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Natural First Aid Kit for Skin

Body+Soul, Volume 8 March 2006

``Keep these natural solutions on hand to treat minor injuries.

Injury: Cuts and scrapes
Natural Remedy: Tea-tree oil, lavender essential oil
How They Help: Natural antiseptics, tea-tree oil and lavender essential oil can be directly applied to minor wounds to help prevent infection

Injury: Splinters
Natural Remedy: Banana peel
How They Help: The enzymes in a banana peel help draw the splinter to the skin's surface, making removal with tweezers easy. Apply a small piece of peel pulp-side down and affix with a bandage; wear overnight.

Injury: Bruises
Natural Remedy: Arnica cream or tincture
How They Help: Arnica is believed to increase circulation, helping the body clear blood from bruised skin. Apply topically to the affected area.

Injury: Minor burns
Natural Remedy: Aloe vera gel, chamomile tea, lavender essential oil
How They Help: Aloe will cool burns and speed healing. A clean dressing soaked in cool chamomile tea will also ease inflammation. Lavender essential oil has been known to help minor burns; blend a few drops with an ounce of a neutral oil (like almond or olive), and apply topically.

Injury: Insect bites and stings
Natural Remedy: Mashed papaya and oatmeal
How They Help: Papaya contains the enzyme papain; applied topically, it breaks down the proteins that cause itching. Spreading cooked oatmeal on the affected area will also ease the itch.