February 16, 2009

elephantjournal.com review: Herbal Roots Eco-First Aid™: Natural Remedies for All .


A first aid kit is a staple, something you should always have on hand “just in case” an injury occurs. For most, a first aid kit consists of your basics—pain reliever, gauze, band aids, antiseptic cream, etc. It’s what a first-aid kit is supposed to have, right? But what about those of us that lean toward natural remedies for our ailments and injuries, given an option—how are we supposed to treat our wounds when we’re “on the go?”


Naturalists and herbal remedy connoisseurs: the solution to this predicament of a lack of portable, eco-friendly, natural first aid care has been solved by Herbal Roots, the company that has created Eco-First Aid™, an essential first aid kit that includes nine herbal remedies for minor & major traumas.  Herbal Roots Eco First Aid™ has been created out of an awareness of need for basic herbal first aid treatments any place, any time, and includes ethically harvested herbal therapies such as Osha and Goldenseal, organic St.Johns Wort Oil, organic and wildcrafted Yarrow, wildcrafted Arnica Flower Essence, organic and wildcrafted Comfrey Leaf Poultice, organic South African Tea Tree Essential Oil, organic Healing Salve, and a honey stick. Also provided in the kit are tape, gauze, trauma pads, latex-free band-aids, scissors, tweezers, latex-free wrap, and a color-coded applications card explaining how to use the herbs.


Not only is the kit contained in a fair trade hemp pouch by Hempmania, the kit is as green as it gets, featuring products from companies that promote sustainability, fair-trade and respect for our lovely planet earth. I admire Herbal Roots because all herbs in the kit are organic or wildcrafted (which means that the plant material has been ethically gathered first hand from the mountains, the desert, or somewhere in nature), and all remedies are contained in refillable, recyclable glass vials.


Before I used the kit, I did question whether or not the herbal remedies would be as effective as your standard, run-of-the-mill first aid kit. Can dried herbs and oils take the place of Tylenol and Neosporin? To my surprise, the results I experienced from using the kit were definitely impressive. The Goldenseal, which is in powder form, was capable of clearing my sinuses almost as well as Afrin or a similar over-the-counter conventional medicine. When I applied the Tea Tree Oil to a cut on my finger, the tingly sensation and immediate relief I felt surpassed the healing power of Neosporin, in my humble opinion. Plus, even though conventional topical ointments are meant to heal, you never really know what ingredients they hold, whereas using the organic South African Tea Tree Essential Oil on the body is a straight-forward piece of mind in that I didn’t have to question whether or not I was applying synthetic substances to my skin. The remedies in the kit are in their natural state straight from the earth, or very minimally processed. No artificial ingredients, no worries.  

So is this kit too good to be true? It’s a great concept and a wonderful product for those looking for a natural resolve to heal their wounds. I think it’s fantastic and will consider purchasing it in the future when my supplies run low (assuming I can afford the $45.99 price tag). Heck, I would probably even give it as a gift. However, the one concern I have with the kit is that I would have loved more detailed instructions on how to use it. Herbs and natural oils are great, but how effective can they be if you don’t know how much to use, let alone how exactly to apply them to the body?


The kit does come with a reference card that describes the healing properties of each herb, as well as if they should be applied topically or ingested internally. However, nowhere on this “Applications and Uses of Herbs” card does it state the exact quantities of each remedy to use. I realize that every person is unique and the quantities that need to be used for each individual for effective results may differ. However, as a novice herbal first aid kit user, I was a bit confused about how much Armica Flower Essence to ingest, or how much Yarrow to infuse in my tea. Nonetheless, using herbal remedies may just be about trial and error, and seeing what works for you. I don’t imagine that the indigenous peoples that discovered these herbal miracles had an instruction guide to go by, and so, as long as we are aware of whether or not we are supposed to ingest or apply an herb topically, we can use how we feel as a roadmap of if we need more or less of a certain remedial herb or oil.


All in all, I give Herbal Roots Eco-First Aid™ a thumbs up. It is a kit that I can feel good about using in that I don’t have to worry about applying or ingesting synthetic, man-made ingredients into my body, and I know that it keeps our earth in mind, in its production.


So whether you’re a climber, camper, biker, any other outdoor enthusiast, or simply a person looking for natural, mindful remedies at any time, Herbal Roots Eco-First Aid™ just might be the kit for you.

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