New Age Personal First Aid supplies?

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Minotaur

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Apr 27, 2005
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Birmingham
I know Paul Kirtley carries a couple of iodines and that Dave Canterbury is doing a video series on natural healing items.
I am after some thoughts and resources about items that could live in my possibility bag or personal first aid kit. For example, honey as a much better version of savalon makes sense however how do you use it?
I carry some of the Boots Banana Boat after sun because it is basically Aloe Vera which works on burns. Tiger Balm Red is always nearby.
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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Despite having studied medicinal plants for several years now (and still a total beginner) my first aid kit contains the latest and most effective treatment available including things like Israeli bandages, Celox gauze and tourniquet. I work with chain saws, saws, axes and knives in the wood on my own; it would take more than two hours to get to me so I have as good a 1st aid kit as I can sensibly get.

Having said that, rather than carry herbal remedies, I would urge learning as much as possible about the huge variety and capability that's all around us, from staunching blood flow to dealing with intestinal worms; you can't carry it all. A lot of research over the last twenty years has gone into identifying and isolating the effective constituents; it's definitely not (all) old wives tales :)
 
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Minotaur

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Apr 27, 2005
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Birmingham
A tube of arnica cream goes into my kit, aswell as tea tree and lavender oil.
I have arnica gel in my martial arts kit. It weird stuff because it seems to work for some people and not others. It one of the ones that has been tested as well however not seen anything that explains that.

Despite having studied medicinal plants for several years now (and still a total beginner) my first aid kit contains the latest and most effective treatment available including things like Israeli bandages, Celox gauze and tourniquet. I work with chain saws, saws, axes and knives in the wood on my own; it would take more than two hours to get to me so I have as good a 1st aid kit as I can sensibly get.
It is not about golden hour first aid. Medicinal plants are great however how do you process them to use them? Do they actually work and do what has been said that they do?

Having said that, rather than carry herbal remedies, I would urge learning as much as possible about the huge variety and capability that's all around us, from staunching blood flow to dealing with intestinal worms; you can't carry it all. A lot of research over the last twenty years has gone into identifying and isolating the effective constituents; it's definitely not (all) old wives tales :)
Dave Canterbury was doing a series on this about using and preparing them. Yeah they are slowly working through those old wives tales. One of the main problems is dosage. They doing some really interesting work on mushrooms so it turns out all those drug fueled vision quests were actually on to something.
 

Toddy

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I have to admit that I'm inclined to think of the outdoors as the 'first aid kit'.
I note where things grow, so that when they're out of season (like comfrey and meadowsweet just now) I still know where to dig them up.

Meadowsweet is a natural aspirin, and a piece of the root held against an aching tooth, settles it. If you suck on a piece of it (tastes like you would imagine germolene) and gargle, then it'll ease a sore throat too.
Pound a bit of the root up with some oil and use that as a rub on aching joints. It can be a great kindness.

Insect bites (unless massively allergic to them) find the cleavers and crush it in your hands to a green paste. Rub that on and it'll sooth and it'll heal very quickly indeed.

Need an elastoplast? find the birch fungus, piptoporus (I think they've changed it's name, might be wrong about that, but I know it as this) and cut and peel a strip. Wrap it around the injury and let it set. It'll stick to itself and to the skin enough to hold securely. By the time it wears/falls off the injury will be pretty much healed....and it won't be a mushy mess like under a normal plaster either.

The list goes on and on and on, but it's only of use if you know what you're looking for and where you'll likely find it.
Not suitable for everyone, everywhere, but still worth acquiring the knowledge I believe :)
 

Suffolkrafter

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Dec 25, 2019
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One of the main problems is dosage.
I think that statement is of great importance and isn't often discussed. I like learning about wild medicinals, but medicinals - wild or otherwise - need to be taken at the correct dosage. Correct dosage can vary from person to person. Too little and there is no effect, too much and there may be adverse effects. It is also possible that whereas benefits were correctly attributed to certain plants through historical use over the ages, hazards through cumulative long term use may never have been identified. It's something I am personally quite cautious about, rightly or wrongly.
 

Toddy

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Thing is though that modern medicines suffer from that same issue. They are rarely tailored to fit the individual.
Even Vets do better, they often administer to the animal's weight, unlike us who do it to different ages.

M
 
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Suffolkrafter

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Suffolk
Even Vets do better, they often administer to the animal's weight,
Yes that's interesting, I've never taken an animal to the vet other than the odd occasion where I've rescued wildlife, so it's not something I've considered.

Not strictly a medicinal, but I'd be interested to hear of anyone successfully using plants or fungi as insect repellant. I think I read somewhere that cramp ball fungus can be burned with moss to drive away insects, but it's not something I've tried.
 
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Toddy

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Depends on the insect, but you can use the myrtica gale, the sweet gale, bog myrtle to deter many.
Crushed elder leaves was much used in the past too, and the natural insecticides are made from permethrin which is an extract from chrysanthemums.....and our native wild ones have some of the properties just as they come. Kills lice and ticks on the body....please don't take this as gospel, because the only stuff I know that 100% kills ticks is DDT, and ticks are serious...

In the past folks didn't think of smoke as something bad. Smoke preserved, smoke killed insects, killed disease, cleansed clothing and homes.
These old hearth herbs are still effective, but we know now that breathing them in isn't a good idea. They're still a decent way to kill insects in a natural materials shelter though.
Mugwort, juniper, sweet gale, etc., are excellent.
 

Suffolkrafter

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Dec 25, 2019
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Thanks Toddy that was very informative. I'll look out for bog Myrtle in my area when I'm next out and about. I've got on the wrong end of a tic before and ended up on antibiotics. Not something I want to repeat.
 
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Toddy

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If you can find mugwort (artemesia vulgaris) big tall woody kind of herb with leaves that have a white down on the underside, it's leaves burn and smoulder with a scented beautifully white billowing smoke. Not at all unpleasant and it'll drive off midgies near your tent too.

Sweet vernal grass does much the same but with less of the white billowing smoke. Sweet grasses, and there are many native to the UK, though many are really water meadow grasses, were also used like that too. They were also used to stuff mattresses/palliases and if herbs like the mugwort, bog myrtle, juniper etc., were added it kind of deters lice and ticks there again.

I am old enough that the first closed cell foam pads for camping were a novelty when I was young. It made it easy to camp when we had been taught to scrape out for shoulder and hip and knee beneath our groundsheet (usually a bit of oilskin). Thing is though, we knew to pad those scraped out bits with greenery....and that's where many used plants like those I mention. It depends on just what was growing nearby, what was available, in that season. Meadowsweet leaves and flourish are lovely in the mix, but meadowsweet likes really damp ground....which isn't ideal for camping, iimmc ?
Learn your area and hope it carries over enough when you go someplace else.

M
 

Broch

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Jan 18, 2009
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There is a wide range of plants that have been used to fumigate and as a lotion to get rid of or repel insects. My own database of native plants contains a large number, for example:

Fumigating:
Common Fleabane
Birch (Downy and Silver)

Ointments:
Elder leaves and flowers
Herb Robert
Mugwort
Tansy (with care, can be toxic)
Alder leaves

However, I can personally testify to the efficacy of Toddy's Bog Myrtle. I have stood next to people who were covered in midges with clouds of them around them without a single midge on me because I was covered in Bog Myrtle lotion. If you boil it in salt water you can obtain an oil when it cools that makes a good base for the lotion although I have always bought mine ready made.
 

Minotaur

Native
Apr 27, 2005
1,221
68
Birmingham
I think that statement is of great importance and isn't often discussed. I like learning about wild medicinals, but medicinals - wild or otherwise - need to be taken at the correct dosage. Correct dosage can vary from person to person. Too little and there is no effect, too much and there may be adverse effects. It is also possible that whereas benefits were correctly attributed to certain plants through historical use over the ages, hazards through cumulative long term use may never have been identified. It's something I am personally quite cautious about, rightly or wrongly.
Trying to be really careful here however Tim Ferriss is funding the mushroom research and that is one of the big things they have discovered that the active ingredients vary wildly from mushroom to mushroom. They have also discovered that there is no way to tell how much has an effect on a person and there is a middle sweet spot which is different for most people. Weight is not necessary a relevant factor either.
Long term effects can be really weird and often not really understood. It like vitamins people have an iron shortage so they take iron however this often a B vitamin shortage. You need B to process iron. I have heard of a magnesium one as well in that people have a magnesium shortage and it is actual something else and the body replaces it with magnesium. Heard Dr. Rhonda Patrick talk about the carnivore diet and she pointed out that you can go 2 years before Vitamin C shortage becomes a real problem.

I am old enough that the first closed cell foam pads for camping were a novelty when I was young. It made it easy to camp when we had been taught to scrape out for shoulder and hip and knee beneath our groundsheet (usually a bit of oilskin).
LOL I foresee the start of a Yorkshire men sketch however I to remember the time before those mats and we used a plastic sheet. It might even sound really weird to people now however when those mats started becoming popular a lot of us did not use them. We had just got used to sleeping on the ground(Never used a rock for a pillow however :) ). To be honest they were always a pain in the neck and not much of an improvement from the ground.
 
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Toddy

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I think the days of really tailoring medication to the individual will really develop. It's just so obvious now that one size of medication does not suit all.
A good vitamin intake and everything works more healthily.

I think the vitamin C in a carnivore diet is fine if you eat the guts too. Most westerners don't.
There was a fellow on the Last Walrus Hunter though, he did. Sailors got scurvy often enough that they sussed out what stopped it.

You're spot on about the first mats :) but they were better than the plastic groundsheet because I didn't slip off them so easily. Why we hung onto the old oilcloth ones. Not sticky exactly, but they were a bit more grippy. Not guaranteed waterproof though, especially if used much.
Never used a rock pillow either. Just packed clothes or jacket into a neatly folded bundle and it did fine.
Slept on a shingle foreshore a couple of times. Surprisingly comfortable, just wriggle around until it's shaped to suit. Wrapped up in a plaid and slept sound. If you do it after a sunny day the stones have soaked up the heat and it's warm underneath too.
 
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Minotaur

Native
Apr 27, 2005
1,221
68
Birmingham
I think the days of really tailoring medication to the individual will really develop. It's just so obvious now that one size of medication does not suit all.
It really weird if you think about it, when they inject you with pain meds it by weight however the rest of the time they just give you a standard tablet.

A good vitamin intake and everything works more healthily.
It really interesting as knowledge increases we know more. Like that some vitamins get pulled by the body to replace others. We had a talk from a Nutritionist to the stars and his first tip was take a mutli-vitamin for your sex. It does not matter how health you eat this just covers you.

I think the vitamin C in a carnivore diet is fine if you eat the guts too. Most westerners don't.
There was a fellow on the Last Walrus Hunter though, he did. Sailors got scurvy often enough that they sussed out what stopped it.
I think it is in a Ray thing about the liver being the hunters prize and the rest was brought back to the tribe.

It going to be interesting to see where we go with processed sugar because I can easily see it being like trans-fats in a few years.

One of the reason I posted this question was what is the latest thinking about things like this. When I started in First Aid savalon was the thing and now honey is.
 
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Toddy

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I listened to a lecture at Glasgow University on the diet of the Meso and Neo lithic peoples of our islands (well, we weren't quite seperated from the continent for a lot of that).
Sugar didn't exist except as honey or in fruit or sap.

Another lecturer spoke about how much sugar cane one would need to chew to extract as much sugar as was in a normal sized paper cup of coca cola (albeit it was an American, but still)...the answer was an eight foot long brush shaft sized piece.
Our teeth just aren't up for that.

Now folks just buy a kilogram bag of sugar for 65p :rolleyes:
I know we're kind of hardwired to like sweet, but it's ridiculous how much is consumed as 'normal' these days.

When I first did a FA course over forty years ago we were taught that vaseline was actually a really good antibacterial ointment. That it soothed the skin, kept it moisturised and prevented infection.
The men who worked the oil wells had discovered that the oily/waxy stuff that exuded out at the well head was a brilliant salve.
 
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