With the following herbs and essential oils, you should be able to treat many common conditions in the home and when travelling.
1. Valerian tincture: The sedative properties of valerian make it useful for relieving anxiety, insomnia and tension; it may also provide mild pain relief.
2. Eucalyptus essential oil: A potent antibiotic and antiviral, eucalyptus is excellent for treating colds and sinus infections when used as a steam inhalation.
3. Witch hazel extract: Distilled witch hazel has reported astringent, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, useful for treating insect bites and skin irritations. It’s also an excellent base for diluting essential oils for topical application. Do not take it internally.
4. Citronella insect repellent: As this is a natural repellent, it is suggested that one apply it at least every two hours.
5. Arnica oil with lavender essential oil: Arnica flowers have anti-inflammatory and
circulation-stimulating properties; the oil may help relieve sore muscles, sprains, strains and bruises. Do not apply arnica to broken skin.
6. Lemon essential oil:Uplifting, clarifying lemon essential oil can be used as aromatherapy to help dispel mental fatigue. It is also antiseptic, but should be diluted before being applied to the skin.
7. Echinacea tincture:Rich in phytochemicals that boost immunity, versatile liquid echinacea extract can be used internally to treat infections and externally for wounds and burns.
8. Peppermint essential oil and loose herb for teas: Peppermint soothes an upset stomach, eases congestion from the common cold and curbs itching from insect bites. If you have sensitive skin, dilute peppermint oil before applying. Peppermint tea may aggravate heartburn.
9. Lavender essential oil: Multi-purpose lavender has sedative, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. It’s helpful for anxiety, insomnia, headaches, wounds and burns. Most people can tolerate lavender essential oil applied directly to the skin.
10. Buchu herb: An infusion of the leaves provides an effective treatment for Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)
11. Koorsbossie: An infusion of the leaves can help with the following conditions: Asthma, Bronchitis, Catarrh, Colds, Cough, Croup, Dyspepsia, Laryngitis, Loss of appetite, Sore Throat. The essential oils in Horehound help dilate the arteries and relieve lung congestion. Horehound increases circulation to the lungs, expels mucus, and cools infection.
12. Tea Tree essential oil: No first Aid kit should be without this essential oils. It is one of the most powerful immune system stimulants and sorts out most viral, bacterial and fungal infections quickly. It is great to clean wounds and also relieves muscle aches and pains.
13. Along with the above herbs and oils, the following are helpful to have your kit as well:
A tea infuser
Adhesive bandage strips in various sizes
A small bottle of rubbing alcohol
Bandage materials including sterile gauze pads, gauze and adhesive bandage tape
Elastic bandages for wrapping sprains
A powdered electrolyte replenishment such as rehydrat
Scissors and tweezers
With grateful thanks to Laurel Vukovic (writing for The Herb Companion)
Most of this blog is info that has been sourced from: http://www.herbcompanion.com . (We thank you for this very helpful website).We have just adapted it for the South African context, using some herbs which are indigenous to Southern Africa.