Is your first aid kit leaving you exposed this summer?
For most Canadians summer is a time to head outdoors and embrace all that comes with it, and by this I mean; bug bites, sunburns, sprains, allergies, muscle strains, and maybe even post-BBQ food poisoning. The season is all about exposure so there is no better time than now to take inventory of the natural first aid kit in your home and make sure you’re covered.
High humidity and heat warnings are streaming across weather and news stations in Ontario making heat exhaustion top of mind. Heat exhaustion occurs from loosing too much water and salt while exposed to high temperatures. A person suffering from this condition may demonstrate a feeling of fatigue and have cold clammy skin. They could experience headache, nausea, cramping, dizziness or a combination of any or all of these symptoms. Home treatment involves elevating feet, gradually cooling and orally rehydrating the induvial over a specific time period.
What should you fit in your kit?
· The tissue salt ferrum phosphoricum is well indicated for low grade fevers and overheating. Natrum muriaticum is another must-have. This water distributing salt helps to balance body fluids.
· Some homeopathic remedies to consider for heat exhaustion are; cuprum, veratrum album, lachesis, anacardium and natrum carbonicum. For heat stroke look to remedies such as glonoinum, or belladonna. Homeopathic prescribing should always be based on a person's individualizing symptoms. Notice concomitants (other concurrent symptoms) and modalities (triggers and things that help or aggravate the symptoms) during case taking to help differentiate between remedies and guide your selection.
While heat exhaustion can be treated at home, heatstroke/sunstroke is life-threatening! It is important to distinguish between these conditions because the treatment protocols are not the same. Be able to spot the variances and know when to call 911.
Bug bites were the chief complaint around my household this month. Not once but twice I was able to treat family members who awoke with discomfort from a bitten eyelid. My experience with the Homeopathic remedy apis mellifica is that you better get your camera out. In my experience these pellets may work so quickly if you are not ready, you’ll miss your before and after photo-op. It is not only mosquitos and black flies causing problems at this time of year, ticks have increased ten times over in the past two decades. Known spreaders of infectious bacteria, including Lyme disease ticks have become a growing concern in Canada. Ledum is a remedy indicated for all kinds of bug bites including ticks. A patient requiring ledum may be cold yet also find cold to ameliorate their complaint. Ledum patients will be comforted by cold compresses or applying ice to inflamed bites. Many people swear by combination remedies such as Mozi-Q for reducing the frequency and severity of insect bites.
Boiron’s topical gel Dapis is a summer crowd-pleaser. The intended application for the product is on the skin surface of bites. For many users Dapis will relieve the nagging itchy irritation left by a variety of pesky critters. If you are looking for non-toxic options these are my must haves to fit in your kit. I find the topical treatment approach has been another way to introduce new patients to homeopathy because I am not asking them to ingest anything. Many parents who are cautious about what they put in their children’s mouths are more comfortable applying gels, ointments and creams. Topical products can be a great demonstrative tool in first aid situations to show how Homeopathy operates on the law of like cure likes. Opening with these acute products for minor concerns allows the practitioner time to build a relationship with new patients and slowly introduce natural options to those interested in learning more about holistic medicine.
Check out the next newsletter/blog post where we will pick this topic back up discussing sprains, strains and food poisoning. In the meantime, if you have had too much exposure to mister golden sun may I suggest looking back a few posts in the blog and read about some homeopathic medicines you can apply to cases of sunburn.
To get yourself started with a home kit check out the Essential 18 remedy kit created by Helios. The high-quality remedies in this kit are lactose, allergen, gluten and soy free. The compact carrying case makes it easy to transport the 30CH remedies, enabling you to be like all great first aiders, always prepared! For students and new practitioners get stocked up with all your essential remedies in our Boiron starter kits - you can't beat the price for 50 remedies.