When assembling your 72 hour emergency kit, you may find that you have some wiggle room to fit additional items, so consider adding herbal remedies here that you can create on your own. Remember, emergencies can be unpredictable and you never know how long you might be away from home or in a dangerous situation. So, if there’s one section of the survival pack that can be bulked up, your first priority ought to be the first aid kit. This guide will offer tips on how to use herbal remedies in place of more expensive ointments typically found in stores.
Every first aid kit needs supplies to keep you safe and healthy. In the past, I have usually purchased my first aid items at the dollar store or just purchased a complete First Aid Kit like this one found on Amazon. I keep the dollar store kit in my car trunk and the purchased kit is under the bathroom sink. I also have one in my 72-hour kit.
Whether you’re accident-prone or living at home with kids in particular, these first aid kits come in handy a lot.
Aside from bandages, cleaners, medical tape, and other manmade objects that you can usually purchase on the cheap, a critical component of any first aid kit are ointments.
Ointments have been a part of the medical world for millennia (and before industrialization, were all essentially herbal remedies!) and are necessary for wound care, sunburn or dried skin protection, and much more. Most of these, such as Neosporin, aloe vera cream, and sunscreen can be purchased at the pharmacy, dollar stores, and online.
But collecting these products for multiple kits can get quite expensive rather quickly. You always want to be prepared for the worst, but shouldn’t have to break the bank in the process. So what else can you do?
DIY Herbal Recipe Round-up
I’m all for making some of these essential items myself. By doing so, you can support local businesses, particularly sustainable organizations, by purchasing natural ingredients rather than bulky and expensive commercial items. And you can turn this experience into a great teaching moment by getting your kids involved in the shopping and crafting process.
This guide will walk you through the necessary ingredients and process for putting together seven essential herbal remedies that will complement your first aid kit and keep you and your family prepared for any emergency or survival scenario.
These seven homemade herbal remedies will make a great and essential addition to your household kits or Bug Out Bags. Best of all, they are inexpensive to make, easy to carry and all natural.
Make your own wound care cream
An antibacterial cream like Neosporin is absolutely essential for minor cuts and abrasions. This family of ointment is critical for two reasons. First, it promotes healing, so that your injury will be less debilitating and out of the way quicker. Second, and even more important, it staves off infection.
If you are away from home in an emergency situation, an infection is the absolute last thing you want to deal with.
So, a first aid kit must contain a variety of topical antibacterial ointment, whether it’s bacitracin, triple antibiotic cream, etc. These are available everywhere, but purchasing these for multiple kits can really add up.
This recipe from Mrs. Happy Homemaker for Healing Boo-Boo Salve is a winner. In addition to wound care, the healing boo-boo salve works well for healing diaper rash and eczema.
Remember, no topical antibacterial ointment will be enough to deal with serious injuries. If you have a compound fracture or a massive laceration, always seek medical attention. But for a first aid kit, this natural remedy is a great natural alternative to store-bought ointments.
DIY Herbal Lip Balm
Chapped lips can really be a pain anywhere you are. Worse if you’re in a prolonged emergency situation, excessively chapped lips in very cold conditions can cause bleeding and make you prone to infection. If you find that you are bugging out and using your 72-hour kit, having a bit of lip balm will be really helpful and offer essential prevention for more serious problems.
Actually, lip balm is expensive, so learning to make an herbal remedy version yourself will save a lot of money, particularly if you want to stock multiple kits with chapstick. This recipe from Don’t Mess With Mama for DIY Healing Lip Salve will certainly come in handy. You can make it plain… or spice it up with some flavor by adding cocoa and peppermint or orange.
There are many ways to be creative with this lip balm, so get started today!
Have Fun in the sun, even on the run
Living in a particularly sunny area? This recipe for DIY sunscreen will give you SPF 30 protection naturally, and is always good for daily application, particularly in summertime. Just as chapped lips can be a pain, so is having a sunburn! Even worse, excessive sunburning can lead to skin cancer down the line, and really bad sunburns can cause infection.
If you find yourself out in the open with no protection, you will be glad to have this waterproof sunscreen. Not only is it good for your skin in addition to offering UV protection, but the waterproofing element is also extremely important if you’re on the move and sweating, making this remedy long lasting and very effective.
Find the recipe for DIY Waterproof Sunscreen at Real Food RN.
Keep cuts clean with DIY Witch Hazel
Injuries are bound to happen in an emergency situation, especially if you are on the move. When we’re tired and walking long distances, people are bound to lose their footing, trip, and fall down. Cuts and bruises are an inevitable danger in the outdoors, but you don’t need to stress. Having appropriate cleaning ointments to treat a wound is essential to managing pain and avoiding infection.
Of course, you first need the resources to clean a wound. For this, Witch Hazel is effective, easy to use and inexpensive. Moreover, you can make Witch Hazel Wipes by placing cotton balls or cotton rounds (get them at the dollar store) into a small plastic container with a tight lid, and pour Witch Hazel over them.
Then, when you need to clean a wound, just pull out a pre-moistened wipe. Find out more about the Wonders of Witch Hazel in this post from our archives.
As with the homemade antibacterial salve for treating and managing wounds, keep in mind that this herbal remedy is not a magic potion. Some injuries will require stitches, casts, or even surgery. Always seek medical attention if an injury persists, or if the wound is very large, deep, or consistently painful.
Keep your stomach healthy on the go with this essential herbal remedy
Let’s be honest here. If you find yourself in a situation where you actually have to bring your 72 hour emergency kit out with you, the chances are something has gone very wrong. For example, you may be away from home for a while. It might be impossible to contact friends and family. You may even be in danger and forced to head into the wild.
Any situation like this is bound to cause a tremendous deal of stress. When stress is present, an upset tummy might not be far behind. This Happy Tummy Honey from Living Awareness will be a welcome addition to your 72-hour kit.
Honey is soothing and has antibacterial properties. Honey, taken daily in small amounts (always be mindful of your sugar intake!) has proven to be an effective immune booster as well. The healthier you are on the go, the better prepared you’ll be to meet any challenges that lie ahead.
Don’t fear the tall grass, make your own anti-itch herbal remedy
If you are forced to head into the countryside and cover distances on foot and in the woods, you’re likely to encounter annoying obstacles like brambles, scratchy branches, and certain plants that cause itches and rashes.
This homemade Plantain Anti-itch Salve is a good homemade remedy for dealing with it, and it also comes in bars from Our Happy Acres. It is easy to make and great to have in your first aid kits. We use it daily during the dry winter months too. Plantain is naturally healing and great for your skin.
Most of the time that we use our first aid kit, it has nothing to do with extreme disasters or living off in the wild. Mostly, we need the first aid kit to treat minor wounds, cuts, and burns at home. Whether working around the yard or in the kitchen, you never know when you will get burned.
This Best Burn Salve from Little House Living is an herbal remedy with just three simple ingredients and can be whipped up with a spoon. It’s very easy to store great too, so make some for a small plastic container and make sure you add it to your 72-hour kits.
You can place all of these salves and ointments in your very own individual use containers by using this tutorial for Single Pack Salves. It certainly solves the “how should I carry that” problem you might have for a 72-hour kit.
Master list of supplies for these 7 homemade herbal remedies:
- Coconut Oil
- Olive oil – How to Make an Herb Infused Oil
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Shea Butter
- Vitamin E Capsules
- Aloe Vera
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Witch Hazel – Herb Infused Witch Hazel
- Raw Honey – The Benefits of Raw Honey
- Plantain Leaves (fresh or powder) – Herbs to Know: Plantain
- Fennel Seed (powdered)
- Coriander Seed (powdered)
- Cumin Seed (powdered)
- Zinc Oxide powder
- Comfrey (dried) – 6 Fantastic Reasons for Growing and Using Comfrey
- Calendula (dried) – Growing and Using Calendula – The Benefits of Calendula Oil
- Lavender essential oil
- Peppermint essential oil
- Lip Balm Containers (or put them in straws – see above)
- Glass Jars – Measuring Cups – Measuring Spoons
Where can you get supplies for these recipes? Check your local natural food store and buy local when possible. If you want to really contribute to environmental sustainability, consider producing your own beeswax and keeping the bee population alive and thriving with your own colony. Check this guide out for how to start your own hive in your yard or on the roof if you live in a city.
If you have the time and space, all of these dried herbs can be grown in your own garden. If this is an option for you, local seed banks are always a good place to start. Online they can be purchased at Amazon, Mountain Rose Herbs, Starwest Botanicals, Bulk Herb Store, or Botanical Interests.
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