Herbal First Aid & Beyond for Health-Conscious Parents, DIYers, and Plant Lovers
Have you ever wanted to use herbs in a first aid situation, but weren’t quite sure how to do it? (so you didn’t try or it didn’t work very well?)
Maybe you realized that there’s a difference between information about which herbs could heal and knowing how to use herbs to actually heal.
I’ll bet this scenario is familiar to you…
Let’s say… you (or your kid or your friend) cut your finger, somehow. It’s not serious, but it’s bleeding and it’s starting to hurt.You remember that yarrow can be used to stop the bleeding … and you’re feeling adventurous!
“Let’s see what these herbs can do,” you say.
And you move to go get the yarrow when you realize … “wait, how do I actually do this?”
Do you use the dry plant or the fresh plant? Do you use the leaves, the flowers or the roots? Do you eat it, drink it or put it on the cut?
And once you figure that out … your finger still bleeding … you look at the cut again and wonder, “hey, that’s actually deeper than I thought, should I really be putting this plant material in there?”
You can see that there are a few more steps needed. You lose your confidence, get flustered, and you go grab that ancient tube of neosporin/anti-bacterial spray from the bathroom cabinet.
You see, it requires more than just belief when you’re experiencing a crisis, an injury, or a situation that feels urgent. You reach for the tools you trust will work, not ones that you hope will work.
But let’s be honest, developing trust in herbal remedies can be difficult.
Not only have we all been taught to fear the wild rather than find healing from it, but we’ve also been taught to “leave healing to the “health professionals.”” And so we’re just not as familiar as we could be with how the healing process really works.
And to add further complication, we’re often trying to learn herbs on the fly, in the moment, and in this trial-and-error manner. Hoping that we’re doing it right.
So it’s no surprise that sometimes the herbs don’t work.
When herbs don’t work in first aid situations, it’s usually because we’re …
- Focused on treating the symptoms and not the person.
- There’s a common misunderstanding that “herbs treat conditions” rather than ‘herbs treat people with conditions.’
- Some herbs have more universal uses that will work for almost everyone. But many herbs have an energetic quality that needs to be matched to the person and the situation for the herbs to really help.
- Not using enough of the herb(s) or using them incorrectly. This is a common problem when you’re trying to apply the book-learning to a live crisis
For example, the main problem I see when people try to use a plantain poultice is that they don’t crush the leaf sufficiently to release the healing juices within. And there are dozens of other examples like this; Not seeking medical help when it’s needed.
This may come as a surprise, but it’s incredibly important. Herbs can do phenomenal things, but there are times when going to the ER is the best thing to do. And you need to use herbs differently in these scenarios. (A friend of mine almost lost use of his right hand because he stopped the bleeding and thought it was ok… until his wife got home and sent him to the hospital. It was a very deep cut and he’d filled it with yarrow – which worked, but was very difficult and painful to clean out of the wound. I have personally used herbs to stop bleeding, relieve pain, soothe cramps, neutralize wasp stings, break fevers, treat infections, halt asthma attacks and lots more.
Oh, by the way, I’m Garliq. I’ve been successfully using herbs in first aid and beyond for the last 10+ years. I’ve run my herbal healing and first aid tent at dozens of large community gatherings and treated literally hundreds of people. I also have two adventurous boys that have given me many opportunities to learn, grow and practice using herbs.
I’ve found that there are three main ingredients to having success using herbs in first aid…
- Prepare Yourself and Your Healing Tools. The first step is getting ready to hold a calm, healing space for someone who may be having a very difficult time. And having your salves, liniments, tinctures, poultices, etc ready to go makes everything a whole lot easier.
- Practice Before the Crisis. Imagine (or remember) the scenario that you’re preparing for and run the whole scenario through in your mind. Use the tools you’ve created and practice using them. Practice on yourself so you have an experience of it and practice on other people.
- Be Ready to Improvise. After you’ve prepared as well as possible, life will throw you a curveball. You won’t have your full tool kit with you or someone will have an unusual allergy or whatever. It’ll be impossible to predict. And knowing about the Action Categories of how herbs work will help ENORMOUSLY.
That’s why I created this 2½ day workshop… so you can build your confidence, have success using herbs, and heal yourself and your loved ones naturally.
At this 2½ day hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how to:
- Treat yourself, your family and friends for common wounds, injuries, ailments, etc
- Reduce pain, speed healing, prevents/reduce scarring
- Stay grounded even in difficult situations, so you can hold a calm healing space for others
- Be creative with your first aid treatments by learning about the Action Categories of herbs so that you can effectively and safely improvise if you don’t have your regular remedies at hand
- Assess the severity of a wound, injury or ailment and decide within your capacity to heal or whether you need to seek medical intervention
- My personal 4 step process to effectively and safely treating someone with herbs
First Aid, Second Aid, Third Aid …
It’s unavoidably misleading to call this workshop “herbal first aid” because it is, but it’s more than that.
My goal is to help you to make your first touch a healing touch with herbs.
But why stop there? To me, healing is a process that involves your body, mind and spirit. And herbs aid every step of that process. You’ll learn healing protocols from that moment of first contact as well as the next steps, the continued care that’s needed until the person has fully recovered.
What this workshop is NOT:
- Not a standard first aid course and not exclusive to “first aid”
- Not teaching cpr, ar or any of those skills. We’ll leave that to the folks who already teach that better than I could
- NOT a lecture about herbs that could treat various conditions – I’ll be teaching from my direct experiences and with the herbal first aid kit that I’ve compiled over the years
- Not an anti-western medicine workshop. The point is to learn when you really need medical intervention and when you can safely and effectively treat it yourself.
- And there is no organization to provide any certification, which is fine because you don’t need it to use herbs effectively and safely.
This is a 2 ½ day workshop that starts with an evening presentation followed by two full days of hands-on, scenario-based training. There’s even a bit of time for making some simple herbal first aid remedies, so you’ll have some tools to take home with you.
Day 1: *2 hour Evening Presentation: The Vital Role of Empathy in First Aid
One of the greatest gifts that herbal healing offers is the frame that we’re treating the whole person and not just their symptoms. But how does that work with the urgency of a first aid situation? How do you treat the whole person when you really need to focus on stopping the bleeding?
This two hour talk and discussion is my answer to these questions. And as the title of suggests, it’s got a lot to do with empathy.
*Friday is open to the public/ those not able to attend all weekend, Register Friday Only by email firstname.lastname@example.org
Days 2 & 3: Herbal First Aid and Beyond Intensive Workshop
These two days will be primarily scenario-based learning. You’ll work in small groups on a variety of first aid simulations. Because the truth is that people really do learn best when they use all of their senses.
So, you’ll smell and taste herbs. You’ll mash up roots and tape the mush to each other. You’ll learn how important it is to just hold someone’s hand through their healing process.
And you too will have a hand to hold through your learning process. Because this workshop container is grounded in compassion, mentorship, and support. Providing the most important window for any learning: the chance to make mistakes, ask questions and improve.
We’ll start simple, adding small pieces and answering your questions as we go.
- How to create an emotionally safe container, “holding space for someone” who’s injured, upset, afraid, in pain, or any combination of these.
- We’ll explore this topic on the first evening, but we’ll cultivate this empathic bedside manner throughout the workshop.
- Understanding of how the body heals and how different herbs work.
- There will be lots of “the nitty-gritty” teaching, lots of herbs, lots of conditions/ailments/injuries/etc – but always in context.
- We’ll shift between theory and practice so that you’re mind and your hands are learning. That’s where the Action Categories and herbal energetics really helps.
- You’ll learn how to use one herb to treat many different things AND how and why to use different herbs to treat the same thing.
- Practice using the herbs in simulations.
- You will also learn to make some of your own herbal remedies so that you can customize and prepare your own healing tools. Things like liniments, tinctures, salves, plasters, dressings, and so on.
Conditions, ailments, and injuries that may be covered:
- Insect bites and stings
- Burns – fire or sun
- Scrapes, cuts, gashes or wounds
- Sprains and strains
- Eyes, ears, nose & throat infections
- Nausea and vomiting
- Allergies – seasonal, environmental or food
- Common childhood conditions like fever
- Swelling and pain
- Bacterial infections
Pick Your Own Herbal First Aid Kit (Optional Addition)
We’ll do this mix’n’match style. I’ll have an assortment of herbal remedies available so you can pick the herbs you’re most likely to use.
You’ll get $120-ish worth of remedies for $100.
About the Instructor
Garliq, aka Kyle Patton, is a Community Herbalist, a Plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner, the Director of the Kootenay School of Herbal Medicine & The Living Medicine Project. He based out of beautiful Nelson in BC’s Kootenay area. Garliq studied at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine and Eliot Cowan’s Plant Spirit Medicine Medicine Practitioner Program. Along with herbalism Garliq is also a community organizer around social and environmental justice, a practitioner of non-violent communication, a papa of two & also a juggler!
More about Garliq and his journey to herbalism at Kootenay School of Herbal Medicine