Most of us have a first aid kit at home but how many have a natural herbal first aid kit? In this article we will cover topical and internal herbs to keep on hand to help with bleeding, burns, colds, coughs, sore throats, headaches, sinusitis, stomach pain, constipation, aches and pains, insomnia and urinary tract infections (UTIs).
Below are a collection of formulas that would complete a basic first aid kit to have available in your home or while traveling just in case any illnesses or injuries happen. Of course, there are always other formulas to add or slight variations of formulas based on individual constitutions and recurrent symptoms. At Lakewood Community Acupuncture, you can schedule an herbal consultation on the phone or in person to have your own modified first aid kit created for you or shoot us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you want this quintessential basic herbal first aid kit.
Yunnan Baiyao is able to stop bleeding, dispel blood stasis, relieve pain, clear swelling, reduce inflammation, resolve toxins and clear heat. Does not cause blood stasis.
It can be applied directly to the injury/cut/bleed in powder form as well as taken orally in capsule form. Keep in the kitchen for knife cuts, bathroom for razor cuts, glove compartment for car accidents, backpack when hiking/playing outside.
Contraindications: Do not use during pregnancy or with heart conditions.
Ching Wan Hung is a burn cream that prevents blisters from forming and eliminates the pain. It inhibits bacterial growth, reduces pain, generates new flesh and cools the burn.
Can be used for chemical, radiation and sunburns. Can also help with the burning pain of hemorrhoids, poison oak, poison ivy, bed sores, herpes zoster/simplex 1/simplex 2.
Use Q-tip to apply and then cover with bandaid. It is a red color and can stain clothes and bedsheets. Can repeat 3-4 times a day. Use externally only.
Stop a cold before it goes deeper and becomes a bigger problem! One of the best things to have on hand at home so you don’t have to go in for an appointment when contagious and feeling sick.
Cold Quell Helps the body to be stronger to resist a cold and fight it off quicker. It is able to push the cold out of the exterior and prevent it from becoming more internal and deeper into the body. This is a balancing and harmonizing formula and is not harsh on the body.
A Cochrane meta-analysis (Zhang, et al., 2007) concluded that Chinese herbs may shorten the symptomatic phase in the common cold. Herbs in Cold Quell have antiviral and antibacterial properties.
Do not use as a long-term preventative to keep from getting sick. Only use when experiencing cold symptoms
Fritillaria & Loquat Cough Syrup (Nin Jiom Pei Pa Koa) can transform phlegm, relieve cough and wheezing, clear heat and nourish the lungs. It coats and cools the throat to calm a sore throat. Particularly good for a cough that hurts your throat. This formula can also be found in cough drop form.
Superior Sore Throat Powder or Watermelon Frost are both very helpful for a hot, irritated sore throat. Also great for mouth ulcers, including herpes simplex and ear infection. Topically for shingles/herpes zoster.
These are squeeze bottles of powder and are inhaled into the throat for sore throats. Apply powder over mouth ulcers/lesions. Use as a paste for shingles. Mix with hydrogen peroxide or oil of oregano for otitis media.
Subdue Head Wind can be used generally for headaches. Also good for a headache during colds. Can be used for many types of headaches and can be a natural go-to for occasionally pain in the head, but best to only use for occasional headaches; not a formula for recurrent or frequent headaches. Use every couple hours until the headache is gone. Higher dose if larger body weight and smaller, but regular dosage if smaller body types.
Bi Yan Pian and Fragrant Jade they clear the sinuses and help with unblocking nasal passages, transform phlegm, open the lungs and resolve toxins. Good to use when allergy symptoms are present such as sneezing and watery eyes. Jade Windscreen (Yu Ping Feng San) can be used instead when allergies are not present but you wish to boost your immune system preventatively.
Curing Pills or Digestive Formula (Bao He Wan) helps with digestive discomfort such as gas, bloating, nausea, vomiting, heartburn/acid reflux and other digestive upheaval. Effective for short term digestive issues. For some people this formula can replace the use of ant-acids and proton pump inhibitors. The action of this formula is to clear food stagnation. Great to take after eating too large of meal causing abdominal discomfort.
Run Chang Wan helps to soften and move the stools. Good for patients with weaker constitution. Helps rebuild fluids. Do not use this formula during pregnancy.
A whole food fiber blend can also be helpful with regulating the bowels. Standard Process has an effective Whole Food Fiber that helps to regulate the stools.
Linaments, salves and plasters can be very helpful with aches and pains to use topically. The idea behind them is to decrease inflammation, stop pain, increase blood flow and increase healing time.
Po Sum On: Comes in both a salve and an oil to rub on the injured area. The menthol in this formula is distilled naturally from the peppermint and cinnamon in this blend, instead of chemically derived and added in.
Wu Yang Plasters: Can leave plasters on for 8 hours at a time. Plasters are particularly good at healing traumas/injuries.
Meridian Comfort/Circulation/Passage: The “Meridian” line by Kan can be used internally for pain. Meridian Passage is the best one to have on hand in the first aid kit for pains and aches caused by acute injury.
There are many formulas to help with sleep and some formulas are better than others to address different root causes of insomnia. But a good go to formula is Peaceful Sleep Formula/An Mien Pian. Good for rough nights of sleep when hard to fall asleep or to get back to sleep. Calms the sleep and allows for a more restful sleep. Can come in tincture and pill form.
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) can come on hard and fast. Besides staying extremely hydrated to flush the urethra with fluids, it is helpful to have herbal medicine on hand.
Ba Zheng San (Relieving Formula): when experiencing the first signs of a UTI urge to urinate frequently, pain and discomfort urinating and dark and scanty urine this can be useful to begin taking in large doses right away to clear heat through the urinary tract by promoting urination and unblocking painful urinary dribbling. Many of the herbs in this formula have antibacterial and antiviral activity to help resolve the UTI.
Urinary tract infections can be dangerous if they progress too far, so if at any point during a UTI one has back pain or a fever seek medical attention immediately. If the herbs have not mostly cleared up the UTI in a day or two and completely gotten rid of the UTI by day 3 then it is important to contact your primary care doctor and get antibiotics.