It’s important to have quick remedies at home to deal with common ailments such as cuts, insect bites, upset stomachs and minor burns.
You can create your own natural first aid kit from simple items in your kitchen cupboards that can save time and money. Here’s are eight…
Lavender or peppermint oil
If you have a headache – caused by too much sun – rub a drop of lavender or peppermint oil on your temples.
Don’t use too much – little is better. You can also sniff peppermint oil if you are feeling sick along with the headache, or even drink a cup of peppermint tea. Lavender oil is also great for soothing all bites.
Chammomile or lemon balm tea will settle the stomach, while peppermint tea could ease flatulence and nausea. This is also a good tea to drink after eating – to avoid indigestion.
Honey can help treat cuts and wounds. Researchers from the University of Wales have found that honey could kill bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and could help heal wounds. During a test, researchers applied pasture honey and manuka honey – both from New Zealand – which stopped the growth of bacteria that many antibiotics couldn’t kill. Scientists have said the healing properties may come from the syrupy texture’s ability to seal wounds and cuts, and the high sugar content, which slows bacterial growth.
Arnica can help relieve bruising. It is the most widely recognised treatment for bruises and can also be used to treat shock.
All bites can be soothed by lavender oil, fresh garlic or neat aloe vera gel. Alternatively you can rub a leek or onion – both are antibacterials – into the skin. This method (or dabbing the skin with vinegar) is an especially good treatment for bee or wasp stings. Mosquito bites – rub lemon juice over the area, or slices of cucumber or tomato.
If you do get stung and the sting won’t come out, make a paste of bicarbonate of soda, add a little water and spread over the wound. Or you can scrape the area with a credit card or dental floss.
If you want to ward off being bitten by mosquitoes or other nasty insects when travelling abroad, start taking Brewer’s Yeast tablets (a natural source of vitamin B) the day before you go on holiday to build up resistance.
Place cooled camomile tea bags on the skin to soothe prickly heat. You could also rub an ointment made from mixing one drop of lavender oil into a bowl of cool water and applying it with a sponge. Alternatively you can dab vinegar
onto your skin to soothe it. Or you can rub fresh sliced tomatoes onto the sunburned area. This will ease the pain and prevent the skin from peeling.
If you have a fever, prepare 75mg of fresh ginger (or 25mg of dried ginger) with a little cinnamon, in 700ml of water. Simmer for 15 – 20 minutes and drink like a tea.
Tea bags could treat your toothache in 15 minutes. If you have a sore tooth or gum, drink a cup of black tea. The tannins in the tea could help draw toxins out of your gums. Or moisten a chammomile tea bag and place it on the painful area for 15 minutes. The herb will help to draw out toxins and relieve the pain. Do this once a day for up to three days.
Ideally cover your arm with sterile gauze but if you don’t have any, use clingfilm. Then secure it with a bandage. Clingfilm won’t stick to the wound and is a good temporary cover until you get to hospital.
Prevent your ears hurting while flying. Sniff olbas or eucalyptus oil.
If any of these accidents are serious go straight to hospital.