Herbs for Kids: Money-Saving Summer First Aid Tips for Parents
Are you ready for some money-saving summer first aid tips for your little ones? I thought so! Let's dive in. We all know that summertime is the perfect time for outdoor adventures with the kiddos. Unfortunately, it's also the season of bee stings, bug bites, scrapes, and cuts, which can lead to panic and pandemonium. But don't worry, because I'm here to share some amazing herbs that can help in these first aid situations.
First, we're talking about one of my all-time favorite herbs - plantain.
And no, we're not talking about the starchy vegetable that looks like a banana. We're talking about the weed that grows in sidewalk cracks, on the side of the road, and in your local park. That's right, the pesky plant that most people try to kill or get rid of is actually a medicinal powerhouse.
Plantain, specifically Plantago major, is a sustainable and abundant herb that can help heal your body in so many ways. It's great for short-term relief from bee stings, cuts, and even splinters, like the time I used it to remove a quarter-inch splinter from a rough and tough carpenter's thumb. He was skeptical at first, but when that splinter came out effortlessly, he was amazed!
But plantain is not just a first aid kit essential. It's also a fantastic herb for respiratory infections and can soothe sunburned or burned skin. You can make a healing herbal oil or salve with plantain and apply it to your skin for long-term healing and repair.
What I love most about plantain is that it's a great herb to introduce to your little ones. Its long, lance-shaped leaves make cool band-aids that they'll love to use. Plus, it's a great way to teach them about the power of nature and how it's here to heal us.
So don't be afraid of the "weed" growing in your yard or local park. Embrace plantain and all of its medicinal properties. It's the ultimate plant friend that will always be there for you when you need it.
Next on the list is comfrey, Symphytum Officinale!
This plant is an absolute must-have in your medicinal first aid kit. Not only is it easy to grow in your garden, but it's loaded with an incredible medicinal constituent called allantoin, which has the ability to regenerate skin cells. That's why I use it in my own facial care routine and it's perfect for healing and repairing damaged tissue from cuts and scrapes.
But wait, there's more! Comfrey is also amazing for sprains, strains, and broken bones. I live in a touristy area near Mount Hood in Oregon, and I can't tell you how many times people have come to me with an injury from hiking, skiing, or mountain biking. I remember one worker in the restaurant service industry who had a sprained ankle and was told by the doctor that they would be out of work for six weeks. That's devastating when you rely on tips and income to get by. But with comfrey in an infused oil or poultice, that worker was back on their feet within two weeks! It's like a miracle herb.
Now, there's some debate about using comfrey internally because it's nutrient-dense and contains liver-toxic pyrrolizidine alkaloids. So, if you or someone you love has liver health issues, I don't recommend using it internally. But externally, it's mind-blowingly amazing. It can even heal and repair broken bones, but make sure to wait until the bone has been set by a doctor before using comfrey, or it could cause the bone to grow back in the wrong places, causing pain and inflammation for the rest of your life. And if you add other herbs like cayenne, arnica, or ginger, it can speed up the healing process even more.
We went deep into the wonders of comfrey in a recent class in Apothecary Momma, and I highly recommend keeping some on hand in your garden. And hey, if you're growing it in your garden, you can even make some amazing compost tea to nourish your plants in organic ways. So don't hesitate, get some comfrey today and experience the magic for yourself!
And now last but definitely not least: Yarrow!
This herb is truly magical and has saved my family and friends from countless trips to the ER. Yarrow is easy to grow in your garden and can be found in the wild, too. One of the ways to identify Yarrow is by its feather-like leaves with many, many, many, many leaflets - that's why it's called Achillea millefolium (meaning 1000 leaves). In fact, I remember a time when I was camping with my best friend and her partner, and he cut his thumb pretty badly while slicing vegetables. But luckily, I knew there was a big patch of Yarrow nearby, so I grabbed a leaf, mashed it up, and made a poultice. Within minutes, the bleeding stopped. How cool is that?
But Yarrow's benefits don't stop there. It's also antimicrobial, meaning it can fight off bacteria and other pathogens that might cause infections in cuts and scrapes. Yarrow is also known as a vulnerary herb, or a wound healer. It's definitely a plant you want to have on hand in your first aid kit. So go ahead and add it to your oils, salves, and other natural remedies. Trust me, your body will thank you for it!
Can you believe how incredible these plants are?! I mean, seriously, I have saved my family thousands of dollars by using them as medicine. That's pretty epic, right? These plants are a great holdover for minor injuries and ailments, but it's important to know when to head to the hospital or ER. If it's a bad break or a major cut, get some comfrey or yarrow on there and then get your booty to the ER.
Plants truly are amazing and can work wonders, so make sure you learn how to use them properly and avoid unnecessary trips to the doctor. But let's not forget that doctors and Western medicine can also be life-saving, so be wise and smart about it. And of course, don't forget to have tons and tons of fun this summer.
In this blog post, we covered three must-have herbs for your natural first aid kit: plantain, comfrey, and yarrow. It's important to have a solid understanding of what each plant is and how to identify them. And why not empower your children with this knowledge, spreading it from generation to generation? Let's make this knowledge #spreadlikewildflowers!