Hiking and camping are fun, well, until you get wounded in your adventure, and you develop a phobia for the outdoors. Outdoor enthusiasts will tell you that wounds, cuts, and bruises are normal and part of the outdoor experience. You don’t have to shy away from your favorite outdoor activity as there are numerous medicinal plants for camping and hiking wounds.
So, what are the best herbs to use for hiking and camping wounds? Several accidents happen outdoors, causing wounds, cuts, bruises, bleeding, sprained ankles, and even infections, all of which can be treated with medicinal plants.
However, identifying these medicinal plants while in the woods is paramount as it could be the difference between life and death when the condition is severe. In this article, we will be checking out the various types of plants that heal wounds while outdoors and how to identify them.
Treating Camping and Hiking Wounds with Medicinal Wild Plants?
Injuries are serious business, and they don’t heal overnight. Healing from an injury takes time, and it is important to be patient when recovering and using herbs for hiking wounds takes priority over all others.
Here are the top 5 medicinal plants for camping and hiking wounds.
When lavender is mentioned, the one thing that comes to your mind is the sweet-smelling freshener you love to spray in your washroom. But have you ever thought it could be one of the herbs that reduce swelling?
Lavender boasts anti-inflammatory properties and has been used to treat burns and relieve skin disorders such as itching and rashes.
To get the most out of this anti-inflammatory plant, crush its leaves in a jar and apply them to the swollen area.
Wondering how to identify lavender plants while in the woods? You can mostly tell them by their dusty-purple color shade, and of course, a strong scent. They also have brown leaves at the base, big flowers, and long bare stems. These plants thrive well in humid areas.
You’ve probably come across this beautiful plant in the wild or in the history books. Yes, you read that right; yarrow was used in the past to heal wounds and cuts. In fact, it is rumored that Achilles, a mythical Greek character, took it with him to the battleground.
This perennial plant is not only for healing cuts and wounds but is also considered one of the best herbs to stop bleeding. To stop bleeding, crush its flowers together with the leaves and apply the paste on cuts and bruises, as this encourages clotting.
One more thing you’ll love about them, yarrows are antiseptic plants, and using them on cuts and bruises prevents infections.
So what does yarrow look like? The easiest way to identify a yarrow plant is through its leaves, which are larger near the base, and spirally arranged around the stem. They are slightly hairy and sticky. The flowers can be yellow, pink, or red and are packed in multiples in flower heads that sit on ferny foliage.
Are you looking for a quick pain reliever for scorpion bites and wasp stings? A common weed, but maybe not so much a pain, the plantain comes in handy when you need something for the pain.
For fast relief, make a paste by crushing the leaves and apply it to the affected area. The paste dries up quickly, and you may need to replace it a few times.
Plantain leaves have a rubber-like texture and have parallel veins that sprout from the soil. The flowers are tiny and grow thin spikes around them.
Also Read: The Best Rain Jackets for Hiking.
What do you do when you encounter poison ivy? You just need jewelweed for the irritation. Cut the stalk nicely and crush it into a paste, then apply it on the itching part. After 2-5 minutes, you can now wash the paste off your skin, and you’ll notice the itch cooling.
If you have come across the pale touch me- not plant, then you might have a hard time identifying the jewelweed. However, you can distinguish them by the flowers; jewelweed’s flowers are red-orange with some red spots, while the latter’s flowers are yellow.
Its stem is weak and watery, with oval-shaped leaves that are oppositely arranged at the base and alternately arranged at the top.
Comfrey plants are considered the best herbs for a sprained ankle. To prepare the treatment, you’ll need about 100 grams of peeled comfrey root, mix it with water, then cook for about 10- 20 minutes.
Get a clean piece of cloth and soak it in the cooked solution and rub it on the skin softy for 10- 15 minutes. This treatment works great for burns and bruises too.
If you are much ahead into your hiking trail where you won’t have a chance to cook the roots, crush the comfrey leaves instead and spread the paste on the affected part.
To identify comfrey plants, be on the lookout for bell-shaped flowers, which are small and have a cream or purple shade. They also have black turnip-like roots and large hairy leaves that feel rough.
When not flowered, comfreys resemble borage, and you can not easily tell them apart. Borages have star-shaped flowers, while comfreys have bell-shaped flowers.
Caution When Using Medicinal Plants for Camping and Hiking Wounds
It’s important to remember that as much as wild medicinal plants provide instant relief and prevent infections, you may still need to see your doctor if you get an accident while outdoors. At the same time, do not use any of these antibiotic plants if you are allergic to some plants.
Also read: How to Clean Hiking Boots
It is really amazing what herbs have been proven to heal our bodies. Many people use herbs for healing for all kinds of ailments and as natural remedies for wounds.
If you are looking for the best medicinal plants for camping and hiking wounds, remember to be on the lookout for the healing species mentioned above that can be found in the wild. It will be better for your body, and it will be a lot easier on your wallet.
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