Ayurvedic ‘first aid’ remedies are found within the ancient text, Charaka Samhita.
These remedies are not supposed to be the full and final treatments. They are recommended for symptomatic relief, to prevent the issue from developing into a fully-fledged diseased state.
The ingredients that I have in my Ayurvedic first aid kit comes in three basic categories:
1) From the garden
2) From the spice rack
3) Other Ayurvedic ingredients
The ingredients from the garden are:
1) Aloe Vera gel or plant
2) Caraway plant or Ajwain
3) Holy Basil or Tulsi
Ingredients from the spice rack
These are dependent on how much you are putting into cooking Indian food. One can choose from a wide range of ingredients.
The most useful ones are:
2) Clove buds
4) Black pepper
Other Ayurvedic ingredients are:
2) Organic Honey
3) Himalayan pink rock salt
4) Coconut oil
5) Organic Triphala powder
6) Liquorice Powder
Now, let’s see how to use these ingredients in common health situations;
The Common Cold
Cold or runny nose tendencies are always understood as a symptom of a viral infection, with no treatments to do. Even though the infection is self-limiting, the symptoms of excess mucous, blocked nose, heavy headedness, sensitive nose and a bad taste in the mouth can be addressed using simple home remedies.
Use: ½ teaspoon of Liquorice powder, ½ teaspoon Honey and ¼ teaspoon of Black Pepper to form a paste and put a pea-sized amount on the tongue frequently throughout the day.
Along with this, drink plenty of Ginger, Lemon and Honey water, either warm or room temperature. This will improve immunity, generate better appetite and clear excess mucus.
For the type of burn which has caused heat damage, without breaking the skin, it is safe to use topical natural first aid treatments. This will help reduce pain and discomfort. The remedies can also help in reducing the discolouration that might occur after healing.
Use Immediately: a slice of Aloe Vera leaf flesh over the burnt area and leave it in contact as long as possible. After the burning sensation and pain subside put a thin layer of honey onto the area. This will help to accelerate healing, reducing scarring.
Irritation in the throat, causing a cough and hoarseness of voice can be corrected using simple home remedies.
Use: Himalayan rock salt dissolved in warm water and gargle two or three times a day.
A tea prepared with Tulsi and Honey is also an excellent sore-throat remedy. The mixture of Liquorice, Black Pepper and Honey (mentioned for the common cold) is also very good for bringing back a lost voice!
If you come into contact with a chemical or natural ingredient which has caused signs of an allergic reaction, first look at the bottle and follow the remedies that are instructed. You should wash off any substance remaining on the skin with running water. Wash the skin with Triphala water if it is red, inflamed and irritated. Triphala water is also an excellent remedy for using, even as an eyewash.
To prepare Triphala water:
Use: 1 teaspoon of Triphala powder in 250ml of boiling hot water and allow it to steep for 5 minutes.
Filter and allow to cool before applying to skin. After washing the skin, wipe dry and apply a thin layer of good organic ghee onto the affected area to calm and soothe. Make sure you filter the infusion 3-4 times using cotton pads, removing all particles. Allow to fully cool down before using for eyewash.
Indigestion and Bloating
These two conditions can occur as a result of long-standing digestive issues, or due to a heavy/bad meal. Either way, Caraway is an excellent remedy for symptomatic relief.
Caraway plants can be easily grown in the Spring-Summer time and dried to store both leaves and seeds.
Use: Caraway/ Ajwain seeds with warm water as a tea for indigestion. The leaves can be used dried or fresh in heavy meat dishes for both flavour and to aid digestion.
When making sauerkraut, layer the cabbage with a sprinkling of caraway seeds for a refreshing flavour and better digestion.
Aches and pains
Joint pains can be a sign of injury, long-standing degeneration and inflammation. The best remedy for reducing pain, according to Ayurveda is to:
Apply: warm coconut oil followed by hot fomentation with a warm towel. In case of a recent injury, there is no need for heat, the simple application would be enough. Aches and pains after exercise or running a marathon can be resolved by the application of coconut oil, followed by a hot bath.
This tiny part of the body can create massive discomfort, from common gum or root infections. Clove buds have effective analgesic and antibacterial properties.
Use: Cloves, crushed or in oil form and bring directly into contact with the tooth that’s aching and leave there for a few minutes. This can be repeated multiple times during the day with no side effects.
Options available with an Ayurvedic home remedy kit can be much more elaborate with herbs and spices such as cumin, coriander, cinnamon, etc. But those mentioned above would be an easy and simple start for someone aspiring to keep an Ayurvedic first aid kit like ours.
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