To celebrate Natural Health Products (NHP) Week, the Canadian Health Food Association (CHFA) is launching a free, five-part guide aimed at helping Canadian families make informed decisions about natural health. The Canadian Family’s Guide to Navigating Natural Health, was developed with nutritionist and author Lianne Phillipson-Webb. Canadians can download the guide at chfa.ca for practical tips on how to make simple changes in their daily routines to improve their overall health and the health of their families.
The guide is designed to help Canadians sift through the massive amount of existing information on organics and natural health products and help them prioritize where it is most important, as they shift toward natural and healthier options.
Part 5: Natural First Aid Kit
Simple at-home remedies that work
With the abundance of chemicals in our day-to-day products, food and environment, it can be difficult to figure out where and when to go natural. When we, or our kids, experience minor bumps or bruises we rush to the medicine cabinet as a first aid solution. As an alternative, here are four natural remedies that will help you and your family heal.
1) Use honey to help you heal
Life with kids is full of bumps, scrapes, cuts and bruises. Recent research from the University of Guelph showed that using unpasteurized (Ontario) honey to heal wounds can be superior to other modern methods. This magic mixture of vitamins, sugars, minerals and enzymes helps to disinfect and repair damaged skin tissue. Clean your little one’s scraped knee well with warm water and soap, drizzle a little honey on the absorptive pad of a bandage, cover the scrape, and let it work its healing magic. Honey is also great for calming a cough and soothing a sore throat.
2) Use arnica to alleviate pain
Used to alleviate pain since the 1500s, arnica is still popular today. A product obtained from plants in the sunflower family, it can be applied to the skin for pain and swelling associated with bruises, aches, sprains, and arthritis. It can also work for insect bites, muscle and cartilage pain, chapped lips, and even acne. Available as an ointment, rub, tincture or oral supplement, it is also known to relieve sore muscles and joints.
3) Use coconut oil for soothing skin
Organic coconut oil is a rising superstar in the culinary world, but did you know it is also great for baby’s skin? During those first newborn diaper changes, coconut oil can help protect baby’s delicate skin from sticky meconium. Also, it is a great carrier oil to remove stubborn cradle cap. Pregnant women can use organic coconut oil as a soothing rub to combat stretch marks and nursing mothers can use it to relieve cracked, painful nipples from breastfeeding.
4) Use aloe vera for minor skin burns
A soothing balm with aloe vera has been shown to improve the healing time of sunburns as effectively as conventional therapies. It also helps to heal minor burns in the kitchen. If a scalding pot or hot oil splatters, first cool the skin with cold, running water for ten minutes, and then apply the aloe vera balm for relief and healing.