by Lila McDermid
Parents know the difficulties that come when a child gets hurt, is in pain or can’t sleep. Every scrape, scratch, sliver or bruise has a new remedy or treatment available, causing the first-aid aisle to be an overwhelming place with a plethora of treatment options. There is something to be said for simplifying the medicine cabinet, going back to basics and tapping into Mother Nature’s most powerful resources. These five herbs have been around for centuries and may be the perfect go to for that next scrape or fall:
Calendula officinalis: Calendula is a favorite of many herbologists. It can calm inflammation, is mildly astringent, helping the skin contract, and is known to speed healing time. It also has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. It is especially great for kids because of how gentle it is. It’s safe for the most sensitive of skin and littlest of bodies and especially helpful for skin chapping, burns, cradle cap and diaper rash.
Lavandula angustifolia: The sweet aroma of lavender has a relaxing effect and is found in virtually every natural skin product on the market. These flowers have been used for generations as a soothing component in skin care because they act as an anti-inflammatory, causing less itching, redness and scarring. It is especially helpful for acne, eczema, psoriasis and minor burns.
Symphytum officinale: Comfrey and wound care go hand-in-hand. The word actually means “to unite or knit together”. It contains allantoin, a chemical that protects the skin and promotes new cell growth, especially after a cut or scratch, by stimulating healthy tissue. For this reason, it should always be used in combination with antibacterial and antimicrobial herbs. In addition to skin cuts, comfrey is amazingly good for deep sprains, bone pain and bruises.
Plantago major: Plantain is readily available as a first-aid resource, and can be found growing at local parks or even along the roadside. It looks like a weed, so it’s commonly overlooked, but its healing properties shouldn’t be. It is masterful at soothing insect bites, stings, poison ivy and even minor sores or blisters.
Achillea millefolium: This herb contains anti-inflammatory and antiseptic oils, and also has astringent tannins. It’s the perfect herb for swelling, bleeding, varicose veins, hemorrhoids and all things related to postpartum recovery.
The healing properties of these herbs alone are impressive, but blended together in the right amounts can create the ideal healing salves for the medicine cabinet and little ones’ (or big ones’) next accident.
Lila McDermid owns Caring Coconut, a local natural skin care line for mothers and children. Her products are handmade and 100 percent naturally sourced. For more information, visit CaringCoconut.com.