7 Soothing Natural Remedies for Kids' Minor Injuries
The summer season is a wonderful time to be outdoors with our little ones. The days are long and warm and there is much to explore and find adventure in. With the increase in outdoor time, the chances of minor accidents are higher, leaving our children with troublesome bruises, bumps, scrapes, cuts, burns and bug bites. Conventional medicine is limited when it comes to healing these conditions, relying mostly on time to heal childhood wounds or antibiotic creams to ward away infections. There are, however, many effective natural remedies that can be used to speed up the healing process of skin afflictions. I’m happy to share with you several natural treatment options so kids can get back to having lots of outdoor summer fun.
This is a great remedy, made by Bach, to take at the onset of an accident and the one I always have in my handbag. Composed of 5 flower essences, it’s safe to use at any age, with any medication, by simply placing a few drops directly into the mouth. Perfect for any incident in which a child is hurt, research has found this product calms and reduces anxiety and stress in many acute situations.
Arnica is a well-known homeopathic remedy used immediately when trauma occurs. It not only works on an emotional level by relieving shock, but physically by reducing inflammation, swelling and bleeding, thus accelerating the healing process. It’s amazing for bruises, cuts and broken bones to help them heal much more quickly. You can purchase Arnica as homeopathic pellets to be taken internally or in a cream form for external applications. The cream is great to spread over any bruised or inflamed tissue and is safe to use at any age and with any medication.
This beautiful yellow herb is from the pot marigold flower. It has been used for centuries by Native cultures and is one of the best herbs to heal minor wounds and skin irritations. It’s perfect for superficial skin afflictions that are not deep wounds. It has anti-inflammatory, anti-septic and anti-fungal properties and is great to use on minor cuts, bruises, burns and skin rashes. You can purchase calendula as an oil, cream, lotion or salve and can apply it liberally to the affected area. It’s very gentle and soothing and can be used even on the sweetest newborn skin.
Comfrey is one of the best-known healing herbs of all time. Used widely by early Greeks and Romans, its very name, symphytum, from the Greek symphyo, means "grown together", referring to its traditional use of healing fractures. Comfrey's healing abilities are attributed to its high content of allantoin, a substance that promotes the growth of tissue, bone and cartilage. Comfrey also contains tannins, whose astringent properties promote wound healing. Comfrey oil, salves and ointments can be applied to skin for burns, abrasions, cuts and deep wounds. I would choose comfrey over calendula if the wound was deep, needing the skin to seal, and/or the wound has pus formation or infection.
Comfrey is also wonderful for healing broken or fractured bones, where a fomentation could be used. To do this, you brew up a strong pot of comfrey herb in boiled water (1 tbsp of herb to 1 cup of water), but you’re not drinking it, you are dipping a cloth in the infused water and wrapping it around the affected bone 3-4 times per day. It works amazingly well in speeding the healing process. As a caution, this herb is to only be used externally and not to be consumed internally.
Fresh aloe is a classic burn remedy with several skin-healing properties that goes far back in time. Research shows that aloe heals partially burned skin faster when compared to other methods. It’s an analgesic, relieving pain in, for instance, sunburned skin. It is anti-pruritic and anti-inflammatory, helping to relieve itch and swelling in such things as bug bites. And it has astringent properties that constrict blood vessels and skin tissue thus reducing both bleeding time and healing time. This is a great medicinal plant to have at home where you simply cut the leaves as needed. You can also purchase aloe in a gel form.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree is a great oil to have on hand to apply to any cuts or scrapes. It’s known for its anti-bacterial and disinfectant properties. You should purchase this oil diluted as you don’t want to apply it full-strength directly on the skin.
Lavender essential oil
Lavender oil has been used as a bug repellent for many centuries and can prevent bites from mosquitoes and other insects. It can also be applied directly onto bites to relieve the itching and inflammation often associated with them. You can dilute the lavender oil by mixing it with a carrier oil such as jojoba or almond oil. It is generally safe to apply lavender oil directly to the skin, but is wise to check with your health care provider before doing so.
I hope you find these suggestions helpful, not only during the summer months but all year round. A good idea is to put together a first aid kit including some or all of the above so it's ready to use in the chance unfortunate events occur. I wish you all a happy, healthy and safe summer season with lots of outdoor fun!
Make your own calendula or comfrey oil
- Place dried calendula flowers or dried comfrey leaves in a clean dry jar.
- Pour organic olive oil into the jar, making sure to cover the entire dried herb content to 1 inch above the herb line.
- Place the cap securely on and give the jar a few shakes.
- Store in a dark cupboard for 4-6 weeks to let the herbs completely infuse.
- Once infused, strain the herbs through cheesecloth resting over a wide-brimmed jar. I like to pour the herb out in small batches, and gently squeeze all the excess oil from the herb with my hands through the cheesecloth. Quite a lot of oil will be removed from the herb this way.
- Pour the oil into glass bottles and store in a cupboard.
I prefer using the method above to infuse my oils, however if you are stuck for time and need to make an oil quickly you can use this heat method to speed up the process. Proceed with steps 1 and 2 above. Then place the jar, ensuring it is secure, either on a hot plate or in the oven on low heat (100F) for 4-5 hours. Strain the herb as noted in the above method.
Make a healing salve
You can use your beautifully infused oil directly on your skin, or you might choose to make it into a healing herbal salve.
1. In a double boiler mix together:
- 125 ml (1/2 c) of infused oil
- 175 ml (3/4 c) of raw shea butter
- 75 ml (1/3 c) of cocoa butter
2. Let all of the ingredients slowly melt together.
3. Pour into glass jars.
Makes approximately 375 ml of salve. Use within 12 months.