Bug Bites, Bumps and Bruises: Natural Remedies for Summer First Aid by @DrHeatherND


Summer camping trip, riding bikes, swimming at the beach, and any other everyday summer outdoor activity may end in a few scrapes, bruises or insect bites. It is best to be proactive and prepared for any type of situation that may arise.

Keeping a first aid kit in your kitchen or mudroom and in your car will make a big difference in dealing with any type of acute health situation. Homeopathy and botanicals are gentle and part of a holistic system of healing that is ideal for everyone. Both are a safe and effective approach to creating a natural pharmacy.

Basic First Aid Essentials

Easy to forget but quite essential for an everyday first aid kit are bandages of all sizes, butterfly bandages (for those cuts that are close to needing stitches), tweezers for splinters, gauze pads and surgical tape.

Basic Homeopathy

  • Arnica Cream – Suggested use: For bumps and bruises, use arnica cream.
  • 30c Arnica – Suggested use: As above but taken orally.
  • 30c Apis – Suggested use: Any type of inflamed bug bites, burns or stinging.
  • 30c Cantharis – Suggested use: Burning pains from either hot water, or sunburn.
  • 30c Tabacum – Suggested use: Ideal for motion sickness in car, plane or boat.
  • 30c Rhus Tox – Suggested use: Ideal for intense itching from poison oak or ivy.

How to take homeopathy: Dispense 3 pellets into cap and place under tongue (being mindful not to touch with your hands) every 15 minutes up to 4 times or until pain and/or swelling subsides.

Basic Botanicals

  • Calendula (or an all-purpose salve) – Suggested use: This is essential for many things but when there are scrapes, mosquito bites or rashes, these are an ideal way to sooth and heal the skin.
  • Rescue Remedy – Suggested use: Use rescue remedy if your child is really having a hard time with any pain, itching or is frightened. I often suggest for parent to take it first, in order to calm them down!
  • Activated Charcoal – Despite its black coloring, it is flavorless. Activated charcoal reliefs the symptoms of gas, diarrhea, or any intestinal upset by drawing out and binding to toxins. A word of caution: do not take with other medicines, as it will also bind with them. Suggested use: For adults, take 2 capsules as needed and with children, open one capsule and place in soft food.

How to Use Your Natural First Aid Kit: Follow SOS 1-2-3

Bumps and Bruises
1: Arnica Cream
2: 30c Arnica
3: Apply ice

Insect Bite
1: Rescue remedy
2: Ledum 30c
3: Cold compress or apply a baking soda paste/poultice

Cuts and Scrapes
1: Wash out scrape with soapy water
2: Dilute calendula succus in water and use it as a dis-infective to clean scrape
3: Apply calendula or an all-purpose salve

Poison Ivy or Oak
1: Take a hot shower (the hot water helps break up the histamine reaction occurring in the body)
2: Rhus tox 30c
3: Apply calendula or an all-purpose salve

Minor Burns or Sunburn
1: Apply ice or run under cold water for at least 15 minutes
2: 30c Cantharis
3: Apply vitamin E oil (from a gel capsule) to sooth skin

Motion Sicknes
1: Be prepared with bags in car
2: Rescue before the trip may help
3: 30c Tabacum

An important side note: It is always a wise idea to have the family take a basic first aid and CPR class. These classes can be a huge help if someone has a broken bone, or a deep cut and can save lives. If a class is not offered in your area, purchase a pocket handbook, talk to your family about what is inside, and keep it in your first aid kits.

Visit Dr. Heather, ND and Human Body Detectives series for kids, to learn more about Dr. Heather and her mission to have families be more proactive and healthy in their lives. You can also join the conversation on Twitter @drheathernd and HBD on Facebook.


About Author

Dr. Heather Manley (from Toronto presently living in Hawaii), who in 2001 received her medical degree from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon, is a practicing physician whose primary interest is preventative healthcare for families. She is the author of Human Body Detectives, her educational series of story-telling audiobooks and accompanying activity workbooks. She also promotes wellness and naturopathic healthcare on her website drheathernd.com. She lives on the Big Island of Hawaii with her husband and two daughters, and is currently at work on the next Human Body Detectives adventure.

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