Top Essentials for Every Holistic First Aid Kit

Holistic First Aid Kit

It’s always a good idea to have a basic first aid kit in your house, in your car, at work, in your gym bag, etc. But if you’re anything like me, you don’t just want to walk into the local drug store and buy one off the shelf that includes products for which there are more natural alternatives. You want a more holistic first aid kit. And to get it, you’re going to have to build one yourself.

Holistic First Aid Kit infographic

As a chiropractor, my first aid kit is going to look much different than most. I have basic medical equipment such as a stethoscope, otoscope, ophthalmoscope, blood pressure cuff, and more in my kit. And while those items are very useful for some emergency and first aid situations, they are not essentials that most people would need to keep in their own kits.

So besides having scissors, tweezers, safety pins, and the like on hand, what natural alternatives are essential for a holistic first aid kit?

1. Bandages and Gauze

No first aid kit would be complete without bandages and gauze.
The holistic first aid kit is no different. After all, we aren’t immune to cuts and scrapes. And you never know when you’ll have a puncture wound or deeper cut that would require gauze be placed over the area.

Patch Bamboo Adhesive Bandages

Do you have a child that needs the comfort of an adhesive bandage on his/her ouchies? I do.

I recently found these natural bamboo adhesive bandages and can’t wait to give them a try. The reviews are amazing and they are certified organic, vegan-friendly, and cruelty-free.

Each bandage is made with 100% organic bamboo fibre and a mineral based Pressure Sensitive Adhesive that is hypoallergenic.

They don’t contain plastic, silicon, parabens, or latex like many adhesive bandages that are on the market.

Everything from the packaging to the bandage itself can be composted.

I’m planning to order a sample pack so I’ll come back and let you know how we like them.

Organic Cotton Gauze

For wounds that require a little more attention, you want to make sure you have gauze on hand. Gauze squares are useful when needing to compress an area that is bleeding profusely. And gauze wraps are great to wrap around any type of dressing you apply over an area.

Most gauze squares and wraps are made from cotton. In the U.S., cotton is heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicides and it’s also typically bleached. In your kit, you want to aim to include a variety of organic cotton gauzes.

Just recently, the USDA released this article about a new cotton gauze that’s made from raw, unbleached cotton fiber. If they also use organic cotton, I’ll definitely be stocking up and you should too!

2. Distilled Water

You don’t see water included in a first aid kit you buy at the store. But every good holistic first aid kit should include distilled water.

Water can be used for a variety of different reasons. If you have a child that falls down in the dirt and scrapes their knee and it’s bleeding and dirty, you can use the water to wash it off. If something harmful gets into your eye, you can use water as an eye rinse. You can use it with bentonite clay to make a healing paste.

Be sure that the water you keep on hand is distilled and not tap water as tap water can contain pathogens that could lead to infection.

3. Homeopathic Medicines

Personally, I could just carry around my entire homeopathy kit with my chiropractic medical kit and be covered with all of the first aid items my family needs. But this just isn’t feasible for everyday life nor for every person. So these are the homeopathic medicines I’d recommend everyone include as part of their holistic first aid kit:

  • Aconite – for shock
  • Arnica – for injuries
  • Arsenicum – for poisoning
  • Apis – for allergic reactions
  • Belladonna – for pain
  • Calendula (in cream form) – for scrapes, cuts, and minor burns
  • Cantharis – for burns
  • Hypericum – for pain
  • Ledum – for puncture wounds and bug bites
  • Nux Vomica – for tummy troubles
  • Phosphorus – for bleeding

Want to learn more about homeopathy? Check out my virtual study groups or click to get my 37 Must-Have Homeopathic Medicines for Families cheat sheet.

4. Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel is an astringent made from the shrub Hamamelis virginiana. It can be used topically to aid in the healing of most any skin condition. From pain to swelling to itching, it’s a must-have for the holistic first aid kit.

Use it just as you would rubbing alcohol to disinfect cuts and scrapes.

Dab it on a sunburn to soothe the area.

Put it on insect bites to reduce swelling and prevent itching.

And if you’re up for the extra work, you can make witch hazel yourself.

5. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil deserves it’s rightful place in any holistic first aid kit. It has natural antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties that help with all types of skin conditions.

Apply it topically to wounds to speed healing and protect from infection.

Use it on sunburns or rashes to soothe and repair the skin.

6. Bentonite Clay

Bentonite clay is great for detoxing and healing and is the reason it is known as “healing clay”. It can be used for both internal and external afflictions.

Add a little clay to water to make a paste and apply it to any skin wounds. It will soothe and rid the skin of harmful bacteria and prevent infection.

It can be used on things like cuts, insect bites, burns, and more. It’s also a great treatment for things like poison ivy and other skin rashes.

For internal use, mix a small amount with water and then drink it. This is especially helpful for nausea and vomiting and can bind with toxins in the gut and remove them.

Note: I do not recommend long term internal use of this product as it could affect normal digestion processes.

7. Kaolin Clay

This clay is a soft white clay used as a hemostatic agent which induces clotting and helps stop bleeding. The U.S. Naval Medical Research Institute developed QuickClot Combat Gauze infused with kaolin which is still used today.

Mixed with water, it can be used to heal bruises and cuts, reduce muscle soreness and pain, and alleviate the maladies of insect bites.

Mix it with honey and apply to rashes to soothe the skin.

8. Activated Charcoal

Consider adding activated charcoal to your first aid kit. It’s a great natural remedy that can be used as a treatment for both internal and external conditions.

One of the most common uses of activated charcoal is for poisonings. Whether someone suffers from food poisoning, or ingestion of something such as bleach or pesticides, or they overdose on a prescription or non-prescription drug, activated charcoal can bind to the toxins, prevent absorption by the body, and remove them more quickly.

Externally activated charcoal can be used on insect bites, snake bites, and rashes from poison ivy and poison oak. Just mix the charcoal with coconut oil, apply as a paste, and cover with a bandage.

Note: I do not recommend long term internal use of this product as it could affect normal digestion processes.

9. QuickClot Cloth

My friend Kathryn at Beyond This Desert keeps a Quick Clot Cloth in her Mom-Around-Town-Kit for wounds that bleed profusely. This cloth uses infused kaolin clay to help with clotting and helps bleeding stop fast.

However, if you have the bandages and kaolin clay that I mention above, you can make your own QuickClot Cloth by putting kaolin clay directly on the area and covering with a bandage.

10. Colloidal Silver

While I prefer to have other remedies available in my holistic first aid kit, this is one that many would consider essential to have on hand. It can be used both topically and internally for many ailments.

Colloidal Silver is a biocide that is known to kill a broad range of bacteria. We have successfully used it internally for extremely painful sore throats, sinus infections, pink eye, and ear infections. It can also be applied topically on open wounds and burns to prevent infection.

So if you don’t have anything else on hand and you’re worried about infection of any kind, then colloidal silver can be an effective treatment.

Note: I do not recommend long term internal use of this product as it could affect the proper balance of bacteria in the body.

11. Raw Honey

Honey bees are amazing little creatures and their honey should be a part of everyone’s first aid kit. But don’t just go to the store and buy any honey, you need to be sure you’re grabbing raw honey.

Raw honey is antimicrobial and plays a key role in wound healing. Not only is it antibacterial, but it keeps a wound moist, provides a barrier to prevent infection, and provides enzymes that aid in the healing process. Just apply it to a wound or bite and let it get to work.

It can also be great to have on hand should your little one say, “my throat hurts.” It’s known in our household to stop a sore throat in its tracks.

If you want to take it up a notch, keep Manuka honey on hand.

12. Essential Oils

Many people love using essential oils for first aid situations, and like homeopathy, I could probably carry around a big case full of essential oils to use for all sorts of first aid situations. Here are the main ones that I like to keep on hand:

  • Clove oil – for tooth/gum ailments
  • Lavender – for cuts, scrapes, burns, and bug bites
  • Tea Tree oil – for skin afflictions like poison ivy and fever blisters
  • Peppermint – for tummy troubles and headaches

If you want a holistic first aid kit, you’re going to have to create one yourself. I hope I’ve given you some thoughts about what you could use to start your kit. If you choose to go minimal, I’d at least recommend designing a kit with the first 3 items on this list and then only items that you feel would be specific to your family dynamic.

What items are essential in your holistic first aid kit? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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  1. Millie Hue says:

    Thanks for pointing out that bandages are important in a first aid kit since we are not immune to cuts or scrapes. With that in mind, I hope to fine organic bandages for my home since I have kids who have sensitive skin. I would actually need one tomorrow since I noticed that I have cut myself.

  2. My cousin has been thinking about putting together a cleaner first-aid kit for when she moves out next summer. Making sure that she can get some organic bandages from a professional could be really useful for her. I liked what you said about how bamboo bangles don’t contain latex, or plastic like other band-aids, so they can all be composted.

  3. Tiffany Mason says:

    We’ve slowly added most these to our kit but I need to add witch hazel.
    I’d also recommend garlic oil for ear aches!
    And I’ve always heard to keep your oils and homeopathic seperare from each other so they don’t counteract each other. Have you heard that?

    • Kristi Corder says:

      Hi Tiffany!

      Yes, garlic oil would be a great addition! As a chiropractor, I don’t keep that one on hand…I can usually adjust the upper cervical spine or the ear itself and it takes care of the earache. But garlic oil is great to have in a kit for those that don’t carry around a chiropractor. LOL!!!

      As far as homeopathic remedies being kept away from oils, they are hardier than one might think. But if you have strong scented essential oils (such as mints, camphor, tea tree oil, etc.), then yes, it’s best to keep them away from each other to prevent the scents from antidoting the remedies.

      Great questions! Thank you for reading!

      Dr. Kristi

  4. Jane says:

    Thank you for sharing this great info! I had no idea on some of them, esp. the activated charcoal. Wow interesting! I use coconut oil (for my face, dry skin), honey (unpasteurized) on my teas and essential oils everyday.

    They’re a life saver!

  5. Cindy says:

    Great list of products! I use some of these already and learned about the ones I’m unfamiliar. I like using natural and plant based products as often as possible. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Liza says:

    Great starter kit! I am leaning more and more towards holistic healing techniques. Thanks for sharing this!

  7. Kim says:

    Wow, I love holistic medicine but I haven’t heard of a lot of these. I’m going to have to read up and start stocking up!

  8. That seems like a lot to buy. If you could just put together some holistic first aid kits and sell them, that would be great. I jest. Thank you for the advice! Water seems so obvious, yet, as you stated, it is not usually included.

  9. Yolanda says:

    This post is very informative! I had no idea coconut oil could be used as a first aid item. We have used bentonite clay and activated charcoal for different things but never for first aid. Thanks for the info.

  10. Pauline says:

    Is it weird that I have all of these? My husband and I were raised with the belief that if you weren’t dieing, you didn’t go to the doctor. Mom or the neighbor or the midwife would patch you up with what was in the medicine cabinet or growing outside.

    • Kristi Corder says:

      Not weird at all! I love that you have all of these items already. I’m of the same mindset. If we’re not dying, we’re not going to the doctor.

  11. Lina says:

    I have not heard about most of these things! And to never think about adding water to a first aid kit. Thank you so much!

  12. Susan says:

    Yes to all of this! I’m constantly trying to up my game in our natural living style in our family and while I have most of these mentioned I didn’t know about the bamboo bandages!!! Woohoo! And organic cotton gauze? Um I’m all over here like yes please! Thanks for sharing!

    • Kristi Corder says:

      I know…I’m so excited about the bamboo bandages too! Glad you enjoyed the information. Thanks for reading!

  13. angela says:

    This is a great comprehensive list. I thought I had a lot already in my cabinet but you have a lot more here that we should probably add to it.

  14. Charlene says:

    Wow! What a great post!!! I use and believe in most of these products – but silly me, I’ve never thought to actually keep them in the first aid kit! They’re just lying around the house and we track them down when we need them. I should add them to the kit! They’ll do much better than traditional medicines in a lot of cases

    • Kristi Corder says:

      I think it’s important that everyone have a kit ready to go. I found myself without one while hiking alone with the kids the other day and wondered why in the world I don’t have one in a hiking backpack.

  15. Brittany says:

    WOW!! Such great information. A lot I didn’t know about some of the products, especially the clay! Great information and I will keep on hand.

  16. I love this post! I already knew some of the things you talked about, but some are brand new to me. I’m definitely bookmarking this so I can refer back and make up my own kit!

  17. Malia says:

    I had no idea about most of these things! Activated charcoal sounds like a wonder drug, helping with everything from poison to snake bites to poison ivy!

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Hi! I’m Dr. Kristi. I’m a wife, mom, and alternative health care practitioner. I like to live a little differently and go against the grain.

I consult with people of all ages who are looking to ditch the drugs and seek alternative methods of healing from acute and chronic health conditions. I’m also pretty passionate about teaching others how to live healthier, happier lives by incorporating nutrition, natural remedies, minimalist ideas, and much more.

I’m completely obsessed with ice cream, travel, and all things Disney.