by Steven Horne, RH(AHG)

Accidents, illnesses and emergencies are a part of life. They happen to everyone. Some people might think that this is only due to ďnegativeĒ thinking, but most people who promote positive thinking donít deny that we go through difficult times; they just teach that we should look on even our difficulties in a positive light. We do this by seeing them as opportunities for growth.

In that vein, Iíve always thought that being prepared for emergencies is a good idea. Part of this is training. Everyone should have some basic first aid training and know how to handle common injuries. I also think that everyone should be able to handle common illnesses, which is why I wrote my Dr. Mom-Dr. Dad course.

In the latest version of the Dr. Mom-Dr. Dad course, I offer some suggestions for an herbal first aid kit. Here they are:

A General Activator or Stimulant

You want to have at least one herb or formula which you can administer which stimulates the energy of the body. You use this at the first sign of colds, flu or other acute illness and administer it in small, frequently repeated doses to stimulate the system to remove the disease. I think Capsicum (discussed last issue) or HCP-X are the best choices, but ginger will also do.

An Antispasmodic Herb or Formula

An antispasmodic relaxes muscle cramps of spasms and can be used to ease pain, relax the body during anxiety attacks and stress, ease asthma attacks, and relieve tension headaches. Lobelia is my favorite remedy here, although Blue Vervain or CBG extract could also be used.

An Immune Stimulant

Itís good to have something to stimulate the immune system. This can be used for fighting infections, but it can also be used for prevention. Take the remedy when colds or flu are going around to ďimmunizeĒ yourself and your loved ones. Ultimate Echinacea is good for this purpose, but you can use any Immune Stimulator.

A Natural Antibiotic

I always keep raw garlic on hand to use as a natural antibiotic for fighting infections. For long term storage, I also keep Garlic Oil and High Potency Garlic in my home health care kit. Silver Shield has also found a permanent home in my first aid kit, both the liquid and the gel.

An Astringent

Itís a good idea to keep at least one astringent in your home health care kit. Astringents can be used to arrest bleeding and other discharges. They are useful for diarrhea, bee stings and insect bites and gargles for a sore throat. My personal favorites are yarrow, bayberry and white oak bark. Yarrow is particularly good because it is also a valuable remedy for fevers.

Activated Charcoal

As I said last issue, Activated Charcoal is a vital remedy that should be in everyoneís home. I especially believe every home that ever has small children in it should have some activated charcoal on hand for use in case of poisoning. It lasts forever, so there is no worry about it going bad on you.

A Blend of Topical Analgesic Essential Oils

I donít know where Iíd be without my Tei Fu oil. It has to be one of the most useful remedies Iíve every found. It can be applied topically to ease the pain of sore muscles, to reduce swelling in bug bites and bee stings and to aid headaches, sore throats, sinus and respiratory congestion and a whole lot more.

A Shock-Relieving Flower Remedy

The classic here is Dr. Bachís Rescue Remedy, but NSPís Distress Remedy is even better as I explained last issue.

An Expectorant and Decongestant

Although HCP-X and Lobelia all have an expectorant and decongestant action, it is best to have a formula that is more specific to clearing excess mucus from the lungs and sinuses. AL-J is my favorite

Aloe Vera Gel

A high quality aloe vera gel is useful to keep on hand for burns, sunburn, abrasions and other skin irritations, such as NSPís Aloe Vera Gel. Herbal Trim is even better as it contains some Tei Fu oil and other ingredients.

Arnica

Arnica is one of the best remedies for treating bruises, sprains and other related injuries. Natureís Sunshineís Healing AC Cream is a great remedy that contains both arnica and calendula.

An Anti-Viral Formula

My favorite is VS-C. This is something you can use for chicken pox, measles, cold sores, herpes and other viral infections.

A Carminative

Carminatives are used to relieve gas, bloating and colic. Catnip and Fennel is a great choice, especially for families with young children.

Natureís Fresh

Although this is supposed to be a stain odor remover (and itís a very good one), it also makes a great first aid spray for injuries, sunburn and many other problems.

Non-Herbal Supplies

You will also want to keep an assortment of bandages, gauze pads and other dressings for wounds your home health care kit. I also include a pair of tweezers and a needle for extracting slivers, a pocket utility knife, a small pair of scissors, an elastic bandage for sprained ankles and related injuries, an emergency flashlight and radio, and a couple of ďspace blankets,Ē as an emergency way to cover someone in shock and keep them warm.

Having a kit like this (and knowing how to use it) brings me great peace of mind because I know Iím prepared for illness, injuries and emergencies.