EXPERT SKILL: All-Natural First Aid

Long before Advil and Benadryl, people responded to emergencies big and small with products made from things they grew themselves or found in nature. When you live off the grid, making and stocking up on your own essential oils, herbs, spices, and other natural, everyday supplies is not only easy, but is better for your health and for the environment. Keep these first aid items handy, so you are ready for the healing process to begin.

High-quality essential oils are extremely concentrated and powerful, and can be infused at home or bought at a local apothecary. Essential oils are applied topically, are inhaled when diffused into the air, or can be ingested in gel tablets. Before you use, do your own research on the best way to use each oil. To get you started, essential oils to have in your off-the-grid first aid kit include:

Chamomile Oil, which has calming effects much like its corresponding tea form. It is great for reducing inflammation and pain. Chamomile Oil alleviates headaches and cramps, as well as reduces skin flare-ups, such as eczema, rosacea and rashes.

Another calming oil to have on hand is Lavender Oil. Lavender Oil is not only relaxing and aids insomnia, it is antimicrobial and good to apply to burns or scrapes.

Tea Tree Oil is good to have around for antimicrobial applications, as well as anti-fungal, antiviral and antibacterial purposes. Tea Tree Oil relieves pain and is a cure-all for many things, from fungal infections to warts.

Clove Oil fights fungus as well. If you have tooth pain, Clove Oil is great for fighting it because of its slightly sedating affect.

For congestion, Eucalyptus Oil will clear it. In fact, Eucalyptus is useful for all respiratory issues.

Before you stock your first aid kit with these oils, investigate the subject further to decide which oils best suit your needs. The essential oils mentioned are only the beginning – there are many more oils and uses out there.

As far as herbs and spices go, you can grow your own and dry them or purchase from a local grower. Here is a short list of herbs and spices to get you started:

Chamomile herbs make a great tea, and much like its oil counterpart can be applied topically for soothing wounds.

Cayenne Powder is also beneficial when applied to wounds. Cayenne has a powerful way of jump-starting the healing process.

Ginger is soothing for stomach ailments.

In addition to oils, herbs, and spices, supplies to keep in your off-the-grid first aid kit are most likely items you have around your home, like sea salt. When mixed with warm water, sea salt cleans wounds and help mouth sores start the healing process. Hydrogen peroxide is another solution you probably have in your home that is great for cleaning wounds, as well as preventing infection.

Believe it or not, common items like superglue is good to have around for suturing deep cuts, and duct tape is good for covering blisters. Keep in mind that serious injuries still require professional medical treatment, but minor injuries can be treated off-the-grid with oils, herbs, and spices. Chances are you do not need to buy brand name pills, medications, or Band-Aids and can keep yourself and family happy and healthy using natural products.