Feb 01

Herbal First Aid Kits – Making and using

Herbal first aid kits are a subject that is very important to me. We teach a lot of herbal first aid at my herbalism and survival school.  Specifically in our herbalism classes in Austin and San Antonio, Texas.  We use herbal first aid kits a lot as well.  Both as treatment for injuries sustained in survival training by students, as well as in remote and even post-disaster areas as part of the Herbal Medics mission.  So it is very important to be clear on what the best “bang for the buck” is for every herb that is packed into an herbal first aid kit.

Because of this, there are many different considerations when making or using an herbal first aid kit.  The considerations multiply greatly when you introduce herbs or plant medicine into the contents of any “regular” (i.e. basic first aid) first aid kit.  Some of the most most pressing questions on the subject of herbal first aid are:

  • What are the best types of herbs to put into a kit, where I am limited in my choices of what I can carry or pack?
  • What kinds of containers are best to use both for the whole kit itself, as well as the herbs?
  • What form should the herbs ideally be in, in a first aid kit?
  • Should there be other types of first aid equipment in the kit itself too? If so, then what?
  • Is it better to pack simples (just one single herb in a bottle or prepared by itself), or is it better to pack formulas (several herbs together in one mixture)?  Why would one be better or worse than the other?
  • What specific herbs are most useful in an herbal first aid kit?

To answer these and other questions, I put a 45 minute video up on youtube.  I plan to post more information on this blog concerning specific first aid herbs, but the video is at least a good place to start to answer some of the most fundamental questions.

Video:  Herbal First Aid Kits – Making and Using

Jan 30

Herbal Dentistry: The Herbal Care of Teeth, Gums and Mouth, Part 1

Not very many herbalists spend a lot of time talking about herbal dentistry.  In other words, using herbs for tooth and gum care.  This is a very important subject however.  At our Austin and San Antonio Herbalism school, we spend some time learning about this subject. However, it is one of those subjects that could be really delved into for many days of class and clinic time.  Part of the problem is that we, as herbalists, don’t get as much clinical herbalism time with issues of the mouth, teeth and gums. Even people who use herbs often know that there are herbal alternatives for tooth and gum care.

I recently posted a new video to youtube about how to make tooth sticks.  This is a short video explaining the basic concepts of the tooth stick, its usage, the medicinal herbs used, my own tooth-powder herbal formula, etc.

 Video:  Making and Using Herbal Tooth Sticks

What are some of the other aspects of herbal gum and tooth care we should consider?

  •  It is very possible that periodontal disease and gum disease (gingivitis) could be related to heart disease.
  • I have seen at least an anecdotal correlation in my own clinical experience as an herbalist and medic, between chronic strep throat and gum or tooth infections
  • There is a lot of evidence suggesting that periodontal and gum disease are related to diabetes.

This blog entry is primarily to introduce the basic concept of tooth care using tooth sticks and some of the herbs that are very useful for this.
In part 2, I will explore some of the other herbal medicine that is available to help with gum abscesses and infections, periodontal disease and gingivitis, canker sores and cuts or abrasions to the mucous membrane inside the mouth.