honey to the wound and place a bandage over it. Anti-microbial, and helps to pull the water out of the cut, speeding healing (many “alternative hospitals” in other countries routinely use this method).
- Calendula — Used a cream, it can promote healing and limit scarring.
- Comfrey — Used as a cream, it can soothe and promote healing.
You’ll notice that many of these remedies come up multiple times. These are the ones that you should get first, if you are uncertain what to start with (calendula, comfrey, apis, lavender oil, honey, arnica). If you’re feeling uncertain about homeopathy, I would recommend arnica being the first remedy you buy. I personally prefer herbal remedies to homeopathy, but I think there is a place for both, depending on need.