There’s good reason to be worried about many of the chemicals found in your drugstore first aid products. Fortunately, there are worry-free natural options to take care of everything from bug bites and motion sickness to scrapes and strains. To find out how to put together a natural first aid kit, we turned to holistic health counselor/founder of Joni Juice Cindy Kasindorf and Robin Rogosin, the nutritional supplement and body care buyer for Whole Foods Market.
“If you get a burn, consider natural remedies like peppermint oil, calendula oil or St. John’s wort extract (dilute before applying), which cool and soothe the skin,” says Rogosin. “Adding a few drops to a cool bath or diluting drops into JĀSÖN Aloe Vera Gel will ease hot, burning skin immediately. Green, white and black brewed and cooled teas will also promote skin healing because of the tannins they contain.”
Cuts, Acne and Athlete’s Foot
“Tea tree oil is a powerful and natural antiseptic to treat many skin conditions. It is used topically to disinfect wounds from bacterial, viral and fungal infections. It can be used for many skin conditions, such as acne, warts, athlete’s foot and will treat insect bites, from spiders to jellyfish stings. Apply a few drops directly to the affected skin area or dilute in coconut oil,” explains Kasindorf.
“Lavender essential oil is the best natural stress reliever — period,” says Kasindorf. “Take a few deep breaths of the lavender oil whenever you need a quick dose of stress relief.”
“Applying diluted essential oils like lemongrass, citronella and eucalyptus to skin and clothing disguises body scent and will help ward off mosquitoes, while lavender, basil and geranium essential oils help keep biting flies away,” says Rogosin.
“Ginger extract or capsules are the go-to remedy for motion sickness and nausea. Tea tree oil or witch hazel can clean and soothe painful skin, while arnica relieves bruising and swelling. Calendula ointment is perfect first aid for cuts, scrapes, minor burns and chapped skin,” says Rogosin.
“Barlean’s Olive Leaf Complex throat spray will offer relief within a couple of hours and the sore throat usually disappears the day after,” says Kasindorf. “The ingredients in this spray include olea europaea leaf extract, sage leaf extract, peppermint oil and menthol. Research has shown that olive leaf extract has been shown to inhibit the growth of viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites and therefore can be used to treat many conditions, including the common cold.”
“I used to get stomach aches often as a child. Unfortunately, I didn’t understand the connection between what I ate and how it affected my body. Many years later, after furthering my education and learning more about the practice of functional medicine, I was determined to find a remedy to cure my chronic stomach aches and here is one of my favorite recipes, which I formulated to support the digestive system,” explains Kasindorf. “Each ingredient on its own is known to aid in digestion; the combination of these ingredients is a powerhouse of vitamins, minerals and enzymes to heal any digestive issues. Polysaccharides found in the gel of the aloe leaf lubricate the lining of the intestines, pineapple has strong anti-inflammatory benefits and the menthol in mint is soothing. Simply toss it all in the blender.”
- 1/2 fresh aloe vera leaf (slice open and scoop out the inside gel)
- 1 cup fresh pineapple
- A handful of de-stemmed mint leaves
- 1 cup water
Directions: Blend all together and drink up.