What’s in your medicine cabinet?

 A well-stocked medicine cabinet is essential to handle any emergency that comes your way. Not a day goes by that one of my kids (or the neighborhood kids) has some kind of injury that I  have to deal with. Big or small, I’m prepared with a combination of natural remedies and traditional  items.

  • Arnica– topical arnica helps to heal the pain and tenderness of sprains and sore muscles and bruising.
  • Bromelain – speeds the healing of soft tissue injuries
  • Aloe vera – for sunburns, rashes, and skin irritations. If your kids are like mine and sometimes forget to put on sunscreen, a burn usually results. Soothe the burn with this gel. Even better than the stuff in the bottle is to purchase an aloe plant and just break open a leaf for the purest aloe.
  • Tea tree oil– This strong-scented oil is an all-purpose antibacterial and antifungal. It shouldn’t be applied directly to skin so put a few drops in a “carrier” oil like sesame oil (I like Neutrogena’s body oil).
  • Ginger – for motion sickness (think long car rides) and nausea
  • Peppermint oil capsules – Men may love to talk about it, women not so much. It’s gas. But, it happens. If you’re feeling gassy, try popping a peppermint oil capsule.  It has been found to be quite effective in reducing or eliminating intestinal gas.
  • rubbing alcohol, witch hazel, hydrogen peroxide –alcohol quickly sterilizes needles and tweezers that need to pop a blister or remove a splinter; witch hazel and hydrogen peroxide can sanitize a cut or scrape to the skin.
  • Baking soda – Eat too much at the party? Mix a little baking soda with some water for a quick antacid.
  • Bandages – Cuts and scrapes happen so be prepared with band-aids in a variety of sizes. One night, one of my sons was cutting a bagel for a snack and cut right through to his thumb! I wrapped it in a towel, applied pressure, kept his thumb above his heart and 20 minutes later was able to bandage his thumb using butterfly closures and a large bandage. My know-how combined with my good supplies kept us from an ER visit for stitches.
  • anti-bacterial ointment (such as Neosporin) – any cut or scrape should receive a good coating of an anti-bacterial ointment before a bandage is applied. Of course, wash the cut or scrape thoroughly to remove as much debris and germs as possible.
  • Ice pack – great for soothing bumps, bruises, and sprains. Keep at least one in your freezer and purchase the kind that you “break and shake” for when you’re on the go.

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