When exposed to very cold temperatures, skin and underlying tissues may freeze, resulting in frostbite. The areas most likely to be affected are your hands, feet, nose and ears.

You can identify frostbite by the hard, pale and cold quality of the skin that has been exposed to the cold. As the area thaws, the flesh becomes red and painful.

If your fingers, ears or other areas are frostbitten:

1.Get out of the cold.
2.Warm your hands by tucking them into your armpits. If your nose, ears or face is frostbitten, warm the area by covering it with dry, gloved hands.
3.Don’t rub the affected area, especially with snow.
4.Get emergency medical help if numbness remains during warming. If you can’t get help immediately, warm severely frostbitten hands or feet in warm — not hot — water. The water temperature should be between 100°F to 105°F.

Fainting & Shock

Fainting & Shock

CAUTION! Emotional shock is quite different from “medical shock”, which can follow a serious injury and requires urgent medical attention. If someone faints and does not regain consciousness after a few minutes, place him or her in the so-called recovery position and summon medical assistance immediately.

First Aid:
If someone feels faint, get him or her to sit down with the head between the knees. If the person has actually fainted, gently raise the legs so that they are higher than the head to encourage blood flow back to the brain. When the person regains consciousness, give small sips of water. Loosen any tight clothing and ensure that the person gets as much fresh air as possible.

Herbal Treatments:
If the person is conscious, get him or her to sip a glass of water which has been mixed with no more than five drops of Arnica tincture.

Eye Infection: Signs, Symptoms, Treatments

Eye Infection

Conjunctivitis (Pink Eye)
Conjunctivitis, better known as Pink Eye, is an infection of the conjunctiva, the mucous membrane which coats most of the eyeball and the eyelids. It is caused by allergies, bacteria, viruses, or chemicals. The signs and symptoms are: red, irritated eye; some burning and/or scratchy feeling; there may be pus or a mucous type discharge.

Pink Eye spreads very easily! To prevent the spread of infection:
1.Wash hands thoroughly
* Before you use medicine in your eyes.
*After using medicine in your eyes.
*Every time you touch your eyes or face.
2.Wash any clothing touched by infected eyes.
3.Do not share make-up. If the infection is caused by bacteria or a virus, you must throw away your used make-up and buy new make-up.
4.Do not touch the infected eye because the infection will spread to the good eye.

Herbal Treatments:
Goldenseal is a specific for eye infections and ear infections.
Make a weak decoction of 1/2 tsp Goldenseal root and 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a hard boil and then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter. Let it cool down to body temperature. Fill a dropper with the decoction and drop a few drops in the infected eye or use an eyebath Be sure to sterilize the eyebath after every use.

You can also use an eyebath made from Eyebright and Calendula flowers.

Styes are inflammation of the small glands at the base of the eyelashes which secrete a lubricating fluid. The infection is usually a sign that the sufferer is generally run down.

Herbal Treatments:
Apply a compress of warmed fresh parsley or Calendula flower petals directly to the stye, and take blood-purifying herbs, such as Garlic, Echinacea and Burdock.

Use a decoction of Goldenseal (see above).



Caution: Earache may be a symptom of a serious middle-ear infection, particularly if it occurs in children. Seek medical assistance for earache.

First Aid:
Fill a hot water bottle with warm water, cover it with a cloth, and apply it to the ear.

Herbal Treatments:
Make a decoction of 1/4 tsp Goldenseal powder and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a hard boil and then remove from heat. Cover and let stand for 10 minutes. Strain through a coffee filter. Let it cool down to body temperature, (the ear is very sensitive to heat and cold). Fill a dropper with the decoction and drop a few drops on the inside of your arm to check the temperature. With the head tilted sideways, put the dropperful of Goldenseal in the ear and hold it there for about a minute. Repeat as needed.

Cuts & Scrapes

Cuts & Scrapes

Minor cuts and scrapes usually don’t require a trip to the emergency room, but proper care is essential to avoid infection or other complications.

Caution: If cuts are gaping or there is any risk of infection such as tetanus, seek medical help.

First Aid

1.Stop the bleeding: To stop cuts from bleeding, apply pressure for a few minutes. If the sides are gaping open, bring them together firmly with your finger and thumb. Apply teflon pad (which doesn’t stick) to wound and bind with surgical tape. If the cut is relatively minor, it is best left uncovered.

Note: If the blood spurts or continues to flow after 5 to 10 minutes of pressure, seed medical assistance.

2.Clean the wound: Cuts can be bathed with an infusion of Calendula flowers. Or you can use diluted tincture of Calendula. You can also use distilled Witch Hazel. Apply it to the cut on a cotton ball. It helps to stop bleeding and promotes healing.

3.Apply antibiotic: Apply an antibiotic to prevent infection and cover it with a clean bandage. There are three herbs that make great antibiotics and they are also anti-inflammatory. Goldenseal, St. Johnswort, and Yerba Mansa. Apply a poultice or tincture before covering the wound.
Note: There are several antibiotic salves that you can make yourself on the Salves & Ointments page.

Also antiseptic and healing is diluted oil of clove, lavender or eucalyptus, which can be applied with a cotton ball. If the cut is deeper, use a compress of St. Johnswort or apply St. Johnswort oil.

Scar tissue can be encouraged to heal by applying Comfrey ointment and Vitamin E oil daily.

4.Cover the wound: Exposure to air speeds healing, but bandages can help keep the wound clean and keep harmful bacteria out. Cover blisters that are draining until a scab forms.

5.Change the dressing: Change the dressing at least daily or whenever it becomes wet or dirty.

6.Watch for signs of infection: See your doctor if the wound isn’t healing or you notice any redness, drainage, warmth or swelling.



Corns are areas of hardened skin on or between the toes. They are nearly always caused by pressure or friction from badly fitting shoes.

First Aid:
Get better fitting footwear and if possible walk barefoot for a time every day.

Herbal Treatments:
Paint the hard skin daily with fresh lemon juice or apply Calendula ointment regularly.

Cold Sores

Cold Sores

Cold sores (herpes simplex) are caused by a common virus of the chickenpox family that in another form may cause either genital herpes or shingles (herpes zoster).

First Aid

Improve your general resistance by taking plenty of Vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. Avoid foods (such as peanuts and chocolate) that are rich in the amino acid argenine, which may have the effect of triggering an attack of cold sores. A supplement of the amino acid L-lysine is said to restrict attacks.

Herbal Treatments

Drink herb teas made from Burdock, Yellow Dock, and Dandelion root. Boost the immune system by combining these with herbs such as Echinacea, and Licorice.

Locally, apply directly to the cold sore a diluted tincture of Calendula or Goldenseal.

Burns & Scalds: First Aid, Natural Herbal Treatments

Burns & Scalds

If the burn or scald has affected a small area and damaged only the outer layer of skin, then you can safely treat it at home. Seek medical advice in the case of electrical burns.

Caution: Do not puncture blisters. If a burn becomes more painful or infected, seek medical attention.

First Aid

Cool the affected area by immersing it in cold (but not ice-cold) water for at least ten minutes or until the pain has gone. Alternatively, you can use a cold compress.

Once the pain has gone, cover loosely with a clean, dry dressing. Avoid fluffy material which can stick to the burn.

If it is a chemical burn, remove any clothing splashed with chemicals and flush the affected area with running water.

Herbal Treatments

Apply Lavender oil to the burnt area, or use St. Johnswort oil. Break off a leaf of Aloe Vera and apply to area. Or you can make a compress by wetting a gauze in distilled witch hazel and gently bind it to the burnt area.

An infusion of Comfrey, cooled and applied as a compress, is another effective remedy. Comfrey ointment can also be applied.



A bunion is inflammation and swelling of the joint of the big toes with the result that the toe is sometimes pushed towards the others. The usual cause is badly fitting shoes.

First Aid: Get better fitting footwear.

Herbal Treatments

Apply a poultice of Comfrey leaves to the affected joint or use a daily footbath of an infusion of equal parts of Comfrey leaf, German Chamomile and Meadowsweet. You may also paint the bunion daily with fresh lemon juice.



A bruise forms when a blow breaks small blood vessels near the skin’s surface, allowing a small amount of blood to leak out under the skin. The trapped blood appears as a black-and-blue mark. Sometimes, there are tiny red dots or red splotches.

Herbal Treatments

If the skin isn’t broken, a bandage isn’t necessary. You can, however, enhance healing with these steps:

Bruises respond well to compresses of Witch Hazel, Comfrey, or Arnica.

Elevate the injured area and apply ice or a cold pack for 30 to 60 minutes at a time for a day or two after the injury.

Diluted Witch Hazel can be poured into an ice tray and frozen before use.

Caution: See your doctor if:

You have large or painful bruises — particularly if your bruises seem to develop for no known reasons.

You bruise easily and you’re experiencing abnormal bleeding elsewhere, such as from your nose or gums, or you notice blood in your eyes or your urine.

You have no history of bruising but suddenly experience bruises.

These signs and symptoms may indicate a more serious problem, such as a blood-clotting problem or blood-related disease. Bruises accompanied by persistent pain or headache also may indicate a more serious underlying illness and require medical attention.