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Natural first aid kit

Mix and match these age-old remedies for a home first aid kit that’s stood the test of time.

Aloe vera: Used since ancient times for relief from scalds, sunburn and itchy bites. Lifestream Aloe Vera Gel, $16

Arnica: Rheumatology reseachers found arnica as effective as synthetic painkillers at treating osteoarthritis. Use on aches and pains but don’t apply to broken skin. Absolute Essential Organic Arnica Oil, $30

Calendula: Heals cuts and scrapes and soothes itchy, inflamed skin. Weleda Calendula Ointment, $19; The Green House First Aid Balm, $10

Chamomile tea: Famous as a sleep aid, chamomile also helps anxiety and depression, found University of Pennsylvania researchers. If you’ve suffer from inflamed skin, add it to the bath, recommend naturopath Leanne Pratt. Harvest Wholefoods Chamomile Tea, $2

Clary sage: Eases menstrual cramps when blended with lavender and rose oils, found a Journal of Alternative Complementary Medicine study. Massage into your abdomen, hot water bottle optional. Kereru Organic Clary Sage Oil, $15

Clove: A natural painkiller, clove oil contains euthymol, which is found in synthetic anaesthetics. Apply a drop to gums for toothache, but don’t use on kids under 12. Absolute Essential Organic Clove Oil, $33

Comfrey: Traditionally called ‘knitbone’, comfrey’s healing, anti-inflammatory properties have been verified by multiple studies. Apply to muscular aches and pains. The Herb Farm Comfrey Cream, $26; Blackmores Flexagil Cream, $20

Eucalyptus: Diffuse to aid the respiratory system during colds, flu, sinus infections or allergies. Absolute Essential Organic Eucalyptus Oil, $20

Ginger: Eases nausea from motion sickness, pregnancy – even chemotherapy. Ginger tea also aids digestion. Lifestream Bioactive Ginger Capsules, $18

Peppermint: Cooling pain relief for bruises and aches – apply directly to unbroken skin, or take a drop under the tongue for headaches and upset tummies. Absolute Essential Organic Peppermint OIl, $25

Lavender: Apply to wounds, burns and bites; it’s gentle enough for broken skin and for use on kids. Its multipurpose nature makes it perfect for a handbag or travel kit, says aromatherapist Dr Bo Hendgen. Absolute Essential Organic Lavender True Oil, $26

Manuka honey: Highly antibacterial, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory – if you get the right kind. Look for a Unique Manuka Factor (UMF) rating of at least 10. Apply directly to cuts, scrapes and burns to fight infection and speed healing. It also combats throat infections and eases coughs. Mossops UMF Manuka Honey, $9

Paw paw: Use on cracked lips, scalds, sunburn, chafing, nappy rash, eczema, dermatitis. Suvana Certified Organic Paw Paw and Honey Balm, $12

Tea tree: Potently antiseptic and antifungal; add a few drops to a foot bath to treat fungal infections. Absolute Essential Organic Tea Tree Oil, $23

Talk to a medical professional before using essential oils while pregnant, or on young children.

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