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Ice packs and more: first aid products for pennies

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For many, going green and/or being frugal includes natural remedies for many minor injuries and ailments. You don't want to take medicines or use commercial products that are expensive and often cause more problems than you started with. Well, there are some basic things you can do at home with items you may already have on hand.

Tired muscles, minor strains and sprains, insect bites, and headaches can often be alleviated with ice. However, ice cubes can hurt and gel packs from the store are not cheap. The ones pictured are over ten dollars. However, you can easily make your own gel ice packs at home with items you probably already have on hand. To make a square pack simply mix 2 cups of water and 1 cup of rubbing alcohol in a quart size freezer bag. Remove as much air as possible and freeze. For a larger pack just double the amounts and use a gallon size bag. You can double bag to help prevent any leaks in the future, or if you have a vacuum sealer use it for the outer double layer. If you're crafty you can even make a neat cover for them too.

To massage tired muscles and for any other injury or illness where you want heat simply fill a tube sock with rice and microwave or heat. Again, if you're crafty you make any shape or size pouch for the rice. These can be reused many times as well. You can also add some essential oils or fresh lavender for a real relaxing treatment. These are also good if you need heat then ice for an injury, tight, or pulled muscles.

One other helpful one is for when you need an NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) like ibuprofen. These tend to upset the stomach with prolonged or frequent use. A great natural substitute is Turmeric. You can find the empty capsules at most natural herb stores and even Amazon.com. Simply fill the capsules and use in place of ibuprofen. It works as well or better and there are not the side effects and dangers as with NSAID's. Just do your homework based on your own health and consult your doctor and/or pharmacist if you are on any medications.

There are many great websites with information on using herbal supplements for many different health issues. www.herbwisdom.com is my personal favorite. So, until next time, happy saving!

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