By: Dr. Carly Wendler, ND
One of the most common questions I get from mamas at this time of year is “what natural products should I have in my first aid kit’?
These are my top 4 Mama-Doctor approved first aid must-haves to ensure the bumps, bruises, burns & bites of summer don’t slow you and your little one(s) down.
Calendula officinalis, commonly known asthe marigoldplant, is definitely one of my most favourite and often used plant based medicines for the skin. Calendula is my favourite topical (i.e. applied to the surface of the skin) remedy for minor cuts, scrapes and wounds. This superhero herb helps heal wounds more rapidly, reduces local inflammation, and prevents bacterial overgrowth and infection. Calendula works from the inside out by drawing the wound together to heal it more rapidly and prevents excessive scar formation. It works best on wounds where there is swelling, pus, redness and inflammation. You can purchase calendula in an easy-to-carry small tube or jar to keep tucked in the diaper or activity bag. Calendula is also an excellent salve for sunburns!
Homeopathic Arnica Montana is a versatile remedy that can be used internally and externally. Arnica is indicated for bumps, bruises and falls. It works most effectively when taken or applied as soon as possible after the trauma so have it stored at home, in the diaper or activity bag and maybe even the car! This is my first go-to when there’s a bump to the head, a whack from a bike pedal to the shin or the assorted bruises kids come home with. The pellets for internal use are super small and taste sweet so it’s easy to administer orally to the littlest of patients. Likewise the cream (my favourite is Traumacare) can be applied to small and big people alike and multiple times a day, depending on the severity of the trauma. Even though I use arnica ALL THE TIME I’m always impressed how quickly the pain & swelling decrease and the bruise disappears.
Homeopathic Apis is another summer natural fist aid gem. You know you need apis when you havestinging,swelling, hot, watery-filled areas of redness and inflammation, just like how a bee sting feels! But this remedy isn’t just for bee stings, it can be used for any itchy, red, hot, swollen bug bite including hives. Reminder: like arnica, this homeopathic preparation is safe for all ages and stages including infants, pregnancy, and while breastfeeding.
Aloe vera This hardy, succulent plant smashes it out of the park when it comes to soothing sore, hot, irritated skin. Aloe vera comes in handy for BBQ accidents, assorted kitchen related burns, getting too close to the camp fire or speeding the healing of a sunburn. You can break off a piece of the plant and apply the gel to the affected area or purchase aloe vera in a salve for application to larger treatment areas.