I’ve tried to make your summertime kit as comprehensive as possible for those who want to be prepared for anything from scratches to snake bites. Your summertime first aid kit can contain as many or few as the items below.
Please let me know in the comment section below if I’ve forgotten anything or you have a favorite item you like to include in your summertime first-aid kit!
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1. Essential Oils to Include in your Summer First Aid Kit
- Tea tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) As an antiseptic to stop stinging and itching of insect stings, topical wounds, poison ivy, tick bite (apply after the tick is removed, never before). Can be used neat (undiluted) directly on the affected area.
- Lavender (Lavendula angustifolia) For all types of burns (sunburn, hot motorcycle pipes, cooking oil splashes, electrical). Also great for headaches, insomnia, and topical wounds. Can be used neat on the affected area.
- Chamomile, German Matricaria recutita) A natural anti-inflammatory for swelling, bruising. Mix 4 drops of German Chamomile with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil and rub into the affected area. Lavender and Helichrysum can be added for maximum effect.
- Helichrysum (Helichrysum italicum) For bruises, inflammation, sprains. I once smashed my finger in the door of a car and applied helichcrysum, 2 drops neat, in the first 5 minutes. The reduced swelling and bruising were phenomenal. Mix 4 drops of helichrysum with 1 tablespoon of carrier oil or arnica oil, and reapply frequently to ease pain, swelling, and discoloration of a bruise.
- Peppermint (Mentha piperita) For motion sickness and driving fatigue place a drop on a tissue and stuff in the car air vent. For sinus congestion sniff directly from the bottle or tissue. For a headache, add 1 drop peppermint and 1 drop lavender to 1 teaspoon of carrier oil and rub in forehead and back of the neck.
- Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus), Citronella (Cymbopogon nardus), Catnip (Nepeta cateria) are all very effective mosquito repellents. Add 10 drops of essential oil to 1 ounce of water in a spray bottle. To learn more about repelling mosquitos, click here.
- Thyme (Thymus vulgaris ct linalol) A good tick repellant. Drop thyme oil all around the cuff of your pants and directly on your socks.
- Lemon (Citrus limon): A natural hemostatic that stops bleeding. One or two drops directly on the bleeding wound.
- Clove Bud (Eugenia caryophyllata) For toothache and mouth pain. One drop on a q-tip and rub around the sore tooth or gum.
- Frankincense (Boswellia carterii) Add to Helichrysum and Lavender for wound care. Include if an asthma attack is a possibility. Add 2-4 drops of Frankincense to 1 tablespoon carrier oil and rub in the chest.
Where to Buy Your Essential Oils: Since my business focus is education, I don’t sell essential oils, but I do partner with an amazing company called Natures Gift Aromatherapy. Natures Gift was established 25 years ago because of the company’s integrity, quality and customer service, has become one of the most respected essential oil suppliers in the world. My subscribers and students get special discounts from the owner Marge Clark.
Special Discount: If you’d like to subscribe to the Aromatic Wisdom Community and get the AromaticWisdom/Natures Gift unique discount code, just fill out the form below!
2. Carriers for Your Summer First Aid Kit (for mixing with Essential Oils)
Include a couple of small bottles of carrier oil to use as a base if you need to mix an oil before applying. For the protection of our skin, essential oils are not used “neat” (undiluted) except under special circumstances. This is to avoid essential oil sensitization. I wrote a hugely popular blog post called Essential Oil Blending Guidelines and Dilutions that will help you make safe and effective first aid blends. Always put your carriers in clean, empty 1 ounce or 2 ounce PET flip-top plastic bottles.
Carrier Oils: I recommend cold-pressed, hexane-free Organic Jojoba Oil or Organic Fractionated Coconut Oil. Both of these carriers are very stable which means they have a long shelf-life and won’t become rancid if stored in your first aid kit all summer. Don’t use vegetable or nut oils as they will oxidize and go rancid quickly, especially in hot weather.
Aloe Vera Gel: Be careful here. There is a lot of garbage out there calling itself Aloe Vera Gel. I deep dive into this subject in this blog post. You want to buy Aloe Vera Gel that is organic, bottles without preservatives and freshly made. I love this one by Seven Minerals. I recommend Aloe Vera gel in your first aid kit because of its cooling, soothing effect and in particular for the treatment of topical burns. (Heck, you could even swish it in your mouth if you burn your tongue on a hot marshmallow hiding in your s’more).For the inevitable summer sunburn, there’s nothing better for instant (and long-term) relief than Lavender essential oil mixed with Aloe Vera gel. Because my family is outside a lot when the weather is warm, I make sure I always have a couple of pre-made 4-ounce bottles of this Aloe/Lavender blend in my fridge. I make it at a 2% dilution, but you could even go up to 3% dilution if the burn is bad. Aloe doesn’t have a long shelf-life and is fragile in the heat so keep all Aloe products in the fridge or ice chest if you’re on the move. Heck, once I even used my Aloe/Lavender blend as a deodorant in a pinch. My armpits were cool, fresh with a hint of flowers. 🙂
Arnica Salve (Arnica montana). The arnica plant is ah-mazing! It has a ton of therapeutic properties that you really want when the unexpected happens. Especially if you’re, say, camping and far from a doctor. Arnica salve helps with muscle pain and promotes the healing of bruises, especially when blended with Helichrysum essential oil. It further helps
Calamine lotion: Include a small bottle to use as a carrier for peppermint and tea tree for poison ivy relief. Add about 10 drops each of Peppermint and Tea Tree to 1 ounce of Calamine lotion and rub on the poison ivy. Personally, I love my own recipe for a superb DIY Calamine lotion with natural ingredients which is incredibly easy to make and really stops the itch and helps draw out infection.
3. Other Items to Include for a Complete Summer First Aid Kit
Bandaids in assorted sizes; include antibacterial and waterproof
Non-stick Bandage Scissors
Tick Removal Tool
Ziplock snack-sized bags for keeping any ticks you remove. They can be taken for Lymes testing.
Mercury-free, Old fashioned glass thermometer, and case. No battery worries.
Children’s Electrolyte Powder
Adult Electrolyte Powder
Bottle of water. If your first aid kit is going to sit for long periods of time, I would fill a BPA-free water bottle that will keep the water from absorbing plastic.
Venom extraction kit for insects, spiders, and snakes
If there is any risk of an allergic reaction to plants, bites or stings, you can’t do better than the PracMedic Bag holds 2 Epi-Pens and an Asthma Inhaler and comes in an easy to spot red pouch.
Reference Sheet: Include a list of what each essential oil does and why it is in the first aid kit. This is a good reminder or even an important list for someone who needs to use the kit but has no experience with essential oils.
A truly complete first-aid kit contains some conventional products to complement the function of the essential oils and carriers; such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, water-free hand sanitizer and all prescription medications in addition to the items listed above.