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Natural First Aid
writes, "Now that Spring has sprung and the weather is beautiful, most of us are spending more time outside enjoying ourselves. Unfortunately, as we get more active there is an increased chance of accidents happening. There are many natural first aid options available for minor injuries, and you can easily put together a home first aid kit incorporating some of the suggestions below."
1) Insect stings and bites - For the minor swelling, stinging, burning and itching that can occur after an insect sting or bite, try taking the homeopathic remedy Apis. You can also try making a baking soda and water paste over the area. Remember with bee stings it is best to "flick" the stinger away rather that grabbing and pulling the stinger out (which can pump a bit more venom in to the skin).

2) Sprains and strains - There are several homeopathic remedies that can be considered in the treatment of muscular sprains and strains. Homeopathic Rhus tox could be used when the injured area becomes stiff and more painful from staying still, and starts feeling better after continued motion. Homeopathic Bryonia would be indicated for injuries that are painful from even the slightest motion and feel better when pressure is applied. In addition to homeopathy, icing the injured area will help reduce swelling and inflammation. For the first 72 hours after a minor injury, use ice exclusively. After 72 hours, you can alternate warm and cold packs to increase circulation and healing to the area. Be sure not to leave ice on too long, 10-15 minutes will do, and do not apply ice directly to skin (you can wrap your cold pack in a thin towel).

3) Minor contusions - For bumps and bruising, there are several remedies that may be helpful. Homeopathic Arnica can be used if there is a sore & bruised feeling. Also, the individual needing Arnica often doesn't want to be touched and seems restless. Homeopathic Ledum should be considered when the injured area feels cold to the touch, but feels better with cold applications. In addition to homeopathy, castor oil applied topically and lightly massaged in to the bruise may help reduce inflammation, and if someone has a tendency to bruise easily, taking bioflavinoids will help strengthen the veins to prevent bruising.

4) Sun burns - Aloe vera gel from the plant itself or a commercially available gel is one of the best soothers for sunburns. Apply liberally to sunburned areas as often as needed. A bonus of using a commercial aloe vera gel is that you can keep it in the refrigerator (the cool gel feels great on hot skin). Remember to use sunblock or wear loose fitting long pants/sleeves in the future to prevent sunburns.

Remember that these suggestions are for minor injuries. If you are experiencing extreme swelling, are unable to bear weight on the strained limb, or if your sunburn has caused severe blistering, be sure to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Dr. Laura Glenn
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Treasure Valley Natural Medicine, PLLC


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