I have a love for alternative, natural treatments and have been studying them for the past 10 years or so.
If you were to come over to my home and complain of an ailment, or your child got an injury while visiting, you may be surprised to see me open up my “medicine cabinet” and proceed to pull out various natural remedies to treat what ails you.
A friend was asking me what I would use for such-and-such a while back, and as I rhymed off some suggestions and talked about the things that we keep in our home, I realized that it might be helpful to other parents to know the types of things that I keep and use on a regular basis.
What’s in My Natural Medicine Cabinet?
VITAMINS AND OTHER SUPPLEMENTS
- Vitamin D + K: Usually a supplement, but I “prescribe” extra during illness because Vitamin D is so good for the immune system.
- Vitamin C (with zinc and echinacea)
- Vitamin B Complex: This has proven to be very important for my family and I take it occasionally when I’m really dragging and want to ensure that my B vitamins aren’t too low.
- Magnesium: Great for relaxation when having a hard time sleeping, and especially for muscle cramping.
- Probiotics (such as acidophilus, though there are many strains to choose from): To boost immunity, good for tummy troubles.
- Oil of Oregano: My husband’s favorite. He can handle way more drops of this strong-tasting, concentrated herbal oil than I can. It boosts up the immune system and helps to fight off viruses quickly. We take it at the first sign of sickness.
- Marshmallow Root: This herb is very soothing for the throat and for coughs as well as for tummy aches.
- Garlic: A must! Antibacterial, anti-parasitic, antimicrobial. Combats viruses and colds, purifies blood, prevents heart diseases. Used as an oil mixed with Mullein, it will take care of ear infections!
- Ginger: Has broad-spectrum antibacterial, antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-parasitic properties, to name just several of its more than 40 pharmacological actions. Ginger is anti-inflammatory, making it valuable for pain relief for joint pain, menstrual pain, headaches, and more. Ginger shows promise for fighting cancer, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, asthma, bacterial and fungal infections, and more. It is a thermogenic substance with beneficial impacts on metabolism and fat storage. It can be used fresh, dried, as a tea or in extract form
- Chamomile: I make this soothing tea for my children, if they have an upset tummy or are having a hard time calming down or going to sleep. I have also used it to treat conjunctivitis.
- Peppermint: This is also very soothing on an upset digestive system. Teas are wonderful to sip on.
- Astragalus: We take this herb to boost our immune system when we’re fighting something.
There are many other herbs that I use, this is just a handful of them.
- Peppermint: I put a couple drops in water to help with indigestion. It can also be used straight on skin (with caution- it is a strong oil) as a muscle rub.
- Eucalyptus: I make a very simple chest rub with this, for coughs and congestion. You could also use it to make more of an ointment-style herbal vapor rub.
- Tea Tree: For infections.
- Rosemary: Great for headaches and concentration. It’s pregnancy and nursing safe.
- Lavender: Anti-bacterial and soothing as well. I often add a few drops to baths.
FIRST AID KIT
My First Aid Kit contains 9 basic remedies. There are 5 homeopathic remedies (for different types of pain, bites, allergic reactions, etc.), 1 floral (Rescue Remedy), activated charcoal (more on this below), a herbal healing salve, and a Calendula tincture (for cleaning/treating wounds and preventing infection). It’s perfect for those who want to learn to use more natural remedies, but aren’t quite sure where to start.
It also comes with a helpful list of ailments and which remedy to use for what. When we go out, especially on something like a camping or hiking trip or when travelling, I try to remember to bring it with me.
- Sabalia (Boiron): This homeopathic medicine relieves symptoms caused by seasonal allergies (hay fever and pollen) and environmental allergens (dust, mold and animal hairs), such as sneezing, runny nose, itchy, watery eyes, and scratchy throat. Good for kids too!
- Oscillococcinum (Boiron): Homeopathic medicine for the relief of flu-like symptoms such as body aches, headaches, fever and chills. Reduces the duration of flu symptoms for the whole family.
- Bach’s Rescue Remedy: I like the spray and my kids love the lozenges. These are great for calming in stressful, tense, nervous or emotional situations.
- Quietude (Boiron): Homeopathic medicine for the relief of mild sleeping disorders (nightmares, night terrors, occasional sleeplessness), irritability and restlessness associated with nervousness. Good for babies 6 months to adults!
- Arnica montana 9ch (Boiron): I use this product the most for all types of shocks, accidents, falls and sprains. Keep one of these tubes in your bag!
- Calendula tincture: This plant has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, as well as being a strong antiseptic and astringent. Calendula can also be used in cream or an ointment to treat minor skin problems, such as rashes, diaper rash, minor burns, acne, and eczema. It is considered a vulnerary agent, a substance that promotes healing. It has been used for a variety of other skin problems such as skin ulcers and inflammation and for relieving conjunctivitis. In a salve, or tincture, it has and continues to be used in connection with bruises, sprains, pulled muscles, sores and more.
- Activated Charcoal: For upset tummies, bad gas pains, etc.. For my youngest, I break open a capsule and mix it up in a spoon of applesauce or honey. For my husband or I, we take two capsules with water. I also use this to make poultices for drawing out toxins, like in a skin infection or a bug bite.
- Bentonite Clay: We use it in detoxifying foot baths, and also use in poultice for infections and bites. You can give spoonfuls of a liquid suspension of clay (which you would mix yourself) for upset tummies, diarrhea and for stomach bugs while travelling (or to prevent getting the bugs in the first place).
- Melatonin Tablets: Not something that I suggest using on a regular basis, but I will take it occasionally if my sleep cycle has gotten out of whack due to travel, or if I’m struggling with insomnia even though I’m sick and tired and need the sleep. I will also sometimes give a half of a 3 mg tablet to my older child if he is really in need of the extra sleep, but fighting it. He usually falls asleep within 20-30 minutes of taking it and get the rest he needs. I buy the ones which dissolve under the tongue.
- Colloidal Silver: This tasteless clear liquid is very anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and super easy to give to children when they are fighting something to boost their immune system’s response. I also use it for eye infections.
- Herbal salve: I have Comfrey which is amazing for bruises, torn ligaments and broken bones. Just make sure not to put it on an open wound.
- Emergen-C: These powdered vitamin and mineral drink packages are great for dehydration, either in sickness or in high heat.
- Epsom salts: For relaxing baths while sick, especially if one of us has a fever. I also add extra to baths for detoxification purposes. It is great for headaches and migraines as the extra magnesium will help to relieve the pain.
- Apple Cider Vinegar: This is one of my favorites! It is good for indigestion and acid reflux, relieves allergies, heals poison ivy, soothes sunburns, cures a cold and can remove warts! I also use it when my throat starts feeling sore.