Post Event Herbal Aftercare

Herbal ideas for emotional aftercare, injury aftercare, and chemical weapons aftercare

First, a note about using herbs: generally the following herbal suggestions are safe. However consult an experienced herbalist if you are pregnant, have a serious medical condition, or are on medications. Discontinue if you have any negative or allergic reaction, symptoms get worse or the condition does not improve. These suggestions are for education and empowerment. They are not meant to overide common sense or to replace a practitioners care if needed. The herbal and homeopathic remedies mentioned in this zine should be easily attainable from a local health food store as singles, however you may have to combine them into the formula yourself.

In general, rest up, take good care of yourself, and seek help if physical or emotional symptoms last longer than you think they should. If you do see a health care provider, keeping a copy of your medical records and symptoms may be useful in the future, if you plan to take legal action against the police.


Emotional aftercare

Herbal aftercare ideas to support emotional health

Some people hold stress in their bodies following demos. This can show up as disturbed sleep, nightmares, anxiety, fear or depression. It can also trigger underlying stress from past events.


A good formula for supporting the nerves and relieving stress is equal parts:


* Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

* Lavender (Lavandula spp.)

* Oatstraw (Avena sativa)


Dosage during times of acute stress attacks is 4 dropperfuls of tincture (an alcohol extraction) taken with a small amount of water. You can wait 15 minutes – 1/2 hour and take half the original dose again if needed. As a tonic during times of stress to help keep you calm you can take 1-2 droppers 1-2 times a day, or drink 1-2 cups of the tea (about 1 – 2 Tablespoons per cup).


It is common to experience nightmares and/or disturbed sleep after a demo. If this is the case for you the above tonic blend may be helpful, or try tincture of Hops (Humulus lupulis) to help ensure a deeper sleep and to help stave off nightmares. Dosage is 1-3 dropperfuls at bedtime. The tea works but drinking a cup of tea before you go to bed is a good way to ensure a full bladder at some point in the night.


Other things you may want to try for stress, grief, anxiety or frayed nerves following a demo include: Rescue Remedy (a flower essence), yoga, meditation, and talking to friends about your experiences/thoughts at the demo. The flowers of Borage (Borago officinalis) can be taken as a tincture (one dropperful as needed) or tea to help get your emotional strength back. Lavender essential oil is especially helpful for panic attacks or grief. Keep a bottle handy to smell throughout the day.


Injury Aftercare

Herbal aftercare ideas for physical trauma and injury

There are numerous herbal remedies for injuries that help the body to heal faster with less residual damage. The following can be used for a wide variety of injuries such as cuts, scrapes, bruises, sprains and strains:


Mix equal parts:


* St Johns Wort flowers (Hypericum perforatum) reduces bruising & nerve damage

* Calendula flowers (Calendula officinalis) promotes healing, reduces inflammation

* Yarrow flowers (Achillea millefolium) good for open wounds, promotes healing

You can use these in several ways. The blend is a nice combo but don’t hesitate to use just one herb if that is all you can find. These can be applied immediately after injury and later as needed.

As a tea:

Strain well and apply externally frequently as a wash out of a bottle or a spritzer; or dip a clean cloth in the tea and hold or tape it to the area for 1/2 hour, 1-3 times daily. Will keep unrefridgerated for about 24 hours.

As a tincture:

For small injuries apply a dropper directly to affected area. For larger areas dilute a spoonful in 1/4 – 1/2 cup water and apply as a wash or on a cloth. Tinctures contain alcohol. They will burn open wounds. If someone has just been assaulted they may react strongly if caused more pain.

As an oil:

Don’t use oils at demos since it can hold chemical weapons on your skin. Once you are home oils are helpful externally since they are easy to spread over a large area.


If you have some experience with herbs you may choose to also use these internally. Tea 1-2 cups a day. Tincture 1-3 dropperfuls 2-3 times a day.


Chemical Weapons Aftercare

Herbal aftercare ideas for pepper spray and tear gas exposure

Over-exposure to “incapacitating agents” such as tear gas and/or pepper spray may potentially lead to lingering health problems. These agents may be able to damage the protective lining of the lungs, which can make us more susceptible to lung infections and diseases. Additionally, the toxins from the chemical weapons can stick around in our bodies, taxing our liver and our general immune system. There are many steps you can take to help decrease your risks from exposure to these toxins. Some of these steps need to be taken as soon as possible following exposure. Others should be done regularly over the weeks after exposure.

Try not to bring contaminated clothing indoors unless it is wrapped up in a plastic bag. As soon as you can, wash your hair and all contaminated clothing in a strong detergent.

It is important to help your body to eliminate the toxins as quickly and effectively as possible, in order to minimize long term effects. The following is a list of things you can do to help detoxify and support your immune system following chemical weapons exposure:



Try to drink at least 2 liters a day. Squeeze some lemon in the water for added benefit.


Liver support:

Use bitter, liver tonic herbs such as Milk Thistle seeds (Silybum mariannum), Burdock root (Arctium lappa), and Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinale) for about two weeks following exposure. They can be used as tea, 1- 4 cups a day, or as a tincture 2-4 dropperfuls 2-3 times a day, or powder the herbs in a coffee grinder, place them in capsules and use 4 capsules 1-3 times a day. Milk Thistle can often be purchased pre-encapsulated. Your liver must work overtime to filter out the toxins. Avoiding alcohol, cigarettes, caffeine, fried or high fat foods will make its job easier. Getting regular sleep is also important— your liver continues to work while you sleep.

Lung support:

A tincture of Mullein leaf (Verbascum thapsus) is excellent lung support. This should especially be used if you are asthmatic or have a cough. You can take two to four dropperfuls, every four hours or so, immediately following exposure. After a day, decrease this to two dropperfuls four times a day. Chewing on the root of a licorice plant (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is also very helpful for your lungs, as are Slippery Elm tablets or capsules of Marshmallow root powder (Althea officinalis). These mucilaginous herbs all soothe and coat mucous membranes. These are especially important if you have a dry cough.

High fiber diet:

Whole grains or psyllium husk can help clean you out your colon . Always take psyllium with at least two cups of water. Discontinue if irritation or gas occurs.

Epsom salt rub:

A hot shower, followed by a thorough scrubbing with epsom salts which are then left on the skin for 10-15 minutes before a thorough follow-up wash can help draw toxins from the body. Be sure to accompany this with much water consumption.

Nettle tea:

Nettles are the perfect all around support plants. Their high mineral content and mild cleansing action supports many body funtions. Drinking lots of nettle tea will boost your immune system, calm you down and support your body in returning to its regular, strong self.