Even when you do have medicine, there is no way of telling when outside help will arrive. It is possible for supplies to run out.
That is why many people turn to natural remedies. These are easy enough to make using common ingredients that you should have around the household.
- Stings and bites
You only need a few plants in order to deal with all of the stings and bites from bees, mosquitoes and all the other pesky insects. In fact, keeping an herb garden is one of the best ways to ensure that you have access to quality ingredients for natural remedies. Whenever you are preparing such a remedy, it is important to remember not to use the plants that have been recently sprayed with chemicals.
For the most common bites and stings, plantain is the most accessible resource. It is a very common weed found in many gardens, whether it was planted there or not. Simply take a few plantain leaves and make a poultice by chewing them up and applying them to the affected area.
An alternative to this would be an oil made from lavender, another common plant. All you have to do is take a few lavender flowers and chop them up finely. Afterwards you can cover them in a quarter inch of vegetable oil and heat the mixture slowly until it is warm to the touch. Now it is good to apply to the affected area. The best part is that the remaining mixture can be strained and stored for later use. It should still be good for around six months.
Burns can be extremely painful and also render us incapable of performing common tasks. However, they can be treated with natural remedies.
One good example is the aforementioned lavender oil which is also good for burns and scalds. All you need to do is apply it gently to the damaged area and it will help reduce inflammation and speed up the skin healing.
Another useful tincture can be made from the aloe plant. This is another plant with vast healing properties so it should be part of your collection. Just remember not to plant it in the garden as it needs to stay indoors.
For a minor burn, all you need to do is take a leaf and squeeze out the juice onto the burn. If you have something more serious, use one of the bigger, outer leaves of the plant. Take it and slice it lengthwise and squeeze out all of the gel inside of it. Now you can use the gel on its own or, for added power, mix it with a little vitamin E oil in order to get a more potent tincture.
Just like burns, cuts are not only painful, but pretty common for people working around the house. It is very useful to have easy access to ingredients that can deal with them. However, before anything else, it is important to know that severe, deep cuts cannot be treated with herbs and oils.
There is a very large risk of tetanus in these cases and medical attention is recommended as soon as possible. For smaller cuts, though, lavender oil proves to be useful yet again. It works as a good antiseptic and decreases the chances for infection.
For increased healing power, garlic is very useful against cuts. It contains allicin, a substance which can be as potent as penicillin. What you need to do is to take one clove of garlic and to crush it hard and apply the juice to the damaged area. There is a drawback, though. When the garlic juice is applied to the cut, it will sting. It can even damage the skin if left on too long. In order to prevent this, wash the cut with cold water after a few minutes.
A combination of lavender oil and garlic juice will yield the best results – first the lavender, then the garlic.
Itchiness can occur for various reasons and it is quite unpleasant. Many of us cannot fight the uncontrollable urge to scratch. While this might provide temporary relief, it does more harm than good. Not only will it damage the skin, but also leave you prone to infection.
The standard remedy for itches is a bath with baking soda and oatmeal. All you need to do is prepare a warm bath and add a cup of baking or a cup of finely ground oatmeal.
However, these remedies are good when you itch all over the place or in hard-to-reach areas. For more localized problems, there are easier solutions.
Take juniper berries, for example. They have many medicinal properties and would make a fine addition to your garden. The recipe, though, is a bit more complicated and will also require cloves, beeswax and butter. First, take about 3 ounces of butter and begin melting them in a pan. In another pan, melt about 2 tablespoons of beeswax. Combine them when they are both melted. Now take the berries and the cloves and ground them up well. Take about 5 tablespoons of ground berries and 3 spoons of ground cloves and add them to the mixture. First allow the concoction to cool down then apply it to all itchy areas.
For someone who works outside in the sun all day, sunburn is a common problem. However, it is also one which can be dealt with quite easily.
One simple technique of relieving the pain of sunburn involves just using potatoes. Take one or two potatoes, wash them thoroughly and cut them into small pieces. Next they need to be ground up into a paste which is easiest in a blender. If the result is too dry, it is ok to add some water to the mixture.
This paste should be applied directly to the burned area and left there until it dries up. Afterwards a cold shower is recommended.
If this technique is too messy or if the sunburn is localized to a smaller area, it is ok to take the potato paste and simply apply it to gauze. The gauze should then be placed on top of the burn, making sure to change the dressing every hour.
As you can see, many common problems can be treated with simple techniques that involve ingredients which anyone can grow around the home.
This article has been written by Bella Scotton for Survivopedia.