Herbal First Aid Remedies

First a warning as it is important ,that self-medication with herbs should only be for minor complaints such as coughs and colds, stomach upsets or cuts and bruises. Babies, pregnant women and the elderly should NEVER , take any herbal remedy unless prescribed by a qualified practitioner.

However, there are many herbs you can have in your family herbal medicine cupboard. In fact you can grow your own drugs! in your garden or in containers on a patio. My Top 10 herbs that you can grow yourself and make your own preparations are:

Aloe Vera – the gel from the leaf is the number one choice for burns, scalds and sun-burn . Simply split the leaf, scrape out the gel and apply directly to the burn. Any serious burns should always be treated by a doctor.

Arnica – is a powerful remedy for bruises and sprains. A tincture of flowers can be applied to the skin – never take internally – or creams are now available from chemists

Comfrey – known as boneknit – can help speed the process of healing broken bones. Comfrey can also be used to treat cuts and grazes and is available from chemists

Echinacea – perhaps one of the best known herbs as a natural anti-biotic. Can be taken internally to boost immunity. The tincture can be applied directly to wounds, stings or bites Fennel – the seeds make a very pleasant tea to soothe indigestion

Fennel – the seeds make a very pleasant tea to soothe indigestion. A teaspoon of this tea , cooled is excellent for babies with colic. (Always check with a doctor is symptoms persist) A compress soaked in the cooled tea is soothing to inflammation of the eye.

Garlic – is known for its anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties, making it one of the best immunity boosters. Garlic is also a first rate treatment for toothache, placing the pulp of a clove onto the tooth

Lavender – a real multi-tasker. The oil can be put neat on mosquito bites , if you forgot to dab some on first as an insect repellent ! Lavender is healing, calming and anti-inflammatory. A little of the oil put on the temples can help relieve tension headaches. A few drops in a warm bath helps to calm and relax before bed

Sage – a tea made with a few leaves of sage makes a brilliant remedy for sore throats and tonsillitis.

Marigold –(Calendula) is excellent for skin complaints. A diluted tincture can be used on cuts, grazes and small infections such as those in newly pierced ears. A combination with St Johns Wort can be bought from chemists – ask for Hypercaledula cream, and use on cuts and grazes

Witch Hazel – is a cooling and soothing herb. The lotion can be applied to bruises, insect bites, sunburn and minor burns

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