Raised firmly entrenched in western medicine by a father in the field, it is only since becoming a parent, that I have started experimenting with alternative medicine. Though my mother embraced the natural, herbal, organic lifestyle in the late ‘70s, as a teen at that time, I naturally rejected the opportunity.
So, while I tend to rely on western medicine much of the time, especially in those emergency situations, I find that slowly but surely I’m stocking my medicine chest with herbal and natural remedies. Ok- Mom- I’m coming back around. But, then again, maybe I’m just trendy.
Reading an article on making a Natural Summer First Aid Kit I realized that I had adopted many of these remedies as my own. Taking stock of my not-quite-crunchy here’s what I found that I own and use. When did I get so crunchy?
1. Arnica gel – reduces bruising and recommended to me by my western medicine surgeon
2. Ice packs – reduces swelling and bruising – Grandma’s old recipe
3. Arnica tablets – reduces inflammation – I carry this tiny, lipstick size canister in my purse at all times for playground falls.
4. Aloe Vera – soothes sunburn – we keep an Aloe Vera plant on our patio – it’s not only more effective in it’s natural state...it’s “cooler”
5. Honey – to disinfectant cuts and bites – pure honey BTW, available at Farmer’s markets and healthy type stores
6. Banana Peel – soothes itching from insect bites and stings
7. Yoga positions – to ease muscle/back pain (OK - this wasn't actually in my medicine chest) – Though not an active Yoga practitioner; I’m a big advocate of certain positions to relieve muscle pain and stress. A sciatica sufferer, again my Western medicine doctor is the one who informed me that this eastern remedy was the best treatment for my chronic pain.
8. Chamomile tea – my other-in-law, living in the land of natural medicine (Germany) turned me on to the healing and calming properties of this tea – though there seem to be many uses.
9. Echinacea – cold prevention – our family starts taking Echinacea dialy, tablets for the adults, liquid for my DS every autumn to ward off winter colds.
10. Rescue Remedy – to ward off colds and calm. Moms in my Waldorf play group turned me on to this product which I use religiously when we travel to ward off all those bad airplane bugs.
11. Peppermint tea for heat exhaustion – The natural cooling effects are great for after summertime play.
12. Bert’s Beeswax salve, lip moisturizer - This product has gained wide distribution lately so is easy to get and is great for chapped lips and skin year round.
13. Ginger - for nausea, motion sickness and vomiting. Look for this at your health food store.
BTW- That's a photo (above) of a bruise my DS acquired from a face plant on the concrete last week. Cold compresses and arnica reduced it to a mere scratch in 2 days, much to everyone's amazement. And yes, we did make the obligatory trip to the emergency room for the CT scan too!