Personally we prefer any medical treatments for our families to be natural rather than using manufactured pharmaceuticals. You may do too, but in an emergency situation you may think that standard medicines and drugs would be the best to have on hand.
What you may not know is there a number of natural items that have effective emergency first aid and medical uses. So consider stocking up on some of these and even adding them to your first aid kit.
So here’s our top 11 natural/alternative medicine first aid items…
1. Manuka Honey
Lets start with a native to New Zealand, honey made from the blossoms of dirty old NZ scrub! Manuka honey is now widely accepted as an excellent wound treatment and even used in the mainstream medical community to treat burns. It blocks bacteria and viruses from entering the wound and also has natural antiseptic properties.
We’ve personally used it for sore throats. A teaspoon slowly sucked can give some relief. Plus honey lasts just about forever it seems. We’ve read reports of honey being found in tombs in Egypt!
Bonus: You can even eat it for a boost of emergency calories.
2. Manuka Oil
Another NZ only one. Manuka oil has been shown to kill bacteria, fungus and viruses including treating:
- Abrasions – skin
- Bed sores
- Cold sores
- Cracked skin
- Ears or body pierced – infection of
- Fungal infection
- Insect bites
- Nail infections
- Skin – oily
- Ulcers – varicose
3. Colloidal Silver
Colloidal silver shares some uses with Manuka in that it is used to protect wounds from infection. We’ve also read reports of it being used to treat food poisoning when taken internally. Plus we’ve personally used it a number of times in the past to get rid of the symptoms of a recurring eye infection. With just a couple drops in the eye before bed and it was largely gone the next day. We’ve read about a wide array of internal and external uses, so definitely one to add to your natural first aid kit.
4. Live Aloe Vera
The clear sap from the Aloe plant has similar antibacterial and wound healing properties to manuka. You can apply it directly to cuts, scrapes and burns. Plus you can break a piece off and it will seal itself so you can take it with you.
This time of year it can be used to alleviate sunburn. While taken internally it has benefits to your digestive system and can help intestinal issues.
You’re even meant to be able to pack it into a flesh wound until you can get to emergency treatment. Thankfully we’ve never had to try this ourselves!
Considering these grow like a weed in many places around New Zealand, there is no excuse not to have one in your garden. Or even try a pot if you don’t have a garden or if you’re in a colder area so you can bring it indoors during the colder months.
5. Cayenne Pepper
Apparently during the US civil war hot cayenne pepper was used to cauterize amputated limbs!
So to treat an open and gushing wound:
“Slap copious amounts of cayenne pepper onto it and hold it down with pressure. Silently, slowly count to 60. By 10 seconds, most small veins and arteries will stop bleeding and certainly, by 60 seconds, even big arteries will start to stop bleeding. (Externally, cayenne pepper is a vasoconstrictor. It tightens and closes down the blood vessels.)”
Whereas taken internally it has the opposite effect:
“Internally, cayenne pepper is a vasodilator, meaning that it opens up the arteries. Cayenne pepper can be used for emergency strokes, heart attacks, and even more commonly used in conjunction with other herbs to force other herbs’ medicinal properties into the blood system to the targeted areas.”
We’ve also heard if you sprinkle it in your shoes it will help with circulation on cold winter mornings!
We’ve used this for many bangs and bumps – especially for kids. Man do they get a lot of them! It can reduce swelling and bruising so very handy to have in case of emergency.
Comes in cream or gel as well as an internally taken liquid which can get rid of headaches and help your body recover from trauma.
7. Calendula cream
This is made from the flowers of Calendula officinalis. We have some in the bathroom cupboard and again like a number of these other natural treatments Calendula is great for cuts, scrapes, and other open sores. We use it in place of the likes of savlon and any cuts we get seem to heal extra fast. Worth keeping in your emergency kit.
8. Rescue Remedy
This seems to be getting better known. We’ve noticed many Mothers seem to have it on hand for their kids these days. Rescue Remedy is a blend of five Bach flower remedies. It’s used to calm the nerves due to physical shock. Given traumatic and stressful situations are what you’ll likely find yourself in during a disaster or emergency, it sounds like something worth having in your emergency first aid kit.
9. Rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide
These have a really long shelf life and don’t cost much. Both can help clean first aid tools in your kit or even to clean light wounds.
Plus we’ve read that hydrogen peroxide can potentially cure
“colds and flu within 12 to 14 hours when administering a few drops of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) into each ear. You will hear some bubbling, which is completely normal, and possibly feel a slight stinging sensation.”
Ginger can help with settling an upset stomach. (Ever had Grandad give you a ginger biscuit if you got seedy on a boat trip?)
The carminative properties present in ginger can be used to calm an upset stomach. It’s used to treat bacteria-induced diarrhea. Plus it can also help alleviate the various symptoms of food poisoning.
So probably good to have some on hand. It can be kept in the freezer for use in non emergency times as well. A piece the size of a fingernail should do the trick, just chop it finely and swallow it.
11. Activated Charcoal or Bentonite Clay
Activated charcoal tablets or capsules and bentonite clay powder are well worth having in a first aid kit. They both work by absorbing and removing toxins and poisons. So are beneficial in getting rid of food poisoning or diarrhea. You can mix as a paste and apply to insect stings or bites to absorb the poisons.
Plus as a bonus activated charcoal can be used as part of a makeshift gravity water filter.
Of course in an emergency you’ll still want to get to expert treatment. If you lose a limb you probably shouldn’t solely rely on a bottle of cayenne pepper from the kitchen cupboard! But in a disaster or emergency situation with no help nearby or available it’s handy to know and have some other options. Some of which may even be already in the house.
Certainly make sure you’ve done a first aid course and know CPR etc. We know of two very useful NZ Apps to keep on your phone as a reminder of what to do in various emergency medical situations. They’re preloaded with First Aid advice for 23 common medical emergencies including CPR & defibrillator tutorials and they don’t require cell phone reception to work.
And you’ll still need the contents of a standard first aid kit too. With bandages and wound treatment etc. See the range below:
Any other recommendations for natural first aid items and remedies? Leave a comment with your ideas below to share with us and fellow survivalists.