Admittedly, this started as a much longer list, but I
begrudgingly narrowed it down to just 10 essential herbs that make up something of a personal “first aid kit” to keep stocked, at a bare minimum.
It’s a loose guide, and I briefly include some extras at the end (couldn’t resist)!
This is number one for a reason! It’s “nature’s antibiotic,” strengthens the body systems, and keeps pesky vampires away. Sometimes just eating a raw clove can drastically cut infections and seasonal ills short. I like to keep both fresh garlic and capsules on hand to use liberally (embrace the stank! Or reach for some parsley).
As a powerful relaxant, lobelia does wonders for immediately opening the airways to relieve coughs, congestion, or more urgent respiratory problems. It’s historically been used to reduce fever and is great in poultice combinations. It pays to be mindful about how much is used, because too large of a dose can cause vomiting.
I’ve found this to be suuuuper important to have in both tincture and tea (root) form. it has amazing antibacterial properties and offers incredible immune system support. I take it esp at the first sign of a cold, often in combo with yarrow, ginger, and goldenseal!
Keeping a couple of capsules of cayenne nearby is handy, because they can be opened and used to rapidly stop bleeding and can be used as a catalyst for other herbs. I often sprinkle some in between two pairs of socks for cold feet in the winter!
The bark of slippery elm has mucilaginous properties, which makes it great for sore throats and digestive troubles. It’s pretty common to find slippery elm lozenges. Mixed with echinacea it can be effectively used as a “drawing” poultice for topical issues.
Lavender is love. Lavender is life. While that’s obviously
fact my opinion, lavender has undeniable stress-relieving (and mood-lifting) qualities. It’s an important part of my personal kit because a few drops of the essential oil placed in a diffuser or rubbed onto the temples ensures sweet, sweet relaxation.
I consider it an absolute must to have arnica cream or ointment on hand for bruises and aches. Its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties soothe even the most nagging sprains and sores!
There’s nothing like a cup of fresh ginger and lemon tea when the sniffles an coughs start. Beyond that, it’s nearly unmatched for fighting nausea, stimulating circulation, and giving the body an overall warming effect.
Turmeric does a number of wonderful things, but I value it most for its inflammation-fighting powers- and its rich golden color, of course.
If you’re huntin’ for a mega source of feel good fuel, ta-daaa. Alfalfa’s got it all, with ample vitamins, minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, amino acids, and wonderfully high chlorophyll content. Usually I plop it (along with tons of other herbal goodies) into a smoothie and it gives me all the energy to conquer whatever life throws at me…even Mondays.
These are the herbs I’ve personally reached for the most over the past couple of years, but it’s worth some individual exploration to find what works best for you and to build to your own preferences.
Note: Herbal Energetics
Comfrey + Plantain
Licorice (cut herb for tea)
Yarrow (cut herb for tea)
Aloe Vera (juice and/or gel)
Apple cider vinegar
For more herbal first aid kit suggestions, check out The How to Herb Book and Herbally Yours!