Archive for First-Aid


Spider Webs & Tea Bags

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Walking around the farm with my Grandfather was always an education. I learned about plants with their botanical names and sometimes what they were good for or what harm they would cause (like stinging nettles!) He told us about the animals and their habits, from Mr. Opossum to Miss Trout. There was also valuable first aid information for kids who could be playing  a long way from home. That’s what I want to share with you today.

If you get cut and need help to stop the bleeding, find a spider web and lay it over the cut. The blood will start to clot on the fine web threads. Then find a really big soft leaf, like burdock or mullen and cover it carefully to keep it clean and come on home.

Always carry a snake stick with you. That’s a stick that has a shallow ‘V’ on a long walking stick so that you can pin the snake down, preferably catching it just behind the head or you’ll get bitten. Better yet, use it to rustle the grass ahead of you as you walk through it which will scare the snake away. This is an invaluable tool when you are picking blackberries and raspberries since the snakes love to wait in the briars for the birds.

Always carry a small sharp pocket knife and learn how to use it. Always carry a clean white handkerchief big enough to act as: a cup, a hat, a bandaid, a strainer, a tournaquet, a washcloth, a face wipe, a towel, a lunch bag, an extra pocket… . Wear a whistle and take the dog.

Walk a path or walk toward something a ways off. Keep your eyes on it so you don’t go in circles. If you loose your way in the woods, walk down hill. Listen for water and if you find a creek, follow it – go with the flow. Watch where the sun is so it stays in about the same place in the sky as you walk so you don’t go in circles. Remember that’s why people made cairns.

If you get scraped and it’s dirty, get the dog to lick it clean. Dogs have antiseptic on their tongues. Follow the dog home at supper time. He knows the way. Dogs are good hand warmers, too!

Burns and abrasions can be helped with tannic acid. This is found in a wet tea bag (black tea) and stream water that has had oak leaves in it. Honey is also good on abrasions, as is unpasteurized blackstrap molasses.

I’m sure many of you have heard some of these things growing up. We always had Epsom Salts, Boric Acid crystals, Witch-hazel, camphorated oil, and Oil of Clove in the medicine cabinet among other things. Most of these I still have and know many uses for them. I’ll write more later and I hope some of you would like to add your own home first-aid suggestions.