Ah, the long days of summer! Time to get outside – trips to the cottage, camping, picnics, gardening, and swimming are all the hallmarks of this beautiful time of year. With so much outdoor fun, however, mishaps can be more prone to happen. Sunburns, insect bites, poison ivy, bruises, and abrasions all come hand in hand with spending more time in the great outdoors, and can sometimes be the unpleasant side of summer that we tend to forget.

A natural first aid kit can be just the remedy for the minor injuries, ailments, and physical discomforts that can occur during the season. I like to be extra prepared by having my herbal first aid kit stocked and ready for the summer months. Not a replacement for traumas that need medical attention, these few simple herbs and herbal products can go a long way to help alleviate some of the hazards of summer.

Here is my list of products and herbs I like to have handy for keeping around the house, taking away travelling, camping, or bringing up to the cottage:

For cuts, & scrapes, skin irritations & bug bites:

  • All Heal Salve: Our favourite wonder balm, I created this product as a first aid ointment for camping. An antiseptic powerhouse comprising the healing attributes of comfrey, plantain, chickweed, and tea tree oil, our multi-purpose salve can be used on cuts and scrapes, burns, insect bites, poison ivy, and dry, irritated skin. A must-have at any time of year!
  • Plantain: This common weed can be found everywhere: on the edges of forests, in our gardens, and coming up in the cracks of sidewalks. Chew the fresh plantain leaf into a poultice for use on insect bites and stings to help take the itch out.
  • Lavender essential oil: This  indispensable oil has so many uses for first aid applications that it fits into all categories. Great as an antibacterial treatment for cuts & scrapes, lavender also helps with wounds, rashes, and anything that is swollen. Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be put directly on the skin; however, for sensitive skin types, dilute in a carrier oil.

For Burns & Inflammation:

  • Aloe Vera gel: Aloe’s soothing and cooling properties are perfect for all types of burns.  It also aids in the healing of cuts and scrapes.  I love keeping a living, potted aloe plant in the house – in the event of a burn, just break off a leaf and apply the cooling juice directly onto the skin. So easy, and takes the heat out right away!
  • Cooling Spray for Mom: Not just for moms! Made with chamomile water, aloe and lavender, this easy-to-use spray is perfect as an after-sun spray, for soothing insect bites, and for calming inflammations. Great for travel too!
  • Chamomile tea bags: Steeped and cooled chamomile tea bags are particularly helpful for sore, inflamed eyes or any inflammation.  Brewed as a tea, chamomile’s calming effects are helpful for indigestion and upset stomach. Sipped before bedtime, this tea will calm excited nerves help induce a restful sleep.

Bug Repellent:

  • Butterfly Weed Eucalyptus Body Oil: First tested on tree planters, this natural repellent is effective and safe on kids and pets. Using a special blend of essential oils, this recipe has been a staple for outdoor enthusiasts since 1997. Smells amazing too!
  • Lavender Essential Oil: Great for warding off mosquitoes, lavender is pleasant smelling for humans, but a deterrent for bugs.

For sore muscles and pain relief:

  • Heat Rub: Made with cayenne and ginger root, our heat rub is good for aches and pains, headaches, and poor circulation. Rubbed onto the belly, I have also used our heat rub for tummy aches, cramps, and a nervous stomach.  
  • St. John’s Wort Flower oil or balm: A valuable anti-inflammatory, this topically-applied precious oil will help alleviate sore and achy muscles. Also great on mild burns, especially sunburn.
  • Arnica homeopathic cream: Aids in muscle and joint pain and trauma due to a injury or fall. Always good to have handy when out on a hike as a go-to first aid application.

I hope these tips will help you enjoy a stress-free outdoor experience this summer!

~ xo Denise