Herbal First Aid for Outdoor Adventures

Herbal First Aid for Outdoor Adventures | Jill's Home Remedies | Outdoor adventures are a favorite part of summer. Be prepared with these 6 herbs you can use for herbal first aid.

Enjoying the outdoors is a great way to explore nature, get dirty and have some adventures, especially for the kids in your family. As fun as the outdoors can be, sometimes accidents happen. Instead of reaching for over the counter medications and creams with bad antibiotics and sketchy ingredients, use plants for herbal first aid.

There are so many good plants to choose from when it comes to herbal first aid, but I’ve condensed the list down to some of my most used favorites. Many of these plants can be foraged from your backyard or outdoor space. Just be sure to avoid any plants growing near highways or farm fields, as these are full of toxins.

Jewelweed

This herb is best used fresh and can often be found growing near poison ivy in a damp, shady location. Spotted jewelweed is used to combat the effects of poison ivy, poison oak, and stinging nettles. It’s an antihistamine and anti-inflammatory. One study even found it to be as effective as corticosteroids and prescription drugs for treating poison ivy. Jewelweed has been used for many different skin irritations, like burns, insect bites, rashes, and sores.

To use: Rub the juice from the stem onto skin that’s just been exposed to an irritant. You can also make the fresh plant into a decoction, tincture, poultice or salve.

Yarrow

This herb is mentioned in the classic novel, The Lord of the Rings, as kingsfoil. The characters use it during one scene to stop bleeding from a wound. Even though the book is fictional, the herb known as milfoil, or yarrow is quite real. Yarrow can be made into a tea or tincture and used internally, but it can also be used externally on wounds. It’s antiseptic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, astringent and a pain reliever.

To use: Mix powdered yarrow with water, or grind fresh yarrow and place it over the affected area. Wrap with a bandage to keep the herbs in place.

Plantain

There are two types of plantain: broad leaf, and long leaf. The broad leaf variety is what’s typically used for skincare and herbal preparations. This herb favors compacted areas like driveways and pathways, so it’s an easy one to spot. Plantain is antiseptic, antibacterial, astringent and anti-inflammatory. It’s my favorite to use for bug bites and stings.

You can also help to prevent bug bites in the first place with a good, all natural bug spray. The one I use doesn’t contain the neurotoxin DEET like conventional bug sprays. Instead, it uses all natural plants that help repel mosquitos, and even ticks that may carry Lyme disease. You can check out my Bug Off spray here!

To use: Chew the leaf or roll it in the palm of your hands until the juices are released. Place the wet leaf on bites, wounds and stings. It can also be used to draw out splinters and thorns. Can also be used as a salve or tincture.

Calendula

This is my number one go-to herb for soothing irritated skin. It offers relief and healing for issues like psoriasis, eczema, sunburn and rashes. Calendula is particularly helpful for stubborn wounds that resist healing and helps dispel lymphatic congestion for faster results. It’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and good for infectious diseases.

To use: Apply an oil or salve infused with the herb onto the affected area. You can also crush the fresh flower until the juices are released and apply to the affected area, then secure with a bandage.

Comfrey

This herb is nicknamed “bone knit” for its ability to speed the healing of broken, dislocated and fractured bones. Even if you don’t have a broken bone, comfrey can also be used for bruises, sprains, wounds, burns and inflamed skin. It’s also a mild pain reliever. Comfrey is known to heal skin so quickly, that it’s usually paired with anti-microbial herbs to prevent any infections from being sealed into the skin. Comfrey is typically used as a poultice, however, it should not be used internally. 

To use: Mix powdered comfrey with water, or grind fresh comfrey and place it over the affected area. Wrap with a bandage to keep the herbs in place. Can also be used in a salve or tincture.

Herbal First Aid for Outdoor Adventures | Jill's Home Remedies | Outdoor adventures are a favorite part of summer. Be prepared with these 6 herbs you can use for herbal first aid.

Echinacea

Although this herb is famous for its use as an immune booster during the cold season, echinacea is also great for skincare. Echinacea is anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. It boosts and balances the immune system to fight infections and stimulates wound healing.

To use: Drink as a tea, or tincture. Can also be infused in oil and used topically in a salve.

Healing Salve

Sometimes you need a fast and easy solution for bug bites, scrapes, sunburns, rashes and other skin irritations. And while I love grabbing an herb from the yard, sometimes what you need isn’t readily available, or you may not be sure how to identify the right plant. That’s where a good healing salve comes in.

I’ve been making my own healing salve and sharing it with others for years now. It took a little while to come up with a safe, yet highly effective recipe, and it features many of the herbs mentioned above and more. This healing salve is a true multitasker and can be used to soothe skin such as your baby’s diaper rash, your husband’s sunburn or that mysterious rash that showed up on your arm.

I worked as a nanny for over 7 years, and unfortunately several of the kids I cared for suffered from eczema. After applying this salve a few times, the eczema was significantly improved, and it offered them soothing relief from the itching and pain.

Here’s what other natural mammas have had to say about it:

“My 5th time ordering this salve – works wonders on burns, irritation, cuts, razor bumps, ANYTHING. Thank you for this all-natural product that WORKS and is AFFORDABLE!”

“So far so good! It’s healed a diaper rash super quick!”

“This stuff is like magic… It healed my sons stubborn diaper rash and eczema in less than 24 hours. And the shop did everything to make my experience highly pleasant. Highly recommend.”

Get organic healing salve

If you want to try some healing salve for yourself, check it out at my Etsy store, This & That Herbal. You’ll also find plenty of other non-toxic, organic and natural, plant-based body care items for everyone in your family.

Use code JILLSHOMEREMEDIES10 for 10% off of your order of $15 or more!*
*Discount doesn’t apply to shipping and can only be used once per customer

Resources:

  •  Fritchey, P. (2004). Practical herbalism: Ordinary plants with extraordinary powers. Warsaw, IN: Whitman Publications. 
  •  Tilgner, S. (1999). Herbal medicine: From the heart of the earth. Creswell, OR: Wise Acres. 

jamie pic

Jamie is a wife, mother, herbalist, essential oil enthusiast and drinker of herbal tea. She shares real food recipes, DIY projects and how to be a good steward of your God-given resources at The Herbal Spoon. Visit her over on Facebook or Pinterest for natural resources and ideas.

Spice Up Your Marriage With These 5 Herbs

Spice Up Your Marriage With These 5 Herbs | Jills Home Remedies | Here are 5 herbs that will bring spice into your love life!

Sometimes you may find that your body is thrown off balance and not functioning the way it should, which can include sexual energy.   What exactly causes imbalances?

  • Diet – So many imbalances in the body are diet related.  We do not eat the way we should and our bodies cannot process all the junk we put into it.  It’s as simple as that.  Most of us need to change our diets in a major way, but it is a gradual process. Start where you can – little changes are better than none!
  • Toxins – We come into toxins on a regular basis through makeup, body care, cleaners, medications, etc.  This can really affect the way a body functions.
  • Stress – We live in a high-stress society. Stress is a HUGE factor in causing illness, cancers, and overall health problems. Be sure you are getting enough sleep each night to help your body recover from stress, and take herbs that are good for the nerves to help your body handle stress.
  • Lack of exercise – staying fit and active are very important for all areas of life!

Spice Up Your Marriage With These 5 Herbs

Besides being aphrodisiacs and having the potential to “spice up your marriage”, these 5 herbs listed below also have other health benefits as well, such as: [1]

Ashwagandha Root 

  • Manage Stress
  • Heal Adrenal Fatigue and Fatigue in General
  • Protects Immune System
  • Helps with Memory
  • Stabilizes Blood Sugar [2]

Damiana 

  • Asthma
  • Depression
  • Impotence
  • Menstrual Problems [3]

Catuaba 

  • Nervous Disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia [4]

Suma Root 

  • Gives energy
  • Improves hormone balance
  • Reduces dark circles in skin care [5]

Saw Palmetto Berries 

  • Good for reproductive organs for men and women (Perfect supplement to prevent prostate cancer!)
  • Antiseptic
  • Helps rid the body of excess mucus [6]

How To Use These Herbs

  1. You can purchase these herbs in capsules to take, or buy them in loose, bulk form and put them in capsules yourself to save money.
  2. You can make a tea out of these herbs and drink a few cups as needed.
  3. You can add these herbs to smoothies, drinks, yogurt, applesauce, etc.

Buy organic saw palmetto here.
Buy organic ashwagandha root, damiana, Catuaba, and suma root here.

Have you ever used any of these herbs for your health?  I would love to hear about it in the comments below!

REFERENCES

  1. 10 Best Herbs for Boosting Female Sex Drive. (2014). Retrieved February 04, 2016, from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/10-best-herbs-boosting-female-sex-drive/
  2.  What Is Ashwagandha? (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://www.chopra.com/ccl/ashwagandha
  3.  Damiana Benefits & Information (Turnera Diffusa). (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://www.herbwisdom.com/herb-damiana.html
  4.  The Effects of Catuaba. (2015). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://www.livestrong.com/article/142981-the-effects-catuaba/
  5.  4 Benefits of Suma Root for Women’s Health. (2014). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://www.globalhealingcenter.com/natural-health/4-benefits-of-suma-root-for-womens-health/
  6.  Saw Palmetto Berries – Powder, Organic. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://www.bulkherbstore.com/Saw-Palmetto-Berries-Powder

 

 What Is Ashwagandha? (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2016, from http://www.chopra.com/ccl/ashwagandha

Uses For The Peppermint Plant

 Most of the world is familiar with peppermint as a flavoring for candy, but it’s a great herb to have on hand to use for everyday life!  Peppermint is high in the following nutrients~

*Calcium
*Iron
*Magnesium
*Niacin
*Phosphorus
*Potassium
*Vitamin A
*Protein
*Riboflavin
*Thiamine

The book Nutritional Herbology says of peppermint:
“The oil of peppermint has been shown to be antimicrobial and antiviral against Newcastle disease, herpes simplex, vaccinia, Semliki Forest and West Nile viruses.
Contains aromatic compounds that increase the production of digestive fluids, relieve muscle spasms, increase blood circulation, reduce pains, promote sweating and are antiseptic. It also contains astringent compounds which shrink inflamed tissues. Peppermint has been used to treat indigestion, flatulence, mouth sores, loss of appetite, muscle cramps, nausea, morning sickness and dysmenorrhea.”

Steeping a cup of peppermint tea will soothe the stomach and digestive upsets.  I also like to mix in some peppermint leaves with other herbs to help flavor and “sweeten” a tea.

*You can easily make your own Peppermint Tea by simply buying some peppermint leaves*

I always make sure I have peppermint essential oil on hand for my family.
Here are some uses for peppermint oil:
*Stomach problems – I use peppermint oil most often for stomach problems.  It helps nausea and digestive problems.  If one of my children has a belly ache, I have them lie down, and I put 2-3 drops of the oil on the area of their stomach that is bothering them.  I also have them hold the bottle under their nose and breath in deeply.  At times, if their nausea is really bad because of a virus, they breath in the aroma continuously until they feel better.  Several times one of us has felt on the verge of vomiting, and the aroma eventually took the nausea away.  I used peppermint oil during the last phase of my pregnancy for nauseous days, and it worked wonders.  WARNING: DO NOT USE PEPPERMINT OIL IN THE FIRST COUPLE TRIMESTERS.  ASK YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE USING, IF PREGNANT!
*Poison Ivy – apply the oil to a poison ivy or oak rash to help with itching
*Paint - mix half a small bottle of oil to a gallon of paint to help with the fumes
*Stuffy nose or bad breath? – place a drop of oil on the tongue to help clear the nose and freshen breath.  Be sure to only use a drop because this oil is strong and doesn’t taste like candy. :)
*Hair - when massaged into the scalp, this oil works to balance the PH levels to put a stop to oily hair, normalizing the scalp’s oil production.  It also helps to stimulate hair growth.  It’s recommended to mix about 4 drops of the oil with a cup of warm water before putting on scalp.  Since peppermint balances the PH levels, the tingling sensation can treat dry scalp and dandruff also.

Be sure to add this peppermint plant to your list of essential home remedies!