Summer camps and summer vacations are just around the corner, and whether you are packing your kids off to sleep away camp for a few weeks, or you are planning a family trip, here is a list of remedies you want to have on hand to deal with summer incidents!
Aconite: Used best when a cold or cough comes on suddenly, especially after getting a chill. Also a good remedy for fear and fright, like after a nightmare, especially when sleeping away from home for the first time! One to two doses a few hours apart should do the trick.
Arnica: the pre-eminent remedy for injuries, falls, bruises, concussions, strains and sprains… no remedy kit
should be without this one! Depending on the severity of the injury, one pellet 1-3x a day for a day or two should usually be enough to get kids up and running again. I’ve had so many moms describe to me with wonderment how they felt the first time they used Arnica for an injury and watched the “huge red bump” go down before their eyes within minutes. It is also available in a cream to topical use.
Apis: The first remedy to think of in stings or bites– whether it be wasp, bee, mosquito, black fly, red ants, etc.-
if the area is red, hot and itchy (and feels better from cold), Apis is the one for you. Apis is one of those remedies you can even take before going on a hike or sitting around a camp fire in the evening when the bugs come out – if you are the one they love to bite, try it preventatively and see if you get fewer than usual. (I have also had good results using Staphisagria and Culex this way). One or two doses is usually enough to get the itching and burning feeling better.
Arsenicum Album: Especially for those going away from home, an upset stomach can ruin the day. Whether it be from food poisoning, anxiety or a mild virus, Arsenicum is most often the one likely to help, especially since it is impractical to send 10 diarrhea remedies with specific instructions along to camp with kids! If the diarrhea is relatively mild, 1-3 doses in the first 12 hours should help enormously if it is the right remedy.
Belladonna: This is a good choice at the first sign of fever – with red, hot skin. Also, it can be used with a sunburn, in this case, taken every hour for 3 doses to really get the heat out and the skin healing.
Calendula cream: A must for any first aid kit – to be applied topically with scrapes. Make sure they are well cleaned before applying. Prevents infection (similar to anti-microbial creams) and promotes healing.
Gelsemium: The first remedy to think of for summer colds (especially if the symptoms are vague and do not indicate a clear remedy) where the person is chilly, has little thirst, and low energy. Try one dose every 12 hours for 3 doses.
Hypericum: For injuries to nerve-rich areas, like a stubbed toe, a finger slammed in the door, a fall on the tailbone with characteristic “nerve” pain – shooting, sharp and tingling. Ouch! Depending on how painful, 1-6 doses in a 24 hour period should help.
Ignatia: I always sent Ignatia in my kids’ sleep away camp remedy kits (maybe it was just wishful thinking that they would miss us a bit….), but if homesickness strikes, this should stop any crying and sighing and missing home in a flash. One dose should do it, repeat if needed.
Ledum: This is a good remedy to think of with a puncture wound – stepping on a nail or something sharp. Also for bites, especially if Apis doesn’t help or is not indicated as Ledum’s bites feel cold to the touch (vs Apis which feels hot). I have also found Ledum to be particularly effective with large bruises (like poking your thigh into the corner of a desk), when Arnica doesn’t help. Finally, it is often the best remedy to use with a black eye (best if used immediately after baseball or elbow makes contact with eye socket!)
Rhus-tox: This remedy has two very useful indications: one is with poison ivy…. and as we mentioned above, if you know you are susceptible to poison ivy, you can even take a dose before a hike and it should prevent a reaction, even if you are exposed (kids: don’t try this at home though…..). Second, Rhus-tox is a very useful remedy with strains or sprains, especially when the joint is stiff in the morning and feel better after movement. Use following Arnica, when that remedy no longer provides any benefit, one pellet every 2 hours for 3 doses.
Ruta: Easily confused with Rhus-tox for use in sprains. Seems to have more affinity for tendons- but if unsure, try Rhus-tox first and if no results after a day or so, change to Ruta.
Silicea: This remedy can sometimes be effective in encouraging splinters to be expelled. Give it a try: one pellet every 12 hours for 3 doses.