Cuts, bumps, scrapes and bruises.
It’s all part of being a kid – or at least it was when I was a kid and played outside every day in the summer.
But it’s important to care for those scrapes properly.
After all, a small injury can become something much worse if it gets infected.
So let’s look at some herbal solutions for injuries, because not everything requires drugstore creams and antibiotics to heal.
Have you thought about making a natural first-aid kit?
Do you know what should be included in it?
What can you treat at home without needing to see a doctor?
Read on to find out.
Common Childhood Injuries
Many of the injuries children get from playing are fairly minor, and unless there is an underlying medical condition, will heal on their own.
This doesn’t make it any less scary the first time your child comes home crying in pain, bleeding, or bruised.
Let’s look at some of the common childhood injuries and what is causing them.
Bruising is a discolouration of the skin, caused when a blow or impact ruptures blood vessels under the skin, but does not break it.
A new bruise will usually be blue or purple in colour, but after some time will usually fade to a greenish or yellow colour.
Itchy skin could be caused by coming in contact with substances such as poisonous plants, irritation from clothing, or bug bites.
There are many terms for wounds which break the skin – abrasion, laceration, puncture wound to name a few.
With any of these the most important thing is to control any bleeding and ensure it doesn’t get infected.
Your Natural First Aid Kit
We’re big fans of natural remedies.
However some things should be left to the pros.
So I’m going to say this first: If your child suffers a major injury, broken bones, major burns, head trauma or any injury where the “ABCs” (airway, breathing, and circulation) are compromised, they need an emergency room and possibly an ambulance.
Please, do not delay seeing an emergency medical professional based on the information you find in this article.
If your child has suffered a serious injury, take them to the emergency room as quickly as possible.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about less serious injuries – cuts, scrapes, bruises, and minor burns.
For these injuries, many can be treated in the home, and naturally at that.
Let’s look in more detail at some of the plant and herb-based creams and gels which should be part of your natural first aid kit.
But don’t overlook basics such as bandages, absorbent pads and ice packs as well.
The most basic treatment for many injuries is as simple as RICE:
• Rest the injury as to not cause any more harm.
• Ice the area to bring down inflammation.
• Compress the area to control swelling.
• Elevate the injury to reduce blood flow to the area.
Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s have a look at what some key components of a natural first aid kit are.
1. Aloe vera gel
Want to grow your own remedy?
Keep an aloe vera plant handy, and break off a leaf when you need some of this thick gel.
Mix it with witch hazel to create a spray which can be used on minor burns such as sunburn.
Just be aware if you decide to keep an aloe plant in the home to keep it away from any furry friends you may have, as it can be poisonous to cats and dogs.
And of course store bought will work just as well.
2. Calendula cream
You may not be familiar with calendula, but you’ve probably heard of the marigold flower, which is closely related.
So in addition to being pretty, it can also be very useful.
Calendula has anti-inflammatory properties which are helpful for speeding the recovery of cuts, scrapes, bruises and bites.
3. Arnica cream
Arnica is an herb that grows in Europe, Siberia and temperate North American climates.
Its flowers are used in medicine.
Arnica cream or gel can help reduce inflammation.
It does this by dilating capillaries which helps the body to heal itself naturally.
It also has antibiotic properties.
This makes it ideal for treating bruises, muscle pain, and insect bites.
4. Iodine drops
If you paid attention in chemistry class, you’d know Iodine is chemical element number 53.
But it’s much, much more than that.
Iodine solution can be used for disinfecting wounds.
Use it in a skin wash or on a Band-Aid.
It’s especially good for wounds which are producing pus.
5. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is an astringent, which means it contracts the tissues it comes in contact with, including the skin.
For this reason, it’s often used as part of a beauty regimen.
Maybe you already have some in your bathroom cupboard.
But these properties also make it great for lessening discolouration caused by bruises.
Try soaking a cotton pad in it and applying it alongside an ice pack.
Contact Annex Naturopathic
Want some help putting together your natural first aid kit?
Have further questions about and of the ingredients we’ve recommended?
Want to build a more comprehensive kit (what we’ve listed here is just a start).
Contact us at Annex Naturopathic today to discuss your options.
Yours in Health,
Dr. Marnie Luck, N.D
Annex Naturopathic Clinic is a clinic in Toronto that offers integrative healthcare solutions from Drs. Marnie Luck, ND, and Tanya Lee, ND