It’s always a good idea to have a first aid kit on hand, but sometimes it’s necessary to improvise. I have made a list of 5 home remedies with items found in your home that can be used in treatment of common ailments and first aid situations. Please keep in mind the methods below are for minor problems and not meant to replace proper medical care.
1. Sprains, Strains & Bruises
Ice will help constrict blood vessels which helps with bruising and swelling. You can use a bag of peas or something from the freezer wrapped in a towel for this, or put some ice cubes in a kitchen towel. You can also make a simple homemade ice pack by filling a small quart freezer bag half with water and half rubbing alcohol. If you want, put a drop of food coloring so everyone knows this isn’t just ice; then freeze it for a few hours. Also, applying pickle juice, vinegar or vanilla extract (not imitation) to the area using a cotton swab may help bruising.
2. Open Wounds and Bleeding
If the bleeding is severe, consider using a tourniquet and seek medical assistance. If it’s not a life or death situation, the first thing you’re going to want to do is to clean it by running it under water, then pat it dry as best as possible. One method to stop blood flow is to sprinkle sugar on it. This could take a few minutes as the sugar will cause the blood to coagulate. A spoonful of honey will also help speed the healing and seal the wound acting as an antiseptic.
3. Ear Infection
Make a mixture of garlic and olive oil by crushing 4-6 peeled cloves of fresh garlic (don’t use the jarred variety) and soak them in olive oil that has been warmed on the stove. Always make sure this mixture is above room temperature before using to prevent against bacteria that may develop. Additionally, make sure it is squeezed and there are no solid parts being used. To apply, lay on the side with infected ear turned upwards, carefully drop a few drops of this mixture in to the infected ear. Lay still for about 10 minutes after applying. Excess can be refrigerated for later use, but be sure to warm it before using.
This one is the simplest of them all and there’s no need to use tweezers and a magnifying glass. Simply use white craft glue and coat the area, let dry and pull it out. Apply tea tree oil if available, or honey to keep any infection from starting.
5. Insect Bites, Stings and Itching
If you have tea tree oil on hand apply it to the area. Another is making a paste from oats, honey and water and applying it directly on the itching, burning area. Another simple remedy is taking a cabbage leaf, breaking it up a bit and then compressing it to the afflicted area. A paste of baking soda and water applied to the area is said to also work.
Before trying these treatments always know what the culprit was behind the bite, sting or itching. If you have allergies from the culprit follow the advice of a medical professional first. For a good resource page for dealing with insect bites and stings go to Firstaid.WebMD.com