Equipped for the Wilderness | Herbal First Aid

Having recently returned home from an exciting 3 days in the Smoky Mountain wilderness, I thought I’d share a few of my favorite things – referring specifically to a few medicinal ‘essentials’ that I always along take with me… just in case! 😉

1. Cayenne Pepper

I’m pretty excited that I’ve never had to use this one 😉 ! A sweet family I know drinks cayenne water before heading out into cold weather… and as cayenne stimulates blood flow and increases blood circulation, it can be used effectively for heart conditions, headaches & migraines, shock, and to stop persistent bleeding (pack a cut/wound with cayenne to stop bleeding immediately).


I am pretty positive that I could have used the warming up aspect of the cayenne. It was FREEZING in the mornings and evenings. But it didn’t really occur to me to try the cayenne until we got home from our trip… and I’m not sure I would have worked up the courage to drink it anyway(?) 😉

2. Peppermint Essential Oil

I. love. peppermint. oil.

Peppermint essential oil is my favorite for stomach aches and pains, allergy relief (along with a few other oils that I like to use together for seasonal or environmental allergies), relaxation (it works wonders when I’m having difficulty falling asleep), and pain relief. Its cooling numbing properties make it a great natural pain reliever!

3. Allergy Essential Oil Blend

I took this one with me because it works great to boost the immune system (a quick effective go-to if someone feels like they’re coming down with something… which I was feeling a tad ‘on the edge’ a couple of days before the trip). I used it in the evenings when I had a little congestion (I sometimes get mild seasonal allergies that are quickly relieved with this incredible oil blend!).


4. Plantain

Can you believe I forgot my plantain oil!!!!!????? I’m really a big fan of plantain after a recent mouth injury occurred on a family day trip to the mountains. Thankfully, plantain leaves are not very difficult to find in the wild! And I’m finally (happily!) confident with identifying them, and knowing what to do with them – should the need arise.

5. Healing Salve

I did however take my Healing Salve along which contains a lot of plantain herb (my go-to for swelling and pain relief). I use Healing Salve for just about everything – scrapes, scratches, cuts, bumps, bruises, wounds, rashes, chapped lips… it’s the one thing I’ll *always* have with me pretty much no matter where I am or what I’m doing. And it works great for all the little ‘accidents’ that happen (especially with 4 brothers!)… 🙂

On this particular trip I didn’t need plantain. I would loved a little Healing Salve, but my tin was frozen shut (as were the contents inside). Yes. it was rarely ever above 30 degrees – all 3 days of our trip!


So I resorted to something else that I had with me… 😉

6. Peppermint Lip Balm

Yes… you read that right. I used my peppermint lip balm for numerous cuts and scratches that broke the skin on my hands and face. It was dry, cold, and windy. With all of the wood-gathering, log-sawing, dish-rinsing, camp-set-up, fire-building, and whatever else we did… some part of me was pretty much always stinging or bleeding. So each time we stopped for a quick break, or reached another campsite, I pulled out my peppermint lip balm to ‘fix it up’. And guess what?! I never felt that little cut again. It practically did the trick every time (I’m not talking about wounds here… just small cuts and scratches)!

And it makes perfect sense… Sweet Almond Oil is soothing and gentle, and absorbs nicely into the skin. Vitamin E is soothing and healing, and prevents scarring. Peppermint Essential Oil is a natural pain reliever, and healing.

I love my peppermint lip balm. I like it better than any other lip balm I’ve ever used. You can purchase it here!

7. Sore Muscle Salve

I always bring Sore Muscle Salve with me on backpacking trips. Someone is pretty likely to have a sore muscle or aching back after a long day of hiking. Unfortunately Bethany went for the tin and found it frozen. I was amazed that I didn’t ache at all on this trip! It was pretty incredible. 🙂

But when I am sore, I love to rub this stuff on before bed. It’s healing and soothing (not to mention relaxing), and I know that I’ll wake up the next morning feeling *soooooo* much better!
Better prepared than not, right?! 😉

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P.S. I posted more pictures and videos from our trip HERE!

P.P.S. A couple of weeks ago we hosted a Family Fun Day here – you can read about and see pictures of that HERE.


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