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Backyard Remedies. First Aid

If you are outdoors hiking, camping or picnicking and do not have a first aid kit, just look around you. Most likely you will find all you need near by. You will find plants that are antiseptics, that stop bleeding, and that will work as bandages.

Common weeds and plants have been used for centuries to help heal minor cuts, scrapes, insect bites and stings.

If you are outdoors hiking, camping or picnicking and do not have a first aid kit, just look around you. Most likely you will find all you need near by. You will find plants that are antiseptics, that stop bleeding, and that will work as bandages. Be careful not to use plants that are in an area that has been recently sprayed with pesticides.

Plantain is a common lawn pest, but it is one of the best medicinal plants available. All parts of the plant can be used to clean and disinfect scrapes and cuts as well as insect bites. Pick the leaves and rub them together or chew them until the juice comes out. Then rub on the cut, scrape or sting.

Chickweed is a common garden pest and as you can tell from it’s name is loved by chickens. This is another good plant for cuts and scrapes. Make a poultice by squeezing together and rubbing in hand until juice comes out. Apply to affected area.

Yarrow is a member of the Sunflower family. For many centuries it was used as a vulnernary (an agent which is active in the healing of wounds) that is why it has common names such as soldier’s wound wort, the Military herb, and Berbe Militaris. For an emergency can be used as a tooth ache remedy, remove several leaves- chew into a pulpy poultice and pack around tooth.

For cuts and scrapes, pick the flowers and leaves, crush until juice comes out, pack on cut or scrape.

Jewelweed is a good plant for poison ivy or oak. If you are in the woods with no water around and get into poison ivy or poison oak, look for jewelweed. Crush the flowers and stems and rub on the affected area.

Elderberry is a member of the honeysuckle family. It is an excellent insect repellant. The leaves can be crushed and rubbed on the body or placed under your hat. Many herbalist say Elderflowers are laced with essential oils that increase circulation and open pores which may reduce fevers. Elder leaves are often used externally for bruises, sprains and minor injuries.

Aloe does not grow wild in Western North Carolina but it is a plant everyone should have in their home. Aloe is great for minor burns, sunburns and rashes. Cut a leaf and express the juices and apply to affected area. Aloe is also a natural underarm deodorant and hair conditioner.

Shepherds Purse is part of the mustard family. It is a lawn weed and can be found along roadsides and moist areas around living quarters. For cuts and wounds crush and bruise leaves, moisten with hot water. Place on injury and cover with cloth to keep moist and in place. For earache, crush plant to a pulp. Squeeze several drops into the ear. Place cotton into the ear opening. For nosebleeds, pound or chew the leaves into a moist pulp and place in the bleeding nostril(s).

These are but a few of the many plants readily available to you for first aid while outdoors. Just remember nature’s weeds can be our natural remedies.

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