January 7, 2020
The other day one of my younger mom friends sparked this blog by asking me what I would advise her to keep around as kind of an alternative first aid kit. After sharing a fairly long list of things that I find critical, we decided it would probably be a useful kind of list to share here.
I will tell you some of what we use these things for, but as always, standard disclaimers about medical advice and speaking to your provider apply. Also, getting proper training in administering the various interventions is critical.
I broke this down into categories of use.
Minor Boo-Boos (abrasions, swelling, soreness, and burns)
Arnica is my go-to for trauma. When my son was learning how to walk, he fell face first into one of those wrought-iron magazine stands. In the time that it took me to run upstairs for the ice pack and get back downstairs, he sprouted a golf ball-sized goose egg at the edge of his eye socket. I was able to apply arnica ointment to all but the very inside part of the goose egg. The next day the swelling was gone entirely, and the only bruising was where I was unable to get the gel due to proximity of his eyeball. I keep arnica in the forms of gel/cream and homeopathic pellets in 30C and 200C.
Calendula is one of the best herbs for treating minor skin stuff – burns, abrasions, eczema (sometimes). I keep it around in both cream and dried-flower forms. It’s one of the ingredients in my own personal chapstick recipe, and in a pinch I could make a strong tea and poultice using it.
Tea Tree Essential Oil is antifungal and antibacterial. It’s basically the woo-person’s hydrogen peroxide. It can also dry pimples.
Lavender Essential Oil is very soothing for minor skin irritations. I like to put it in the bath with a good quantity of almond oil.
Aloe Plants are essential for burns. You simply cut a leaf off and squeeze the gel out. It’s amazing. It’s perfectly happy being grown in a pot in a window.
Comfrey Plants require a yard because comfrey roots pretty deep. I keep comfrey growing in my yard because it’s basically human spackle. You can pack a clean wound with a comfrey-leaf or -root tea poultice (you make a strong tea, soak a piece of muslin cloth in it, and bind the wound). Comfrey is also one of the ingredients in my aforementioned chapstick. Unless you are an experienced herbalist, you should not ingest or recommend ingesting comfrey leaves.
Epsom Salts are fantastic in the bath for aches and pains, for mild detoxing, and a little bit of magnesium absorption.
Cruds (viruses, internal infections)
Enzyme Defense (formerly known as Virastop) from Enzymedica is one of the few that I will recommend by brand. My son has been a viral-regression kind of kid, so we like to make sure that we address viruses just as soon as we are aware of what we are dealing with. The particular combination of enzymes breaks down the outer shell of the virus and allows the immune system (or other antiviral that you have on board) to be more effective.
Calcium Lactate for fevers. If you follow Covenant Integrative Wellness on Facebook, you already know this. Dr. McGowin did a Monday Minute on this protocol in the fall of 2019. Turns out the reason a body spikes a fever is that it needs calcium to fully mount an immune response and the easiest way is to get it from the bones. The fever leaches out the calcium. So by providing calcium lactate when a fever presents, we give the body what it needs, and it no longer is required to leach from the bones. I have personally run the fever protocol when my son spiked a 102 temperature one day, and it works.
Peppermint Essential Oil is usually my first go-to for plugged-up sinuses, simply to sniff from the bottle. Peppermint is also analgesic (can help pain, I like it on my temples for headaches) and is another method for reducing a fever when applied up the spine, to the big toes, or in the belly button. It’s more of a suppression, whereas calcium lactate is more of a “the body has what it needs so it can reduce the fever.”
Eucaylptus Essential Oil is good when peppermint alone isn’t enough to loosen up congestion. You can dilute eucalyptus into a little bit of almond oil and rub on the chest and big toes.
Oregano Essential Oil is incredibly antipathogenic. If I see mucus starting to show signs of infection, I will do oregano in the diffuser and on big toes. Oregano is also tremendously antifungal.
Vitamin C – At the first signs of an impending upper respiratory infection, I do a gram (1,000 mg) of Vitamin C (buffered) an hour until I start having watery diarrhea (this is what “to bowel tolerance” means), and I do that until I no longer feel those signs of illness.
Vitamin D – Also at the first signs of an impending upper respiratory infection, I do what is affectionately referred to as the Vitamin D Hammer. I’ve heard the dosing described several ways, but basically it’s a megadose of Vitamin D once a day for three days. The dosing is based on body weight, and you should Google to ensure you are doing what is correct for your weight. In my house it’s 50,000 iu for a 165-pound body.
Elderberries – I keep them around in dried form because I make my own tincture and syrup from scratch. You can purchase pre-made elderberry syrup (watch the expiration instructions) and elderberry throat drops. There are some really interesting studies popping up that are showing elderberry actually unwinds the flu virus at a cellular level.
Oscillocillium is probably the most well-known of the homeopathic pellet treatments because it really does help influenza if you start it really early. I’ve actually had MDs recommend it to me. I generally give one tube of remedy every four hours the first day then slow down frequency as long as symptoms stay away.
Bone Broth is soothing, healthy, and full of immune-boosting properties. Everyone should drink a cup a day unless they have histamine sensitivities.
It’s pretty rare for a child on the autism spectrum to NOT have some sort of gastrointestinal involvement. It could be anything – constipation, diarrhea, too much/not enough stomach acid.
Castor Oil (both capsules and not) – It’s much easier to get down a child in a capsule than not. Castor oil is not my top-of-the-list laxative because it’s so . . . dramatically effective. That said, oftentimes a nice castor-oil pack on the liver (or uterus for us perimenopausal mamas) helps soothe cramping when nothing else will.
Activated Charcoal (encapsulated) is one of my go-to remedies for dietary infractions, as it pulls everything out. You should not administer activated charcoal within at least two (and some folks say four) hours of administering medications or supplements because the AC will pull it all right out. Don’t be alarmed that post-AC bowel movements turn black.
Bentonite Clay (encapsulated) is activated charcoal light. This is my go-to for diarrhea. Same rules as AC for timing around medications, but you won’t have black poop. This is personally my favorite binder.
Magnesium Citrate is my go-to for constipation. Its much less . . . dramatic than Castor oil (causes way less cramping). I like to dose it at bedtime and plan to stay near the toilet most of the next morning.
Nox Vomica in 30C and 200C doses is homeopathy for over indulging, heartburn, vomiting, etc.
Apis in 30c and 200c for swelling and allergic reaction. I handed my sister in law the apis from my purse one day when she was given a salad with jalapeño peppers (to which she is allergic). It stopped the throat itch and swelling sensation in minutes.
Rescue Remedy – I keep this flower remedy in my purse for when we feel a meltdown starting. Sometimes Rescue Remedy with a quiet room will stave it off.
Apple Cider Vinegar / Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice to alkalize the body and help digestion.
Baking Soda to neutralize the body’s pH. You can add ¼ tsp of baking soda to eight ounces of warm water.
Colloidal Silver is hands down the best over-the-counter antibiotic available. I have used it for bladder infections, upper-respiratory infections, skin stuff . . . It’s second only to breastmilk for sties and eye sores.
D-Hist is is a robust herbal antihistamine and can be kept on hand for unexpected allergy flares.
A well-rounded, living, probiotic – I debated including this because, in truth, I think we should all be using a well rounded living probiotic every day anyway. I have used both Liovi and Flourish brands in the last few years, and both are miles beyond the freeze-dried and encapsulated probiotic pills in effectiveness. I include them in the first-aid kit because they will help restore the gut after antibiotic use and will help repopulate the gut after a bout of stomach bug.
All first-aid kits should include a good assortment of Band-Aids and a package of menstrual pads. (I will never forget my little brother cutting his legs up pretty good falling off his bike and my mom slapping a pad on it until they could get to the doctor.)
And, lastly, I wholeheartedly recommend getting a basic homeopathy kit that comes with a materia medica.
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