Wednesday, August 3, 2011

herbal first aid kit part 1

I want to begin utilizing my limited knowledge of herbalism, and have been thinking about what herbal product or project I can come up with in order to begin using it practically. After reading the first aid chapter in Rosemary Gladstar's book, I've decided on a project- an herbal first aid kit!

For this particular post, I'll discuss exactly what will go into my kit. This is a large project, especially if I am going to be making the majority of the products contained in the kit by hand, and so this is part one of many parts of my project.

Let's start with the container for this project.

I like the idea of this travel bag first aid kit, presented by Susan Belsinger of The Herb Companion, with its clear pockets. She suggests that everything in your kit be clearly labeled, and finds it helpful to include an instructional sheet for the use of each item.

 A toolbox is always a great idea to hold all of your items. It's durable and easy to organize. I believe that I'll be starting with a toolbox myself, although a smaller one than this. Mine is like a little suitcase that opens on both sides, so that you can see everything : ).

Although, I do like the idea of this pretty wooden sewing box.

There are also some basic first aid items that are important to include in any kind of first aid kit, including but not limited to the following:

• Sterile, nonstick bandages, assorted sizes
• Adhesive bandages, such as Band-Aids, assorted sizes

• Small scissors
• Thermometer
• Tweezers
• Needles/safety pins, assorted sizes
• Matches
• Candles
• Athletic tape
• Ice pack
• Alcohol swabs or small bottle of alcohol and cotton balls
• Toothpicks or natural floss

I've highlighted the things I'm going to include in my own kit, as I'm going to start with a smaller one. If you are going to go for a larger, more extensive kit, there are other  things to consider as well. If I can find the room in my kit, I'll definitely consider some of these items:

• Clean, washed muslin or cotton cheesecloth to use as a compress or for wrapping wounds and poultices.

• Wool socks with the toes cut open or sweater sleeves are perfect for holding poultices or bandages in place without using tape — just slide them over the arm, elbow, ankle, or leg. They also help retain heat on the affected area.
• Sports wrap— this stretchy and flexible wrap sticks to itself, and it is perfect for wrapping wounds or holding poultices.
• Moleskin — a soft fabric with an adhesive backing, ideal for covering tender spots like blisters.

Before I start on any of my own homemade remedies, I'm going to work on stocking my box with these simple items so that I'm ready to stock it with tinctures, liniments, salves, and oils. I also need to stock up on things like tiny jars, bottles, spritzers, and other items to store my remedies, which I hope to find at my local herbal supply store, the Chicago College of Healing Arts.

I'm super excited about starting this project! Check back as things progress, and build your own first aid kit along with me if you are so inspired.

P.S. Here are some other links to get you started, but they are by no means the end all be all:
Year of Nettle- The Herbal First Aid Kit
The Herb Companion- Make a Natural First Aid Kit


  1. Love this idea. Have yet to do it myself. Shame on me

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  3. This is a nice idea. I remember my grandmother had an idea in herbals, she loved herbalism. And I adore her knowledge of it because it's really effective.

    Elastic Adhesive Bandage

  4. Using herbals are not that bad because most of them are more effective than the over the counter drugs.

    Medical tape