Here are a few natural remedies you should never be without:


Naturally antiseptic, it can be applied to cuts and grazes.

If you’ve got dry, chapped lips, smear some on your lips, but try not to lick it off.

Aloe vera

Applied externally, it is anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and healing.

Soothing and cooling for skin irritations, insect bites, minor burns, scalds and sunburn. Helps to heal small cuts, scratches or grazes.

An aloe vera plant requires little attention, which is great for someone like me who always forgets to water her indoor plants. You can leave it outdoors in the summer, but bring it back in during cold months.

Just cut off 5cm or so of a leaf, slice it in half and apply the cut side (the green gel) to the affected area. The gel dries and forms a protective, healing  covering.

On the down side, it doesn’t smell great, and is somewhat sticky, so you may want to put a plaster or some light covering over it to protect clothes.

Lavender essential oil

Can be applied neat, unlike most essential oils.

Apart from its well-known calming properties, it works miracles on minor burns, applied directly to the skin.

Tea tree essential oil

Antiseptic, antiviral, bactericidal, fungicidal, it can do it all.

Another one that can be applied neat. Good for cuts, grazes and fungal infections (like athlete’s foot).

Arnica cream

For knocks and bruises.

If you’ve got kids, you’ll doubtless have this in your medicine cabinet.

Watch this space to learn how to make plant-infused oils and transform them easily into soothing balms – including arnica.