Post written by monthly contributor, Michele.
If you have been working on stocking your home first aid kit with natural remedies this past year or so, you may eventually realize that it’s time for some reorganization! The beginning of a new year is always the perfect time for a fresh start (for anything, really).
Those jars of lovely calendula salve, people’s paste, thrush remedies, homeopathics, juices, and more can get quite jumbled and hard to find as the months go by. Bags of bulk herbs can end up pushed back into dusty cupboards, and forgotten. Bulk ingredients may have melted or crystalized in a back corner.
A hard-playing summer, followed by a winter of sniffles can leave the first aid kit needing some attention. Take some time this week to sort it out, and plan for the year ahead!
This is a wonderful time to jot down notes for your garden planning (add some medicinal herbs to your seed catalog list!), and prepare for special life season/events (such as pregnancy/birth).
- A clean, sturdy box, ready to use for your First Aid Kit. (Empty out your current first aid kit to reuse the box, or find a new one.) I use a cardboard box (cover it with pretty paper, if you want).
- Basket and/or clean jars for sorting Bulk Herbs. (Canning jars, reused condiment jars, etc. work well.)
- A sturdy, clean box (preferably waterproof) or cupboard for Bulk Ingredients.
- Pen & Paper for listing needed items.
- Empty out your current first aid kit.
- Check all items for expired dates, moldy salves, broken bottles, etc, and discard. (Make note on your list for any items you need to replace!)
- Make sure to check the refrigerator, too, for any remedies stashed in there.
- Sort items in a way that is convenient for you. (Perhaps by type/category, such as tinctures, homeopathics, salves, etc. or by illness (cold remedies, baby/mama needs, etc.)
- Again, make note of needed items on your list. (Is anything running low or missing? Add it to your list.) Consider the needs of the past year, and your plans for the year ahead, and try to prepare accordingly.
- Neatly restock your sorted items into your first aid kit box.
- Make sure your staple first aid items, such as bandages, thermometers (check the battery!), ice/heat packs, etc. are stocked, as well.
- Clean out your bags of bulk herbs/ingredients from wherever they are hiding in your cabinets/drawers.
- Sort out any old or spoiled items and discard. (Make notes on your list of items to replace.)
- Depending on the storage space and supplies you have available, make sure your herbs are stored in safe, air-tight containers. You can pour them into clean, labeled jars, or store sealed bags in organizing baskets.
- Organize your herbs in a way that is suitable for your use (alphabetical, by type/use, etc.), and neatly restock your cupboards. (Make note of any needed items.)
- Look over your supply of bulk ingredients (such as aloe, beeswax, oils, butters, etc.). Check for any leakage or spoilage, or anything running low. Make note of anything that is missing or needs to be replaced.
- Pour any leaking container into a clean, airtight jar, and wipe down all containers to remove dust or drips. Bulk items in plastic bags can be poured into jars, too, if desired.
- Neatly restock your cabinet/box with ingredients in a way that is convenient for you to use.
At the same time, prepare a small selection of your remedies to keep in the car! Be prepared for the scrapes, stings, and motion sickness that may arrive while you’re away from home.
A small canvas bag works well to store a basic kit. (Use plastic or stainless steel containers rather than glass, to avoid breakage, and some remedies may need to be sealed in a plastic storage bag, just in case of melting/leakage. Reused plastic spice containers work well.)
Review your list of needed items. Could you make any of the remedies? Make a notation by those items, and plan a date for a “remedy-making day!” Add any remaining items on your list to your grocery/seed orders.
Let’s prepare to bless our families, by being ready to soothe the inevitable ‘owies’ and to nurture wellness, ministering to the physical needs of those entrusted to us.
If you’re looking for more natural health remedies, you may want to check out Michele’s eBook, Herbal Nurturing: A Family Healing & Learning Guide. Michele is offering all Passionate Homemaking readers a special discount on her books. Enter: JANPH25 at checkout to save 25%. Sale ends 1/20/11.