Herb Essentials for Your First Aid Kit

By Varsha Soneji - Medical Herbalist -

Herbal medicine is a natural way to help your body heal itself and has been used over the past 60,000 years by our ancestors, very effectively, for all sorts of illnesses. Although herbalists use plants to treat underlying causes of their patients’ health problems, there are always times when an immediate, quick solution is called for. If one is prepared with some simple home herbal remedies, it can help immensely.

I have put together some elementary, but essential tips that are especially useful for kids and adults alike for times when quick, rapid herbal support is needed. Using herbs, in my book, is unquestionably important, due to the fact that they minimise the need of drugs which can cause many nasty side-effects. Also, you can find all these remedies quite easily and add to your first aid cabinet, which means they are readily available when needed and don’t cost much either.

Cuts and Grazes

Calendula officinalis, also referred to as pot marigold, is tremendously useful for any skin condition; it soothes and promotes healing. You can use it as a tincture diluted in water to wash wounds and injuries, or apply it in the form of an oil or cream after the abrasion has been cleaned.

calendula flower

Upset Tummies

We have all experienced mild digestive upset when over-indulging; fennel, also called Foeniculum vulgare helps get the digestive juices flowing again to support your natural digestion, thus preventing any bloating, wind or cramps. You can take fennel by: either chewing about one teaspoon of seeds thoroughly, after each meal; or infusing one teaspoon full of seeds in one mug of hot water for about 10 minutes, straining, and drinking warm.


If you have ever had the unfortunate experience of sunburn, then you’ll know that all you need to soothe that hot, burning sensation is something cool and healing; that’s the unequivocal cue for Aloe vera. Using aloe gel straight from the fridge will promptly cool down the skin and reduce irritation. Keep applying the gel as frequently as needed. If you luckily happen to own an aloe plant, then one must simply break off a leaf and squeeze out the gel like a tube of toothpaste. Then apply directly on the sunburn.

Bee Stings or Insect Bites

You’re sure to have some Plantago lanceolata (Plantain) leaf growing around you, so if you get stung or bitten, break off a leaf or two of plantain, and chew it into a ball that you can place on the injured area. You will experience relief from the pain and swelling almost immediately.

Period Pain

If you’re prone to period pain, mix up 20 drops of Lavender essential oil in a little vegetable oil such as almond, jojoba or grape seed. Use this mix to gently massage your lower abdomen. Not only will you smell great, but the antispasmodic action of lavender will ease the cramping pain without the use of drugs.


chamomile tea

Can’t sleep? Sleep is extremely important for healing the body as it helps strengthen the immune system; so why not get your herbalist to make a bespoke comforting sleep mix for you. It will contain herbs which help restore the nervous system such as: Valerian, Passionflower, or Chamomile. You can choose to have it as a unique blend of herbal tea made just for you, or perhaps a sleep pillow filled with holistic herbs like hops, lavender, and rose. Whichever preparation you prefer, herbs will allow you to have the good night’s rest you long deserve.



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