essential oils

Top Essentials for Every Holistic First Aid Kit

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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.

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?

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

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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Natural Remedies to Treat Fever Blisters

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Fever blisters are a pain. Literally! Caused by the herpes simplex one virus (HSV1), fever blisters (also known as cold sores) are painful from beginning to end. They start with tingly red bumps on the lip followed by days or sometimes weeks of painful blisters and end with a crust or scab that splits open every time you open your mouth. They may be small but tend to pack a mighty punch.

According to the Mayo Clinic, they’ll go away on their own within 2-3 weeks. But who wants the embarrassment for that long? If you want to know how to lessen the severity, increase healing time, and uproot the sores for good, you’ve come to the right place!

My struggle with fever blisters

I’ve had fever blisters for as long as I can remember. Getting them while I was in high school was the worst. I played French Horn in the band. If you’ve ever played a brass instrument, you can imagine the pain I experienced.

I was also a cheerleader, so I was out in front of hundreds of students, faculty, parents, and members of the community on a regular basis. I’ll never forget my friends (one of whom is now my husband) chanting along to one of our cheers yelling

GO!! BIG LIP, LET’S GO!!

Oh the embarrassment! They’ve been a constant battle my whole life.

I recently visited Disneyland with my family. We were there for 3 days straight. And wouldn’t you know it, I woke up two days after our vacation with fever blisters not only on the top of my mouth but the bottom too.

At least this episode hasn’t been as bad as my last. That time I had the flu with a fairly high fever, and the day after my illness subsided I woke up to a swollen upper lip. By the end of the day, I had fever blisters completely surrounding my mouth.

I can almost guarantee fever blisters will pop up after one of these 3 situations:

  1. too much sun exposure
  2. an illness with a fever
  3. highly stressful situations

I also tend to get them when I’ve been around or am going to be around my dad (weird…I know!). He’s also plagued with these horrible things and it’s a running joke that we’ll both end up with fever blisters just from talking on the phone with each other.

So what are the best natural remedies to treat fever blisters?

As you can see, I’ve had some serious experience in this area. And let me tell you, I’ve tried it all! Well, almost.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy for more information.

Home remedies to treat fever blisters

1. Ice cubes

There have been many times that as soon as I feel the onset of a fever blister, I’ve reached for the ice cubes. Knowing basic first aid, ice reduces swelling and edema, so this option only makes sense. If you’ve got an area of skin that’s is bright red, swollen, and burns, you reach for something cold to soothe it and reduce the swelling. So grab a towel and a couple of ice cubes and massage your lip with the ice until it goes numb. Do this a few times the first day and you’ll see the swelling go down, the itchiness and burning subside, and the blister crust over by the second day.

2. Hydrogen peroxide

This little remedy just makes everything feel better. Hydrogen peroxide helps soothe and cool the area while also keeping it disinfected. Pour some over the blister and let it bubble and dry or dab it on with a q-tip or cotton ball a few times each day.

3. Witch hazel

Similar to hydrogen peroxide, witch hazel is very cooling and soothing to the skin. It has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties and does a great job at decreasing pain. Apply with a q-tip or cotton ball a few times per day.

4. Aloe Vera

My grandmother was full of great tips when it came to my recurring fever blisters. She grew these fabulous aloe vera plants in her sunroom at her home. Any time I showed up with a fever blister, she’d snap a leaf right off the plant, squeeze the juice out, apply it directly on my blister, and then send me home with a leaf to use later. The juice from the aloe vera plant is very soothing and contains antibacterial and antiviral properties that speed healing.

5. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has great healing properties. It is antimicrobial and helps fight infections. You can drink it diluted in water with a splash of lemon and honey or you can apply it topically to the blisters a few times each day.

Oils and salves to treat fever blisters

1. Tea tree oil

I’m a sucker for tea tree oil. I love the smell of it. This is another remedy my grandmother would suggest for my recurrent fever blisters. It has great antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help quickly heal the affected areas. Place a drop on a q-tip or cotton ball and gently dab some of the oil on the fever blister a few times the first couple of days. Be aware this method may sting if you have open sores. You could also dilute the oil in a carrier oil before applying. Should you choose to use some of the homeopathic remedies listed further down in this article, do not use tea tree oil at the same time as it can antidote the remedy.

2. Peppermint essential oil

Peppermint essential oil has been shown to have a direct virucidal effect on the HSV1 virus when used topically. Apply topically by using a q-tip or cotton ball dipped in a diluted mixture of peppermint essential oil and carrier oil. Apply the oil a few times each day. Should you choose to use some of the homeopathic remedies listed further down in this article, do not use peppermint essential oil at the same time as it can antidote the remedy.

3. Coconut oil

Coconut oil is good for so many skin issues, and it’s no different in this instance. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties to aid in healing and also keeps the area soft and pliable so that cracking and bleeding is minimized once the blister has crusted over. Put a little oil on a q-tip and gently apply it to the blister and surrounding areas frequently each day.

4. Vitamin E oil

Vitamin E oil is an anti-oxidant that can help reduce scarring, relieve pain, and keep the skin soft. Apply topically using a q-tip or cotton ball a few times per day.

5. Grass fed beef tallow

A friend of mine is into rendering her own beef tallow. I was lucky enough to be on the receiving end of a small jar of the tallow for Christmas one year. According to Mommypotamus, beef tallow contains loads of fat-soluble vitamins and has anti-inflammatory properties which can aid in the healing process. It also helps keep skin soft which is important to prevent the skin from cracking and bleeding when the blister crusts over. Apply a small pea-sized amount of the tallow directly on the blister and the surrounding areas a few times each day.

Nutritional supplements to treat fever blisters

1. Vitamin C

Load up on vitamin C as soon as you feel the first signs of a fever blister. Research has shown that vitamin C plays a key role in boosting our immune system and fighting off infections. You can do this by choosing a high-quality nutritional supplement or by eating foods high in the vitamin (leafy greens, tomatoes, berries, etc.).

2. L-lysine

Another remedy my grandmother swore by is l-lysine. It has been known to speed the healing from herpes simplex infection as well as decrease the likelihood of recurrence. Not only can you increase your intake of this supplement at the time of the outbreak, but you can also create a paste to apply topically to aid in healing.

3. Propolis

Propolis is made by honey bees. It’s the sticky substance that holds the hive together. Like honey, propolis is antimicrobial, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and boosts the immune system. You can find propolis in supplement form or you can chew on pieces of raw propolis to get the same benefits. If you have an allergy to bees, this is one remedy that you should not try.

4. Echinacea

Echinacea boosts the immune system and helps fight infection. You’ll need all the help you can get when battling this virus, so find a high quality supplement and take as directed.

Homeopathic medicines to treat fever blisters

Homeopathic medicines not only work with your body to speed up the healing process but also to uproot the condition over time. More information on how homeopathy works can be found in my interview with Joette Calabrese. If your fever blisters are a chronic occurrence, I would highly recommend you work with a homeopath who will help you to choose the correct remedy for your specific condition.

1. Antimonium crud

Of all the remedies listed in this article, Antimonium crud is absolutely my favorite. In her article Cold Sores or Cooties, this is Joette’s chosen remedy for fever blisters. When using it for my fever blisters, I have not only seen them crust over in less than 24 hours, but I’ve also seen both a decrease in outbreaks as well as a decrease in pain associated with the blisters when they form.

2. Natrum muriaticum

Referring back to Joette’s article again, you’ll see that she also recommends Natrum muriaticum if the fever blisters occur after being exposed to the sun. If you are also prone to dryness and cracking in the corners of the lips, you may also benefit from using this remedy.

3. Rhus toxicodendron

Homeopathic Rhus tox is prepared from poison ivy. If you’ve ever experienced a poison ivy rash, you’ll see it it looks just like fever blister eruptions. Since like cures like in homeopathy, it makes sense that this remedy may assist the body in healing. Rhus tox is indicated when fever blisters occur around the mouth and chin. It’s especially helpful when the eruptions are red, burning, and swollen.

4. Arsenicum album

Arsenicum album would be useful for those who experience intense itching with their eruptions. If you shutter at the thought of using ice as I suggest at the beginning of this article, Arsenicum album may be the best remedy for you.

5. Sulphur

In opposition to Arsenicum, someone who may find success using homeopathic Sulphur would have fever blisters with itching and burning that are improved with ice application. The eruptions may get worse with warmth.

6. Sepia

If you are a female, and the fever blisters tend to form around the time of menses, pregnancy, or menopause, look no further than Sepia. This is a common remedy used for any illness or condition that is associated with hormonal changes. According to homeopath Sue Meyer, Sepia should be considered when all of the other remedies seem to fail.

7. Calendula

I agree with Boericke when he says “It’s a most remarkable healing agent, applied locally.” I personally like to use Calendula in a cream form because it’s easy to apply topically to my fever blisters. Not only does it help speed the healing, but it keeps the area soft to prevent drying and cracking.

8. Combo remedies

If you have a hard time narrowing down the remedy that you feel matches your symptoms the best, a combo remedy can be a great choice. Two combo remedies that I have not personally used are Hyland’s Cold Sores & Fever Blisters and Dr. King’s Cold Sores & Herpes. Both are great companies with great products. I’ve used other combo remedies from both companies with much success and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend either of these products to my family and friends.

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.


Natural remedies to heal fever blisters are generally readily found and are quick and easy to use. If you suffer from fever blisters, ditch the medications and opt for one or more of these natural methods of treatment. And don’t forget to keep your immune system boosted by eating healthy foods, getting regular chiropractic care, and avoiding triggers to lessen the likelihood of recurrence.

What are your tried and true methods of treating fever blisters and cold sores? Are any of my suggestions new to you? Leave a reply in the comments at the bottom of the page.

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