Herbs for emergencies to keep in your GOOD bag

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It’s a common misconception that you should only keep one herbal first aid kit. As a prepper and an herbalist, my perspective is that it’s best to keep a few! Rather than rely on a single, enormous kit of herbs for emergencies, create several smaller kits that are more specialized.

You can read about my herbal everyday carry kit here, but today I’m going to share the herbal comfort kit that I keep in my GOOD bag.

What is a GOOD bag?

Having a 72-hour kit is an essential part of emergency preparedness, and it’s not just for hardcore preppers. A national public service campaign, Ready, maintains a website about being prepared for emergencies. The resources on the website make it easy to figure out what you should have ready and why. It includes the supplies you will need for a minimum of three days. Find their checklist of supplies for your 72-hour kit here.

Many preppers take the 72-hour kit idea and build on it to create a more versatile personal kit. These kits are called Get Out Of Dodge (GOOD) bags or Bug Out Bags (BOBs).

GOOD bags and BOBs are designed to handle either sheltering in place or evacuations. I prefer to call mine a GOOD Bag – I think it’s less scary and weird sounding for everyday peeps that are not into the hardcore prepper scene. And it’s definitely something that everyone should have!

If you’re curious about what else goes into my GOOD Bag, I will link to my full list when that article is ready for the blog. For now, let’s talk about my herbal comfort kit.

Herbs for emergencies to include in a GOOD bag

Although there isn’t enough room for an entire field kit in your personal supplies, A GOOD Bag is an ideal place to keep herbs for your own comfort. These aren’t for complicated first aid scenarios. They address the common stresses you might encounter during an emergency. It’s also a good idea to include things that you either like to use or need on a regular basis.

I keep herbal alternatives for OTC medicines in my GOOD bag. Herbal products are more difficult to find than some other types of supplements. You might be able to pop into a big box store and score some decent vitamins, but the chances of finding a high-quality herbal product are slim. So, it makes sense to keep extras on hand in your GOOD bag. Some ideas of herbs for emergencies include:

Herbs for a calm mind

During the stress of an emergency, having herbs that support peace of mind can be a blessing. For your kit, choose a blend that you have tried before and know works well for you. If you start to lose sleep during a crazy schedule or when you are under a lot of stress, consider adding your favorite nighttime herbal blend.

Herbs for digestion

Stress and a sudden change in your diet can make you really uncomfortable! Even if you normally don’t have any trouble with digestion, you might wish you had something available to gently support regularity or soothe an anxious stomach.

For instance, herbal bitters can help support healthy digestion and regularity. Ginger is traditionally used for settling the stomach during a bout of nausea or motion sickness.

Herbs for winter comfort

An herbal throat spray and cough drops can be a nice addition to a comfort kit. A lung support formula and a lymph blend to support the immune system can also be helpful, and I consider them essential.

Herbs for allergies

If you are prone to seasonal allergies, having extras of your favorite allergy season herbs is a great idea. Allergies can make you miserable, and you don’t want to deal with the added discomfort during a stressful evacuation or personal emergency!

Herbs for physical comfort

Stress is sometimes a trigger for physical pain, right? If you experience headaches or tight, tense back and shoulder muscles as part of stressful settings, having your favorite herbals along makes sense. During an emergency evacuation, you might be sitting in a car for several hours- another scenario that can be uncomfortable.

Containers for herbal comfort kit

It’s best to start with what you want to keep in your kit and then figure out a case. This allows you to pick a bag that’s a perfect size. You won’t need to worry about it being too small or wasting space with a container that’s too big.

I use a large pencil case to hold my herbal comfort kit. There’s a mesh zipper pocket that holds packets of my favorite herbal teas and small items. The main pouch is the perfect size for several full-size bottles of my favorite herbal extracts. Makeup or toiletry bags are also great!

If you can, look for something that has a little padding to protect your kit when it’s in your GOOD Bag. Otherwise, make sure to pack your herbal comfort kit in the center of your bag with soft items around it. Using a zip-top plastic bag inside your pencil case or makeup bag can help keep things tidy in the event of a leak.

I recommend using extracts or glycerites in your comfort kit if at all possible. They take up less space than capsules and have a longer shelf life (usually around five years) so you have more flexibility about when you rotate out and replenish. However, older bottles may be prone to leak around the rubber bulb or seal, so make sure to keep your kit up to date.

What’s in my herbal comfort kit

So, let’s finish up with a list of the exact items I keep in my herbal comfort kit. These herbs for emergencies all fit into the categories I mentioned above. They can help give you ideas for stocking your own kit.

I make many of my own extracts at home, but I like using off-the-shelf items in this kit. Having clearly labeled items from a company adds a layer of legitimacy if someone in authority catches a glimpse of your kit during an evacuation. Raising eyebrows should not be on your to-do list.

If you make a purchase through my list below, thank you! Some of them are marked affiliate links. I earn a commission from those that helps me keep the blog running.

Joy Tonic by Urban Moonshine

This is a well-rounded formula for the types of stresses you are likely to encounter during an emergency. Joy Tonic has motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca), linden (Tilia spp), rose (Rosa spp), lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), and mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris). These herbs are all gentle and supportive when you are feeling stressed and off-kilter.

Find it here on Amazon (#affiliate).

Liquid Bliss by WishGarden Herbs

I also really like Liquid Bliss by WishGarden Herbs. It comes in a pump top for convenience and it even tastes good. This blend addresses stress and mood from an entirely different direction than Joy Tonic. My experience with it is that it’s very calming and uplifting. However, it may be too much of a euphoric for some people.

Liquid Bliss has cottonroot bark (Gossypium hirsutum), damiana leaf (Turnera diffusa), passionflower (Passiflora incarnata), hawthorn berry (Crataegus spp.), cacao nib (Theobroma cacao), and orange peel.

I support Wishgarden Herbs as an affiliate. Here’s my link to their online shop.

Throat Spray by Urban Moonshine

Many herbal companies have a throat spray in their product line. You have plenty of options! Personally, I like Urban Moonshine’s because they use a very sustainable herb blend. Their throat spray includes sage (Salvia officinalis), spilanthes (Acmella oleoracea), licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra), and usnea (Usnea spp).

Find Urban Moonshine’s throat spray on Amazon (#affiliate).

Lymph and lung support by Herb Pharm

I keep two blends by Herb Pharm in my herbal comfort kit. Lung Expectorant is my favorite choice for respiratory system support. It’s a blend of warming, drying herbs and traditional antispasmodics.

Herbal Detox is a bit of a misnomer. This formula is a blend of traditional lymphatic and alterative herbs. Many people hear detox and assume the herbs are laxatives that will “clean you out.” However, they actually support the body’s less drastic eliminative processes. The immune system is a vital part of these processes.

Find Lung Expectorant on Amazon (#affiliate).

Find Herbal Detox on Amazon (#affiliate).

Triphala

My favorite herbal tummy remedy is triphala. It’s an Ayurvedic formula that supports healthy digestion and elimination. I tend to prefer it over herbal bitters, but it’s nice to have both.

Right now, I have triphala capsules by Gaia Herbs – I know, breaking my rule about liquid extracts or glycerites! However, I didn’t feel like placing an online order just for triphala in a liquid (I prefer Banyan Botanicals), and my neighborhood Sprouts carries the Gaia capsules.

If you would rather have bitters, I really like Urban Moonshine’s Maple Bitters (#affiliate). I have a bottle in my kit right now, too.

Miscellaneous items

I also keep a few herbs for emergencies that aren’t extracts, though. These items include tea sachets, ginger candies, and herbal lozenges.

It’s usually easy to find a hot cup of water even if you are on the road, so if you are a tea drinker like me be sure to add a few of your favorites!

I don’t eat much candy as a rule, but ginger candies are a travel staple for me. If you have any little herbal “extras” that you use on a regular basis, don’t forget to tuck them into your herbal comfort kit!

Right now I have:

I’ve linked to them online, but I often find them on the shelf at the grocery store, so you can check there too.

Creating your herbal comfort kit

Now that you’ve seen what I keep in my herbal comfort kit, I hope you put together your own kit of herbs for emergencies. I find that it’s an easy way to create a little peace of mind. Self-care might seem like the least of your worries during an emergency scenario, but it’s actually very important. Minimizing distractions from your own discomfort will help set you up for success. After all, having what you need will make it easier to think clearly and help your loved ones during a crisis.

More herbal first-aid resources

Ready for another herbal preparedness project? Once you have your herbal comfort kit ready, consider putting together an herbal everyday carry kit. Read more about that here.

Find links to all my first aid kit articles on this page, Setting the Stage for Herbal First Aid.

Herbalist and Writer | Website

Agatha is an herbalist and author in Atlanta, Georgia. She founded Indie Herbalist in 2011. Her herbal recipe book, The Complete Guide to Adaptogens, is available wherever books are sold. To listen to her podcast or enroll in one of her herbal courses, visit Indie Herbalist's sister site, Teacup Alchemy.